Price paid: C$ 5059
Purchased from: Long and McQuade
Features — 10
I have a 914CE made in early 2014. The thing is absolutely gorgeous. The Indian Rosewood back and sides with a Sitka Spruce top looks gorgeous. There's not much in terms of features on this acoustic aside from the ES2 transducer, and there doesn't need to be. The beauty of this guitar is how well constructed and designed it is. The Gotoh 510 tuners never budge and are the smoothest tuners I've ever used. The ES2 system is fantastic and holds up against any other top-line transducer I've heard. For those looking for a little flair, the Cindy inlays look amazing and impress everyone I've shown the guitar to.
Sound — 10
The sound of this guitar is something to die for. I still remember the first chord I played, and how impressed I was with the sustain and reverberation. The natural volume of the guitar is fantastic and I often have to hold back a little to avoid drowning out other acoustic guitars during jam sessions. The sound is very full, to the extent where you can hear the character of each note in every chord. The variety in sounds is stunning as well, the guitar is very responsive. I have noticed that the reverberation is not quite as good when fingerpicking as it is with strumming, but it is still fantastic compared to other guitars I have played - and I've played a lot.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Not much to say really. It was flawless through and through, as you would expect for the price. I've checked the entire binding and there is not a single place where the lines aren't perfect. The inlays are so well done. The action is what you would expect from a Taylor, not too high and not too low. It's designed to play easily and it really does. I've noticed a little inconsistencies with intonation along the fretboard (a few cents at most), but my guitar was sitting in a music store for a few months before I picked it up. I plan on getting it fixed up soon and hopefully that fixes any issues.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Everything is still in fantastic condition and seems like it will last a very, very long time. The only thing worth noting is that the finish is a little too perfect, and I've had to be very careful when jamming not to scratch the body with my pick lest I damage it. There are a few marks already, but that's to be expected. They just stand out more because the rest of the guitar is so perfect. The only thing that I dislike about the reliability of this guitar is that the pickup is active, so you always need a spare battery. I would never need to bring a spare guitar though, the electronics system is really solid and I have had no problems with string breakage yet, and I am pretty infamous for breaking strings when I get into it.
Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing guitar for 12 years and wanted to upgrade to a top class acoustic, and the 914CE was a fantastic all round choice. It's a bit pricey, but if you can find the cash it is worth every penny. I play a lot of different types of music, from singer/songwriter stuff to traditional jazz and this thing does everything exceptionally. I love the aesthetics, and the sound even more. I would buy this guitar 100 times over if I had the choice. The bottom line is that this is a fantastic instrument that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in a really, really top end guitar.