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Taylor 214ce Rosewood/Spruce Grand Auditorium Acoustic-Electric Guitar Sunburst image
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Taylor 214ce Grand Auditorium

The Taylor 214ce captures the best Taylor has to offer from expertly chosen tonewoods and state-of-the-art electronics, to the famed tonal presence of the Grand Auditorium body shape. Pick one up and find out why this ranks as one of the most popular guitars in the world.

Unlike Martin, which has a storied past rooted deep in the 19th century, Taylor has only been around since 1974. In three short decades, the company has gone from a trio of repair shop employees building guitars to one of the most respected international guitar manufacturers. You could blindly throw a dart into a Taylor showroom and almost be guaranteed to hit an instrument that is impeccably built, a joy to play and pleasing to the eye. Perhaps more than any other model, the Taylor 214ce embodies these qualities and does it at a price point that is accessible to nearly all players.

...a guitar that sounds good fingerpicking, flatpicking, plugged into a DI at an open mic, or unplugged sitting around a campfire

Most Taylor acoustics are organized into numbered series (i.e. 100, 200, 300) that are characterized by tonewood and appointment. The last two numbers of the model designation indicate the body shape (10 = dreadnought, 14 = grand auditorium, etc). Taylor’s 200 Series is a step up in spec from the entry level 100 Series, but isn’t distinguished by a signature exotic wood or appointment set as the 300 through 800 Series are. The 214ce uses a Grand Auditorium body with and a cutaway and onboard ES-T electronics.

While the lower-priced 114ce uses laminated Sapele back and sides (a cost and environment-saving measure), the 214ce uses layered Indian Rosewood. While not as tonally robust as solid Rosewood, this production technique uses a Poplar core and Rosewood veneer to give a quality tone while reducing environmental impact. The Taylor 214ce also has a matching Rosewood veneer headstock and clean electronic controls on the upper shoulder, giving it the feel and look of much more expensive Taylor models.

Since the Taylor 214ce is the company's best-selling guitar, the model has been treated to many special editions. Beyond the standard 214ce, Taylor offers a Deluxe model (214ce DLX) with a high gloss finish and small diamond inlays as well as a Koa Deluxe model that pairs its Sitka Spruce top with layered Koa back and sides. A sunburst finish model and all black finish model round out the offerings.

This makes for a Spruce/Rosewood satin-finished, no-frills acoustic that is built well enough to be a lifetime guitar. It is a guitar that sounds good fingerpicking, flatpicking, plugged into a DI at an open mic, or unplugged sitting around a campfire (and isn’t the type you’d be afraid to take camping). The Taylor 214ce can be your only guitar while leaving you money leftover to buy a nice DI box and tuning pedal...or to promote your debut EP.

What is a Grand Auditorium body?

For those used to the conventions of guitar body naming, the term Grand Auditorium might raise an eyebrow. In size and shape, it is somewhere between a smaller grand concert and dreadnought. This makes it well-suited for both fingerstyle and flatpicking, where traditionally players have a grand concert/OM body for fingerpicking work and a larger dreadnought body for bluegrass or heavier tunes. Purists might scoff, but it works. Unless you are recording a studio album where you just need to have that sound or you play entirely in one genre or the other, most people find the middle ground offers a balanced tone that articulates enough to make any style work. After all, numbers don’t lie. The Grand Auditorium has been the most popular model of one of the most popular guitar manufacturers for nearly twenty years.

How does the 214ce compare to comparable Martin and Gibson models?

Martin offers affordable, sustainably built acoustics within their X Series, where models feature High Pressure Laminate backs and sides, but the Grand Auditorium body doesn’t have an exact peer. One notable difference between the Taylor 214ce and more traditional designs is that the internal bracing is forward-shifted. This scoops out the frequency range where many human voices live, making room for singing and playing simultaneously in a way traditional X-bracing does not. This bracing difference and unique body shape set the 214ce apart from traditional designs, while still creating a timeless feel.

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