Now Playing: Taylor 814CE guitar review from Acoustic Guitar




Date: 1498601362

Duration: 00:09:57

Acoustic Guitar contributor Teja Gerken demonstrates the Taylor 814CE guitar. For the full review, please check out the March 2014 issue of Acoustic Guitar or ...
[acoustic guitar playing] 0:00 – 0:15

Hello, I am Teja Gerken, I am a contributor to acoustic guitar and I am here with the newest version of Taylor’s 814ce guitar.

[finger picks guitar]

The 814ce has been in the Taylor line for a long time but it has been updated with some new appointments, some different internal designs and it is probably the best sounding Taylor 814 yet.

So let us have a listen to it a little bit more. I am tuned to dadgad tuning here and you heard me play a little bit but I’m going to play just a little bit more finger style on it so you can get an idea of what it sounds like.

[Teja finger playing guitar] 0:47 – 1:14

So the first thing I am noticing when I am playing the guitar is of course the playability. Taylors have always been known

[finger playing guitar]

For their playability and this is no exception. Great feeling neck, 1 and 3/4 inches of the nut so very - the fingers dab friendly. Not quite as thin as some earlier Taylor necks have been. I have a 94 Taylor 712 and it definitely has a slightly thinner neck profile than this but I find this [indistinct] very, very comfortable to play.

I love the maple binding on the finger board and one thing I have noticed asI was playing this that I appreciate that it was flamy but not too flamy.

I find that sometimes when people use very flamed woods for the binding on the neck gets distracting from the position markers and the finger board and this is not a problem with this. Great fret work, super low action, you’re really not going to find an easier playing acoustic guitar than this.

[strumming guitar]

Some interesting appointments, it has got a Rosewood pickguard that you do not see very often. Of course, maple binding around

[strums guitar]

Chrome tuners

[strums guitar]

Now let us see what the guitar sounds like with a pick, the 14 Series has been touted as being a very versatile guitar. People use them whether they are a finger style players or strummers, flat pickers. So let’s see what it sounds like

[picks guitar] 2:38 – 2:58
Remember Taylor has got a really great, big, rich, strumming voice

[strums guitar]

I’m still in dadgad tuning here so I have lots of open strings that ring through

[strums guitar]

but the fretted notes really don’t lose in the definition so

[strums guitar]

And with the playability, you could play like that for a long time without your left hand getting tired

[strums guitar]

We have really a nice playing and sounding guitar, a responsive playing finger style and yet can really take a little bit of a strum and breathe that way.

Now the guitar also has Taylor’s new Expression System 2 pickup system built in. So let’s have a quick listen to what that sounds like plugged in to our Fishman Loudbox 100 amp right here.

[strumming guitar] 3:43 – 4:13

The Expression System 2 is a brand new pickup system that Taylor’s introducing for 2014. In this case, it’s installed in an 814ce model guitar but this system will be replacing the earlier Expression System slowly throughout the year starting with the higher end model. It’s most likely going through the entire line fairly soon.

The Expression System 2 is a complete redesign of Taylor’s proprietary pickup system while the earlier expression system used a magnetic pickup that was installed underneath the fingerboard as well as the sound board transducer that was mounted to inside the top.

This system has a set of three piezo crystals that are mounted in the bridge but what’s different about this system from most bridge-mounted piezo systems is that rather than installing the pickup under the saddle as in an under saddle transducer element, it installs them behind the saddle and there are three of them between the pairs of strings; one between the fifth and the sixth, one between the third and the fourth and one between the first and the second and the piezo crystals push against the saddle from behind so they kind of from between the bridge pins and the saddle in here, they are adjustable with a tiny little Allen wrench in terms of the pressure that is applied to the saddle but set up from the factory, there really shouldn’t be any adjusting’s necessary on this.

Because this approach to piezo amplification senses the way the saddle rocks back and forth ever so slightly rather than the up and down motion, Taylor says that if offers much bigger dynamic range than traditional piezo systems and we will listen to it and see what it sounds like as well.

But before I play the guitar a little bit more, let me talk about preempt. Taylor designed a new preempt for the system. It looks like the old Expression System preempt from the outside. It has the same set of controls, it has a volume control, a treble control and the bass control and inside, reach down through the sound there is also a phase reversal switch, so if you have problems with feedback or just doesn’t sound right, the phase reversal switch is good option to have right onboard your guitar.

Now let’s listen to the system a little bit more, you heard me play it finger style and a lot of pickup systems can sound great if you are playing very soft, you’re not really driving the system very much and not overloading it its dynamic range but the real [indistinct] is to see what it sounds like with a flat pick, so, I’m going to strum the guitar here with a heavy wagon pick and I’m still in dadgad tuning so I’m really going to pound out the rhythms here.

[strumming guitar] 6:56 – 7:14

So you can probably tell that even though I’m driving the guitar very hard with a pick, it really lacks that unnatural attack that some pickup systems have. Quite a huge dynamic range for the system.

[strums guitar]

And I think it’s a huge step forward in terms of factory mounted onboard electronics on stock guitar.

[strums guitar]

Just to close things out, let me also play it a little bit more playing finger style and I also wanted to point out that even though the guitar string sensitivity is obviously great

[strums guitar]

It also has quite a bit of body sensitivity, I can tap the body and it really comes through, there’s no need for additional source like internal mic or soundboard transducer to make that happen.

The location of the piezo crystals inside the bridge are such that it picks up very complex, large signal from the guitar

[strums guitar]

I should also quickly demonstrate the cue on the guitar which is quite effective [indistinct] in all the buttons, volume is obvious, the range of the bass is such

[strums guitar]

all the way, and the treble

[strumming guitar]

If you turn up the controls both to the same amount, you get a slight mid scoop in the signal. It was very popular or mid boost if you turn both of them counterclockwise. So even though there is only a bass and treble control, you can really preset in such a way that you can think of them as allowing you some control of the mids as well

[strums guitar]

So that’s the Taylor Expression System 2. My name is Teja Gerken, I’m going to play out a little bit with slightly longer clips so you can really hear the system play it.

[playing guitar] 9:02 until end

Explore Media by:

0 Latest Videos