AIN’T IT GRAND
The 414ce uses Taylor’s Grand Auditorium shape – the company’s most popular outline. The back and sides are made of Ovangkol, and the top is Sitka Spruce. The neck and heel are made of Tropical Mahogany (I’ve been to Taylor’s factory a few times and have seen the fanatical level of attention they pay to selecting their timbers), and the fretboard is Ebony. The 20 frets are finished perfectly, with smooth edges and even smoother crowns. The position markers are simple, refined mini dots and a Venetian cutaway gives you easy access to the higher frets.
Amplification is handled by Taylor’s Expression System 2 acoustic electronics, which incorporates a proprietary behind-the-saddle pickup with three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup sensors. This is combined with Taylor’s custom-designed professional audio grade preamp, with controls for volume, treble and bass. It’s a reactive system: turn the bass and treble up and the midrange will automatically scoop, or you can boost the midrange when you turn the bass and treble down and increase the volume.
ALL ABOUT THAT MIDRANGE
The 414ce has a well-defined midrange, which keeps the tone clear and balanced – it sounds like the same guitar whether you’re playing open chords or way up higher on the neck. This also makes it great for fingerstyle players because there’s a consistency from string to string, which ensures that notes don’t jump out at you from within a chord unless your picking choices force them to. It’s also great for single note lines or strumming heavily with a pick. The neck is very comfortable too, whether you’re a seasoned acoustic guitarist or someone who usually plays electric. Even the notoriously painful first-position F chord with the annoying barre at the first fret is no bother with this neck thanks to the height of the carefully hand-shaped nut.
This is a very expressive instrument that uses careful wood selection, clever design and flawless construction methods to present you with a rich, controllable, palette from which to paint your musical colours.