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Taylor 214ce Plus
 
An affordable and versatile grand auditorium.
September 20, 2021
 

When a guitar maker offers as big of a range of models as Taylor does, it’s easy to focus on the high-end of the line, where instruments that many players are more likely to dream about than to own reside. But ever since Taylor’s original 400 series revolutionized what an affordable guitar can be in the early 1990s, the company has continuously refined and expanded its entry-level instruments. Recently, Taylor added some “Plus” models to its popular 200 series, which fit between standard 200’s and the 200 Deluxe instruments. I had a chance to check out the grand auditorium–size 214ce Plus in the Peghead Nation video studio.

Like all 200 series Taylors, the 214ce Plus is made in the company’s Tecate, Mexico factory, which is just an hour drive from Taylor’s headquarters in El Cajon, California. Duplicating much of the California factory’s technology, and following similar workflows, this facility has been producing exceptional instruments with affordable prices for many years. Built with layered Indian rosewood back and sides and a solid Sitka spruce top, the 214ce Plus follows the basic blueprint of the standard 214ce, but while the base model has a satin finish, the Plus has a full gloss finish. The guitar also mostly shares appointments (including small dot fingerboard position markers and a three-ring rosette) with the standard model, but it has black body binding instead of white. One noteworthy upgrade is the inclusion of Taylor’s new Aero case, which is a hybrid between a hard-shell case (included with the 214ce DLX) and a gig bag (standard with the 214ce), and which offers protection that is virtually on par with a hard-shell case, while also featuring backpack straps and lighter weight. 

One major difference between the 200 series (as well as the 100 series and other Tecate-made models) and current 300 series and above models (all of which are made in El Cajon) is that they continue to use traditional X-bracing, rather than Taylor’s V-Class bracing, which is now in use on all of its higher-end guitars. The 214ce Plus has a tonality that is more like that of earlier Taylor grand auditoriums than with models that use the newer V-Class design. I’ve always been impressed by how much of the typical Taylor sound and feel is available in the company’s entry-level models, and the 214ce Plus is no exception. The guitar had a satisfying, rich sound that covered a large frequency spectrum, resulting in a big overall voice. Strumming yielded great volume, and playing fingerstyle benefitted from complex overtones and a lively response. Using the onboard ES2 electronics to plug into a Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge, I was greeted by the excellent amplified sound I’ve come to expect from Taylor’s proprietary system. 

Overall, it’s impossible to not be impressed by the performance that the 214ce Plus offers for less than $1,200. It has the classic Taylor vibe and playability, a great pickup, and excellent sound no matter how it’s played. If I were to choose between the three 214ce options, I’d probably say that the Plus offers the most bang for the buck, though ultimately, the differences come down to cosmetics and cases, so personal preference will be the primary factor.

SPECS: Cutaway grand auditorium body. Solid Sitka spruce top with X-bracing. Layered Indian rosewood back and sides. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1¹¹/₁₆-inch nut width. Nickel Taylor tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in Mexico. $1,199 street. Taylorguitars.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com