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Taylor 50th Anniversary 314ce
 
A special edition of one of Taylor’s most popular models features a torrefied Sitka spruce top.
March 13, 2024
 

Taylor Guitars is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the company has created a series of special edition guitars, and more will be released as the year progresses. A few weeks ago, I demoed the 50th Anniversary Builder’s Edition 814ce, and in this video, I check out the 50th Anniversary version of the popular 314ce grand auditorium–size guitar in the Peghead Nation studio.

Taylor’s 300-series models have always been a great value. Built in the company’s primary factory in El Cajon, California, the guitars have fundamentally the same construction and quality as more expensive models, but with more widely available woods and simpler appointments. 

Like a standard 314ce, the 50th anniversary guitar’s back and sides are built with solid sapele, an African wood that is often compared favorably with mahogany. Sapele can range from being somewhat bland looking to having very rich color and attractive figuring, and the wood used on our demo guitar is some of the most mahogany-like sapele I’ve seen. For the top, Taylor chose its torrefied Sitka spruce top rather than the standard Sitka or mahogany used on regular 300s. The appointments are similar to the standard model in that they include the “gemstone” fingerboard inlays, black-and-white purfling, and a black-and-white multi-ring rosette, but the 50th anniversary model includes an edge sunburst finish, a “firestripe” pickguard, gold tuners, and a special internal 50th anniversary label. Naturally, the guitar has Taylor V-Class bracing and includes the company’s ES2 pickup system.

I’ve played countless Taylor grand auditoriums over the years, including many versions of the 314ce, and the 50th Anniversary 314ce reminded me why these models have been so popular. It has a friendly, versatile character that suits virtually any playing style, as well as the brightness and balance Taylors are known for. Sapele and mahogany guitars often have great tonal clarity, and the same is true of the 50th Anniversary 314ce. Although I didn’t have a standard 314ce to compare the 50th Anniversary model with, I’d venture to say that the torrefied top gives it a bit of a played-in tonality that sounds more “open” and warmer than a standard model. The guitar reminds me of one of my all-time favorite Taylors, the original 514ce, which had mahogany back and sides and a cedar top. Known for its quick response and warm sound, the early 514ce is prized by many fingerstyle players, and I got similar vibes from the 50th Anniversary 314ce. 

The 50th Anniversary 314ce is a great version of Taylor’s best-selling grand auditorium design. Though it resides at the lower-end of the company’s US-made line, there’s nothing entry-level about it. With its great sound, great playability, and upgraded looks, there’s a lot to like, but you better hurry to check it out, as just 1974 instruments will be available world-wide!

SPECS 

Grand Auditorium body with cutaway. Torrefied Sitka spruce top with V-Class-bracing. Solid sapele back and sides. Neo-tropical mahogany neck. West African crelicam ebony fingerboard. Ebony bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Gold tuning machines. Taylor ES2 electronics. Made in USA. $2,799 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
 
 
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