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Taylor 50th Anniversary AD14ce-SB LTD
 
This limited-edition grand auditorium is the first American Dream model with a cutaway.
April 17, 2024
 

When Taylor introduced its American Dream series in 2020, it was initially a way to develop a new line while working within the constraints of reduced staffing during the early days of the COVID pandemic. Built in Taylor’s main factory in El Cajon, California, American Dream models feature a stripped-down design, slightly simplified construction, and a price that puts them between the entry-level 200-series guitars (which are built in Taylor’s Mexican factory) and the 300 series, which had long been Taylor’s most affordable line of US-made instruments. Named after the American Dream luthier co-op where Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug got their start, and which they purchased in 1974 and turned into Taylor Guitars, the guitars were a reminder that the company’s 50th anniversary was just around the block. Now that Taylor is celebrating this milestone with a series of special editions (check out our demos of the 50th Anniversary Builder’s Edition 814ce and 314ce), it made sense to include a special version of an American Dream model, and Taylor used the chance to introduce a cutaway grand auditorium to the series. In this video, I demo the resulting 50th Anniversary AD14ce-SB LTD in the Peghead Nation studio.

The AD14ce-SB LTD is built with a Sitka spruce top and walnut back and sides. While Taylor didn’t offer a grand auditorium until its 20th anniversary in 1994, walnut is a direct connection to the company’s early days, when the wood was a frequent choice, and one that Taylor has frequently revisited over the decades. The guitar has an ultrathin satin finish, a sunburst top that lends a vintage appearance, and a eucalyptus fingerboard and bridge that could easily be mistaken for a type of rosewood. The AD14ce-SB LTD includes the same simple appointments as other American Dream models, as well as Taylor’s V-class bracing and the company’s standard ES2 pickup. 

Like the other American Dream models that we’ve had a chance to play, the AD14ce-SB LTD is a solid performer. Other than the satin finish, which provides a slightly different tactile experience (you can feel the wood grain on both the neck and the body), the guitar feels just like other Taylor grand auditoriums, as it has the same neck shape, setup, etc. Walnut is often described as having tonal qualities between that of mahogany and rosewood, and the AD14ce-SB LTD seems to combine the richness of a rosewood Taylor grand auditorium with the clarity associated with mahogany. The guitar has a lovely fingerstyle voice, and I was impressed with how well it handled a range of dynamics, from playing very softly to digging in a bit harder. These qualities also served the guitar well when played with a pick. Plugged into our Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge amp, the guitar delivered the capable amplified tones that the ES2 is known for, making it an excellent stage guitar.

Overall, the AD14ce-SB LTD is not only a great addition to the lineup of special 50th anniversary guitars, it’s also a wonderful addition to the American Dream line in general. Only 1994 of them will be built, so if you think you might want one, better hurry to a dealer!

SPECS 

Grand Auditorium body with cutaway. Sitka spruce top with V-Class-bracing. Solid walnut back and sides. Neo-tropical mahogany neck. Eucalyptus fingerboard and bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Gold tuning machines. Taylor ES2 electronics. Made in USA. $1,999 street. 

Taylorguitars.com

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Peghead Partners
 
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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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