Sponsored By
 
Taylor 514ce
 
A completely revamped Taylor classic built with urban red ironbark wood.
October 26, 2022
 

The Taylor 514ce has long had a special place in the company’s line. A descendant of Taylor’s pair of 20th anniversary models, which introduced the grand auditorium body style in 1994, the guitar continued to be built with a combination of mahogany back and sides and cedar top (the only Taylor to feature cedar for an extended run) even as other construction details were modified over the years, including a switch to V-Class bracing in 2018. But most things eventually change, and having recently announced changes to the woods used in its 500 and 700 series models, Taylor has revamped the 514ce significantly. In this video, I demonstrate the guitar in the Peghead Nation video studio.

Expanding its use of sustainably grown alternatives to traditional tonewoods, Taylor is including the 514ce in its move to replace the mahogany previously used on 500-series models with urban red ironbark (check out our demo of the grand concert–size 512ce). Part of the eucalyptus family, red ironbark came to Taylor’s attention through its Urban Wood Initiative, which was created to explore woods that might be growing close to the company’s  San Diego, California home. Not only are red ironbark trees commonly grown in urban Southern California (many end up as wood chips through routine park management practices), the wood also has great tonal qualities as well as excellent workability and structural stability. Almost as dense as ebony, red ironbark has tonal qualities that are closer to rosewood-family woods than the mahogany previously used on 500-series guitars. The 514ce’s voice is further altered by using torrefied Sitka spruce for the top rather than cedar. 

While the look of the new wood combination will make it easy to differentiate the new 514ce from earlier versions, it still has the simple-yet-refined set of appointments that have always been a part of the 500 series, including tortoise-style binding and an abalone rosette. And while the “Aerial” inlay pattern in the fingerboard is new, it’s more of a variation on previous inlays than a complete revamp. The red ironbark is stained to make it slightly darker than its natural color, giving it an attractive, rich, golden-brown appearance. A slight edge-burst creates a great match with the straight-grained Sitka spruce top. 

The 514ce retains all the familiar Taylor grand concert dimensions, though it may be a bit heavier than earlier versions. The first thing that struck me when I started playing the guitar was its sustain, which is impressive both when playing chords and single-note lines. The new 514ce has a muscular overall tonality, with rich lower mids and basses, while maintaining balance throughout its tonality. Strumming the guitar produced a powerful sound that would work well for accompaniment duties, and its response when playing fingerstyle proved that it is a worthy successor to the earlier version of the model, which has long been a favorite with players who appreciate a quick response and large dynamic range. These qualities remained when I plugged the guitar’s stock ES2 electronics into a Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge amp. Like most current Taylors, the 514ce will be an excellent stage guitar. 

The new 514ce is definitely a departure from what many 514ce fans are used to. But there is no doubt that the new 514ce is a great guitar that will be an improvement for some players and a different flavor in a familiar package for others. Taylor’s continued exploration of alternative woods represents an important step in ensuring that quality materials will be available to guitar builders in the future, and for that alone, the company deserves recognition. Regardless of whether you’re a longtime 514ce fan or are simply looking for a great mid-size guitar, you’d do well to check out this latest version. If you’re interested in a direct comparison of the old and new versions of the guitar, Taylor has produced a side-by-side presentation of the two guitars that is available on the company’s YouTube channel

SPECS: Cutaway grand auditorium body with 14-fret neck joint. Torrefied Sitka spruce with V-Class bracing. Urban red ironbark back and sides. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Taylor nickel tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA. $3,299 street. Taylorguitars.com

Related New Gear Posts
 

Taylor Academy Series 20e and 22e

New versions of Taylor’s popular entry-level models feature walnut construction.

Read More

 

Taylor 512ce

A new take on a Taylor classic, using urban red ironbark wood.

Read More

 

Taylor 724ce

A new all-koa grand auditorium that’s part of the revamped 700 series.

Read More

 

Taylor 722ce

A revamped 700-series grand concert now features Hawaiian koa wood.

Read More

 

Taylor GTe Blacktop

A Grand Theater model built with walnut and spruce and featuring a black top finish.

Read More

 

Taylor GTe Mahogany

An all-mahogany version of Taylor’s compact Grand Theater

Read More

 

Taylor GT 611e LTD

A gorgeous Grand Theater–size guitar built with maple and spruce.

Read More

 

Taylor AD27e Flametop

An all-maple slope-shoulder with a husky, vintage tonality.

Read More

 

Taylor AD22e

A new grand concert–size addition to the affordable American Dream series.

Read More

 

Taylor 214ce Plus

An affordable and versatile grand auditorium.

Read More

 
Sponsored By
 
 
 
Peghead Partners
 
Richard Hoover and James Nash | Santa Cruz Guitar
The Santa Cruz founder and flatpicking virtuoso team up for a presentation about the company at Organic Sounds Guitars.
 
 
 
 
 
  Follow Us:  
 
  About Us       Shop         Support         Contact Us         Email Sign up         Advertise         Sitemap         FAQ         Privacy         Terms         Subscribe   Sign In  
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com
 
 
    ● 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