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Taylor Builder’s Edition 314ce LTD 50th Anniversary Collection
 
A limited-edition grand auditorium with urban ash back and sides and high-end features
June 5, 2024
 

Taylor Guitars is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a collection of limited-editions that looks forward more than it dwells on the past. We’ve already been fortunate to check out the AD14ce-SB LTD, 314ce LTD, and Builder’s Edition 814ce LTD, and in this video, I demo the most advanced 300-series guitar yet, the Builder’s Edition 314ce LTD, in the Peghead Nation studio.

Long-time Taylor fans remember when the 300 series was introduced in 1998. Positioned below the wildly popular 400 series, the 300s represented the entry-point into Taylor’s line, and even after the introduction of the 100 and 200 series, it continued to be the most affordable all-solid-wood series built in Taylor’s main El Cajon, California facility. (Today, the American Dream series offers solid woods and El Cajon construction at prices below the 300s.) For many Taylor fans, 300s have rightfully become synonymous with excellent value, and the instruments’ plain appearance and less exotic woods have separated them from more expensive Taylors. However, with the addition of 300-series models in Taylor’s Builder’s Edition and other limited lines, the old perception of 300s as “entry-level” has gone and they are now simply another flavor in the Taylor catalog. 

The grand auditorium–size Builder’s Edition 314ce LTD is the second 300 series guitar included in the forward-thinking Builder’s Edition line (the other was a mahogany-top 324ce). Built with urban ash back and sides and a Sitka spruce top, the guitar also includes a beveled armrest and cutaway, chamfered body edges, Gotoh 510 tuners, and the modified contoured bridge found only on Builder’s Edition models. In other words, this guitar has more in common with other high-end Builder’s Editions than with a typical 300 series. While the aforementioned features may be what you notice first when checking out the Builder’s Edition 314ce LTD, the most unusual and noteworthy aspect of the guitar is its urban ash wood. Discovered during a collaboration with Southern California’s West Coast Arborists, urban ash grows near Taylor’s San Diego headquarters, and the wood used by Taylor is sourced from city trees cut as part of urban reforestation projects. Taylor describes the material’s tonal qualities as being similar to mahogany, and it looks quite attractive, especially stained to a dark brown color, as on the Builder’s Edition 314ce LTD.

Even by Taylor standards, the Builder’s Edition 314ce LTD is incredibly easy to play, with the armrest and chamfered body edges contributing to amazing playing comfort. The guitar has a very clear sound with great definition and note-to-note balance. I quickly fell into playing some fingerstyle jazz pieces on it, and the guitar was great for chord-melody style playing. Considering how much I enjoyed playing the Builder’s Edition 314ce LTD with a soft attack, I was surprised how well it worked for playing rhythm during a Gypsy jazz jam with two other guitarists, where its great projection and inherent clarity translated well to more forceful playing with a pick. The fact that the instrument sounded great plugged into a Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge amp was no surprise, as its ES2 system has established itself as one of the most reliable stock pickup systems available.

Overall, the Builder’s Edition 314ce LTD is a really cool guitar that is different from anything else in Taylor’s standard line. Players who prefer a natural finish over the sunburst also have that option. The fact that it is part of the 50th Anniversary Collection only adds to its appeal, and given how it’s limited to 1974 pieces worldwide, I’d suggest checking one out before they’re gone!

SPECS: Grand Auditorium body with beveled cutaway. Sitka spruce top with V-Class-bracing. Solid urban ash back and sides. Neo-tropical mahogany neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Gotoh 510 tuning machines. Taylor ES2 electronics. Made in USA. $3,199 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
 
 
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