This is the finest acoustic guitar I've ever played. Period.... and I've played many over the past 30+ years.
Model Year: 2004
Price: $2500.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Center (Rockville, MD)
Standard 814 CE with expression pickup system. Indian Rosewood sides and back with a Sitka spruce top. The electronics are exceptional -- the expression system is far and away the best system ever created for amplifying acoustic guitar. The controls are unobstrusive and ergonomic. The "feel" of the fretboard and neck are what sold this guitar, though. The sound is incredible, but the feel is magical.
The action and feel are fantastic. I played every Taylor, Martin, Guild, and Gibson acoustic I could get my hands on. The only other guitar I considered was the 915ce, but the 814 had a fuller, richer sound.
I mostly play unamplified, but record direct from the guitar to the mixer. Occasionally I play through my Marshall As50R. The sound is fantastic.
I've only had it a few months and treat it like a baby, but it seems to handle travel and continuous play well.
I love my Taylor. My first acoustic was an Epiphone and I wish I had never gotten rid of it - it was a perfectly good beginner guitar. The epi was replaced with a Yamaha - hated it. The Yamaha was replaced with a Takamine which I still own. The Tak is OK but it buzzes like a big dog and the tone is fair. I shopped literally for years for a guitar to replace the Takamine. I played EVERYTHING. Gibsons, Fenders, Guilds, Martins, Larivees, Alvarez, you name it. A lot of them were great guitars. But, the first time I ever played a Taylor, Taylor became the standard by which all other guitars were measured. On my advice, my dad bought a 310. It's a great guitar. I played ti every chace I got. While shopping, I played every Taylor I could get my hand on and finally decided the 814ce was the right choice for me.
Model Year: 2003
Price: $2560.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Studio, Winchester, VA
Grand Auditorium, single Venitian cut-away, acoustic-electric with the Taylor Expression System. Made in California. Solid spuce top. Solid Indian Rosewood back and sides. Neck? Fretboard Ebony. Grovers.
Plays great. For an acoustic, it's very easy to slide, hammer-on, and pull off. Nearly as fast as my LesPaul and Strat. No fret buzz any where on the neck. Taylors, across the board, have the straightest necks I have ever seen. Absolutely dead straight.
The sound quality was the deciding factor in buying this guitar. The bass tones are tight and have tons of punch and power. The mids and highs are clear and strong. I plucked about 2 notes on the guitar in the store and knew this was 'the one'. When you strum a full six-string chord, it sounds like each note is swirling around and among the others.
Has never been adjusted. Stays dead in tune. Haven't endured much climate change so I can't say much about that.
I looked for about a year very intensely at Larivee, Guild, Martin, as well as some custom luthiers' works here in town. I really had my heart set on an archtop acoustic made by this D. Stevens guy in town, but I didn't win the lottery that year and it was upwards of $6,000...ahh, the sacrifices. I don't feel I lost out in anyway at all. I still think about that guitar though. If you are serious about purchasing a lifelong, super-quality acoustic instrument, you should research Taylor Guitars. I stiil can't believe how good this thing sounds just about every time I pick it up. If the strings are six-months old, it still sounds better than most guitars I have heard or played! It's nuts...
Model Year: 1997
Price: $2500.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Center Colorado
The finest acoustic guitar I have ever played. EBONY fretboard, Indian rosewood sides and back, spruce top, Ebony bridge, Fishman pickup/preamp/blender system (inline - 2 mics), medium lacquer finish, non-locking Grover tuners, gold hardware. Beautiful!
Completely staggering in all aspects; tone, sustain, ease of playing (it plays itself, really), neck is perfect width and radius for my hands, tuning sensitivity and stability, balance, range between low lows and high highs and the consistency with which they are delivered, etc, etc, etc.
I play it mostly acoustically, but on occasion will use it for some gigs. I just plug it into the old Roland JC77 and let the Fishman Onbard Prefix/Blender do the rest! The Fishman preamp includes a phase shifter to control feedback as well as a blender to mix the in-body mic with the hard input jack tones. Definitely better as a studio rig, but has performed on stage pretty well also. It has a naturally deep, warm sound due to the resonant woods used in construction, however, the type of strings I use (acoustic/electric) and the blender(electric) provides for many other options for overall tone changes.
I've never had any serious intonation problems with this beauty...in fact, I haven't had any problems. Structurally, I think it is totally sound from a construction/weathering standpoint. I will say that due to the high quality resonant woods used, there is a little delicacy. I have a couple of minor dings which to me are a small consideration for the amount of playing/travelling/gigging time this one has racked up. The binding, continuous for all edges (top to sides, sides to back, neck to fretboard) is in perfect condition. The mother-of-pearl & abalone inlays were also superbly done and have not shown ANY signs of shifting.
This guitar is without reproach. i would NOT buy another...i checked out all taylors guitars...and wouldnt part with this for ANYTHING!
Model Year: 1999
Price: $2600.00 (new)
Where Obtained: ithaca guitar works
This thing is flawless! the preferred action is somewhat low.....and i only use the elixir strings recommended by taylor...
I use it with a fender acoustasonic amp, with full chorus...this is the nicest acoustic guitar i have EVER heard!
This is a serious guitar.............it can handle it all..and i use a dampit humidifier religiously.