SUMMER NAMM 2018: Following the success of its “revolutionary” V-Class bracing at Winter NAMM, Taylor has announced plans to bring the system to all USA-made series with the launch of new 300/400 Series models, plus a new Builder’s Edition 614ce.
V-Class bracing aims to provide “a purer platform of sound”, delivering a more dynamic voice and resolving minor intonation issues, says Taylor.
The Big Leaf maple/torrefied Sitka spruce Grand Auditorium Builder’s Edition 614ce features a bevelled armrest, double-carved cutaway and Taylor’s new Silent Satin finish, which promises to reduce contact noise. Gold Gotoh 510 tuners complete the spec.
Aesthetic touches include a Wild Honey Burst on the back, sides, top and neck (natural finish is available), plus a new mother-of-pearl Sceptor fretboard/peghead inlay and inset maple/black body purfling with matching rosette.
Taylor’s ES2 electronics are onboard, and the guitar ships in a deluxe hardshell case. Street price: $3,999.
There are a fair few new models in the 300/400 Series, so we’ll let Taylor do the talking…
314ce & 324ce
PRESS RELEASE: Within Taylor’s 300 Series, players have a choice of two different V-Class Grand Auditorium models: the 314ce, featuring a solid Sitka spruce top with solid sapele back and sides, and the 324ce, which pairs a solid mahogany top with Tasmanian blackwood back and sides. Each model has been a popular choice among players, serving as a versatile workhorse that performs reliably well in the practice room, recording studio, and on stage. Powered by V-Class, players will love the enhanced tonal properties, especially the power and consistency of the notes along the entire fretboard.
The sapele/spruce 314ce responds with a balanced and articulate blend of top-end brightness, midrange fullness, and low-end warmth that accommodates an array of playing styles. Appointments include black binding, new Gemstone fretboard/peghead inlays in Italian acrylic, and satin-finish back and sides with a gloss top. The guitar also features a Venetian cutaway and Taylor’s proprietary ES2 electronics. The guitar ships in a deluxe hardshell case. Street Price: $1,999
The cutaway Grand Auditorium 324ce sports a shaded edgeburst mahogany top that projects a rootsy vibe, with plenty of sonic magic under the hood as well. The enhanced volume, sustain and projection of V-Class bracing bring out even more of the natural midrange focus of its Tasmanian blackwood back and sides. While a hardwood mahogany top produces a natural compression that evens out the response across the tonal spectrum, the V-Class design boosts the dynamic range, especially in the upper register. Featured appointments include black binding with a matching black pickguard, Gemstone fretboard/peghead inlays in Italian acrylic, and a satin finish that lends to the dusky vintage aesthetic appeal. The guitar ships with ES2 electronics in a deluxe hardshell case. Street Price: $2,199
414ce & 414ce-R
PRESS RELEASE: Taylor’s cutaway acoustic/electric Grand Auditorium 414ce has long been a staple of gigging and recreational players thanks to its musical versatility and clean, workmanlike aesthetic. Crafted with back and sides of solid African ovangkol and a solid Sitka spruce top, the V-Class 414ce serves up a mix of powerful midrange frequencies, strong, clear treble notes, and deep yet balanced lows, making this a superb all-around guitar. Fingerpickers, flatpickers and strummers each will find something to love here. Appointments include crisp white binding, Italian acrylic Small Diamond fretboard inlays with an Engraved Diamond peghead inlay, and proprietary ES2 electronics. The guitar ships in a deluxe hardshell case. Street Price: $2,399
The 414ce-R is another popular cutaway Grand Auditorium, thanks in part to the classic wood pairing of solid rosewood and Sitka spruce. Powered by V-Class bracing, rosewood’s full-spectrum voice, known for its rich overtones, takes on an even more pleasing high-fidelity sound that translates into a more expressive response. It makes a fantastic guitar for virtually any application. The appointments strike a tasteful balance between style and restraint, featuring white binding, Renaissance fretboard/peghead inlays in Italian acrylic, and a full-gloss body. The guitar ships with Taylor ES2 electronics in a deluxe hardshell case. Street Price: $2,599
Taylor also released a suite of V-Class Grand Auditorium guitars in late spring, ranging from its 500 Series through 800 Deluxe Series.
514ce & 524ce
PRESS RELEASE: With the addition of V-Class bracing, the mahogany/cedar 514ce is undeniably one of the most dynamic cedar-top guitars around. Mahogany’s signature dry, focused tonal qualities now boast extra definition and color, while cedar’s characteristic warmth, overtone complexity, and friendly response to a soft touch are enhanced by greater clarity and volume. Thanks to the guitar’s additional headroom, this makes an enticing cedar-top guitar for players with a stronger strumming attack. Street Price: $2,799
The all-mahogany 524ce yields a naturally compressed, balanced tone, accentuated by the hardwood mahogany top. With V-Class bracing, the guitar produces wider dynamic range, a stronger midrange punch, and a more harmonically balanced tone, most noticeably in the guitar’s upper register. Together with the other sonic improvements of the V-Class design, this all-hog acoustic offers players a fresh dimension of versatility that will inspire new creative exploration. Street Price: $2,899
PRESS RELEASE: Maple’s sonic transparency lends itself to versatility, and with V-Class bracing, Taylor’s 614ce is more player-reflective than ever. It can sound bright or warm, and with the increased power and sustain of the notes, players have incredible expressive range at their fingertips. Whether used for strumming or fingerstyle, jazz arrangements or alternate tunings, players will appreciate the responsiveness to their technique. The icing on the cake is the torrefied Sitka spruce top, which helps enhance the touch sensitivity with a more open, played-in sound. Street Price: $3,499
PRESS RELEASE: This rosewood Grand Auditorium 714ce boasts a solid Lutz spruce top instead of Sitka, and is available with either a natural top finish or a striking Western Sunburst. Taylor’s Andy Powers likens Lutz’s tonal power to that of old-growth Adirondack spruce, which not only offers extra sonic headroom but additional warmth. Powered by V-Class, the updated 714ce has a singular ability to showcase more of the warmth and complexity of rosewood, producing the horsepower that will appeal to strummers and dynamic players. Street Price: $2,999
814ce & 814ce DLX
PRESS RELEASE: Taylor’s flagship rosewood/spruce 814ce is known for exceptional versatility, tonal balance, and rich overtones — all qualities that are enhanced by the V-Class architecture. Likewise, Taylor has updated its luxurious counterpart, the 814ce DLX, which features a radius armrest and Gotoh 510 tuners. With both models, the V-Class design enhances rosewood’s overtone bloom by creating a more orderly response, allowing those overtones to grow without fighting each other. The result is a more flavorful, high-definition rosewood sound that players will love. Street Prices: $3,499, $3,999 (DLX)