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Without a doubt, ‘classical guitar’ typically isn’t the first phrase that comes to mind when talking about Taylor guitars. With the Taylor 114ce-N, you have the blending of two time-honored styles – nylon and steel – and that will probably make you reconsider all that a nylon-string guitar is supposed to be… along with what it can be. Let’s take a closer look!
Before we get into the finer details, let’s take a minute to look at what the 114ce-N really is. Many times, when talking about a nylon-string guitar, the first thoughts most people have are ‘classical’ or ‘Spanish’ guitars. The 114ce-N is actually a clever blending of a nylon-string guitar with a grand auditorium-style body and neck.
The body is typical Taylor, with a solid Sitka spruce top and true walnut back and sides. For those that aren’t well-versed in Taylor-talk, the ‘C’ stands for ‘cutaway’, giving you extended access all the way up to the 20th fret.
The neck design is more along the lines of a steel-string than the wider, flatter-radius fretboard that’s found on most classical nylon-string guitars. That will give you a different feel, but you’ll still get that pleasing nylon string tone. It’s constructed from mahogany with an ebony fretboard, giving you silky-smooth playing action.
The hardware on the 114ce-N doesn’t disappoint in any way. The nut is made from Tusq, which is a man-made material precision engineered for tone and vibration transfer. The saddle is micarta, which is the perfect complement for the onboard Taylor ES-N electronics.
The ES-N system is a variation of the Taylor Expression System that was designed specifically for nylon string guitars. It comes with three control knobs – one each for low and high EQ adjustments, and one for overall volume. Taylor guitars typically don’t come with onboard tuners and this is one area where we feel that any guitar could benefit.
The smooth-action tuners are chrome plated with pearloid buttons, giving you a nice visual touch with the natural varnish finish. Finally, the 114ce-N comes standard with a padded Taylor gig bag, which is orders of magnitude better than your run-of-the-mill gig bag. The top and sides of the bag are reinforced for safety and security of your investment.
How the 114ce-N sounds is really where it makes a distinction over other nylon string guitars. The grand auditorium-style body will naturally give you a rich voicing that is louder than traditional classical-style guitars. Single notes are clear and pronounced, and chords have a fullness that has to be experienced to be understood.
The combination of the solid Sitka spruce top and ebony fretboard also add to the warmth and depth of the tone. Sometimes there’s just something about the sound of a nylon string guitar that can’t be beat. With the 114ce-N you can have proven Taylor quality and playability, coupled with a tone that will stand unique.
The Taylor 114ce-N is an exciting mashup of the classical and steel-string worlds, opening up a whole range of possibilities. What’s even more impressive is the set of features that Taylor packs into this innovative guitar while keeping the price tag below $1,000. A great choice for the experimenter!