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Rating and Reviews: Taylor 214ce-DLX

Taylor's hugely popular Grand Auditorium 214ce gets some Deluxe upgrades: elegant rosette and diamond inlays, a full-gloss body and an included hard case.

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"Another home run for. Taylor" submitted May 1, 2014

By Michael G in Baltimore, MD
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Musical Background: I play guitar, piano / synth and I'm learning drums. I'm just beginning to get into playing out in public, I'm fairly new! :)
Music Style: Folk, singer-songwriter style, fingerstyle ala Ben Howard, alt rock.
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Sound: I've had this guitar for about a week now and I've A/B'd it to death against my other Taylors as well as my Martins, all of which are triple (or more) the price. I'd say I'm getting about 80% of the tonal quality of the $3000+ guitars. The 214ce-DLx is very warm and articulate with surprisingly good low end response and the signature Taylor shimmer on the high end. It also has a more immediate response, similar to my 614ce. I have absolutely zero complaints about the sound of this guitar, either unplugged or connected to my AER Alpha. It feels like Taylor could have sold this one for a couple hundred dollars more, very easily. My only caveat is the low output of the expression system, which is consistent on every Taylor I've ever played. The tone is amazingly natural, clean and crisp....you just don't get the output level that you do on LR Baggs electronics. I've come up with three solutions to this issue over the past couple of years - use a DI, I have the LR Baggs venue and love it. Alternately, or in conjunction with the Venue, I've had great results with the Xotic EP Booster - it simply adds volume and doesn't color your tone. My latest discovery is the J Rockett Lemon Aid pedal. It functions as a crystal clean boost as well as giving you frequency boost / cut options and it sounds positively amazing. I tend to use mine as an always on preamp type of thing and step on either the EP Booster or the boost switch on the Venue on solos when I'm playing lead - my tone just cuts right through the mix without distorting or becoming overly loud. Feature: This guitar has the standard Taylor expression system for electronics, which I commented on above. The neck feels wonderful, it's a nice thin carved piece of mahogany, identical to what you'll find on many of the more expensive Taylors. The forward shifted bracing gives it a very similar tone to the 414/514 models and makes a huge tonal difference compared to the standard 214 and the 114. I've kept the action stock on it, it's nice and low with no fret buzz at all. This guitar is exceptionally comfortable to play. Ease of Use: It's a Taylor, and you get precisely what you'd expect from the brand. Spot on action right out of the box, perfect setup. The controls for the expression system are as simple as it gets - knobs for bass, treble and volume with detents so you know when they're centered. The only mildly deceptive part of the ES is the body sensor on/off switch, which is actually on the preamp inside the guitar. You get a drastically different sound with that switch....I've always kept it set to "on" for my other Taylors and I'll do the same with this one. The sound isn't quite as full with it switched off. The documentation included with the guitar illustrates how to switch it and what exactly it does when you do. The 214ce-DLx plays perfectly well with all of the same pedals I use with my other guitars. I sometimes enjoy getting an electric guitar sound from my acoustics for solos and the like...I have a Fulltone OCD and an Ibanez TS-9 tube screamer on my acoustic board for that purpose. This guitar functions precisely the same way with my pedals as my 600/800/900 series Taylors with identical settings. If you happen to be wondering why anyone would use overdrive pedals on a Taylor, check out David Gilmour performing Coming Back to Life from the Meltdown concert - it's on David's channel on YouTube....I started doing it after I saw what he managed. Quality: To say it again, it's a Taylor. Everything on the guitar is top notch...the top is gorgeous, the sides and back are as well. You'd never guess that it's not an all solid rosewood guitar by looking at it. The finish is excellent, a very nice high gloss. After cleaning it up with Music Nomad One and a microfiber cloth when I got home from a gig I could literally see myself in it. One odd point, the tuning machines don't have the Taylor logo stamped into the back of them like my higher end models, but they feel exactly the same. I'd assume it was a compromise to produce this level of guitar at this price point...and honestly, aside from when I'm cleaning my guitars I don't tend to look at the back of the tuning machines. I know a lot of people who play 10-20+ year old Taylors and they still sound perfect. I expect the same from this guitar, as well as my other Taylors. Value: I feel that this guitar is well worth the asking price...down to what may be a small detail to some, but a very big deal to me - the case. It's something that I could easily see spending $200 on separately...the case is a very nice black hardshell with black plush lining, it has a very nicely sized compartment that doubles as the neck support. I was also considering the Martin GPCA4, which has solid sapele sides and back for $1249. In my opinion, the Taylor sounds better, the high gloss vs matte finish and nicer inlays on the 214 are merely cosmetic but really do make it look like a much higher quality (and higher priced) guitar. The Taylor case is also far nicer and I don't care for the fiddly F1 Aura system on the Martins. I also found the 214 to be a fair bit easier to play, which is a big selling point for a person who has arthritis in their hands like I do. Manufacturer Support: I've dealt with Taylor support in the past, on my 816ce. They have easy to deal with business hours and everyone I've spoken to has been eager to help with even the smallest of problems or questions. They have a great network of authorized and trained service locations around my area and have been happy to direct me to them for warranty repairs rather than having me send a guitar from Maryland to California. Top notch all the way. The Wow Factor: This is an overall outstanding guitar, even without considering its low price point, as far as Taylors go. It looks great, sounds great, plays great and includes a case that you'd usually see on a $2000-plus instrument. I've taken it out and played it numerous times at home instead of grabbing one of my much more expensive guitars. To me, that's very high praise indeed. Overall: I was at Guitar Center shopping for a less expensive (under $2000-ish) guitar to use in places I'm uncomfortable taking my 614ce/816ce/916ce/D42/000-28 along to. I was playing with the Taylor 314ce and 316ce as well as the Martin GPCA4 and OM-Custom. My new 214ce-DLx is the natural finish and they hadn't even gotten around to putting a tag on it - I honestly thought it was a 414ce and never bothered checking the interior label. After playing with those five guitars for quite some time I asked a friend who works there for his opinion between the 314ce and the "414ce" aka 214ce-DLx. He preferred the 214 to the 314, as I did...tighter response, more projection, a touch more bass and a touch less treble. When we realized what it actually was it was a no brainer purchase for $600 less than the 314ce. Same case, same electronics, full gloss body, nice little diamond inlays rather than the plain dots - it honestly looks and feels like a more expensive guitar with the slightest bit less articulation in the treble. If you're like me and play phosphor bronze strings you'll love this guitar, Elixir PB 12's come stock on it. If you're a treble fanatic and prefer 80/20's you might prefer the 314, but don't overlook this guitar when you're shopping!
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"A nice Midrange option with the full Expression System" submitted April 18, 2014

By Andrew Flint in Hornell, NY
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Musical Background: Performing Musician in Solo act, Duo act and in a band.. Guitar, bass and Sing..
Music Style: Rock, Country, Blues, Acoustic and Folk
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Overall: I am fairly picky about the pickup systems I use in acoustic guitars.. I had been playing a Taylor 110 that I refitted with an LR Baggs Anthem System and I really do like the plugged in sound that i get quite a bit.. The 110 was starting to get to be well played and really needs some fretwork and Besides, I play enough acoustic guitar to really need a backup when I perform.. So.. I have always really wanted a high end Taylor because they sound fantastic in the stores that I try them in.. However, I can just never bring myself to pay that much for a Guitar that is going to get slammed around and played hard.. I liked the 200 series but was never thrilled with the ES-T system.. When I saw this, I was ecstatic to get a decent middle of the road price with the pickup option I wanted.. I received it and plugged it in and let me tell you, the responsiveness of the guitar is just amazing.. The Expression system sounds pretty good without any sort of preamp attached to it.. I plugged it directly in (With a direct box) and set all EQ's flat and I really still liked the sound i got.. I also own a Fishman Aura Spectrum pedal and use it for many different Acoustic Electric Instruments.. It certainly didn't do Justice to the LR Baggs Anthem system though.. I was shocked to find that the FIshman pedal made the 214ceDlx model sound even better.. In fact, I was quite blown away by the sound I was getting! I have played for years and never really wanted to invest in a higher end acoustic electric.. However, in the few days I have had this guitar, I am regretting not buying a higher end Taylor years ago.. Now I want to get a 312ce just for the smaller size and slightly shorter scale.. Taylor Guitars are awesome.. You can't go wrong purchasing one.. As well as the 110, I also own a Baby Taylor that I just love!
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"An Exceptional Value in a Taylor Acoustic/Electric Guitar.................." submitted July 27, 2014

By Paul L in Denver, CO
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Musical Background: Semi Pro Guitarist, Bassist, Vocalist w/30+ years live performing experience in clubs and concerts.
Music Style: Blues, R&B/Soul, Rock, Country Rock, Acoustic/Unplugged
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Overall: This is the second Taylor guitar I've owned. It's replacing a 414ce I had for 13 plus years and sold recently. The dry climate in Colorado can be brutal for solid wood guitars and I play almost daily so I wanted a model that would withstand our dry climate and temperature changes a bit better and wasn't having to be kept in it's case nearly 24/7. My goal was to get as close tonally to that 414ce as possible and also have an internal pickup system that could perform as well or better than the Fishman System I had installed in the 414ce. I was thrilled when I found that the 214ce-dlx offered the same ES System that's being used in the current 414ce. Considering that upgrade and the classy hardshell case that's also included is difficult to understand why this one isn't out selling the standard 214ce by a wide margin. It's an incredible value and tonally it owes nothing to my old 414ce. It has the same great projection, tonal balance, taut clear lows and singing top end that first attracted me to Taylors nearly 15 years ago. I couldn't be more pleased to find an equivalent to that 414ce that sells for far less and meets my current needs. The rosewood body, gloss finish, and trim give it the look of a far more expensive guitar and make it virtually impossible to distinguish from more costly models. As far as wishing for more the only area that creates a minor disappointment is the lower output of the ES System, as has been mentioned by other reviewers, but a good preamp and/or clean boost eliminates that problem and fortunately I have both. That aside the ability of the ES System to reproduce the natural acoustic tones of the guitar is superb. There is virtually no difference between the unamplified and amplified sound and the system produces a very well balanced spatial or 3D quality when amplified. For anyone considering a standard 214ce I would strongly recommend they compare the two pickup systems before deciding. As a manufacturer Taylor's service and willingness to honor it's warranty is second to none. Many years ago my 414ce developed a small lift of the seam in the back right along the book match. Though the fault was clearly mine for under humidifying it they still repaired it free of charge and returned it to me in like new condition with simple warning to be more attentive to keeping it properly humidified in the future. That type of honor and ethics in their business model is why I'm buying a second Taylor. There are certainly many fine acoustics on the market to choose from but by far the voice of a Taylor is my favorite. Being the value oriented buyer I am I can only say that I doubt anyone would find an acoustic/electric anywhere nearly as good as this model for it's more than reasonable price. It really is a killer guitar. This is also the third guitar I've purchased through zZounds recently and I find them to be thoroughly professional from order to delivery and top tier in every way. They stand behind their products and have my full faith and trust as an instrument dealer. Thank you again zZounds for making the buying experience as pleasurable as you do.
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"WOW!" submitted May 1, 2014

By Justin B in Visalia, CA
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Musical Background: rock band, church
Music Style: rock and gospel
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Overall: This guitar is everything I wanted, the sound, the look, the quality. It has an amazing bright sound with enough bottom end for my style. The sustain is crazy good. Plays like butter. It seems I can't make a mistake on this guitar. Makes me sound better than I am lol. I absolutely love it. Layered wood has a brighter sound that jumps out of the guitar and fills the room with music. I played a couple real woods, but they were to even sounding and a bit boomy on the bass. Plus the layered indian rosewood is less susceptible to the elements. Plugged in sounds authentic to the unplugged sound, just as you've heard of Taylor, its true, its all true. I am thoroughly impressed, came with nice hard case too : ) I must add that without Zzounds payment system, it would have taken years to be able to plunk down $1200 to get this awesome guitar. Thanks guys.
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"Taylor 214ce SB-DLX" submitted December 4, 2014

By Scott Franklin
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Musical Background: Playing guitar since 1977. Mostly with friends and co-workers in sessions. Home recording.
Music Style: Rock, Jazz, Christian, Country, Soft Rock, Blues. Any music that interests me.
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Overall: Just wanted to say that I had this guitar shipped overseas and it was received in perfect condition. Took almost 2 weeks to get here and all I had to do was tune it up a little. I already own a Taylor GS8e, (that stays home), and wanted a Taylor that I can travel with,so I started researching what Taylor would fit for me. First off, the sound is Taylor and that was one of the main reasonse for my purchase. Secondly, the DLX series came with a hard case, which is needed for protection during my travels. From the smallest Taylor to the highest Taylor, the quality shows through every single time I get to play them. The 214ce SB-DLX is a powerhouse of an instrument. The only concern that I had with shipping the guitar to where I am located, was the setup factor, as I had only basic tools to maintain. None needed. The only thing that I have done was change out the plastic bridge pins for ebony bridge pins, that I ordered from the Taylor Guitars Store. The difference is noticed more on the intonation, as I played it for a week and then changed them out. Strings had a slight increase in sustain. This Taylor 214ce SB-DLX is going to be my take everywhere guitar!!!!
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"The 214 ce Dlx Acoustic Electric" submitted April 3, 2014

By Stephen Palmer in Jonesboro, AR
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Musical Background: over 50 years I have played Professionnally I'am Retired but stell love to Jam
Music Style: I love all kinds of Music and love the BLUES
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Overall: The 214ce Dlx, This was what I was looking for you can not believe the sound and the performance is outstanding , and Zzounds you Guys are the best. Thank You; Taylor Guitars and Thank You; Zzounds
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"Awesome " submitted December 3, 2014

By Pam S in Premier, WV
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Musical Background: I play at church and home just a hobbyist.
Music Style: play country, gospel , blues
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Overall: I just received my Taylor today it's just beautiful I purchased the sunburst. The finish is flawless, perfect right out of the box. Comes with a great padded hard case . I've always wanted a Taylor thanks to ZZound to make it possible. You will not be sorry if you purchase. The tones are warm just amazing
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"Great Deal" submitted September 19, 2014

By Bob J in LaGrange, NY
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Musical Background: 40 years
Music Style: I love Jazz, R& B, and like almost everything else. I was a Zappa aficionado for years and miss his perspective and commentary.
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Overall: Came set up perfectly from zZounds. Love the action. Advertised as blemished but all I can see is a slight inconsistency in the wood grain. This does not affect the sound or anything else that matters. For what it cost me this guitar is a great bargain!!!
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"Taylor Excellence!" submitted May 25, 2014

By Robert G in Morgan Hill, CA
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Musical Background: I've been playing professionally for 20years+
Music Style: rock, blues jazz, christian
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Overall: Taylor guitars are always made with quality and the 214CE-DLX is no exception. This is a professional start up guitar for anyone playing gigs or playing at home. You will enjoy the easy playability of this guitar. The tone acoustically and plugged in are what you would expect from a Taylor guitar. Excellence!
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"Sweet Guitar" submitted August 21, 2014

By Andy Austin
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Musical Background: been playing guitar, piano, harmonica, mando and Dobro for years. Jack of all trades...master of none...Professional party bands
Music Style: Rock, Country, Blues and Blue-grass (mixture of all)
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Overall: Received in 2 days from time of order! Set up perfectly right out of the hard-shell Taylor case! Beautiful sunburst and nice exotics. Sounds GREAT unplugged and not bad plugged in. Nice low action and stays in tune all the way up the neck. 12 pmts of $99....can't be beat. Way to go Taylor and zZounds.com!!
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