Hey guys, its Brian from World Music Supply here again, bringing you your usual dose of gear and guitar reviews, and in today’s blog I get to talk to you guys about a few of the amazing new Limited Edition Taylors that are available here at WMS. These Taylors are very limited and as such, I was only able to play them for the briefest of brief reviews, but never the less, I was floored by these guitars.
The first guitar I had the luxury to review, was the 410CE-TZBk, which is a modified version of their standard 410CE guitar, which features a Cedar top, and Tasmanian Blackwood back and sides. I am a sucker for Cedar top guitars, as they just have that classic sound, with warm, dry lows, and springy quick highs, and just the right amount of mids. Now Tasmanian Blackwood is one of those exotic tonewoods that you don’t hear enough of, with a very cool, rather unique sound. Tasmanian Blackwood has a darker sound, slightly reminiscent of rosewood, but with a faster attack, and more presence to it, similar to Koa, and in fact while trying to look up a nice way to word how Blackwood sounds I found it often described as “Koa on Steroids” which I found to be pretty accurate.
The action is perfect, as Taylors technique of setting the neck is far and above almost any other major acoustic guitar company, and the shape of the neck is beyond perfect for an acoustic guitar, smooth, comfortable, just thin enough, just fat enough. The sound of the guitar unplugged was gigantic, with lots and lots of warm tone, with a quick piano like attack and sustain. Plugged in the tone is exactly the same, thanks to Taylors revolutionary expression system, no Piezo sizzle, no overly boomy body noises, just the sound of the guitar, louder. This guitar is an amazing achievement, both as a stunning work of Luthiery, and as a musical instrument, and as such it would be a crime for me to award it anything but a well earned 10 out of 10.
Next up is the 314CE-Koa, which as its name implies features Koa back and sides rather than the usual African Mahogany. This is a slightly smaller guitar style, being a grand auditorium, which has a slightly brighter more present attack, and at the same time, more than enough bottom end to serve it well on stage. The Koa helps to add a little bit of this bottom end, and it does sound a little dryer, and a little more harmonically rich than its non-Koa counterpart. Koa is one of those woods that is used in guitars, but because of its difficulty to work with, and expense it is not seen nearly enough in the guitar industry.
Unplugged the 314 is amazingly versatile, it has a sound that would be at home onstage with a country band, a rock band, a folk group, R&B the list goes on, it just does anything you ask of it. The neck is absolutely fantastic, as it is the same perfectly set neck as the 410, and you can really move fast and play quick on a guitar like this and not feel weird about it, it never feels like an electric guitar, it always feels like an acoustic just with a lightning fast neck.
Plugged in, this guitar sounded just as wonderful thanks yet again to the Taylor expression system, there is no hint of the myriad of problems that have haunted the world of amplified acoustics for years, instead you get a perfectly acoustic sound, just louder. There is no wonder in my mind why Taylor is one of the reigning champs in the acoustic world right now when you look at these guitars, and just like the 410, it would be a travesty if I didn’t award the 314CE-Koa an honorable 10 out of 10.