Looking at a Taylor 414? I’m a fingerstyle guitarist with over 15 years experience and a university degree and have owned the Taylor 414 as well as a few other Taylor acoustic guitars and I would like to share my experiences.
The Taylor 414 acoustic guitar is as solid a fingerstyle guitar as you can get without getting into the multi-thousand dollar range hand-built custom guitars. Taylor has a name that is 2nd to none in providing consistent, excellent sounding acoustic instruments that has been earned through years of providing some of the best playing and sounding acoustic guitars out there. The Taylor 414 is no exception!
The Taylor 414 is different from the Taylor 414ce in that it doesn’t have the cutaway. For some people this may be a turn off but for me it was definitely one of the features that attracted me to the instrument. As a fingerstyle player I love the larger sound that the non-cutaway provides and am willing to sacrifice the ease of playability on the higher frets in order achieve that sound. Plus when standing I find that the full body balances better overall especially if you are attempting any tapping or extended techniques that are prominent in modern fingerstyle playing.
The Taylor 414 came beautifully setup from the factory but I always take my acoustics into my local luthier to have him give them the once over. This is always a good idea as he can identify any little things that may cause problems down the road and just give the guitar an overall tuneup. My luthier also does something he calls a G String Compensation (or something like that) which always seems to improve the overall intonation and definitely helped on my Taylor 414.
Some Great Deals on the Taylor 414 And Other Taylor Guitars:
The Taylor 414 is a GREAT fingerstyle guitar. Large body, nice wide neck and man is it LOUD. As always with Taylor guitars the tone is balanced and even. This is where some people start to complain about Taylor. It definitely has the Taylor “sound” which personally I love but some people accuse Taylors of all sounding the same, well this may be true to a point but… Do Martin acoustics not have a “sound”? Do Gibson acoustics not have a “sound”? I don’t see anyone ever complaining about those… Yes Taylor has a sound just like any other manufacturer, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it, but for myself personally and about a million other guitar players the Taylor sound is exactly what we’re after. It’s very responsive, even and the guitar does exactly what you ask it do to… works for me! I always find that Taylors let the player shine through more than other steel strings that seem to mask the player.
I have also owned a GC-4 which shares a lot in common with the Taylor 414 except for the fact that it has a smaller body and is more suited for strumming and single line lead work. Both Taylors have never given me any troubles and are a constant joy to play.
The Taylor Man Himself Doyle Dykes!
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Cheers and good luck researching your new Taylor 414!