An Amazing Acoustic Guitar, In Two Flavors
The Taylor 814 guitar is really a flagship for the storied guitar maker. The 814 represents so many things that have helped Taylor become the guitar builder they are. From the woods being used to the inlay detail and neck feel that only comes from a Taylor, the 814 represents all of these things and so much more.
See the 814e here
See the 814ce here
The 814 acoustic guitar comes in two main flavors, the 814e and the 814ce; with the main difference being the 814ce has a cutaway and the 814e does not, but we will get into that later.
Premium Tonewoods Make These Guitars Sing
The foundation of the 814 is the Indian Rosewood back and sides paired with a Sitka Spruce top. This classic combination is known for its powerful projection and defined tone. With the definition in the treble, mid and bass, the 814 is a great guitar for the singer-songwriter, or in a band situation.
The neck of the 814 is made of Mahogany and it topped with an Ebony fretboard. As with all Taylor guitars, the neck is a breeze to play and is extremely comfortable for those long gigs or jam sessions.
In addition and to add that special touch, the 814 has a beautiful Maple binding, abalone soundhole rosette, standout "element" fretboard inlays as well as headstock inlay.
Ready to Play Live
In addition to the build quality and aesthetics, both the 814e and 814ce comes equipped with Taylor's exclusive Expression 2 electronics. This pickup system is known for its faithful reproduction of acoustic tone.
The heart of the Expression System 2 is Taylor’s patented behind-the-saddle pickup, which features three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup sensors. The location of the sensors enables a more dynamic range of acoustic sound to be captured than ever before. Together with Taylor’s custom-designed “professional audio”-grade preamp, this system produces exceptional amplified tone and responsiveness. On stage through a PA, plugged into your favorite acoustic amplifier, or direct into recording software, the Expression System 2 faithfully conveys the voice of your Taylor guitar" -Taylor.com
To Cutaway or Not to Cutaway, that is the Question
So now that you have a firm grasp of why the 814 is such a fantastic guitar, we can discuss the main difference between the 814e and 814ce, which is the cutaway. The 814e does not have a cutaway while the 814ce has a cutaway.
There is a ton of conversation out there (just search any decent guitar forum and you will find many opinions) regarding the impact of a cutaway to the tone of a guitar. One side says that eliminating body size lessens the amount of air flow, thus impacting the sound. The other school of thought argues that the majority of tone really comes from the bout and the cutaway has minimal if any impact on tone.
Regardless of your opinion of the tonal impact of the cutaway, both of these guitars sound great, and we would suggest you choose which one is for you based on your style of play and which one feels better to you.
While the cutaway does offer access to higher frets, you may not ever really play those frets, and you may like the looks and symmetry of the 814e.
If you access the higher frets often, then the decision is easy, the 814ce is the guitar for you.
The Bottom Line
(See all our on Stock Taylor Guitars here)
The Taylor 814 is an amazing guitar that will bring you years of playing enjoyment. The looks, feel and tone of the 814 are on par with the best guitars in the world and the neck feel of a Taylor really is something special. While it is more common to see the 814ce "in the wild", you owe it to yourself to check out the 814e to see if the non-cutaway feels better to you before you make a decision.