Crafted with back and sides of solid African ovangkol and a solid Sitka spruce top, the 414ce now also features Taylor's V-Class bracing, a game-changing sonic engine that powers these tonewoods to produce more volume, longer sustain, and stronger projection. The more orderly movement of the top, courtesy of the new bracing design, also improves the intonation up and down the neck, making chords sing like never before, without sour notes or the “rub” of slight dissonance within certain chords. The difference comes through loud and clear, whether you’re on the couch, recording into a mic, or plugged in at a gig.
The Black Limba/Sitka pairing yields a mix of powerful midrange frequencies, strong, clear treble notes, and deep yet balanced lows, and together with V-Class, make this a superb all-around guitar. Fingerpickers, flatpickers and strummers will all find something to love here. Appointments include crisp white binding, diamond fretboard/peghead inlays of Italian acrylic, and proprietary ES2 electronics. This guitar ships in a deluxe hardshell case.
V-Class bracing is a groundbreaking new Taylor design — a new sonic “engine”— that transforms the way an acoustic guitar top vibrates to dramatically improve the sound. Developed by master guitar designer Andy Powers, it marks a bold departure from traditional X-bracing, producing notes that are louder, longer sustaining, and more in tune with each other.
BOTH STIFF AND FLEXIBLE
While traditional X-bracing has stood the test of time for over 100 years, it creates an inherent trade-off between two key elements of an acoustic guitar’s sound: volume and sustain. A guitar’s top (the soundboard) contributes to both. Volume comes from the flexibility of the top, while sustain comes from stiffness. The trade-off has been that when you make something stiffer, you reduce its flexibility, and vice versa. With an X-braced guitar top, increasing one comes at the expense of the other. V-Class bracing changes that. Now an acoustic guitar top can be both stiff and flexible in ways that produce more volume and sustain. And as it turns out, this innovative bracing design also improves the intonation of the guitar.
V-Class bracing maintains stiffness along the middle of the guitar, in the direction of the strings. That rigidity keeps the strings in motion, producing notes that resonate longer before fading out.
V-Class bracing makes the top more in tune with the vibrating strings. This eliminates much of the interference that causes some notes to waver and sound slightly out of tune. As a result, notes and chords played anywhere on the neck are more consistent and in tune with each other.
V-Class in Action
The ultimate goal of V-Class bracing is to give players an inspiring tool that does a better job of helping them express themselves in the context of the modern musical world. More than ever before, guitarists are playing alongside precisely tuned digital instruments, and into microphones, computers and other recording gear that magnify the guitar’s every sonic detail. With a design that brings the guitar’s strings in tune with the top and body, V-Class bracing also puts the guitar in tune with the surrounding musical landscape. It will spark new songwriting ideas, make recording easier, sound better in a performance setting, and give players the fresh musical discoveries they crave.