This wonderful grand auditorium-style guitar was the 156th guitar made in the El Cajon, California, plant on October 12, 2000, according to its serial number (20001012156) and the Taylor website. The standard 514ce is a substantial upgrade from the Taylor 200, 300, and even 400 Series and most other acoustic dreadnoughts I’ve played (its current MSRP is over $3250—about $900 more than the 314ce), but its superiority is in the quality of its woods and design rather than flashy inlays. The solid mahogany back and sides of this 514ce and the purity of the Taylor sound will make other musicians turn around to check it out, but it will be its ability to make almost anybody who plays it play better that will make you love it.
As the Taylor site says, “The cutaway Grand Auditorium 514ce is a perennial favorite with singer-songwriters and light-to-medium strummers. The pairing of mahogany back and sides with a cedar top yields a tone with a strong, clear midrange presence, while the cedar top adds warmth and a bit of overtone bloom that suggests an older, played-in guitar. With the addition of Taylor’s Performance bracing, the overall voice responds with more power and volume. A Venetian cutaway offers greater access to the guitar’s upper register, while the [Fishman Prefix electronics translate] the sonic warmth and detail into a natural-sounding amplified tone.”
The top and back of this 514ce are fully bound in tortoise shell, and it has a tortoise shell pick guard, an ebony bridge with black abalone-dot pins, and an inlaid abalone and black-and-white stripe rosette. The 14/20 fret ebony fingerboard with ivoroid Century fretboard inlay ends in a solid mahogany headstock with three-per-side enclosed (used to be) gold Grover tuners and the inlaid Taylor logo.
More technical data: the 514ce has a scale length of 25 ½”, and the neck width at the nut is 1 ¾”. Naturally it has a fully adjustable truss rod with access at the headstock, and scalloped bracing. The overall length is 41”, while the body is 20” long, with a lower bout width of 16” and a comfortable depth of 4.625.” The Tusq nut is standard, but the compensated saddle may have been upgraded to bone. The action is fast and smooth at 3/32” at the 12th fret low E, and the sound is beautifully balanced and resonant, with the crisp, bright tone for which Taylor is famous. Naturally, the soft cutaway affords access to the highest frets, while the Fishman electronics puts lotsa power at your fingertips.
Now: That’s the good news. The bad news is that this guitar somehow got overheated, causing the very thick clear Taylor overspray to contract and bubble in several areas of the mahogany, notably the back and the waist. Rather than try to restore the bubbled layer of finish, my luthier very carefully cut off the stuff in about a 6” area on each side and the entire back. I realize that this sounds drastic, even disastrous, but if you check out the pictures, you can see that the surgery was so neatly done that it is virtually invisible (although you can feel the seam on the sides), and frankly I think that getting that thick layer of finish off the back improved the resonance. I encourage you to use the eBay zoom function on the pictures and see if these cosmetic issues matter to you.
As the pictures indicate, there are a few other cosmetic items to report, almost all of them also related to the heat problem. There is still some slight bubbling at the end pin and on the headstock, a finish crack above the bridge, and some long finish cracks or crazing barely visible in the top—all of which have been checked by my luthier and pronounced good to go. I’m sure there are a few miniscule dings elsewhere, but on the whole, this is still a truly attractive instrument, and it has been making music and turning heads for sixteen years—just enough time for the sound to be really maturing. Hopefully, it will pass into the hands of a player able to make music and turn heads for a generation or two to come.
The included original Taylor “pink poodle” hard shell case is a 5-ply brown vinyl-covered case which is solid as a rock but which shows that it has been protecting this fine guitar for some time now. The five latches and hinges work well, the lining is in great shape and hugs the guitar protectively, but the exterior has some fraying and dings, mostly around the edges. Other than that, it is a strong complement for this wonderful guitar—and of course offers outstanding insurance for your investment.
Buyer pays a flat rate of $55 for insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. Payment by Paypal is preferred; cashiers and personal checks are acceptable, but checks must clear before the guitar will be shipped.
I have made every effort to describe and illustrate this outstanding guitar and case with scrupulous accuracy. Please check out the pictures and ask any questions you might have before buying. Its return will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing.
Thank you for your interest.
Payments by Paypal, cashier’s checks, money orders, or personal checks are acceptable, but all payments must clear my bank before the guitar will be shipped. I will CONSIDER reasonable offers, even including installment payments and trade-ins, but generally since I already attempt to price my guitars very competitively, unusual deals must be unusually sweet.
From henceforth [that's how retired English teachers talk], insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states is FREE; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. I have sold guitars to Russia, Japan, Australia, and over 50 other countries, as well as almost every state in the USA. Since some of my guitars travel thousands of miles, I take care to use lots of packing materials, protect the neck inside the case, and of course de-tune the strings.
I make every effort to describe and illustrate each guitar and case with scrupulous accuracy. However, many of my instruments are well-played vintage items which are many years old, and I am not a luthier. One should assume that any guitar will require some set-up to satisfy your personal requirements, and that not every flaw or ding will be seen/recognized/described in the listing. Thus the return of an instrument will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please read the listing carefully, check out the pictures, and ask any questions you might have before offering to buy.