Taylor 614ce Custom Shop

Style: Grand Auditorium
Top: Figured Redwood
Back: Quilted Maple
Binding: Ivoroid
Fretboard: Ebony, blank with side markers
Neck: 5A Flamed Rock Maple
Electronics: Taylor Expression System
Condition: Mint
Retail: $n/a

2003 Taylor 614ce Custom Shop, Figured Redwood & Quilted Maple

This wonderful Taylor 614ce is another rare bird Taylor. In a departure from Taylor factory policy, it was made with customer-supplied figured Redwood on top (Taylor does not normally accept wood from customers for building.) The Redwood is in this instance paired with a very beautiful quilted Maple back/side set, and a flamed Maple neck completes the wood complement. If you watch my auctions and web site on a regular basis, you may remember a Taylor K22ce that I sold recently, with a similar figured Redwood top. This 614ce and the K22ce were ordered by the same customer, and both have tops from the same batch of customer-supplied figured Redwood. The K22ce was a stellar guitar, and so is this one. Also, the K22ce had a little infamy as a result of being used in the recording of Brian Wilson's recent "Smile" album (the owner is a friend of Jeffrey Foskett, and loaned the guitar to him for a few of the sessions.) And the cool news here is that this 614ce was also used on the Smile sessions, although to a much lesser extent. I do not have documentation to that effect, however.

This 614ce sports a Florentine (sharp) cutaway, and Taylor's Expression System electronics are onboard. The fretboard is elegantly blank (no inlay required with that figured top!) All hardware on the guitar is gold, and the tuners have Ebony buttons.

The figured redwood top is stunning and spectacular in tone and appearance. Combining the Redwood with Maple has produced a guitar with a rich, warm sound, and an instrument that is particularly responsive to a tight touch. As such, this guitar would be an excellent choice for fingerstyle or light strumming. String-to-string clarity is excellent - the Maple gives the guitar a clear, ringing tone that keeps the harmonic complexity of the Redwood in balance. To reiterate, Taylor does not routinely build with figured Redwood - there is not another guitar like this out there. The current owner is selling because he is keeping several more Taylors in figured Redwood with other back woods, and he is trying to reduce his collection.

Includes the original Taylor deluxe hardshell case.Since this is a completely custom and unique instrument, it's hard to peg the exact current retail price. The stock 614ce has a Venetian cutaway, not the sharp Florentine cutaway on this guitar. The rosette has been upgraded to the 9**-series type, and the Ebony tuner buttons, the Maple toner, and Ebony headstock overlay are all upgrades, too. Taylor even has an upcharge for a blank fingerboard! These upgrades would likely make the retail price of this guitar around $4800, and that doesn't even include the cost of an upgrade to figured Redwood - assuming you could even get Taylor to build with this sort of Redwood, that is.

words & images © 2005 imagineguitars.com