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Taylor 314ce new model vs older?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by 1973Marshall, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. 1973Marshall

    1973Marshall Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    I have a chance to buy a Taylor 314ce at a good price.

    Problem? My options are an 2002 model with the older Fishman Prefix system on it, or the 2007-08 model with the Expression system. Is the older or newer model the better way to go?

    Anyone have an opinion on these guitars? Smaller body, and punchy is what I have felt.

    I posted in acoustics and got 1 response, so I came here. Help please.
  2. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Silver Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    A good 314 can be a great guitar. When I bought my 314 back in '98 I went in expecting to buy a 514, but none in the shop grabbed me. I then played through about a dozen or so x14s (514, 614, 714. 814) and none of them grabbed me. As I was walking out ready to leave empty handed I spied my 314 on the wall - I thought "What the heck, why not give it a try". I could tell almost from the first chord this was the one. I've since added a Fishman bridge pickup (no blender and no pre-amp) and it serves me well. The expression sytem seems to polarize people: they either love it or hate it, no middle ground. I haven't yet played one with the expression system plaugged in yet so I can't say.
  3. TheFlash

    TheFlash Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    I personally think the fishman is better than the expression system, but I hate the expression system on all their guitars I've tried. I'm not a huge fan of the fishman either, I put a d-tar wavelength in my Taylor GS and it's amazing plugged in.

    But if you found a good deal on an old 314 with the fishman, AND YOU LIKE THE SOUND OF THE GUITAR UNPLUGGED, then I'd grab it. You can always install a different pickup in it later if you want.
  4. Fndrbndr

    Fndrbndr Member

    Mar 9, 2007
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I have a 1998 Taylor 314 CE -w- a Fishman. It's been a great guitar for the last 10 years.

    I don't use it much (outside of teaching guitar lessons), but it's the only acoustic I need.
  5. Funky Chicken

    Funky Chicken Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Apex, NC
    I love the 314-a friend has a nice one. I've got a 514 with the old Fishman and I don't personally care for the ES system.
    I'd buy the guitar that sounds and feels better unplugged, although if that were a toss-up I'd avoid the ES.


  6. dognmoon

    dognmoon Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    City of Angels
    I had them update the electronics in my '99 314mce to the latest ES and I've been really happy with the change. I'd find the guitar that resonates with you (no pun intended) and then worry about electronics down the road.
  7. Nuclearfishin

    Nuclearfishin Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2007
    I think if both guitars sound the same unplugged, then choose the one according to the gear you will have it pluged in to. There are many who hate the ES, but part of that comes from not understanding how it works and how to get good acoustic tone.

    As was explained in other threads: Unlike almost every other guitar pickup system on the market - the ES output is designed for connection to a low-impedence input. Most 1/4" instrument inputs are high-impedence.

    Using a regular guitar cable on the ES, plugged into a high-impedence 1/4" input typical of guitar FX, many acoustic amps, tuners, etc. is a great way to compromise the timbre of the ES.

    You get a nasal, metallic timbre when it's hooked up "the obvious" way - but not when using the supplied balanced TRS-XLR cable plugged into a low-impedence input like a mixer or acoustic amp with a mic input.

    If you plan on using a TRS-XLR cable and have a low-impedence input you plan on using most of the time, I think it will be hard to beat the ES. If you plan on just grabbing the guitar and plugging it into a rig setup for electric, it won't sound so good. Test them both plugged into your gear and I bet there will be a clear winner.
  8. acwild

    acwild Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Hillsborough, NJ
    I picked my 314 CE after trying just about everything at the stores. The ES sounded better than anything else that I tried when plugged in. I guess I just don't like the piezo sound. There were two other "higher end" Grand Auditoriums that I compared the 315 to. Basically, my conclusion was that the differences were mostly cosmetic. The tone differences seemed subtle. Jmho.

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