Guitarist - - Review -

Eval­u­at­ing gui­tars, es­pe­cially acous­tics, isn’t al­ways easy. You’re not re­ally hear­ing what your au­di­ence hears, and as the re­viewer, we know it’s sup­posed to be‘bet­ter’, which can sway what we per­ceive. What if we lev­elled the play­ing field and recorded each gui­tar with­out telling the player which one was which?

We asked pro-acous­tic and electric gui­tarist Iso­bel Kimberly and stu­dio owner, pro­ducer and engi­neer Mike Wester­gaard to be our guinea pigs. Both are Tay­lor play­ers. Iso­bel brought along her well­gigged 510e as a ref­er­ence and played that along with our two 914ces (the first one X-braced, the other with V-Class) and our re­viewed K14ce Builder’s Edi­tion.

Both the 510e and X-braced 914ce had a slightly lower, out­put.The V-Class 914ce was def­i­nitely kick­ing out more power – no­tice­able both on the picked and strummed record­ings.The K14ce was slightly lower pow­ered, but we all com­mented on its tonal bal­ance.The key com­par­i­son here was, of course, the two 914ces.There’s noth­ing wrong at all with the X-brace ver­sion, but as Mike stated the V-Class ver­sion sounded like he’d done a lit­tle postrecord­ing tweak­ing to en­hance the ini­tial record­ing, clean­ing up the lower midrange and en­hanc­ing the highs.

To that end Mike would be hap­pier to work with ei­ther V-Class gui­tar, pre­fer­ring the K14ce; like­wise, Iso­bel stated it“pleased me most as a player – the bal­ance, the re­fine­ment are both very en­cour­ag­ing and pleas­ing to my ears. I re­ally like the satin fin­ish too, it gives a more pa­pery tex­ture to per­cus­sive taps.”

It was a sim­ple but hugely ef­fec­tive test: to our col­lec­tive ears, the V-Class sound bet­ter.

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