Today my guitar had its 15th birthday. On July 20, 2005, my 714ce began its trip from the factory floor in El Cajon to my home in University City [in San Diego]. Not a great distance, as I think of the 160,000 guitars that Taylor created last year and all the corners of the world they must have touched. But UC was a good place for that guitar to land.
A good guitar is like a birthday gift, and that’s exactly how I feel each day when I take my 714ce from its case. Like unwrapping a gift only better, since I’m always pleased with what I find: lovely, understated design, beautiful materials, impeccable fit and finish.
The tone of the Engelmann spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides has matured, but it still has the qualities that appealed to me at the start. The Engelmann is warm but not cloying, and the overtones are lovely under a clear, fundamental tone across the musical range. I’ve considered replacing this guitar, but in multiple head-to-head comparisons, I’ve never found anything more pleasing to my ear or as versatile.
As a guitar player, I’m still a novice, let’s say advanced intermediate, in fingerstyle. I also pick and strum, and this guitar sounds great in each of those styles. I’m pleased to say that I continue to improve (a shout-out to Mark Bacilla, my terrific teacher). And again, like unwrapping a gift, I’m increasingly able to draw out more of this guitar’s beautiful sound.
I’ve read about your history, and it’s fun for me to draw the line from your high school industrial arts background to the guitar in my hands. It makes you a part of my musical endeavor, and so it seems natural, on my guitar’s birthday, to write you this fan letter. Thanks very much to you and the Taylor team, and my best wishes for your continued success.
San Diego, California