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JayGon 05-03-2001 09:41 AM

Sitka on a 714
In another thread, I inquired about the finishes on a couple of older Taylors (1997 814c and 714), which was clarified for me.

But I have another question about the 714. Both of these guitar tops seem to be the same; kind of a darker, grainier color that the lighter Sitka on my '00 410. Also, the 714 has chrome tuner knobs. Did they use chrome Grovers and Sitka tops on the 714 that year?


buddiesorg 05-03-2001 09:48 AM

The 1997 catalog (with John Cephas on the cover ... I think they may still be available from Taylor) says yes.

700s- rosewood b&s, sitka top, chrome Grovers

800s- rosewood b&s, sitka top, gold Grovers

JayGon 05-03-2001 11:06 AM

Thanks, Buddiesorg.

I have a friend who has a 1996 712 which has Englemann and the gold Grovers. I thought it was strange that they would go back to chrome, but I was also told that Taylor dabbles a bit with this series and maybe that explains it.

But with all the recent discussions in the Forum about Englemann vs. cedar in that series, does any one have any thougths on the sound of the Sitka topped 700s? Must be close to the 800s, I would think.


rambo 05-14-2001 06:16 PM

700 series used to be a pre 800 series,Sitka tops like the 800s {higher grades for the latter} as the back and sides.Gold tuners offered on the 800s and chrome on the 700s. The introduction of the cedar top in the 700 line signified it as its own.

JayGon 05-15-2001 03:20 PM

Hey Rambo,

How do you think the older 714's measured up? I don't care so much about the frills (I have a 410), and can always add gold Grovers if I want to. Actually, I do like the abalone. But what about the sound? Is it a lesser model than it has now become? I'm looking at one along with the same model year (1997) 814c.



rambo 05-17-2001 05:55 PM

Without a doubt.Alot of them as good if not better sound qualities than the 800 series{at least the ones I had contact with}.

JayGon 05-19-2001 09:51 PM

Thanks, Rambo. My only dilemma now is whether I'm comfortable that these guitars have been hanging on the wall for four years. The do show some signs of dryness. I know they're the old neck design, but the necks on both guitars seem to dip at the 14th fret. A little fret end protrusion, also.

I called Taylor and asked if the could be sent to the factory for a little restoring to the original specs, humidification, etc., and I was told they could; either before I bought it or after, but I would have to take that up with the dealer. I bought another Taylor from this dealer, but don't have tremendous confidence in their technical expertise.

Anybody have any similar experiences when purchasing older Taylors from a dealer?


rambo 05-20-2001 01:41 PM

Your concerns are justified.Some shops are very lax when it comes to humidity concerns. If it were me I`d go the route to have the factory check out before a final purchase,then there are no surprises later on.

jalge 06-25-2001 07:57 AM

I have a 1996 Taylor 714 (rosewood-sitka). It came with chrome tuners. Well, I wanted gold ones, but did not want to wait for a custom order guitar. I called the Taylor service center to verify the model number, and make sure changing the tuners myself did not void the warranty. They guy at Taylor (I think it was Terry) said it was no problem. I then ordered them on-line from Stewart McDonald. They were simple to install.

So I bought the 1996, and changed the tuners. It now has nice gold Grover tuners. I think it was about $55.00 with shipping. I kept the old ones just in case I ever want to restore it to its original equipment.

(By the way, I was able to repeat the same thing with my 2000 Martin HD 28--only this time the place I bought it had a set of Gold Martin tuners they sold me for $45.00.)

Just somethin' about those gold tuners that adds to the look of the guitar.

JayGon 06-25-2001 09:09 AM

Hey Jalge-

How do you like the Sitka 714? It seems most you see around now have either the cedar or Englemann. Must sound brighter, I would think.


gregc 06-25-2001 01:45 PM

I had a sitka topped 710. It was basically an 810 minus the fancy dressings. It was a phenomenal sounding guitar. I only sold it to get a wider fingerboard. I wished the 1.75" board had been standard then. That's OK though. My 514 has eased my mind on the whole thing.


jalge 06-25-2001 03:00 PM

When I bought the 714, the store had one with a cedar top. The store owner really pushed it. He said that "brand new" it sounded like the top had already been "played in." (Incidentally, I attended a Doyle Dykes workshop a few years ago, and he made the same comment about cedar top guitars.)

Never having owned a high end guitar, I did not know what "played in" sounded like. I did prefer the tone of the sitka top to the cedar, and I liked the looks better. The owner said it would take a few years of playing it for the sitka to "open up" and sound as good as the cedar.

Well, having played the crap out of it for the last four years, the guitar has mellowed a bit. It still rings like a bell, and has what I would call more bass response than when I first got it. (I added a bone saddle shortly after buying it, which I also believe improved the tone.)

I still have never owned a cedar top guitar, so I can't really make a real comparison. All I can say is that I really like the sound of the 714 with a sitka top, especially finger style. One thing though, the guitar will only stand medium strumming (more like medium-to-light strumming), and sounds bad if you strum with any vigor. Maybe the cedar stands up to the strumming better, so that is why they switched.

Anyway, you've got to play what makes you happy. This guitar makes me smile a lot. :D

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