Taylor 224CE-K Deluxe Koa Acoustic Electric Guitar (Excellent Craftsmanship)

Taylor 224ce Deluxe Koa Acoustic GuitarBrand/Model: Taylor 224CE-K DLX

Number of Strings: 6

Hand Orientation: Right/Left

Body Material: Koa/Koa top

Neck Material: Sapele

Fretboard Material: Ebony

Price Range: Under $2000

Our Rating: 10/10

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Taylor 224CE-K Deluxe Koa Acoustic Electric Guitar Review

224ce Koa Guitar back ofThis gorgeous specimen has to be the most eye-catching guitar of the entire Taylor 200 Series.  Taylor is one of those brands where this kind of money buys their standard of mid-range quality, but it has every personal touch they can possibly deliver.

Mid-range quality to Taylor easily exceeds premium quality for most other brands in the market, and we will soon see how!

This exotic beauty has a Taylor-made Grand Auditorium body that falls between a full-size dreadnought and a grand concert body shape.  For Taylor, it’s what they consider the all-purpose and ultimate body style for everything between fingerstyle playing and strumming.

It’s a guitar that’s been built for all-in-one purposes from using it at the studio, composing, casual playing, and even traveling with it.

The flat-slope Venetian cutaway is known for its rounded and soft lines.  It’s sleek, sexy, and dark, and it has everything going for it.  A solid Hawaiian Koa top beautifully matches the layered Koa back and sides.

The Sapele neck is adorned with a West African ebony fretboard that joins the body at the 14th fret to a Sapele scarf neck joint.

But, don’t be fooled into buying this guitar just for its aesthetic appeal.  You may pick it up and find it too bright for your tastes – duh, it’s Koa.  Koa is known to be bright sounding, yet focused, clear, and sharp.

With a solid wood top, the more you play it, the more the wood will mature and age to develop into a deep, rich, and warm tone that mellows out the brightness with a defining presence in the mid-range.

Plug this guitar into an amp, and you’ll see how well the Expression System 2 picks up the entire dynamic range of sound with Taylor’s patented behind-the-saddle sensors. With the enhancement of natural saddle movement, your Koa guitar will sound true to its acoustic heritage.

Get your hula, country, or bluegrass on with the Koa DLX – it’s your versatile guitar to explore every music path you strum down!

PROS:
  • Price
  • Solid Koa top
  • Expression System 2
  • Venetian cutaway
  • Excellent craftsmanship

CONS:
  • Layered back and sides

 

224ce Koa Grand Auditorium headstock onlyBuyer’s Feedback

The initial attractant is its dark stain and exotic appeal.  The stunning, tropical wood with its seemingly flowing grains has its own seductive power over onlookers, but it’s the unique sound that will really catch the ear of a fingerstyle player.

Note definition, brightness, and string spacing is excellent for players to really strut their stuff and highlight their solos.

There’s not a single thing that buyers don’t like about the Taylor guitar.  If you’re going to spend this amount of money, you better like it, and fortunately for you, Taylor does not take short cuts with their guitars.

From the craftsmanship to the look and sound, the 224ce is a prized treasure among any guitar aficionado’s collection.

 

Alternatives to Consider

Because we like Taylor just as much you do, it feels right to throw out a couple Taylor alternatives for you to consider.  The GS Mini Koa guitar has a lighter stain with a recognizable, exotic Koa top.  It’s the perfect size if you’re on the road a lot or if you want a guitar that’s easy and quick to pick up and play at your whim.

If you’re more of a flashy kind of player that’s drawn to the sunburst finishes on guitars, the 214CE Deluxe Grand Auditorium with its Vintage Sunburst finish might just be “the one.”  It has the same Expression System 2 electronics that the 224CE has, and the same body shape with cutaway.  Instead of a Koa top, it has a spruce top that’s also known to be bright, note-defining, and versatile for all styles of playing.

 

Taylor 224CE Deluxe Koa Q&A

What is Layered Koa?

Layered wood is Taylor’s term for laminate parts.  With this 224ce guitar, the back and sides are made of laminate with a poplar core and a Koa veneer.  While it doesn’t add tonality-wise to the guitar, it does allow for climate-resilient construction and for Taylor to achieve exotic looks that can pair well with the solid top of a guitar.

 

Why is Laminate Wood a Drawback?

It’s not necessarily a drawback since it does have its benefits such as being more durable and resistant to damage from environmental factors and abuse.

However, because it doesn’t add tonal properties, it’s often a cheap alternative to using solid woods.  In this case, since we couldn’t find a single complaint on the Taylor Koa guitar, we had to be picky.

In this price range, you can find all-solid wood guitars such as the Ibanez Artwood AW4000-BS Acoustic Guitar and the Martin D-16RGT guitars.

 

What is Expression System 2 Electronics?

The most common placement for acoustic electric guitars is to place Piezo pickups under the saddle.  Instead of placing them under the saddle, Taylor places them behind the saddle for the sensors to pick up string energy and responsiveness faster and easier with natural movement of the saddle that is back and forth and not up and down.

The preamp has both volume and tone control knobs and a professional-grade gain control that’s said to be “25% hotter!”

 

Where is the 200 Series Taylor Guitar Made?

The 200 series guitars are made in Mexico according to strict procedures and quality control set by Taylor.  The 300 Series and up guitars are made in the USA.

 

What are the Hardware on the 224ce Acoustic Electric Guitar?

This model has a Nubone nut, Micarta saddle, and chrome tuners.  It has a faux pearl rosette, small diamond mother-of-pearl fingerboard inlays, 1-ply black pickguard, and what looks like black ABS bridge pins on an ebony bridge.

 

Does this Acoustic Electric Guitar have Soundboard Bracing?

The Taylor 224ce guitar does have a forward-shifted bracing pattern.

 

What are the Dimensions of the Grand Auditorium Guitar?

The Taylor Grand Auditorium guitar has a 25 1/2-inch scale, 16-inch body width, 20-inch body length, and 4 5/8-inch body depth.

 

 

Hardware/Electronics You’ll Need:

Guitars in this price range often come with a hardshell case, and this is true for the Taylor 224ce DLX guitar.  Included, you should receive the Taylor Deluxe Hardshell Brown case that’s factory-standard for this guitar.

With that out of the way, the only things you’ll need are additional necessities to get playing.

Our “Must-Have Accessories Guide” will get you sorted out, but we’ll provide a few quick links here for your convenience.

 

Standout Features:

  • Solid Koa top
  • Excellent audio-grade preamp
  • Excellent Taylor craftsmanship

 

Our Verdict on the 224ce K DLX

To strum it up, the Taylor 224CE Deluxe Koa Grand Auditorium guitar is a hot guitar.  In every sense of the word it’s a looker, its electronics can handle its heat and dish it, and its price range makes it a hot buy with value.

It’s still a lot of money, but for a Taylor and this kind of quality, its track record shows that you can’t go wrong!

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While I don't have an arts degree in music, I have spent enough time around musical instruments & musicians to pass on some useful information. When I'm not rocking out to a sick beat on my stereo, you will find me sitting on a bean bag, in the corner of my room with a guitar trying to emulate the prowess of the great Mr Eric Clapton.