How to Troubleshoot a Taylor Guitar 314CE

Written by simon foden Google
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How to Troubleshoot a Taylor Guitar 314CE
The strings can rattle against a neck that isn't set correctly. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The Taylor 314CE is a premium acoustic-electric guitar made from a combination of sapele and Sitka spruce that results in a deep and complex tone. But even the finest instruments can develop small faults -- including loose hardware, dirty preamp potentiometers and excessive or insufficient neck relief. When troubleshooting your guitar, investigate the simplest potential problem first and work your way to more complicated issues.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Capo
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Instrument cable
  • Hex key

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Play your low-E string firmly and listen carefully as the note decays. The various sounds you hear can be useful in pointing you toward the cause of a problem. For example, if there is a residual rattling as the string vibration dies out, there may be loosefitting hardware. If the string itself rattles, it could be too close to the neck.

  2. 2

    Gently hold onto the each tuning machine and play the low-E string again. If the rattle goes away, you've identified the loose tuning machine -- and tightening it should remove the rattle. If the rattle persists, check the strap buttons, which can cause rattling at high volumes.

  3. 3

    Tighten both strap buttons, located on the bottom and top sides of the heel joint, by turning the screw in the centre of the button with a small Phillips screwdriver.

  4. 4

    Play the first three frets of the high-E string in sequence. If there are any dead notes or buzzes around this part of the guitar, it is likely caused by insufficient clearance between the strings and the fretboard. Because the saddle on the Taylor 314CE has a fixed saddle that can't be adjusted without full removal, refer this fix to a professional.

  5. 5

    Lay the guitar flat on its back. Put a capo on fret one. Press your finger down on the highest fret on the low-E string and examine the angle of the string between the capo and your finger, which should be parallel to the neck. If it's on an upward gradient, the neck is back-bowed. If it is on a downward gradient, the neck is forward-bowed. A simple truss rod adjustment is typically the resolution for this problem. Loosen the strings, slot a hex key into the truss rod nut under the bottom of the fretboard and turn it a quarter revolution. Turn clockwise to adjust a back bow and counterclockwise to a adjust a forward bow.

  6. 6

    Plug your 314CE into an amplifier. Touch each of the three preamp dials located on the top side of the guitar. If any of the dials makes a crackling sound when touched, this points to an accumulation of dirt on the potentiometers. Refer electrical problems with your Taylor to a professional.

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