Martin D-28 VS Taylor 814ce
Body shape, tone (bright vs warm) and aesthetics
The biggest differences to consider between these two guitars will be the body design with a traditional dreadnought (Martin) and more contemporary concert shape (Taylor). The concert has a thinner waist and a cutaway, which gives it a brighter tone profile, while the dreadnought is warmer and more mellow. As a result, the aesthetics are also a lot different. But, there are no complaints about quality with either guitar. They're both excellent options.
|Feature||Martin D-28||Taylor Grand Auditorium|
|Number of Strings||6||6|
|Body Shape||Dreadnought||Grand Auditorium|
|Back & Sides Wood||East Indian Rosewood||Indian Rosewood|
|Top Wood||Spruce||Sitka Spruce|
|Body Bracing||Forward Shifted X brace||V-Class|
|Binding||Antique white||Non-figured Maple|
|Neck Wood||Select Hardwood||Tropical Mahogany|
|Neck Shape||Modified Low Oval, High Performance Taper||Standard|
|Fingerboard Material||Ebony||West African Ebony|
|Fingerboard Inlay||Mother-of-Pearl Dots||Mother-of-Pearl Element|
|Number of Frets||20||20|
|Nut/Saddle Material||Bone/Compensated Bone||Black Graphite/Micarta|
|Bridge Material||Ebony||West African Ebony|
|Tuning Machines||Nickel open gear||Taylor Smoked Nickel|
|Case/Gig Bag||Hardshell Case||Hardshell Case|
Prices updated on Fri, December 08th, 2023.
Top 10 Differences
- Interior Bracing: While the Martin D-28 employs forward-shifted X-bracing, the Taylor 814ce features V-Class bracing, a groundbreaking innovation from Taylor that creates a balance between stiffness and flexibility for more volume, more sustain, and improved intonation.
- Body Style and Volume: The Martin D-28 uses a dreadnought body style, known for its volume and deep bass response, whereas the Taylor 814ce uses the grand auditorium or "concert" body style, which has a narrower waist for improved treble zing and playing comfort.
- Tonewood Combination: The Martin D-28 has a solid Spruce top and East Indian rosewood back and sides, while the Taylor 814ce utilizes Sitka Spruce for the top and Indian rosewood for the back and sides, providing a broad dynamic range and rich tonality. This is a very tonewood recipe, which means the difference in tone primarily comes from the body shape.
- Neck Profile and Fingerboard Material: The Martin D-28 is built with a modern neck profile and a solid black ebony fingerboard, whereas the Taylor 814ce has a tropical mahogany neck, a standard neck shape, and a West African ebony fingerboard.
- Vintage Appointments vs. Contemporary Features: The Martin D-28 incorporates vintage appointments like open-gear tuners, aged toner top, and antique white accents, while the Taylor 814ce includes contemporary features such as Taylor smoked nickel tuning machines and a Venetian cutaway.
- Electronics and Onboard Controls: The Martin D-28 does not include built-in electronics, whereas the Taylor 814ce comes equipped with the Taylor Expression System 2 (ES-2), featuring a 3-section proprietary pickup, master volume control, tone controls, and a discreet polarity switch for feedback suppression.
- Fingerboard Inlays: The Martin D-28 has mother-of-pearl dots as fingerboard inlays, while the Taylor 814ce showcases mother-of-pearl element inlays.
- Neck Finish: The Martin D-28 has a solid wood neck with a gloss finish, whereas the Taylor 814ce features a satin-finished tropical mahogany neck.
- Bridge Material and Saddle: The Martin D-28 has an ebony bridge and a bone/compensated bone nut/saddle, while the Taylor 814ce features a West African ebony bridge, pins, and a black graphite/Micarta nut/saddle.
- Manufacturer and Origin: The Martin D-28 is a product of Martin and has a historical connection to the HMS Dreadnought, while the Taylor 814ce is handcrafted by Taylor luthiers in California, USA, with no specific historical reference (at least not yet).
What would I go with?
The differences between these two acoustic guitars is not an issue of quality. They are both top of the line, perhaps some of the best that money can buy. However, they are very different in terms of style, with the D-28 being a more vintage/traditional acoustic, and the 814ce more modern.
Given the concert body and cutaway, the 814ce will sound a little brighter and be more of a picking/strumming acoustic, while the D-28's dreadnought body will be warmer and more mellow.
You should also keep in mind that concert acoustics will feel a bit smaller to hold, especially while sitting down.
To decide between the two, those are the areas to focus on.
If you have questions, hit us up in the comments section.
Compare acoustic Guitars
You can add the D-28 and 814ce to a comparison bar at the bottom of this page. We have a ton of other acoustic guitars in our database as well, from Martin, Taylor, and most other popular brands. When you add them to the bar, you can see pricing and basic specs side by side.
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