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Microphone Month 4

Taylor K4 Guitar Preamp/EQ Reviews

4.0 stars based on 9 customer reviews

Sweetwater Advice

  • Greg Baum

    The K4 is an irresistible add-on to any acoustic-electric guitar. The distinctive Neve EQ delivers extra warmth and thickness to the low end without getting boomy, and the high frequency boost is clear and glassy. No matter how good your guitar sounds plugged in, the K4 can make it sound better!

  • JD Miller
    from Dallas, TX September 11, 2014Music Background:
    Ex studio guitarist and recording engineer. Now play for fun.


    Rupert Neve really knows how to make great sounding gear. I bought this for my 914ce with Expression 2. As good as the 914 sounds by itself, it is amazing with the K4. I would recommend it to anyone!

  • dave judd
    from san diego, ca. November 13, 2006Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Worship leader.

    K4, not just for guitar

    I do recording at home and i run everything through the K4. The SM57 plugs right in and so does the electric bass. The tone shaping availiable to me is astounding and can take an ordinary recording to something that makes people stand up and take notice. This is great Neve gear at an afordable price.

  • Rick R
    from United States November 9, 2013Music Background:
    Guitar player 44 years

    If you own a Taylor with expressison this is a must

    I own a Taylor 614 and T5. All have expression systems, I play them through tube amps old and new, Gibson and Fender. The K4 mixes the Taylor's output and boosts or cuts it as needed . It is a fantastic eq. and cuts feedback via filter and/or phase reversal. It is a must if you play through a amp that is not set up for the Taylor expression system such as a Rivera Sedona which I also own. Expensive yes, if you want complete control over your sound it is a must. Why not 5 stars I already knew what it would do!!!!!

  • Jere Mealer
    from Central California March 27, 2013Music Background:
    former professional, now a weekend warrior at Church

    The Perfect Mate for the Expression System

    I already own a fabulous preamp for my 6 string acoustic and mandolin, but when I acquired a Taylor 12 string with the Expression System, I thought I would give the K4 a shot. And am I glad I did. With just a minor bit of tweaking the Taylor sprang to life through the house system. The sound guy calls it "glorious." Crystal clear, noiseless, pure tone. Feature-packed as well. A moot switch for acoustic instruments is a great feature. And even I could work the parametric eq on this unit!
    Well worth the investment if you are seeking the best means of amplifying your Expression-fitted Taylor. I have yet to try the K4 with my McPherson, but I have every reason to believe that would be a nice match as well.

  • Customer
    from November 6, 2013

    A welcomed addition to my gear

    I am very pleased with the K4. Right out of the box, I was impressed with the quality workmanship and materials. I had noticed some attachment points on the underside of the K4 and found out that there is a mic stand adaptor available through Talyor. I would highly recommend getting it if you plan to use the K4 for any live playing. It puts the K4 at just the angle for quick adjustments. Now back to the K4. I have been very pleased with the function, usability and sound output so far. It comes with a demo DVD that I found VERY useful, especially the section where they give you a graphical reorientation of what happens to the lows/mids/highs as you adjust the unit to achieve a certain sound or eliminate a particular frequency. I am on our church worship team and usually play the acoustic venue with 510CE. I like using my T5 because it is so fun to play, but I had not been pleased with the sound coming out of the house. The T5 can be really bright and I just could never get a full bodied acoustic sound out of it. Well say no more! I brought the K4 and my T5 for a weekend set to see how it would do and it was awesome. I connected straight into the house, made a few adjustments (using the techniques discussed in the DVD) to eliminate the highs and bring a more full-bodied sound and I was set to go. The K4 has so much versatility (Google "The Versatile K4" by Pat Kirtley) to it and I am really looking forward to using it for many years come in many other venues.

  • Dwayne Wolf
    from Houston, TX October 22, 2012Music Background:

    Good for Taylor steel strings...but....

    Fantastic for my 814ce. Definitely puts a world of control at my fingertips. It also somehow adds a bit of "sparkle" to the sound. If you're looking for a DI/preamp for a Taylor steel string look no further. This is worth the money. However, I plugged in my 414ceN (a Taylor nylon string) and was shocked. It was very thin, brash, brassy, and not at all nylon-like. I couldn't dial in a pleasing sound at all with that guitar. I suspect the problem is that the K4 is designed for the full expression system whereas the 414ceN has a different pickup...the nylon-string Taylors have only a portion of the full ES. Regardless, I'd pass on this if you're intended use is nylon string. But again, I highly recommend it for a steel string.

  • Patrick
    from November 7, 2010Music Background:
    Guitar player for 20 years

    Nice EQ, not so nice DI

    Bad news first: nearly every DI for the half of the K4's price will sound better. The K4's is dull and missing details.

    Good news (personal teste): the EQ section is a high quality hum killer and a precise tool not only for acoustic guitars. I use it with a Telecaster that produces some resonances around 100/120 Hz. Normally it's enough to put the K4 into the signal path and it's done.

    I'd say it's not the cheapest, but maybe the best EQ for electric and electro-acoustic guitars you can get in a small box, if you need a clear and open sound.

    By the way: you cannot open this box. No screws, just blanks.

  • San Sebastian
    from USA December 6, 2007Music Background:

    Less Than Expected

    I found the K4 to be a trumpeted version of a nice EQ. It looks good, though... sounds fine, works great... for a price that is far above its worth, in my opinion.

  • Tom Stebbins
    from St Petersburg FL, January 1, 2005


    I have a rack full of outboard gear for my acoustic guitar...the K4 is the best sounding piece of gear in that rack...no joke! The preamp I have been using sounds thin and naked compaired to the warmth and transparency of the K4. Actually it has made 2 pieces totally obsolete, my preamp and DI. It is soooo easy to use and basically seems like they eliminated all the stuff you never use and boiled it down to what really works. This is really quality gear...and the wood top is a really nice touch. I hate to hide it in a rack!
    Nice job Taylor and Mr. Neve!

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