The 5 Best Taylor Guitar Reviews

Acoustic-GuitarThe name Taylor is synonymous with quality, and it’s the brand that Tony Iommi, Jason Mraz and Dave Mathews rely on. The best Taylor guitars use the latest technology and classic craftsmanship for the best results.

Since the company was established they’ve gone on to make a large number of guitars, but how can you figure out which fits the bill? Well I have gone through their most popular guitars and chosen the following.

I spent hundreds of hours researching these guitars and wrote my impressions in the reviews. If you’re too busy, this chart gives you a good overview.

Top 5 Taylor Guitars: Comparison Chart

Product
Top Body Material Type
Back and Sides
Neck Material
Fretboard Material Type
View on Amazon
Mahogony, Sapele
Sapele
Sapele
Ebony
Sitka Spruce
Sapele
Sapele
Ebony
Layered Koa
Layered Koa
Mahogany
Ebony
Combined Laminated & Solid Wood
Rosewood
Sapele
Ebony
Sitka Spruce
Walnut
Sapele
Ebony

Best Picks of Taylor Guitars

#1: Taylor GS Mini Mahogany GS Mini Acoustic Guitar , Sapele, Mahogany Top

The Taylor GS Mini may be scaled down, but it’s one of the top Taylor guitars based on quality. While it is not a full sized guitar, the GS offers excellent sounds that rival the more expensive ones in the market.

Its scale length is 23 1/2 inches, which makes it easy to form chords. The guitar also comes with lots of tuning stability and snap.

Playing the Mini GS is a lot of fun even for beginners. The electronics are state of the art and give you full control over the sounds.

Taylor GS Mini Mahogany GS Mini Acoustic Guitar , Sapele, Mahogany Top
  • "Body Body type: Taylor Grand Symphony Mini Cutaway: No Top wood: Solid Mahogany Back & sides: Layered Sapele Bracing pattern: GS Mini With Relief Rout Body finish: Matte 2.0 Orientation: Right-handed Neck Neck shape: Taylor GS Mini Profile Nut width: 1-11/16"" (42.8mm) Fingerboard: Genuine African Ebony Neck wood: Sapele Scale length: 23-1/2"" Number of frets: 20 Neck finish: Matte 2.0 Electronics"
  • "There's something undeniably inviting about the Taylor GS Mini's scaled-down size, yet a single strum reveals the impressive voice of a full-size guitar
  • That mix of portability and musicality has proven to be a winning combination that fits into so many scenarios in life, from the couch to the campfire to the concert hall
  • It's not too big, it's not too precious, and it's not too expensive
  • That broad-based accessibility has given it a resounding universal appeal, not to mention a built-in fun factor

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The mahogany top does a good job of distributing and filtering the strings’ vibration throughout the GS. This gives the GS a rich, full sound that’s fully natural.

The GS generates a natural compression that makes the guitar sound more alive. The sides and back are solidly built and provide stability.

The back and sides also serve as a receptors to the energy being sent by the vibrating string. The top wood design is durable and not vulnerable to fluctuations in humidity and temperature.

The durable built of the GS means it is most apt for guitarists who travel a lot. These are also suitable for any guitarist who wants a durable guitar.

Like other Taylor guitars the GS underwent rigid testing to ensure its quality. The matte finish looks great and the audio is exceptionally good.

As a mini guitar the GS is more comfortable to play. The neck is smooth and the no cutaway style makes it easy to tune the guitar.

The Genuine African Ebony, layered sapele and mahogany body gives the guitar a smooth,  easy feel. The GS tuning machines work like they’re supposed to, but what’s even better is the guitar doesn’t need a lot of tuning.

The Mini GS may be small but packs a lot of tone and range, perfect for novices and touring musicians.

The Taylor GS offers an excellent mix of portability and music versatility. It is not too large, not too small, just right.

The GS design means it is suitable for serious music and yet casual enough for beginners learning to play guitar at home.

Highlighted Features
  • Solid mahogany top
  • Solidly built
  • Layered sapele sides
  • Beautiful matte finish
  • Chrome GS tuning machines
  • Taylor New Technology Neck System
  • Tusq Nut and Micarta “Wave” Saddle
  • Genuine African Ebony bridge

#2: Taylor Guitars Big Baby Taylor, BBT, Natural

The Big Baby Taylor makes our list for its superior sound and design. As the Baby Taylor’s big brother, the Big Baby offers a rich, full sound you’d expect only from bigger guitars.

What makes this one of the best sounding Taylor guitar is being able to provide a full sound in a 4 inch deep body. It is almost half an inch shallower than a regular Dreadnought but the audio is very good.

With a 15” body width and 40 1/4 inches long, the Big Baby Taylor is just between a regular Dreadnought and the Baby Taylor. This makes the guitar the right size for novices and for easy, casual play.

The dimensions of the Big Baby Taylor means it is still portable. But as I pointed out this guitar has greater volume and fullness.

There are a lot of reasons we can cite for the tonal quality. But the most important is its arched back as it acts as a tonal enhancer.

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The Big Baby Taylor comes with a heavy duty gig bag that’s designed to take the guitar anywhere you go. If you’ve got a lot of gigs then you’ll find this bag indispensable.

All Taylor guitars have quality tone woods and this is no exception. Made of stika spruce, the wood works as a filter and spreads the strings’ energy throughout the surface.

The Big Baby Taylor combines elasticity and stiffness for better sounds. The guitar also has just the right proportion for better articulation and range.

Part of the reason for its extensive range is the multilayered sides and back. Together they absorb the vibrating strings to produce a more even sound.

The guitar comes with an LR Baggs pickup which enable you to plug it if necessary. The versatile nature of the LR Baggs means you’ll be able to use it for different genres.

The Big Baby Taylor has excellent sound and its portability is up there with the other Taylor guitars. The fact that it’s smaller than a regular guitar but still has excellent audio means you don’t compromise quality.

All things considered, the Big Baby Taylor is a well rounded guitar.

Highlighted Features
  • Sapele sides and back
  • Durable sitka spruce
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Easy to tune
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Solid ebony fretboard
  • Consistent audio
  • Stays in tune

#3: Taylor GS Mini-e Solid Koa Top ESB w/Gig Bag with case

If you’re looking for the best Taylor guitar for the money, the Mini e-Koa is a good bet. Think of this as an acoustic electric guitar that combines portability with great audio.

With its stunning looks and balanced resonance, the mini e-Koa is for all guitarists who want quality and endurance. The guitar is beautifully designed too with its layered koa sides and back and koa top.

The strings are well-made and respond well to your fingers. With just a few strums you’ll hear the difference with its clear tones.

Taylor GS Mini-e Solid Koa Top ESB w/Gig Bag with case
  • Body Body shape: Other Cutaway: Non-cutaway Top: Hawaiian koa Back and sides: Layered koa Bracing pattern: Other Body finish: Varnish Orientation: Right handed Neck Shape: Other Nut width: 1.687" (42.8mm) Fingerboard: Ebony Wood: Tropical mahogany Scale length: 23.5" Number of frets: 20 Finish: Varnish Electronics Onboard: Yes Brand: Taylor Configuration: Undersaddle piezo Preamp EQ: 2-band

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The guitar’s compact body makes it more comfortable to play even for hours on end. The

Mini e-Koa comes with the ES-8 pickup device for better audio results.

There is an indicator telling you if the battery is running low so you’ll never run out of power in the middle of a show. The Mini Koa also includes a tuner and tone controls so the guitar comes out sounding the way you want it.

The Mini Koa isn’t just style though as it also sounds good. The Mini Koa design is based off the classic Grand Symphony (GS), scaling down the size without sacrificing quality.

Play the Mini Koa and it’s evident the tonal quality is superior to ordinary guitars. Part of the reason for this is its tonewood.

Koa is only found in the Hawaiian islands, and using it on the back and sides gives the Mini Koa the mid-range performance of a maple. With this built you’ll find the guitar is more responsive and has a warmer tone.

The multilayered device means the guitar is better able to withstand weather fluctuations. Changes in the weather and humidity are among the biggest enemies of guitars, so durable construction is a must.

Under-saddle piezo transducers is used by a majority of acoustic electric guitars, but the Mini Koa takes different route. It comes with the Expression System-B that relies on a patented pickup at the back of the saddle.

The pickup comes with 3 accurate positioned and calibrated piezo sensors that react to the energy as it goes in the saddle. This works with the Taylor preamp, providing a rich acoustic sound.

Highlighted Features
  • Beautiful natural finish
  • Hawaiian koa Back and side
  • 2-band<BR
  • Ebony wood fingerboard
  • Sapele neck wood
  • Acrylic dots fingerboard inlay
  • Taylor Chrome tuning machine
  • ES-B preamp electronics

#4: Taylor 214ce Deluxe Grand Auditorium – Natural

The 214ce Deluxe Grand Auditorium is one of the top Taylor guitar for beginners and advanced players. With its high end pickup system and acoustic design, the 214ce meets the demands of different musicians.

The 214ce has the standard Dreadnought depth and width, but the waist has been tapered off and contoured. This makes the guitar look smaller and more portable.

The 214ce provides good balance and the large sound gives a big presence. The treble is excellent as is the tonal range.

Taylor 214ce Deluxe Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural
  • "Shape: Grand Auditorium Number of Strings: 6 Back/Side Wood: Layered Rosewood Scale length: 25-1/2"" Top Wood: Sitka Spruce Body Length: 20"" Electronics: Expression System Body Width: 16"" Cutaway: Venetian Body Depth: 4-5/8"" Nut and Saddle: NuBone Nut/Tusq Saddle Neck Width: 1-11/16"" Neck/Heel: Sapele Bracing: Forward Shifted Pattern Fretboard Wood: Ebony Fretboard Inlay: Small Diamonds Headstock Overlay: Indian Rosewood Binding:"
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Back/Side Wood: Layered Rosewood
  • "Scale length: 25-1/2"""
  • Top Wood: Sitka Spruce

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The 214ce has a well built, fast and slender neck. It’s not as heavy as other guitars so you’ll feel more comfortable playing.

The 214ce has a solid Sitka spruce top that improves balance and tone. Together with the sides you get optimum results when playing the guitar.

The 214ce lives up to the hype that it’s easy to use and generates outstanding sound. While a bit smaller than a regular guitar, the sound is definitely Taylor so you’’ll be ready in the studio and at home.

The 214ce Grand Auditorium provides top of the line treble and it works well with the Sitka Spruce top. Together these make the 214ce sound clear and well balanced.

Since the guitar has the Grand Auditorium body it’s got a sleek appearance. The body built also adds sharpness to each strum.

The 214ce has a unique style that makes it more versatile than the average guitar. Whether it’s medium strumming, fingerpicking or others, the 214ce can adapt different styles.

The Sitka spruce top complements the rosewood sides and back. This gives the 214ce an open sound that gives it warmth and balance.

The Expression System 2 electronics replicate the sound of a guitar. To generate that natural tone, the System 2 uses calibrated sensors in the bridge and saddle to get the string and top vibration.

These pickup sensors are precisely set to get the possible tone. These are fully integrated and have controls for amplified or natural sounds.

The Sitka top gives it extra range, and the Venetian cut lets you access the frets easily. You also get a high quality ebony fingerboard for smooth and fast guitar.

Highlighted Features
  • Layered Rosewood back and sides
  • Sitka Spruce top
  • X Brace body bracing
  • Ebony fingerboard material
  • Die-Cast Chrome Plated tuning machines
  • Micarta Saddle/Tusq Nut
  • Expression System 2 electronics
  • Hardshell case

#5: Taylor 114ce 100 Series Acoustic Guitar

The 114ce is one of the best Taylor guitar under 1000 dollars, providing harmonious tones and range. With its Grand Auditorium body, dreadnought style and Venetian cutaway, this is a guitar for beginners and experts alike.

The Sitka Spruce top is solidly made, with beautiful grain, well set frets and excellent binding. Its neck is a solid bolt on mahogany, giving it a dependable feel.

Inside is the ES-T edition of the E System, and together with the rest of the components give the guitar excellent sounds.

Taylor 114ce 100 Series Acoustic Guitar, Sapele, Grand Auditorium, Cutaway, ES-T
  • Shape: Grand Auditorium
  • Back/Side Wood: Walnut
  • Top Wood: Sitka Spruce
  • Neck/Heel: Sapele
  • Electronics: ES-T

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Its 55mm bridge, profile and neck makes this ideal for fingerstyle, with the cutway providing convenient access. The 114ce is a bit slimmer than a dreadnought and it is also easier to hold.

The 114ce has a raw, well defined sound. It is crisp, vibrant and provides excellent projection.

The sapele and spruce complement one another, providing warmth and clarity. Play the chords and you will hear the difference compared to regular guitars.

The amp enhances the results, with simple controls giving you the tone you want. The EST generates the tone you want without compromise.

The 114ce can be classified as entry level, but the sound quality is comparable to more expensive guitars. While easy enough for an aspiring guitarist, the rich sounds of the 114ce means it is suitable for different types of guitarists.

The durable guitar is complemented by its high quality gig bag. Once you’ve shored up your skills you can take the 114ce on the road and put a show.

This is a versatile guitar and suitable for various genres. But as I pointed the guitar is at its best with finger style.

With its fret and thin neck the 114ce is easy enough for a novice. The version I’m reviewing here is for right handed guitarists but there’s one for left handers as well.

The 114ce comes with all the essential features you’d expect from a Taylor. It is well built, has great sound and the craftsmanship is superb

Highlighted Features
  • Saplele neck
  • High quality wood top
  • Sapele laminated back and sides
  • Excellent sound
  • Durable gig bag included
  • Indian rosewood bridge
  • Left handed model available
  • Solid sitka spruce top

 

The History of Taylor Guitar Brand

Go to any guitar comparison site and you’ll see Taylor among the big names mentioned. That’s because the company has always put emphasis on quality.

Bob Taylor founded the company in 1974 in Lemon Grove, California together with Kurt Listug. In 1976 Taylor Guitars would collaborate with retailers to sell their products.

As the years went by Taylor Guitars would expand operation, and by 2012 employed more than 700 people. They currently have two factories, one in Tecate, Mexico and the other in El Cajjon, California.

Their manufacturing facility in El Cajjon covers 145,000 square miles. Their facility in Tecate,, Mexico is also large and used to make their entry level guitars.

Taylor manufactures high end and affordable guitars alike, and the company is known for being innovative. Among Taylor’s most popular innovations is the Expression System pickup.

This system is made up of a humbucking induction set the neck along with a couple of dynamic transducers. Their entry level guitars don’t have the soundboard transducers but does have an under saddle pickup.

Since the Expression System was launched it has become a fixture in their models. They’ve also implemented other technologies in their guitars.

The high quality of Taylor Guitars have led to their use by many artists. Among them are Taylor Swift, Dave Matthews, Jewel, Jason Mraz, William Ackerman and more.

Through the years Taylor has made a lot of unique guitars, not just for professional musicians but anyone who wants to play.

Where are Taylor Guitar Made?

Taylor guitar reviews show that some of these are made in USA and others in Mexico. Well they’re both correct since the company has facilities in both countries.

As mentioned earlier, the company uses the Tecate facility to manufacture their entry level guitars and cases. The more expensive models are made in their California factory, but all are manufactured by trained individuals.

Whether it is entry level or the high end model, Taylor applies the same level of quality in the built. The company has established a reputation for setting very high standards and it is evident in all their products.

Each guitar is carefully tested and only sold after it has met the Taylor standards. Whether it is in Mexico or the US, expect the same high quality.

When Bob Taylor founded the company he wanted to stress that they must never compromise when it comes to craftsmanship. To this day the company still holds itself accountable to that.

What Makes the Best Taylor Guitar?

The best Taylor guitar model share certain characteristics that make them stand out from the rest.

  • Craftsmanship: all Taylor guitars are made from high quality materials. The top, sides and back are made from the finest wood. This ensures the guitar produces the best possible sound.
  • Quality Strings: these guitar strings are made of steel and will last a long time. More importantly these strings vibrate evenly across the surface to generate the sound you want.
  • Comfortable and Portable: whether it is a mini, Grand Auditorium or another style, it’s going to be comfortable to play. From the strings to the neck to the body, you’ll get the results you’re looking for.
  • For Left and Right Hand Users: many Taylor guitars have versions for left and right hand users. This makes it easy for you to play the guitar properly.
  • Beauty and Style: Taylor guitars come in different styles, colors and finishes. While they’re varied, all Taylor guitars are beautifully made.
  • Consistent Results: all Taylor guitars are made by highly trained professionals who know know what it takes to produce a quality guitar.
  • State of the Art Electronics: Taylor made a name for itself by using high quality electronics. This ensures the guitar plays smoothly.
  • Multiple Options: Taylor manufactures a lot of guitars for the beginner to advanced guitarists.
  • Solid Reputation: Taylor is one of the most recognized names in the industry, and you can depend on them.

These are the reasons why Taylor guitars have become so popular. The company faces stiff competition, but they are always up and about, making sure their guitars are of the highest quality and meet demands.

Final Verdict

I chose these guitars because of their quality, and I have to say none of these products disappointed me. However there needs to be a winner here, and I have to say it is the Taylor 214ce Deluxe Grand Auditorium.

The 214ce is an exceptionally well designed guitar. It is stylish, beautifully crafted and delivers exceptional sound. Compared to other guitars it is easier to use and does not require a lot of pressure from your hands.

The electronics and pickups work as well as expected, and its reliability is something few brands can match.

Hopefully this guide to the best Taylor guitars has made it easier for you to make the right choice. For me, the 214ce is definitely the best in terms of performance and reliability.

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