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Best Taylor Guitars
If you’re looking for the best Taylor guitar, you’ve come to the right place. Taylor is one of the most well-respected names in the guitar world, and their instruments are played by some of the biggest names in music. From New Zealand’s finest to Nashville Cathedral’s Headliners, many of the world’s top guitarists trust their sound to a Taylor.
Their guitars are popular among both beginner guitarists and experienced guitar players, and their wide range of products appeal to a variety of different styles and budgets. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Taylor Guitar company, their products, and what sets them apart from other guitar manufacturers.
Last Updated 04/24/2022: Added best Taylor travel guitar.
Taylor Guitar History
Taylor Guitars is a well-known and respected guitar company that has been in business since 1974. The Taylor guitar history starts when the company was founded by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug. Taylor is headquartered in El Cajon, California. Taylor Guitars produces a wide range of acoustic and electric guitars, as well as ukuleles and other stringed instruments.
Learning guitar, don’t skip our post, Easy Guitar Chords for Beginners
The company is best known for their acoustic guitars, which are used by a wide range of musicians including James Taylor, Dave Matthews, and Taylor Swift. Their electric guitars are also highly regarded, and they have been used by artists such as John Mayer and Tom Petty.
What to Look For When Choosing the Best Taylor Guitars?
There is no doubt that Taylor Guitars are some of the best on the market. They are known for their amazing craftsmanship, attention to detail, and stunning sound. When it comes to choosing a Taylor Guitar, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, what type of music do you play? Taylor Guitars are versatile and can be used for a variety of genres, but some models are better suited for certain styles of music. Second, what is your budget? Taylor Guitars range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, so it’s important to find one that fits your price range. Finally, what is your preferred body style? Taylor Guitars come in a variety of shapes and sizes,
Taylor’s instruments have a high quality build quality. It is obvious that the Nubone nut and Micartis saddle are found on each candidate with Elixir strings. Overall, Taylor makes simple guitars which last several years.
Being a little expensive can cause a bankrupt situation. You can buy Taylors for around $400 to 700 and gradually increase the pricing ladder to improve your experience and confidence.
New or Used
The decision of going for a new or used guitar is perplexing. It depends on what you are looking for. If you want a custom guitar, it will be expensive regardless of whether it is new or used.
If you are a beginner guitarist, take someone along with you when shopping used to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of.
Taylor Guitars come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it’s important to find one that is comfortable for you to play. If you are a smaller person, you may want to consider a Taylor Guitar with a smaller body size. Conversely, if you have large hands, you may want to consider a Taylor Guitar with a larger body size.
Woods Used in Construction
There are different types of wood which offer unique tonal characteristics. The most common woods used in the construction of acoustic guitars are Sitka spruce, mahogany, and rosewood.
Solid vs. Laminate
The major difference between solid and laminate wood is that solid wood is a single piece of wood, while laminate wood is made up of multiple layers of wood. Solid wood is considered to be better quality than laminate because it is more durable and produces a richer sound.
The top of the guitar is the most important part when it comes to determining the sound quality. The type of wood used for the top, as well as the thickness of the top, will have a major impact on the sound of the guitar.
Back and Sides
The back and sides of the guitar also play a role in determining the sound quality. The type of wood used for the back and sides will affect the overall tone of the guitar.
The bracing of the guitar is what gives the instrument its strength. The type of bracing used will also affect the sound of the guitar.
When choosing a guitar, it is important to find one that is comfortable for you to play. The size of the guitar, as well as the shape of the neck, will impact the playability of the instrument.
Last, but definitely not least, is the tone of the guitar. The type of wood used, the construction of the guitar, and the way it is played will all impact the tone of the instrument.
Choosing the best Taylor guitars comes down to personal preference. Consider what type of music you play, your budget, and your preferred body style when making your decision.
Best Taylor Acoustic Guitar Reviews Criteria
For our Taylor acoustic guitar reviews, I factored in quality, price (bang for the buck), body style, woods used in construction, solid vs. laminate (tops, back and sides), bracing, playability, and tone.
Luckily I have had quite a few Taylors over my time playing so had several models handy to test. For the 814, I was able to borrow it from a fellow player from our church band. The GS Mini I had previously tested during our best travel acoustic guitars post.
I did not include any custom built Taylor guitars, all are stock models with the most expensive Taylor guitar tested being the 814 and the most affordable Taylor acoustic guitar being the Taylor Baby.
Best Taylor Guitar For All Skill Levels and Budgets
There’s no such thing as a perfect guitar – only the one that perfect for you. With that in mind, the best Taylor guitar is the one that fits your budget and skill level while also providing the features and tone you desire.
Without further ado, here are my top picks from the Taylor guitar lineup.
Taylor 814ce – Best Taylor Guitar Overall
Taylor 800 Series 814ce-Grand Auditorium Acoustic-Electric
Best Taylor Guitar Overall
Kicking off our Taylor guitars reviews is our top pick, the Taylor 814ce. It was the most expensive Taylor guitar I tested and after playing it I can see why. It is so responsive to your touch, whether you are playing gently or with a lot of force. The sound is clear and well-balanced across all frequencies.
The woods used in construction are top-notch with a Sitka spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides. The bracing on this guitar is Taylor’s forward shifted pattern which helps to give the 814ce it’s expressive and powerful sound.
The playability of the 814ce is excellent with a comfortable neck that is not too thick or too thin. The action was set perfectly from the factory and the guitar comes equipped with Taylor’s ES2 electronics system.
In my Taylor 814ce review I found it’s a great guitar for Blues and can play every blues lick. It’s a good, versatile guitar with good construction. The smooth-play enables you to play higher frets with the neck cutaway action. I’m a big fan of the smaller Grand Auditorium body shapes because they have great playability of the neck and are lighter to carry. I’m sure I’ll be one of Taylor’s loyal fans.
The Taylor 814ce is very popular on the market. Prices are reasonable because it was essentially a better “original” Taylor 800 model that had been upgraded. This instrument is great since it had been designed to be completely electric and acoustic. It has several upgrades which increase the mid-range and thickening the higher frequencies. The guitar is the best sounding Taylor guitar I tested during our Taylor acoustic guitar review.
It comes as either steel or nylon string, and it has a Sitka spruce top with Indian rosewood body. The guitar is a bit on the expensive side, but it pays off with quality sound. I would recommend this guitar to any experienced player.
Below is the best Taylor 814ce demo I could find. Although the Youtube audio does not do it justice, it should give you a good idea of the tone this guitar produces both acoustic and amped.
Taylor 414ce V-Class Grand Auditorium – Best All Rounder
Taylor Guitars 414ce-R V-Class Grand Auditorium Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Best All Rounder
Taylor’s 441ce was released in 2018 and is relatively recently released. It’s a versatile version for musicians who like experimenting with a variety of different styles and musical genres.
I put it as my pick for the best best all around guitar meaning it excels at about everything, from studio recording, to gigs and covers about any style from aggressive strumming to delicate fingerstyle. It does not have the subtle nuances of the 814ce (my pick for best sounding Taylor guitar), but for the price, you cannot beat it.
Its sound quality is the expected rich balance a perfect match for the 414ce.. There’s also no significant overall tone or predominant frequency – that’s a great advantage.
The combination of tonewood used in these particular models helps deliver wide, articulated, dynamic ranges. These models really increase the flexibility of 4144ce. The V class bracing really does help a lot with the sustain of the guitar when comparing to older 414 models.
This was the latest edition to my Taylor stable and I cannot say how impressed I am with this guitar. It plays and sounds great. The workmanship and finish are excellent. After playing a number of Taylors, I have come to the conclusion that they are all great guitars but this one is exceptional and well worth the price. If you are looking for a top quality guitar, I would highly recommend the 414ce V-Class.
The 414ce V-Class is one of the more expensive Taylor guitars but it’s worth every penny. It’s a beautiful guitar that sounds as good as it looks. The playability is outstanding and the tone is rich and full. If you have the budget for it, I would highly recommend this guitar.
Taylor American Dream AD17 – Best Taylor Dreadnought
Taylor American Dream AD17 Spruce/Ovangkol Natural w/AeroCase
Best Taylor Dreadnought for the Money
The Taylor American Dream AD17 offers an aesthetically simple acoustic with the familiar dreadnought body style. It features several features found at Taylor’s premium instruments but it is particularly attractive to those looking for guitars with no electronic components. The guitar is a perfect, perfect example of keeping things simple.
The American Dream is made of solid koa wood with a solid mahogany top. The guitar has a comfortable chamfered body with edges and an attractive look. The instrument projects well thanks to it’s attractive appearance and comfortable feel. The American Dream’s V-Class bracing offers incredible acoustic tone, and the cosmetics include a Taylor AeroCase that is durable and attractive while protecting your new purchase.
The American Dream series is named after the San Diego factory American Dream where Taylor and Listug started. Although you can find much more expensive Taylor dreadnought guitars, when factoring in price and tone, it is hard to beat the AD17 in terms of bang for the buck.
Full disclaimer, I have never been a huge fan of Taylor’s dreadnoughts and always grab for my Martins.
Taylor 614ce – Best for Live Performances
Taylor 614ce Grand Auditorium Sitka Spruce & Maple
Best for Live Performances
The 614ce is one of the most popular guitars in Taylor’s lineup. It’s a versatile guitar that can be used for a wide range of genres and styles. The 614ce is a great choice for live performances thanks to its loud and clear tone. The guitar has a Sitka spruce top and maple sides and back. The maple body provides a bright and articulate sound.
The guitar also has Taylor’s Expression System 2 electronics which are great for amplifying the guitar’s natural sound. The guitar is very well-built and has a great finish. It’s a bit on the expensive side but it’s worth the money if you’re looking for a high-quality guitar.
It plays great with other instruments and really projects well. The tone is clear and articulate with plenty of volume. If you’re looking for a guitar that’s great for live performances, the 614ce is a great choice.
I can’t think of any improvement in playability. The action is the most comfortable Taylor model in general without the pricey price. This scale is trimmed to 4-6 inches. I initially was afraid, as it was my favorite style. Is it possible to make something better than it did before a problem was identified or fixed? Nevertheless the shorter scale length helps in bending the tone more rapidly and shifting barres chords. I have taught barre chords many times in my years teaching guitar.
Taylor 514ce – Best Taylor Fingerstyle Guitar
Taylor 514ce Grand Auditorium Western Red Cedar/Tropical Mahogany
Best Taylor Finger-style Guitar
This is go to fingerstyle in my Taylor stable. The 514ce is a great sounding guitar that’s built for fingerstyle playing. The guitar has a Western Red Cedar top and Mahogany sides and back making it the best fingerstyle guitar in Taylor’s lineup.
The mahogany body provides a warm and full sound while the cedar top provides amazing responsiveness to touch. The 514ce also has Taylor’s Expression System 2 electronics which are great for amplifying the guitar’s natural sound.
Again, features the V-calss bracing system which works really well with the cedar top. It responds well to a light touch and is really articulate. The guitar has a great finish and is built very well. It is not only one of the best sounding Taylor fingerstyle guitars, it is one of the best sounding fingerstyle guitars period.
If you’re looking for a great sounding fingerstyle guitar, the 514ce is a great choice. One of the best Taylor acoustic electric guitar in their lineup.
Taylor 214ce – Best Taylor Guitar Under $1000
Taylor 214ce Grand Auditorium Sitka/Rosewood
Best Taylor Guitar Under $1000
If you are a bit of the budget, this is is the Taylor for you if you are looking for the best Taylor guitar under $1000. The 214ce has a Sitka spruce top and layered Rosewood back and sides. I believe if you can find a used 214ce prior to ’07 that is not a cutaway, they still used solid wood for the sides and back. Reverb is probably your best bet for searching for one.
The guitar also has Taylor’s Expression System 2 electronics which are great for amplifying the guitar’s natural sound. The 214ce is a great sounding guitar that’s built for live performances.
Playability is great and the guitar has a comfortable V-shaped body that’s easy to play. The guitar also has a Venetian cutaway which gives you access to the upper frets.
The 214ce is a great choice for live performances thanks to its loud and clear tone. The guitar has a Sitka spruce top and mahogany sides and back. The Rosewood body provides a warm and full sound
You can upgrade to the 214ce Plus. The main difference is the finish as the standard version features a matte finish. With the Plus upgrade, it comes with a high gloss finish. Worth it if you ask me but it will put you up a bit on your budget and you could no longer call it the best Taylor guitar for under $1000.
Taylor 214ce Deluxe – Best Mid Range Taylor Guitar
Taylor 214ce Deluxe Grand Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Best Mid Range Taylor Guitar
When looking at the best mid range Taylor guitar, the pickings were a bit thin. I usually consider mid-range as the best Taylor guitar under $1500. I did not own something that fit this description, so off to the local store I went.
What I found was the 214ce Deluxe. For a mid range Taylor, this was the best Taylor guitar for the money. It is similar to the regular 214ce but the deluxe adds some additional bling. Specifically, the 214ce Deluxe is the top-of-the-line model, and it comes with a deluxe hardshell case, diamond neck inlays, and a Pearloid soundhole rosette.
Outside of this model, I found it better to either save up a bit more to get into the $2000 price range for a huge upgrade or look on the used market like Reverb or eBay.
Outside of the additional bling, the playability, construction and tone matched that of the 214ce we tested earlier.
Taylor GS Mini – Best Budget Taylor Guitar
Taylor GS Mini-e Rosewood ES-B
Best Budget Taylor Guitar
When I started my Taylor guitars reviews, this was the first guitar that kicked it off. I was practicing some scales and chords one day, and I realized that were so many good Taylor guitars. Why not do a shootout to see which was the best Taylor acoustic guitars for different playing styles and skill levels.
Luckily, I had the chance to borrow a GS Mini from another player and was shocked at how well it played and the tone it produced for such a cheap Taylor guitar.
Taylor’s GS Mini guitar is a Grand Symphony Mini Cutaway in miniature form. The Taylor GS Mini is the ideal travel guitar for any musician who frequently travels with his or her instrument. It is unquestionably one of the best budget Taylor guitar for practice, learning guitar or travel.
It is made stronger and more affordable by using sapele laminate for the neck, backs, and sides. Solid Sitka spruce or mahogany are the two choices for the top timber. As a result, I didn’t get to test out the hog version of the guitar that I borrowed. Its ebony fretboard makes it simpler to read the frets than the rest of the guitar.
Stability and security are provided by the GS Mini’s X-bracing, arched back, and relief path. When the scale length is 23.5′′, it looks like a 3/4-size guitar, yet it has the full-sized guitar’s sound and playability. There are no cutaways to play high on the neck, but the body of the instrument echoes perfectly when it is played as a whole.
The guitar is the best budget Taylor guitar and is excellent for beginners, experienced players, and children. Small hands will have no problem getting around the neck, and the short scale length makes it easier to learn chords.
Despite its small size, the GS Mini has a big sound. It’s loud enough to be heard over a drum kit, and it projects well in a small room. You can play it unplugged or plug it into an amp, making it a versatile performer.
The Taylor GS Mini is one of the best Taylor guitar for the money. It’s well-built, sounds great, and is easy to play. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly Taylor guitar, look no further.
Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor – Best Taylor Travel Guitar
Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar, Mahogany Top
Best Taylor Travel Guitar
We recently did a review of the Best Travel Acoustic Guitars and the Taylor Baby was our top pick. Considering the price, it is also one of the best Taylor guitars for the money and is perfect for beginner guitar players and travelers alike.
Featuring an ebony fretboard and a Sepele back, this guitar stands out from the crowd. For a guitar that’s meant to be used by musicians, it’s heavier and longer than you’d anticipate for a travel guitar. This is an important consideration if you’re planning on taking the guitar on a long road trip. While traveling, I’ve left it in a hot car, as well as a cold lodge, yet it continues to work and is a durable little guy.
High-quality chrome plating on the hardware ensures long-term performance. An appealing tone and just a sliver of a lack in the bottom end give it a tone quality that’s hard to deny.
By far the best cheap Taylor guitar and the least expensive Taylor guitar I reviewed.
I hope you enjoyed my review of the best Taylor guitars. As you can see, there is a guitar for every player and budget. Whether you’re looking for a cheap Taylor guitar to travel with or the best sounding Taylor acoustic guitar money can buy, Taylor has you covered.
What’s your favorite Taylor guitar? Let us know in the comments below
Below are some additional questions that people have asked about Taylor guitars. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them.
What’s the difference between a Taylor guitar and a Martin guitar?
There are several differences between Taylor and Martin guitars. As a starting point, the design philosophy and tone are totally different between these two brands. We will cover all of the differences in a separate post.
What Are Taylor Guitar Models and Prices?
Taylor uses a unique numbering system for their guitar lineup. The first number represents the series, typically the higher the number, the higher the price. The last number represents the body type, below is a Taylor body type chart for reference.
0 = Dreadnought (e.g., 510ce)
2 = Grand Concert (e.g., 512ce)
4 = Grand Auditorium (e.g., 514ce)
6 = Grand Symphony (e.g., 516ce)
7 = Grand Pacific (e.g., Builder’s Edition 517e)
8 = Grand Orchestra (e.g., 518ce)
What Makes Taylor Guitars So Special?
So what makes a Taylor guitar so special? It all starts with the wood. All Taylor guitars are made with impeccable tonewoods, which are carefully sourced from around the world. This attention to detail ensures that each guitar has superb tone and resonance. In addition, Taylor uses state-of-the-art construction techniques to ensure that their guitars are built to last. Below are the highlights of way a guitarist should take a look at Taylor.
Super comfortable neck
Taylor Guitar produces instruments of exceptional comfort with comfortable neck lines. Taylor’s Guitar neck has straight and sturdy neck lines in comparison with other manufacturers. So they are very good in shape and do not warp from heat and moisture. Support remains in a Taylor guitar until 19 frets, another reason for their excellent longevity – despite the lack of any. It’s an excellent example of patented technology used on these products and a great reason why many people like them so much.
Like a fine wine, they only get better with age
Taylor guitars get more mature as they mature. Because Taylor uses a beautiful blend of quality tones and a delicate processing process the worst your guitar ever sound is the day that the guitar is purchased (if the owner is really good at it!). It’s important for Taylor’s fans, especially those on the very high-end, that they know that the more you play it, the better you sound.
They appeal to players
All those with the intention to have maximum benefit are here. Those Taylor guitars will be very good quality for you unless tuned to perfection, it will be very convenient for you to find them. Tone and overall playability is a major feature within Taylor’s manufacturing process. This guitar can be used for any skill level.
Taylor makes some of the best guitars for traveling with
The portability of any instrument you want to use should be an essential feature. Taylor Baby is among the most compact models available in the business today. Baby Taylors are perfect for camping and nights out when you have to travel or on a budget. We’ll look a bit further into Taylor’s Baby.
There’s a Taylor Guitar for Each and Every Style of Play
Whatever your preference for the style of play, you will find the Taylor to suit your game. Are chorus lines funky and lickable? These types can be customized according to various requirements.
They’re used by musicians all over the world
When you emulate a hero and you play similar instruments as best they can, then it’s ok to buy Taylors. The most famous musicians around the planet use Taylor guitar. Good business. We’re here!
How Are Taylor Acoustic Guitar Pickups and Electronics?
Taylor has developed its own electric guitar model which uses preamps and pickups from third-party manufacturers. It has consistently high-quality performances, adding flexibility to the instrumentation. Expression System 2 uses 3 adjustable pickups on guitars rather than the standard 1-3 piezo sensor. These work in partnership with Taylor preamps, and can be used as input for tone-shaping and voicing. A digital chromate-controlled tuner has a digital keyboard but is mainly suited to tone and volume controls for models such as the Academy Series.
What is the Taylor V-Class Bracing?
Bracing refers to the internal structure of acoustic guitars which has significant influences on the sounds they emit. Traditionally, steel strings were manufactured with square bracing. In 2018, Taylor released a new approach called V-class. Its V-shaped bending alters the way guitars vibrate thereby creating a more ordered rocking movement on both sides of the top. Taylor’s claim of improved sustain remains undisputed with the high register gaining particularly sweeter clarity and resonance.
Is Taylor the best guitar brand?
Taylor Acoustic Guitars are widely considered one of the finest sounding guitar models in the world. The Taylor company has a commitment to quality which is evident in every guitar they produce. Their guitars are popular among both beginner and experienced guitar players, and their wide range of products appeal to a variety of different styles and budgets.
As to if they are the best, that would come down to personal preference and playing style.
Where are Taylor guitars made?
El Cajon, California or Tecate, Mexico are the two locations where Taylor guitars are manufactured.
How much does a good acoustic guitar cost?
This depends greatly on what one considers a good acoustic and your skill level as a guitarists. Have a $5000 guitar in the hands of a new player will not sound much different than a $100 acoustic guitar. On the other hand, a seasoned player can make a $100 guitar sound amazing. So it really comes down to what you think a good guitar is and how much you are willing to spend.
Is the 710 Taylor’s Best Bluegrass guitar?
Out of all of the Taylor dreadnoughts i have played, my ’92 Taylor 710 was by far the best if you are looking to use a Taylor guitar for bluegrass. It was loud enough to be heard over the rest of the instruments and had a lot of low end response. The other Taylor dreadnoughts I have played lacked the low end response that is necessary for bluegrass.
I no longer own mine as I am mostly Martin’s for my dreads but you can often pick up a used 710 on Reverb or eBay for a cheap price.
What Are the Best Strings for My Taylor Acoustic Guitar?
What is the best sounding Taylor Guitar?
I lean towards Taylor Grand Auditorium body style and the best sounding Taylor guitar I tested was the 814ce.
What Is the Best All Around Taylor Guitar?
The 414ce is my pick for the best all around Taylor guitar when factoring in price. You get a lot of quality and tone for a lot less than a 700 or 800 series and the Grand Auditorium size is great for both strumming and fingerstyle.
Which Taylor guitar should i buy?
This one I cannot answer for you. It comes down to your preference, skill level and playing style. Get out there and try some out after reading our Taylor acoustic guitar reviews and see which suits your style the best.