If you are a fan of guitars, then you’ve probably heard of Taylor Guitars once or twice. You may even own a few yourself. If you are just now starting out as a student or enthusiast, then it is a name you will become familiar with in time. They are known for manufacturing some of the best acoustic guitars on the market and have been doing so for more than 40 years.
Taylor Guitars were founded back in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listung in California. There are definitely some guitar manufacturers that have been around for longer, but few of them have left such a noticeable impression on the Guitar market.
They are referred to as the #1 manufacturer of acoustic guitars in the country and are known for making the guitars used by famous musicians like Jason Mraz and Taylor Swift.
Bob Taylor, who is the mastermind behind the guitar designs, has pioneered some great innovations over the years. Most noticeably is his one-of-a-kind Grand Auditorium shaped guitar.
Taylor Guitars has also been using a patented neck design called the NT neck that is bolted to the body. It uses a single piece of wood up to fret number 19 to provide better support for the fretboard. This is different from the standard, which is to support the fretboard up to fret number 14.
Where other manufacturers have a noticeable difference between their high-end and cheaper guitars, Taylor doesn’t allow such a gap in quality. Their more affordable models still sound amazing and are still used by professional players throughout the country. They offer a lot of high-quality, smaller scale models that sound and look just like their full-scale counterpart.
Best Taylor Acoustic Guitars 2018 Reviews:
Over the years, Taylor has created a lot of excellent guitar models. Of the many they have produced, it is difficult to pick a single one as the best Taylor guitar. Here is a list of the top 5 Taylor guitars being sold today.
#1 Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar – Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar
Beauty, sophistication, and simplicity are all words that could be used to describe this Baby Taylor acoustic guitar. It features a 3/4th scale cutaway dreadnought body type with solid mahogany sides as well as back. There is a standard Baby Taylor X-bracing finish with a matte 2.0 finish. This Baby Taylor guitar weighs in at 8.1 pounds.
There is no denying that it looks amazing, but how does it play? Surprisingly, it plays even better than it looks. It is a great guitar for use every day and the small size makes it easy to pack and carry around when you are outdoors. Looking for a guitar to take with you on a hiking and camping trip? This is a great selection.
It is undoubtedly one of the best Taylor acoustic guitars there is, especially in its size range. Often times, you have to sacrifice the quality of sound for the size, but not the case with this guitar. It works great for adults as well as children learning to play the guitar. Here is a list of pros and cons for this particular model.
#2 Taylor Guitars Big Baby Taylor
There is a fine line between a Baby Taylor and a full-size guitar and the Big Baby Taylor is sitting right on that line. It is larger than a Baby Taylor, but not quite as large as a full-scale. It is a 15/16 scale in dreadnought style. The top is completely solid spruce with the back side laminated with Sapele. This guitar weighs a total of 11.2 pounds and the body length is 19.5 inches.
It is no secret that Taylor produces some great guitars, but this could easily be considered one of the best Taylor guitars. It is in the “affordable” price range but sounds like a high-end guitar that would take a year’s worth of savings to purchase. At the same time, it is slightly lighter and much more comfortable than those more expensive, full-size models.
The Big Baby guitar is a pleasant combination of natural beauty and natural sounds. It can easily compete with any full-size, high-end guitar and would likely win. It has great sounds, great tones, and a great appearance. Here are some pros and cons for this model.
#3 Taylor Guitars GS Mini Reduced Scale Grand Symphony Acoustic Guitar – Travel Guitar
The GS Mini is beautifully crafted with Sitka spruce on the top and Sapele laminate on the back and sides. The laminate is very durable and can withstand some environmental factors that may damage other guitars. The “Mini” in the name refers to the fact that it is a scaled down version of their Grand Symphony model.
As with other scaled guitars from Taylor, they have somehow managed to reduce the size without harming the sound. How they manage this when so many other guitar manufacturers fail, we may never know.
The GS Mini is designed to appeal to professional players, hobbyist, and those just learning the guitar. The GS body shape is clear and looks great. The guitar weighs only 11 pounds, which is slightly less than the Big Baby from Taylor, but still more than the Taylor Baby. In comparison, the Taylor Baby is 3/4th scale while the GS Mini is 7/8th scale.
The playability and intonation are similar to other Taylor models thanks to the signature NT neck design. Overall, it is a great model from Taylor that captures the performance capability and design of the Grand Symphony but manages to compress to a smaller size. Here are a few pros and cons for the GS Mini.
#4 Taylor GS Mini Mahogany-L GS Mini Acoustic Guitar – classical guitar
The Grand Symphony guitar from Taylor is one of the most revered acoustic guitars on the market. The Grand Symphony Mini somehow manages to deliver sound, tone, shape, and quality almost on par with the full-scale Grand Symphony, but in a smaller size and with a much smaller price tag. And even though the GS Mini is only 7/8th scale, it still doesn’t look small. It feels smaller when you are carrying it, weighing only 11 pounds, but visually it looks like a full-scale guitar.
The 7/8th scale doesn’t put any noticeable limitations on tone or sound. Taylor claims that it sounds just like a full-scale and they are exactly right. That should come as no surprise considering Taylor has manufactured plenty of small-scale, full-sound guitar models in the past. The Taylor Baby and Big Baby are two examples, but the GS Mini really outplays both of them.
The solid mahogany top really delivers a classy appearance. Overall, it is one of the best looking and best sounding guitars available in its price range. Of course, no guitar is perfect. Here are the pros and cons of the mahogany GS Mini from Taylor.
#5 Taylor Guitars 414ce Grand Auditorium Acoustic Electric Guitar
When someone mentions a “high-end guitar”, the 414ce Grand Auditorium from Taylor is probably what they are talking about. It looks amazing, it feels amazing, it’s made from high-quality materials, and it sounds better than the majority of other acoustic electric guitars being sold today. Most consider this to be the best Taylor guitar for strumming there is and it’s easy to see why.
It features a solid Sitka spruce top. If you have used the GS Mini, Big Baby, or any other Taylor model with the solid Sitka spruce top, then you already appreciate the beautiful, natural appearance. However, it differs from those models in that it has solid ovangkol sides and back, where they had only laminate. The ovangkol has a noticeable impact on the tone. It has been compared to Indian rosewood on many occasions.
It utilizes the classical Grand Auditorium shape. This shape was the first to be designed completely from the ground-up by Bob Taylor. The depth and width of the shape are the same as the classical Dreadnought, but the waist is much more narrow. This gives it a slightly smaller appearance and provides some improvement in the form of treble “zing” to many notes.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Taylor Acoustic Guitar
Choosing the best is no easy task. And it is true that the best for one person might not be the best for another. There are some standard concerns that you expect to be high-quality no matter guitar you choose such as tone, sound, and playability. On the other hand, there are some factors that will be judged differently by different people such as size, budget, and shape.
Having played a particular model certainly makes it easier to make an informed decision. Then you will know exactly how it sounds according to the way you play. If you prefer to pick or if you like to strum, either way, the same guitar may sound different. If you can’t play it yourself, then you’ll have to search through online reviews to see what others are saying. Luckily, all Taylor guitars have plenty of online reviews to support them.
Size is a big factor and it is often linked to price. The more compact models from Taylor are often the more affordable. Choosing a more compact model has its advantages other than price. They are easier to carry and more comfortable to play. If budget is a big concern, then choosing a more compact model may be your best bet. Otherwise, if you are trying to become a famous musician, then a full-size like the 414ce will work best.
Big Sounds For Low Prices: A Big Baby Taylor Guitar Review
The acoustic guitar is one of the world’s most versatile instruments. If you’re already a seasoned acoustic player, then the quality and craftsmanship embodied in the Taylor trademark need no introduction. Beginner guitarists might be put off by the steep prices commanded by many of Taylor’s models, though. Hopefully, this in-depth Big Baby Taylor guitar review will show you that you can get your hands on that legendary Taylor quality for less than you think!
When Taylor first offered the pint-sized Baby guitar in 1996, they had a surprise hit on their hands. Turns out, players were eager to get their hands on a cheaper instrument with the legendary Taylor Guitar quality. The petite size of the Baby was no object. So now Taylor offers the Big Baby, a nearly-full-size Dreadnaught-style guitar with nearly perfect sound. It’s affordably priced and beautifully crafted, making this Baby Taylor review – like most you’ll find online – a solid endorsement.
2. The Taylor Story
Master guitar maker Bob Taylor was one of the three men who took over the American Dream guitar shop in 1974. The company was renamed in his honor and started selling guitars nationwide in 1976. Today Taylor guitars are famous all over the world for their high quality materials, superb craftsmanship, and rich acoustic sound.
Knowing that many skilled players were put off by the four figure price tags that often come attached to brand-new Taylors, in 1996 the company introduced the Baby, a three-quarter-scale touring guitar. Made with all of Taylor’s famed craftsmanship, these new guitars used carefully-chosen materials and simple designs to keep costs down without compromising the quality of the instrument.
3. The Big Baby Advantage
As popular as the Baby proved to be, there are simply certain limitations of the travel size that can’t be overcome. The Baby came with a 22.75 inch scale which some players found cramped. Also, the full voice of the guitar was inevitably more modest than those of its full-sized cousins in the Taylor line.
This should tell you everything you need to know about the inspiration behind the development of the Big Baby Taylor. The same simple construction techniques were scaled up to produce a modest but brilliant acoustic that’s very close to a full-sized dreadnaught style guitar. The Big Baby is officially a 15/16ths scale model, although some Big Baby guitar reviews have noted that the guitar’s body is, proportionally speaking, slightly shallower than a proper dreadnaught.
What’s really important is that the Big Baby gives you a much richer, stronger sound than its smaller predecessor. With a full-sized 25.5 inch scale, it’s also easier to play if you’re used to a full size guitar. Best of all, increasing the size hasn’t driven the price up much, and you should be able to find a Big Baby Taylor for $100 to $200 more than an ordinary baby.
One of the most famous techniques used in the Taylor factories (which are located in California and Mexico) is the “New Technology” or NT bolt-on neck. The joinery used on the Big Baby isn’t quite as painstaking as that on Taylor’s pricier models, but the influence of the NT system is clear in the elegant and reliable work you’ll find here. Most good Big Baby Taylor guitar reviews agree on the excellent craftsmanship shown on the model’s neck.
The neck is socketed with great precision to forge the strongest possible connection. This leads to an extremely durable neck. It also has a minimal heel, a feature that many players find quite comfortable. The neck is made primarily of mahogany and with a top of solid Sitka Spruce. The body is composed of layered Sapele and Poplar – the key feature used to keep the guitar’s cost down.
5. Simplicity Is Not Cheapness
Examine the Big Baby closely and you won’t see very many frills. The bracing is minimal, with the back going without braces at all, and the interior of the guitar is unlined. Instead of the premium Tusq tuning hardware you might expect to find on a Taylor guitar, here you’ll see generic equipment. The guitar’s mat-satin finish is smooth and deceptively thin.
It’s important to note that the results of Taylor’s cost-saving measures throughout the Big Baby design are simplicity, not shoddiness. No one is ever going to mistake a Big Baby for a top-of-the-line limited-series Taylor guitar. The shape and finish have intentionally been left plain. No corners were cut when it comes to craftsmanship, though! With a Big Baby you’ll have a guitar that produces rich, full-bodied sound year after year after year.
6. Buying A Big Baby Taylor – Baby Taylor Guitar Price
If you get to play with a Big Baby in person, hopefully you’ll agree with the above assessment that the guitar makers made smart choices in order to keep the instrument’s cost as low as possible. The result is a fine guitar that retails for under $600. If you buy a new Big Baby Taylor, it should come with a branded gig bag and coated steel strings.
Although this is already a terrific price, it’s really not hard to do even better if you’re willing to dig a little bit. You can often find brand new Big Babies for sale at considerably lower prices at your local music stores. Buying a used model is also a very smart choice, as the legendary Taylor craftsmanship holds up very well all but the roughest playing. As with any used guitar, make sure you carefully inspect a Big Baby and try it out before buying.
If you intend to wire your Big Baby up for amplified playing, note that Taylor manufactures a version specifically designed for electronic enhancement. The Big Baby Taylor-e features the same ES-B piezo pickup mounted on the smaller Baby, which is a simplified version of the company’s premium Expression System 2 pickup. Buying a Big Baby with a pickup will generally add about $100 to the price, but it’s definitely worth it if you prefer playing with an amp.
Maintaining Your Taylor Electric Guitar
Taking proper care of your Taylor Guitar is extremely important. Whether it’s a more affordable model or one of the most expensive models, it’s still an investment you want to last a lifetime. With proper care and maintenance, that is entirely possible.
Controlling the humidity of the guitar will improve its health and longevity. A guitar with too much or too little humidity will start to show signs of wear and tear that will affect its sound in only a short period of time. Keep the guitar in a hard case when possible and in an area with controlled humidity. The trunk is never a good option.
You could also purchase a specialized device for controlling the humidity inside the guitar. Some of these devices work really well and others will affect the sound, so make sure you do your research before making any purchases.
Proper care also means cleaning the guitar on a regular basis. Anytime you play the guitar you should clean it before storing it properly. Investing in a small guitar cleaning kit is cheap and could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. You could even use a toothbrush and washcloth, but the real-deal kit is always the best option.
In Conclusion To
All in all, there’s very little to find fault with when you pick up a Big Baby Taylor, and it’s easy to see why most Big Baby Taylor guitar reviews are packed with admiration. Taylor set out with a clear purpose here: To replicate the simple, economical construction of their hit Baby guitar on a larger scale. Virtually anyone who knows their instruments would agree that Taylor knocked this one out of the park, and a Big Baby Taylor is an outstanding investment for any fan of the acoustic guitar.
If you’re an absolute newcomer to the world of acoustics, you might want to hold off on buying a brand-new Big Baby Taylor. It’s a rather pricey purchase if you’re not sure that the instrument is right for you. If you’re already a believer in the quality of Taylor guitars, though – or you find a good deal on a gently-used Big Baby – don’t hesitate to pick it up!
Few guitars can stand up to the sound and style of the 414ce Grand Auditorium. However, if it’s not in your budget, then settling for one of the smaller Baby, Big Baby, or GS Mini models is a great second choice. They all sound amazing despite their compact size and they are easy to carry around as you travel. Whatever guitar you buy, make sure you take care of it and clean it often. It’s easy to put off caring for your guitar, but you’ll be glad you did when it still sounds as good as it does today 20 years from now.