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Acoustic guitars that have the famed Taylor logo on the headstock are notorious for their premium build. For years, guitarists have sought these guitars out for their pristine tone and exquisite playability.
Many Taylor guitars can carry a hefty price tag. If you’re looking for a Taylor of your own, be sure to check these guitars out. There’s something here for every budget and type of player.
Taylor GS Mini Mahogany – Best Overall
In terms of sheer value per cost, the Taylor GS Mini Mahogany is unbeatable. This traditional non-cutaway acoustic guitar is sure to provide all of the sweet tones you’re looking for.
The GS Mini Mahogany features a top made of solid Mahogany, with the sides and back made of layered Sapele. The result is a guitar that produces an excellent resonant quality with a thick tone.
This resonant profile is heightened with the X-bracing and relief route architecture used in the body’s construction. A great natural acoustic tone is allowed to really shine through, no matter what you’re playing.
A 23.5” scale length neck made of Sapele is sure to feel comfortable in your hands. The shorter scale length is ideal for those with smaller hands, as the distance between frets is not too wide.
This guitar’s fretboard is made of West African Crelicam Ebony with a 15” radius. You’ll find a fully playable 20 frets with dot inlays on the fretboard. To match the fretboard, the bridge is also made of Ebony.
A varnish finish really accentuates the natural wood color of this guitar. However, this is not the only aesthetic feature of the GS Mini Mahogany. A 3-ring plastic rosette adorns the soundhole for an extra decorative touch.
Elsewhere on this guitar is a Tusq nut, a Micarta saddle, and die-cast chrome tuners.
The final cherry on top of this guitar’s package is the fact that it comes with a soft-shell case. You’ll be able to take this to gigs and rehearsals directly out of the box.
What Makes This Guitar So Great?
The GS Mini Mahogany is one of the best-selling guitars that Taylor makes, and for good reason. This model is extremely affordable for most intermediate guitarists looking for a high-quality acoustic solution.
Because of its price, and because its build quality is of Taylor craftsmanship, it’s one of the best values available. This guitar is built for the working musician that is budget-conscious but in need of a workhorse acoustic guitar.
Item Weight: 4.4 pounds
Package Dimensions: 42 x 18 x 8 inches
Taylor 414ce-R – Best Premium
If you have no budgetary concerns, the sky is really the limit when it comes to Taylor’s guitar line. One model, the 414ce-R in particular, deserves to be on your radar.
The 414ce-R’s body features a Sitka Spruce top, with Indian Rosewood used for the back and sides. Taylor’s V-class bracing is used in the body’s construction. This allows for more volume projection and articulation.
Tropical Mahogany is used in crafting the 25.5” scale length neck. The fretboard is made of West African Ebony, as is the bridge of the guitar.
20 frets are easily playable on this guitar due to its cutaway design. The 414ce-R features Taylor’s decorative Renaissance inlays on the fretboard.
This Taylor is a fine representation of Taylor’s traditional aesthetics. The gloss finish, as well as the color combinations between the Spruce and Mahogany, are a perfect blend. White binding, an ornate rosette, and the red tortoiseshell pickguard complete this guitar’s looks.
If you’re wishing to play live, this guitar is stocked and ready to go. It has an ES2 pickup and preamp which deliver pristine, natural tones without compression. Your natural acoustic tone will be preserved without question.
You’ll be able to easily change the guitar’s volume and tone controls with the built-in preamp. These controls are discreetly built into the shoulder-side of the guitar, near the neck joint.
The 414ce-R’s nut is made of black graphite, with the saddle made of Micarta. High-quality Nickel tuners with a 17:1 ratio are also provided on this guitar.
A hardshell case is provided with the purchase of the 414ce-R, making it ideal for the working professional. You likely won’t have any issues with this durable case.
What Makes This Guitar So Great?
When people think of Taylor guitars, it is models like these that come to mind. The 414ce-R has been instrumental in helping to define Taylor’s reputation over the years.
This guitar is extremely articulate in its tonal response to playing. All of your subtle playing dynamics will be more apparent than what would be heard on a lower-quality guitar.
Past owners of the 414ce-R are sworn fans of how well this guitar plays. Sure, its price tag might not be the most accommodating, but professionals will find a valuable tool with this guitar.
Item Weight: 25 pounds
Package Dimensions: 48 x 21 x 9 inches
Taylor BT1 (Baby Taylor) – Best Budget
If you’re a person that prefers guitars with extremely small bodies, be sure to check out the Taylor BT1. This guitar is perfect for children and those looking for a fun companion to play around with at home.
The BT1 is a 3/4-sized guitar, with a body consisting of a Sitka Spruce top and Walnut back and sides. Standard X-bracing architecture is used in the body’s construction, providing stability and tonal balance.
This guitar’s neck is made of Tropical Mahogany, and has a scale length of 22.75”. Children and those with smaller hands will feel right at home with the feel of this neck.
An Ebony fretboard with 19 frets is also featured on the BT1. Traditional dot inlays are provided for easy fret identification.
The BT1’s nut and saddle are both made from Tusq, which closely resembles the resonant qualities of bone. Die-cast chrome tuners are also installed on this guitar.
Aesthetically, this guitar has a very clean and simple look. A varnish finish accentuates the bright natural coloring of the BT1’s wood.
A padded gig bag is provided with the BT1, making this ideal for anyone who wishes to travel with a guitar.
What Makes This Guitar So Great?
The Taylor BT1 is a great guitar for those looking for a budget-priced Taylor. Whether you’re buying for a child or needing a travel companion, the BT1 is going to suit your needs.
The BT1 is also ideal for those who frequently travel by airplane. Its small size allows for easy stowing.
Hikers will also delight in this guitar. You’ll be able to easily trek your favorite trails with this guitar packed away on your shoulders.
Because this guitar is so inexpensive, you won’t have to worry so much about damaging the guitar. The BT1 is built to be a rugged instrument that can handle the rigors of a young player or traveler.
And really, its small size is unbeatable if you have a specific need for one. The BT1 is highly accommodating to small hands, without sacrificing playability.
Item Weight: 9.24 pounds
Package Dimensions: 37.4 x 15.75 x 7.48 inches
Taylor 224ce-K DLX – Best For Fingerpicking
If you’re a well-practiced fingerpicker, be sure to check out the Taylor 224ce-K DLX. This Koa-built guitar is going to serve you well, in both tone and playability. It’s also very easy on the eyes, adding a polished look to any polished playing style.
The 224ce-K DLX’s body consists of a Solid Hawaiian Koa top. The back and sides of the guitar are made of layered Koa. This guitar features a cutaway design, providing access all over the fretboard.
Taylor’s forward-shifted patterned bracing is used in the body’s construction. This gives the guitar’s body an extreme depth that rivals the openness of a dreadnought guitar. Playing response is extremely articulate and projects quite well.
Sapele is used in the neck’s construction and features a standard 25.5” scale length. You’ll get a 20-fretted fretboard made of West African Ebony with this guitar. This fretboard has an added touch with small diamond inlays made of Italian acrylic.
To match the fretboard, the 224ce-K DLX’s bridge is also made of Ebony. A Micarta saddle is affixed to the bridge, with a NuBone nut found on the headstock. Gold tuners match the guitar’s aesthetics and provide excellent tuning stability.
This Taylor model is equipped with ES2 electronics, providing accurate tonal amplification for live performances. Your fingerpicking will really shine with the combination of Koa and this pickup/preamp system.
You’ll be able to easily adjust your volume and tone parameters while playing electrically. The adjustment knobs are discreetly installed on the shoulder near the neck joint. You won’t have to worry about accidentally adjusting these knobs while playing.
What Makes This Guitar So Great?
The Taylor 224ce-K DLX is perfect for fingerpickers looking for a pristine, natural tone, with a hint of warmth. The Koa construction allows for more response and a very balanced tonal range. You can be sure that the guitar’s tone will age like a fine wine.
Aesthetically, the 224ce-K DLX is a beautiful guitar that really highlights its Koa-crafted materials. The lighter-colored Sapele neck is a nice touch that compliments the dark chocolate colors of the Koa.
You’ll find that Taylor has used a critical eye in the decorative details of this guitar. For instance, the 224ce-K DLX has an attractive black binding on the edges of the guitar. A rosette is also affixed around the soundhole, bringing a balanced look to the face of the 224ce-K DLX.
If you’re a seasoned professional, the 224ce-K DLX is a very worthy instrument to consider for your own collection. This versatile guitar is perfect for any player frequently utilizing delicate intricacies in their playing.
To top it all off, you’ll get a hardshell case with this guitar. This is always a definite added bonus, but at this price, it is to be expected.
Item Weight: 22 pounds
Package Dimensions: 52 x 18 x 8 inches
Taylor Academy 10e – Best For Beginners
If you’re a beginner looking for a high-quality guitar to learn with, don’t pass up the Taylor Academy 10e. This is a guitar that will serve you well into higher levels of play.
The Taylor Academy 10e has a Sitka Spruce top, with the back and sides made of Sapele. Tones coming from this guitar will be pronounced quite well due to its dreadnought body design.
A beveled contour is featured on the body of the guitar. This is designed to allow for a more comfortable playing experience with the picking hand.
This guitar has a slightly smaller scale length compared to the industry standard. The neck measures 24.8”, and is made of Hard Rock Maple.
The fretboard of the Academy 10e is made of Ebony, with a radius of 15”. This fretboard has 20 frets with dot inlays made of Italian acrylic.
To match the fretboard, the bridge is also made of Ebony. Attached to this bridge is a Micarta saddle.
The nut of the Academy 10e is made of NuBone. This is a synthetic material designed to replicate the qualities of bone, making it a perfect choice for vegan guitarists.
High-quality chrome tuners are also featured on the Academy 10e. These tuners provide stability and match the overall aesthetic of the guitar.
Speaking of aesthetics, this guitar has a very bright, clean, and simplistic look. A thin varnish finish is used to allow the natural wood colors to shine. Completing the guitar’s look is a rosette made of Baltic Birch.
You’ll be able to plug in and play electrically, thanks to the built-in Taylor ES-B electronics. The preamp allows you to adjust your volume and tone and also features a tuner.
Adding more value to this guitar’s package is a padded gig bag.
What Makes This Guitar So Great?
The Taylor Academy 10e is a guitar that does not skimp on quality features, despite being built for beginners. The contoured comfort bevel is a feature seen with Taylor’s upscale 800 series of guitars.
With this guitar, you’ll get more than a basic guitar for learning. You’ll have a worthwhile instrument that can carry you well into a career in performance. The built-in electronics are a great touch and produce a very warm, natural tone.
Perhaps the best thing about this guitar is the amount of value packed in, without costing a fortune. This ensures that anyone with the desire can have access to a Taylor guitar.
Any beginner who could be fortunate enough to learn with this guitar is going to have a blissful experience. Extremely high action and difficult playability is not going to be on the menu with this guitar. That’s saying a lot because these things are traditional pitfalls of beginner-grade instruments.
The Academy 10e also has a touch of durability built into its design. Having a Maple laminate neck means your guitar won’t have too many issues handling the rigors of a learning guitarist.
The added gig bag basically means you’ll be equipped with everything you need to get started as an aspiring professional. These gig bags are well-padded, so you won’t need to worry too much about cosmetic damages when in transit.
Again, the Taylor Academy 10e is a very worthwhile instrument for the beginner looking for a more luxurious experience. Its price may be double the cost of a traditional beginner guitar, but it is still affordable. You’ll also have a guitar that will serve you well into your career as a guitarist.
Item Weight: 8 pounds
Package Dimensions: 45 x 19 x 7.5 inches
Is A Taylor Guitar Worth The Money?
The question of whether a Taylor guitar is worth its price is always a major point of debate. Many people feel that a guitar of equal build quality can be had for much less money.
Usually, the biggest argument with this point of view is that you’re essentially paying for the name on the headstock. You’ve likely heard this argument with other products, whether it be other guitar companies or items such as food.
However, there is a reason why Taylor guitars are often revered in high regard with so many guitarists. The company has been extremely consistent in producing very high-quality guitars for many decades.
Their reputation is certainly one aspect that is factored into the price of these guitars. Anyone who buys a Taylor knows exactly the quality of guitar they’ll be getting.
So, are they worth their price? Just ask anyone who owns a Taylor, and they’ll undoubtedly tell you that they are.
Every person has their own preference for how their ideal guitar should feel and sound when playing. Because of this, it’s crucial that you try out some Taylor guitars to see if they meet your own criteria.
Doing so will allow you to formulate your own opinions without needing to rely on someone else’s opinions. At the end of the day, you’ll be the one playing the guitar, so make sure it suits your needs.
Do Taylor Guitars Hold Their Value?
Because of their high list price, people often wonder whether Taylor guitars hold their value. Some people even purchase these guitars as an investment, thinking they’ll be worth more in the future.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a Taylor as an investment tool, you might want to think again. Most guitars are really not worth purchasing in hopes that they’ll be worth 2-3x more than their list price.
The guitars that are worth the most in this regard tend to be very early models that are extremely rare. Take, for instance, the 1954 Fender Stratocaster. These models can fetch a 5-6 digit sum due to their rarity and their influential factor in guitar history.
However, Taylor guitars do seem to be pretty stable with regards to their resale value. Most used guitars do sell for less than the original list price. Used Taylor guitars seem to be relatively close to the original list, depending on the model and year.
This can be useful to know in the unfortunate event that you need to sell your guitar. You’re likely to fetch close to what you paid for it.
As for a return on your investment, it’s really too hard to tell. Hold onto it for 50-60 years and it might be a different story.
What Is The Most Popular Taylor Guitar?
As far as the overall line of Taylor guitars is concerned, the most popular has to be the 214ce. This guitar from the Grand Auditorium series has performed extremely well in the market over the years.
These guitars are known for their exceptional playability and ultra-balanced tonal ranges. We’re likely to see this trend continue into the future.
Another very popular series in the Taylor guitar catalog is the GS Mini series. These have also performed quite well in the market, largely in part due to their affordable price. They feature all of the traditional Taylor hallmarks but are more accessible to the everyday hobbyist.
Is A Taylor Guitar Better Than A Martin?
One of the biggest debate topics with high-end acoustic guitars concerns which is better, Taylor or Martin? Unfortunately, there is no real answer to this.
Both Taylor and Martin are known for their exceptional guitars. Each of these companies has had legions of guitarists endorse their instruments. With decades of well-earned reputation, it can be confusing as to which is the best.
Every guitarist has their own preferences and is going to be more inclined to a certain guitar. For that reason, it is essential that you perform the test yourself.
Taylor guitars tend to be a bit brighter in tone, while Martin guitars tend to be a little warmer. Each line of guitars will be somewhat equal in regard to its build quality.
What To Look For When Buying A Taylor Guitar?
If you’re dead set on buying a Taylor acoustic guitar, you’ll want to take a few things into consideration. Doing so will ensure that you purchase the right guitar to suit your needs.
One of the things you’ll need to consider with a Taylor is the overall build design of the guitar itself. Taylor offers both cutaway and non-cutaway style guitars. If you’re frequently playing solos in the upper ranges, you’ll want to consider a cutaway.
Similarly, many Taylor guitars do come equipped with electronics. However, there are some models that do not have any pickups. You’ll need to pay attention to the guitar’s spec list to see whether it is equipped or not.
Like any guitar, your budget is going to determine which Taylor guitar you’ll have access to. Taylor guitars are widely known to be very expensive, but you generally get what you pay for.
Fortunately, Taylor does have quite a few models that are pretty affordable for the average hobbyist. These will have excellent playability, though they won’t have the same materials and quality control seen on higher-end models.
For the most part, you should purchase for the level of skill you play at. If you’re not a performing professional, you won’t need to shell out a small fortune for a Taylor. If you’re a frequently performing professional in high demand, you might find value in the high-end models.
History of Taylor Guitars
Taylor was first established in 1974 by guitar builders Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug. They were very young in age when they opened up shop, but quickly gained a reputation amongst guitarists.
Today, Taylor guitars are some of the most sought-after instruments. They are world-renowned for their exquisite attention to detail and superb craftsmanship.
Best Taylor Guitars For The Money, Final Thoughts
As guitarists, we often pine after specific gear that might be just a bit outside of our price range. We’re all guilty of it, and Taylor guitars tend to be high on this list of desires.
Be sure to try out these guitars. You’ll find something worthwhile that is actually quite reasonably affordable. You likely won’t regret your decision, either.
Last Updated on March 3, 2022.
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