Taylor Guitars is one of the most successful and well-respected guitar companies globally.
Founded in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug, Taylor has always been committed to creating the best possible guitars. This focus has helped them become one of the top brands in the industry.
I have been playing acoustic guitars for 25 years and am very much involved in examining different models over time. I wanted to carve out the best Taylor acoustic guitar option as they are an excellent option for those of all skill levels.
I’ve found an array of guitars that suit all ages, ability levels, and budgets from the giant Taylor brand.
We all need some advice and guidance when shopping for our guitar brands and models. So I am only too glad to share what I have discovered through my own experiences.
Below are seven worthwhile Taylor Acoustic Guitars that should be considered, whatever your guitar situation.
One thing is for sure, Taylor guitars hold something very special.
I’ve based my results on:
- Skill Level
- Best Bang For Buck
The Best Taylor Guitar for me was the Taylor Guitars 214CE-DLX Deluxe Grand Auditorium.
For many reasons, the 214CE-DLX is my favorite bang for buck guitar.
Firstly, the Grand Auditorium with a Venetian Cutaway is a very comfortable body shape for all players and skill levels.
Second, the guitar has a layered Rosewood Body and a Solid Sitka spruce top. This ensures the player will get great tone and projection.
Thirdly, Taylor’s Expression 2 Electronics are unique and are wired to bring out the guitar’s superb dynamic sound.
Finally, the pictures don’t do the guitar justice. Not only is it reliable, unique and a friend for life. Its also very beautiful. A real treat for acoustic guitar lovers.
The Best 7 Taylor Acoustic Instruments: At A Glance
Best Taylor Guitars For All Playing Style s
Best For Travellers
Best Budget Guitar
Most Popular Choice
Reliable Live Performer
Best All Rounder Acoustic
Best Bang For Buck 12-String
Premium Electric 12-String
Big Baby Taylor For Younger Guitar Players Or The Travelling Musician
Pros: Comes With Padded Gig Bag, Perfect Starter Guitar, Extremely Comfortable, Perfect Size To Take Everywhere, Low Priced
Cons: Not Built To The Same Standards As the Rest Of The Guitars On Show
The Baby Taylor BTe-Koa Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar is the perfect guitar for those looking for a high-quality, professional-grade instrument that is still small enough to be comfortable and easy to play.
This guitar features a 3/4-size dreadnought body made of layered Hawaiian koa, a Sitka spruce top, X bracing, and an ebony bridge.
It also has an onboard electronics system with a copafera headstock overlay, white nubone nut, and micarta saddle.
The Baby Taylor BTe-Koa Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar also comes with a gig bag so you can take it with you wherever you go.
This guitar is perfect for players of all levels, from children and beginners to seasoned professionals. Its main selling point for me is that it’s extremely comfortable to play.
This instrument was designed with the traveling musician in mind. Its Koa body ensures that you’ll get clear sound whether you’re playing unplugged or amplified.
A perfect addition to any guitar collection. It’s also a great gift for anyone who loves to play acoustic guitar.
Best Budget Deal-An Absolute Powerhouse
Pros: Great Build, Very Enjoyable To Play, Perfect Starter Instrument, Child Friendly, Ample Tones, Fantastic Bang For Buck
Cons: A Touch Quiet To My Liking
The Taylor GS Mini Mahogany Top Acoustic Guitar is another low-priced option for acoustic players of all skill levels.
The guitar features a Solid Sitka spruce top for superior tone and projection. At the same time, the mahogany body provides exceptional warmth and resonance.
The guitar also boasts an immaculate build quality and setup, making it ideal for live performances and studio recording.
It’s far from a gimmicky toy, unlike others within this price range around the marketplace.
Looking for a guitar that’s both travel-sized and versatile? Look no further
The Taylor GS Mini has a beautiful mahogany neck and is ideal for beginners and seasoned professionals alike.
This guitar is incredibly comfortable to play with the smaller body size and produces a rich, full sound.
The mahogany top provides exceptional tonal quality, while Taylor’s signature tight low end gives plenty of space to a growl out some deeper end.
The mids are perfectly balanced, and the silky highs are pure Taylor fidelity. You wouldn’t expect anything less from Taylor.
Whether you’re strumming around the campfire or playing on stage, the Mahogany Top Acoustic is sure to impress your onlookers. A truly versatile guitar in many ways.
The GS mini Taylor is perfect for those who want big sound without sacrificing portability.
With its Grand Symphony body shape and longer scale length, this guitar projects a full, rich tone that is perfect for any style of music. And with its smaller size, it’s extremely easy to transport, making it the perfect choice for players on the go.
Don’t let its small size fool you – this guitar is a little powerhouse. Lots of pluses for this little ax!
One of Taylors Best Selling Guitars
Pros: Friendly Price, Clear Bright Taylor Tone,Taylor Guitar Expression System 2 Electronics,Value For Money, Popular Dreadnought Guitar Shape
Cons: Price May Put Some Buyers Off (But It’s A Taylor!)
The first of our mid-priced acoustic guitar section is the popular and reliable Taylor 110e Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric guitar.
Sitka spruce covers the top and enables you to get a clearer, brighter tone than less expensive wood tops.
Taylor Guitars has designed the solid top to resonate freely and produce a high-quality rich sound.
The nut width is a little narrower than the standard at 1.68″. This is a great feature for players who want to get hold of bar chords and open chords without the difficulty of having to battle against a wider, flatter fretboard radius.
The onboard electrics are pretty impressive; it’s fitted with the Taylor Guitars expression system 2. The Expression 2’s are used on the higher grade of Taylor acoustics. This is a very nice addition.
As the pickups are situated below the saddle, you’re given a much more natural organic tone. This is compared to the standard acoustic pickup destination (under the saddle).
This guitar is a dreadnought style, the most popular acoustic guitar model. Dreadnoughts suit the strumming or fingerpicking player among us best.
The Taylor 110e is reliable and contains features you’d find on better Taylor guitars. You’ll do well to find better value for money at this low price.
Reliable Live Performer
Pros: Signature Taylor Warm Tones, Perfect For Strummers, Unique New Bracing For Stability, Suitable For The Live Performer
Cons: A Slight Ridge Where The Neck Joins The Fingerboard
Do you want a guitar that feels like an old friend from the first time you pick it up? The Taylor 214CE-K will make you feel right at home.
Koa wood gives this guitar a warm, earthy tone that’s perfect for strumming around the campfire or playing your favorite tunes at a coffeehouse. And with Taylor’s signature precision and attention to detail, you know every note will sound amazing.
The Taylor 214CE-K acoustic-electric guitar is the perfect choice for any musician looking for an instrument that can handle both live and studio performances.
Its satin neck finish is lush in your hands, while the profile is less slim than you might expect, making it super comfortable to play.
At first glance, the Taylor 214CE-K looks like your standard acoustic. But upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that this guitar is anything but ordinary.
The grand auditorium size is perfect for those who want the length and width of a dreadnought without the added bulk.
And the best part? This guitar comes ready to play straight out of the box – no adjustments necessary! Whether a beginner or a seasoned pro, it ticks many boxes in countless areas.
The TAYLOR 214CE-K is an acoustic-electric guitar that doesn’t sacrifice quality, craftsmanship, tone, playability, or overall performance.
It shows off an updated bracing scheme for added sonic horsepower and volume. Plus, it’s affordable without sacrificing any features!
Best Bang For Buck right here!
Editors Choice-Best All Rounder
Pros: Stunningly Beautiful Close Up, Easy To Play, Value For Money, Perfect Midrange Taylor Tone, Comfortable Grand Auditorium Body
I discovered the Taylor 214-CE Deluxe. It’s like the popular 200 series but added extras at an affordable price.
With a Sitka spruce top and a glossy finish, you’re given a good level of protection for live shows and dings around the house.
Forward shifted X Bracing enables a bigger volume and more prevalent bass to the mid-range Martin-GPC. This tone combination is the acoustic tone I go for when looking at guitars.
You won’t ever want to play anything else if you’ve played an acoustic with a satin neck. Smooth and enjoyable. Like silk in your hands.
The diamond inlays are stunning and something I love about Taylor’s outstanding finishing touches.
The tuning pegs are the basic chrome type, which (in my opinion) is a little disappointing (i prefer the Martin Butterbean).
The tortoiseshell pickguard design is Taylor’s creation and looks the part for sure.
An instrument every player should have once in their life. High-quality build, super easy adjustable onboard controls, and most importantly, extremely comfortable instrument to play.
The depth of richness and clarity rings true, so the Taylor 214CE-DLX Deluxe Grand Auditorium easily wins my vote every day of the week.
An absolute pleasure to play. It’s not flashy, not overpriced, and is a masterpiece at a cost you’d be surprised with.
Best Bang For Buck 12 String
Pros: Pristine Tone, Comfortable Venetian Cutaway Style, V-Class Bracing For High Quality Resonance, Custom Taylor Expression System 2 Electronics, Includes Hardshell Case
Cons: Maybe A Bit Small For Some Longer Limbed Players
Taylor guitars are exceptional. There’s no other word to describe them. Superbly made products from a large trustworthy brand. Whatever you spend on a Taylor, you’re going to get your money’s worth.
The Taylor 352ce has a stunning all gloss natural finish solid Sitka spruce top, Sapele back, sides, and neck.
The neck is made from tropical mahogany with an outrageously smooth west African fingerboard.
As you are going to spend so much time whizzing around the fingerboard, why not do it in complete comfort. The more comfortable you feel, the more you will practice; it’s that simple.
The guitar is a Grand Concert Body (15″ wide, 4.5 inches deep with a Venetian cutaway). This sized body is my favorite. It hugs your lower chest and fits my body better than any other style.
In the long run, will want to make you play it more and more. Don’t underestimate the powers of comfort.
The pickups are the Taylor Expression System 2 Electronics. These feature a patent behind the saddle pickup.
This TES2 includes repositioning three pickups in a location that gives the player a more dynamic overall acoustic sound. You won’t get this addition anywhere else in the acoustic market.
It’s a Taylor custom benefit which is outstanding if you’re serious about your guitar tone.
With a built-in equalizer, you can shape and sculpt the tone like you would an amplifier. It’s an individual characteristic you get from Taylor that makes them one of the leaders in this field.
The Taylor Expression System is worth reading up on; it’s a major benefit if you’re big on what sounds you can achieve and what your guitar is capable of.
With a smaller body, some may find that more comforting. With a V-class bracing installed, you’ll be given the best of a super-controlled acoustic voice and smooth, brighter tones. Crisp articulation and a standard above the rest.
The real deal! Pro standard 12-string guitar for a lot less than you think.
Premium Taylor Model-Hybrid Electric 12-String
Pros: Best Premium 12 String Hybrid, Jumbo Frets, Jumbo frets, Unique Hybrid Model,Premium Gold Hardware, Custom Taylor T5 Electronics, Extremely Versatile
The Hybrid Taylor T5z-12 is the only guitar I know that can reproduce acoustic and rocking electric tones via an amp.
Now you might be thinking, what of the traditional acoustic/electric guitars above. These are primarily acoustic guitars you can ‘plug’ into an amp or PA.
Still, an electric/acoustic will never sound like a mic’d up acoustic when plugged in. It’s the unfortunate truth.
The Taylor T5z-12 is a hybrid, meaning you’ll get an acoustic tone when plugged in. This is the only instrument I know that has the ability to do this.
A Sleek small-bodied instrument that reminds me of the Telecaster in body size. You’ve got an active soundboard and magnetic, acoustic body sensor. There is a concealed Humbucker and one visible at the bridge end.
This is all controlled by a 5-way switch that sits on the top edge of your guitar, just below your chest.
I’m a big fan of Jumbo Frets. You can really dig in and get some wonderful sustain and ample tone.
A feature that enables you to discover so many more tones which suit your situation. With one flick, you can revert from acoustic to electric. Getting the best of both worlds within seconds.
The ebony fretboard is an absolute treat; no other guitar in this section has such a quality feel. The Solid Koa top and Sapele neck wood make this a dream for any 12-string enthusiasts out there.
The tones are truly impressive. The T5z-12 can be the most versatile guitar you’ll ever own, with a wide range of breathtaking scintillating highs.
Dial into the custom preamp and easily find your unique tone via the 5-way switch and control knobs.
The Hollowbody gives a resonance no other guitar in this section can compete with. You’ll feel the vibrations flow through the F-holes, which in itself is an experience.
The six-string model of this guitar won Guitar of The Year in the first year it came out!
Suppose you’re looking for a real gift, a guitar for life. In that case, this beautifully outstanding hybrid guitar will last you a lifetime with many tones to discover, both electrically and acoustically.
The Taylor Classic T5z 12 is a cut above the rest. Simples!
Why Taylor Guitars?
Taylor Guitars are known for their high quality and craftsmanship. Their guitars are made with the best materials and undergo careful inspection to ensure they meet Taylor’s high standards.
As a result, Taylor Guitars are some of the most reliable and versatile guitars on the market. With a wide range of models to suit any player’s needs, Taylor Guitars is an excellent choice for any musician.
While they may be more expensive than some other brands, their quality is worth the investment.
When you purchase a Taylor Guitar, you can be confident that you’re getting a top-notch instrument that will provide years of enjoyment.
There are several reasons why Taylor guitars are so good:
- They use high-quality materials.
- Their team of experienced luthiers hand-craft each guitar with care and attention to detail.
- They commit to innovation, always looking for ways to improve their products.
As a result of these factors, Taylor guitars are some of the finest instruments available today. If you’re looking for a quality guitar, you can’t go much wrong with Taylor.
Buying Guide Essential Info
Comfort is an essential part of playing an instrument. If your guitar is not comfortable, you’ll have difficulty concentrating on what you need to achieve on the fretboard.
So go try a few guitars out and get a general idea of whether you prefer a concert/dreadnought/ 1/2 size 3/4 size or 12 String?
You’ll know when you find ‘the one!’ It’s a little like trying on a pair of gloves. It’ll just fit!
I think it’s crucial when buying an instrument to find out what you need it for.
A child, a beginner, an expert? If you spend below $100, you’ll probably end up buying a ‘toy.’
This hassle generally leads to people quitting early on. So please do yourself a favor and stay away from the ‘cheap guitars.’ They are usually only suitable for firewood.
If you want it to last, spend more. The higher quality of wood you’ll be getting, the longer the guitar will last.
Playing an instrument should be taken seriously if you’re going to do it properly.
One of the most necessary things in buying a new guitar is reliability. If your guitar is always going out of tune and strings are snapping, you won’t want to play it. Think about your playing scenario. Are you traveling to a tutor every week via bus? Get yourself a sturdy dreadnought. If you’re a bedroom player, get something light. If you play in clubs and bars, you’ll need an electro/acoustic. In the guitar world, you get what you pay for. Aim as high as you can if you want to take your playing seriously.
Many Taylor guitar models are designed with specific musical styles in mind. Some are built for strumming big open chords—some for beautiful fingerstyle and some primarily for studio or live performance.
Check out your favorite guitarist. Research their gear and setup.
This will give you a clear indication of what instrument you’ll require to gain that particular sound.
Pickups and amps have a lot to do with sound, but so does wood.
So I have the perfect article for you to read on guitar wood types and what to expect from each: https://authorityguitar.com/ultimate-acoustic-guitar-wood-guide/
Carefully Consider: Build/Tonewood
The quality of construction depends on the cost of the guitar and the manufacturer behind the build.
The tonewoods used in the assembly become better quality the more money you spend on the wood type.
Tonewoods all have their unique strengths and weaknesses.
There are two types of wood construction that you may need to take note of when considering both dreadnought and concert:
Laminated parts of a guitar are various layers of wood glued together. This type of construction is more affordable but doesn’t give the player the resonance and tone a solid wood body has to offer.
A laminate build gives the guitar a tougher physique. But what you make up for in lastability, you lose in a higher caliber of sound.
That’s not to say that laminate is not a good choice of soundboard material. It can stand up to various climates much better than a solid wood build.
A ‘solid’ wood guitar is made with single cuts of wood. Some solid woods (spruce) will improve over time, giving you a better vintage tone. When the wood dries out, the resonance then becomes even better.
In comparison, laminate wood does deteriorate over time (a long time!).
Solidly constructed guitars hold their price and may sound better.
One thing to remember is; if you run into trouble and require a repair to the body. Luthiers may find solid wood harder to work with. This will obviously cost you more if it takes them longer to fix.
What To Know About Taylor Acoustic Guitars?
Taylor acoustic guitar models are organized by Series, from 100 – to 900, along with our Presentation (PS) and Koa (K) Series.
The First digit (or letter) identifies the Series. Most guitar models within each Series share the same back and side woods and appointment package.
510 = 500 series model
The Second digit designates two things:
1. Whether the guitar is a 6-string or a 12-string
2. Whether the top features a softer tonewood like spruce or cedar, or a hardwood like solid mahogany or koa.
The middle number will be 1 or 2:
516ce = softwood (spruce) top
526ce = a hardwood (mahogany) top
The middle number will be 5 or 6:
556ce = a softwood (spruce) top
566ce = a hardwood (mahogany) top
The Third Digit
The third digit identifies the body shape according to this numbering system:
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)
Cutaway & Electronics
If a “c” comes after the number, it indicates a model with a cutaway. An “e” indicates a model with onboard electronics.
516ce = model with cutaway and electronics
510e = model with electronics, no cutaway
510 = model with no cutaway, no electronics
Taylor nylon-string models are integrated into the 200-800 Series. They are designated by the letter “N” at the end of the model name.
514ce-N = 500 Series nylon-string Grand Auditorium with a cutaway and electronics
Q: What Are The Most Important Aspects Of Each Different Model To Consider Before Buying The Best Taylor Acoustic Guitar?
Pay careful attention to your perception of each guitar’s overall sound, tone quality, fretting hand comfort, and playing ease. If it’s comfortable, It’s the right one for you.
Q: How Much Do They Cost?
Taylor guitars can range from anywhere between a Taylor ‘Baby’ at approx $400 – $10,000.
Taylor’s prices are often based on the quality of the materials used to make the instrument and the included features.
For example, supreme Taylor acoustic guitars usually have a better sound quality and construction. At the same time, cheaper models may be more limited in what they can do. Ultimately, the cost of an acoustic guitar is up to the individual buyer and what they are willing to pay.
I hope my article has given you plenty of insight into the world of Taylor Acoustic Guitars.
Good luck on your journey!