The Best Taylor Acoustic Guitars: The Ultimate Resource & Buyer’s Guide

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It can be hard to find the best Taylor acoustic guitar. To be fair, I haven’t played a Taylor guitar which hasn’t blown me away. However, with the many models, shapes, and wood combinations on the market, knowing which would best suit your needs is challenging.

This is especially true when guitar shops aren’t carrying the number of guitars they used to. And those that do keep them locked up, and getting help from someone to let you try out multiple guitars in one shopping experience can be challenging.

So choosing the right guitar has become a daunting process that takes hours of research, countless trips to guitar shops, reading reviews, and watching videos.

That’s why I created this article. To help you by giving my take on what new Taylor guitar models are worth considering based on different situations, needs, and budgets. This will save time for people who want concise lists, so they don’t get sucked into the gear lust rabbit hole or regret a purchase decision.

With this article, you’ll find the best Taylor guitar that fits your needs and budget perfectly.

Let’s get started!

The Short Answer

TL;DR for the Taylor acoustic guitar reviews.

The best Taylor acoustic guitar is the Taylor 814ce. This guitar is the “greatest hit” of what Taylor is known for. Amazing tone, easy playability, great construction, and great on stage and in the studio (check out full review).

If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, look no further than The Academy line-up.

However, if you’re looking for a “working persons” acoustic guitar, the American Dream series is about as good as you’ll get at that price point.

-Brad Johnson (Founder/Writer of Song Production Pros)

Best Overall: 814ce

Best Overall
Taylor 814ce
  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top & Indian Rosewood Back/Sides
  • Tropical Mahogany Neck with West African Ebony Fingerboard
  • 1.75" Nut Width, 25.5'' Scale Length, and 15'' Radius
  • Comes With Premium Hardshell Case
  • ES2 Electronics
  • Grand Auditorium Body Shape
  • Gloss Finish
  • Black Graphite Nut and Micarta Saddle
  • Has a Left-Handed Version

The Taylor 814ce is a top-notch acoustic guitar with everything that makes a Taylor so popular. It's got an innovative design, excellent playability, and is just plain beautiful.

The Sitka spruce top and Indian Rosewood back and sides give it a fantastic sound with a terrific treble and bass response that's perfect for any style of modern music.

  • It produces a beautiful tone with great bass and treble response
  • It has fantastic dynamics and sweet overtones that stays articulate
  • Beautifully constructed and hard to make sound bad
  • It may be too modern for some players
  • This guitar is a serious investment
Taylor 814ce
For Picks4.8
For Fingerstyle4
For Recording4.5
For Travel/Gigging3.8

Full Review:

The Taylor 814ce is an OG in the Taylor lineup and represents everything that makes a Taylor so popular.

Clear, articulate, modern sound…check.

Beautiful construction and appointments…check.

This photo shows the founder and writer of Song Production Pros playing a Taylor 814ce acoustic guitar. He is wearing a grey jacket and is in a guitar store.

Innovative design and wonderful playability…check.

The Taylor 814ce is a high-quality guitar with its Sitka spruce top and Indian Rosewood back and sides. This tonewood pairing gives the guitar great dynamic range while also having outstanding treble and bass response that is excellent for all styles of music and playing styles.

Read the Rest of the Review…

Because rosewood slightly scoops out the mid-range, this acoustic guitar is perfect for singer/songwriters to play on stage or sitting on the couch unplugged at home.

This guitar comes standard with the innovative V-Class bracing designed by CEO, President, and Chief Guitar Designer Andy Powers. This bracing produces a more dynamic guitar with more sustain and better intonation than other guitars in its price range. You’ll also hear every note detail with perfect precision and balance.

The popular Grand Auditorium body style is a classic Taylor design that enhances the most comfortable playing experience with the Venetian cutaway and beveled rosewood armrest. The cutaway allows easier access to the top frets without sacrificing sound quality or volume, while the armrest makes for a comfortable, no fatiguing playing experience for hours.

This guitar also comes equipped with Taylor’s patented NT Neck, a godsend for anyone who has ever had to reset their guitar’s neck. It detaches from the instrument, making any necessary adjustments painless and inexpensive.

The rich, dark tones of an ebony fretboard and tropical mahogany neck combined with this guitar’s 1 3/4″ nut width play like butter. While the modern and brighter tone may not be for everyone, you can’t deny a Taylor’s effortlessly smooth and playable neck.

The Taylor 814ce comes with Maple bindings, mother-of-pearl fingerboard inlay, and an abalone rosette. The full gloss finish on top of this guitar gives it an effortlessly classy look that’s perfect for someone who wants to stand out from the crowd without being too flashy or attention-seeking.

The Taylor Expression System 2 (ES2) pickup system comes standard with this guitar. The ES2 system gives guitar players the sound they’ve been looking for while playing amplified. Made from a 3-section proprietary technology that places the pickup behind the saddle, producing a vibrant and natural tone when plugged into a PA or amp.

Simply put, this guitar is a work of art and deserves to be treated as such. It also comes with a hardshell case for when you’re not playing it or traveling, so your investment lasts a lifetime.

Best Value for Money: Taylor Academy Series

Best Value for Money
Taylor Academy Series
  • Solid Spruce Top or Solid Walnut Top
  • Ebony Fingerboard & Maple Neck
  • 1.6875'' Nut Width, 24.875'' Scale Length, and 15'' Neck Radius
  • Comes With Gig Bag
  • Grand Concert or Dreadnought Body Shape
  • Beveled Armrest
  • ESB Electronics (Paid Upgrade)

The Taylor Academy Series is an excellent choice for guitar players looking for the best value without sacrificing quality or playability.

With its solid wood tops, ebony fingerboard, and ergonomic design elements, this guitar provides dynamic range and a clear tone, making it easy and fun to play.

  • Excellent dynamic range and clear tone
  • The armrest provides maximum comfort
  • It comes with a premium gig bag
  • Equipped with built-in tuner and ES-B Pickups (paid upgrade)
  • You'll be able to play tricky chords with ease
  • Get the rich, dynamic tones you've always wanted in a budget guitar
  • You have to pay extra for the electronic system, which makes this guitar pretty expensive
  • The lack of cutaway makes accessing the upper frets difficult
  • Shorter-scale may feel cramped for players with larger hands
Taylor Academy Series
For Picks4
For Fingerstyle4
For Recording4
For Travel/Gigging3.5

Full Review:

The Academy Series are the best Taylor guitars for the money. The Academy Series are for beginner/intermediate guitarists looking for the biggest bang for their buck without sacrificing tone or quality

This Academy series lineup of Taylor acoustic guitars has two options of body shapes from an elegant Grand Concert body and the dreadnought acoustic guitar shape. There’s also a nylon string version for those who want something more classical.

This is a photo of Brad Johnson, the writer and owner of Song Production Pros playing a Taylor Academy 12e. He is wearing a white sweatshirt and hat in a guitar shop room.

CEO, President, and head Luthier at Taylor, Andy Powers, created the Academy series for maximum playability and tone for little upfront cost.

The stripped-back style of this acoustic guitar is evident, but small design elements make these Taylor acoustic guitars stand out. There’s also a slope on the body’s edge to reduce arm fatigue while playing for long periods. There are also solid top wood options from:

  • Solid Sitka Spruce or Solid Walnut with the Academy 12 and Academy 10
  • Solid Lutz Spruce with the Academy 12 Nylon

Read the Rest of the Review…

The steel string acoustic guitars have a “slinky” feeling of the 24.8″ short scale length makes for a comfortable neck profile and something you won’t find with other guitars in this price range. It’s an excellent choice for players struggling with bar and cowboy chords because it takes less pressure to sound the notes.

While the nylon string Academy has a slightly larger nut width (1.875”) and scale length (25.5”) to accommodate fingerstyle players and the lighter tension of nylon strings.

The Academy Series isn’t constructed with all solid wood. All models utilize a layered Sapele back & sides that surprisingly gives it depth and resonance beyond other laminated guitars in this price range.

Another amazing feature of the Academy series is that each model uses Ebony wood for the fingerboard. One of the reasons why I love Taylor Acoustic Guitars is for the buttery feel. The Academy Series maintains this feel and it’s total wizardry on how they do it at this price point.

This leads me to one of the challenges of the Academy Series…they are made in Mexico. Is this a bad thing? No.

While these are manufactured in Tecate, Mexico, The craftsmanship and playability of these acoustic guitars are also of the same standard as other premium Taylor Guitars models made in the USA.

These acoustic guitars are perfect for any situation, whether you’re playing on stage or hanging out at home. If quality that won’t break the bank is desired, these excellent instruments won’t disappoint!

Best Budget Option: Big Baby Taylor

Best Budget Option
Big Baby Taylor
  • Solid Spruce Top or Solid Walnut Top
  • Layered Walnut Back & Sides
  • Ebony Fingerboard & Maple Neck
  • 1.6875'' Nut Width
  • 25.5'' Scale Length
  • Comes With a Gig Bag
  • Shrunken Dreadnought Body Shape
  • ESB Electronics (Paid Upgrade)
  • NuBone Nut & Micarta Saddle
  • Ebony Bridge

The Big Baby Taylor may not be a full-size guitar, but it still plays and sounds like one.

This is the best option for joining the Taylor Acoustic Guitar family with good quality construction and tone without breaking your budget. The optional ES-B electronics deliver a clean, clear, plugged-in tone, making it perfect for your next gig or recording session.

  • They come with a gig bag
  • Nice, cheery tones
  • It produces a premium sound with its solid topwood
  • Excellent construction
  • It may feel too small to players with larger hands
  • While it's a "budget" guitar by Taylor's standards, it's expensive compared to other brands
Big Baby Taylor
For Picks4
For Fingerstyle3.5
For Recording3.8
For Travel/Gigging4

Full Review:

The Big Baby Taylor series is the best Taylor acoustic guitars for someone who wants to buy into the brand but doesn’t want to spend a fortune (and it’s worth noting a favorite of Taylor Swift with her own signature model).

This is a photo of the founder and writer of Song Production Pros, Brad Johnson, testing out a Big Baby Taylor. This is the Solid Sitka Spruce top version. He is smiling and wearing a grey jacket and hat.

It has a nice, cheery tone that plays excellent with any skill level, and its affordable price makes it easy on both your wallet AND conscience!

This “shrunken dreadnought acoustic guitar design” is incredibly comfortable to play. It produces a premium response with either the solid Sitka spruce top or the solid Walnut top. The layered walnut back and sides create that rounded, balanced tone you rarely find in other budget guitars.

Read the Rest of the Review…

The optional ES-B electronics deliver a clean and clear plugged-in tone, so you can plug into an amp or PA system at your next gig without sacrificing tonal quality. It also includes a built-in tuner for quick and easy tweaking before performances.

Even though The Big Baby Taylor isn’t technically a full-size guitar, it still plays and sounds like one. This is the best option for joining the Taylor Acoustic Guitar family with good quality construction and tone without breaking your budget.

Best for Recording: 322ce

Best for Recording
Taylor 322ce
  • Solid Tropical Mahogany Top
  • Solid Tropical Mahogany Back & Sides
  • Ebony Fingerboard & Mahogany Neck
  • 1.75'' Nut Width
  • 24.875'' Scale Length
  • Comes With a Hardshell Case
  • Cutway or Non-Cutaway Design
  • ES-2 Electronics
  • It comes in a 12-Fret Option
  • Has a Left-Handed Option
  • Black Graphite Nut & Micarta Saddle
  • Grand Concert Body Shape
  • Ebony Bridge

The 322ce Grand Concert body shape is perfect for recording.

The shorter neck reduces fatigue during long sessions, and the all-solid mahogany top, back, and sides create a deep, warm tone that will make your recordings shine. The 12-Fret version further enhances the midrange and is a fantastic alternative if you primarily play with your fingers.

  • Shorter scale makes the strings easier to fret
  • Fantastic vintage look with strong midrange warmth
  • Mahogany produces a nice even tone, perfect for recording
  • Excellent construction
  • It comes with a premium hardshell case
  • Lacks sonic versatility
  • The neck may be too "chunky" for players with smaller hands
For Picks3
For Fingerstyle4.8
For Recording5
For Travel/Gigging3.5

Full Review:

If you’re a musician looking to spend hours recording takes in the studio, then there’s no better Taylor guitar than 322ce. Its shorter neck will make your session more enjoyable while reducing the fatigue that accompanies playing an instrument for long periods.

This is a photo of Brad Johnson, the writer and owner of Song Production Pros playing a Taylor 322ce. He is wearing a white sweatshirt and hat in a guitar shop room.

The Grand Concert body shape is a more intimate, articulate type of guitar that is perfect for recording purposes (it comes in both a cutaway and non-cutaway design). These shorter-scale models have less projection and top-end sparkle, but you will get a more focused sound. There’s also wonderful note separation and clarity in every note or chord.

Read the Rest of the Review…

The deep, warm tone created by the mahogany top, back, and sides will make your acoustic guitar recordings shine with richness and clarity. As a producer and sound engineer, I can safely say I love Mahogany for its natural compression and lack of overtones, making it an excellent choice for all recording artists.

There’s also a 12-Fret version of the 322 will further enhance the midrange and be a fantastic alternative option if you primarily play with your fingers. Plus, the non-cutaway version has a cool vintage look that isn’t typical of Taylor.

Now the 322 isn’t the most affordable Taylor guitar on this list, and it isn’t as versatile as, say, the Taylor 814ce; it’s a high-quality acoustic guitar that will treat you well if you’re looking for a guitar that you can point any mic at and have it sound great.

Check it out!

Best for Singer/Songwriters: 717ce Builder’s Edition

Best for Singer/Songwriters
717ce Builder's Edition
  • Solid Torrified Sitka Spruce Top
  • Indian Rosewood Back & Sides
  • Tropical Mahogany Compound Carve Neck
  • West African Ebony Fretboard
  • Round Shoulder Dreadnought
  • V-Class Bracing
  • 1.75'' Nut Width
  • 25.5'' Scale Length
  • 15'' Radius
  • Comes With a Hardshell Case
  • ES-2 Electronics
  • Has a Left-Handed Option
  • Black Graphite Nut & Micarta Saddle
  • Ebony Bridge

The 717ce Builder's Edition is a fantastic Taylor acoustic guitar for singer/songwriters who want a vintage sound with modern playability.

The rounded dreadnought shape captures the look and feel of old Americana, country, and folk music, while the torrified Sitka spruce top and Indian Rosewood back and sides create a warm, resonant tone.

  • Get the round, organic tone of old Americana, country, and folk music with modern playability
  • Capture the sound of your favorite songwriters of yesteryear
  • The guitar is designed for with modern playability in mind, while maintaining a vintage character so cherished by songwriters
  • It's expensive
  • For the price, you could buy a brand that specializes in a more vintage tone
717ce Builder's Edition
For Picks4.8
For Fingerstyle3.8
For Recording4
For Travel/Gigging4.5

Full Review:

The best Taylor acoustic guitars are known for their modern and articulate tone. However, this “pointy” tone isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Suppose you’ve been searching for a more organic, round, vintage-sounding acoustic guitar. In that case, you may be more drawn to Gibson or Martin.

However, with the Grand Pacific rounded dreadnought body style, Taylor has thrown their hat in the wring for a guitar inspired by past songwriters.

Andy Powers has said with the Grand Pacific line of guitars; he was trying to capture the sound of old Americana, country, and folk music into the guitar itself.

The 717ce Builder’s Edition is one model that utilizes this rounded dreadnought shape. I think it perfectly balances vintage warmth and the modern playability Taylor is known for.

Read the Rest of the Review…

First, the 717ce features a torrified Sitka spruce top which artificially ages the wood to make it more worn in, round in tone, and resonant. The Indian Rosewood back and sides help extend the low and high-end of the instrument while slightly scooping out the mid-range. This opens up a pocket for the singing voice to live without fighting the guitar’s tone.

The Builder’s Edition of the 717ce adds subtle design details that make playing this guitar an absolute dream. First, the binding, ebony bridge, and neck heal are rounded for enhanced playability. Also, the Builder’s Edition has a nice compound neck with a soft V where you play cowboy chords, and it flattens out as you get up the neck.

You can get the 717 with either the Expression System 2 pickup system or without (you’ll pay less). Still, for songwriters, I’d recommend investing a little more into the ES2 to easily plug into any PA to bring this beautiful sound to the stage.

The 717 is an expensive guitar, which may be what deters one from pulling the trigger on this fantastic acoustic. However, you can get a similar experience with the American Dream AD27. The AD27 is a more “stripped back” acoustic guitar that is around $1,000 less if you don’t need the extra bells and whistles of the Builder’s Edition guitars.

Suppose you’re looking for a Taylor guitar with everything you love about modern guitar design but a vintage sensibility to inspire your songwriting. In that case, the 717ce Builder’s Edition is the guitar for you.

Best for Flatpicking & Strumming: 618e

Best for Flatpicking & Strumming
Taylor 618e
  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top
  • Figured Maple Back & Sides
  • Maple Neck
  • West African Ebony Fretboard
  • Gloss Finish
  • Grand Orchestra Body Shape
  • V-Class Bracing
  • 1.75'' Nut Width
  • 25.5'' Scale Length
  • 15'' Radius
  • Comes With a Hardshell Case
  • ES-2 Electronics
  • Black Graphite Nut & Micarta Saddle
  • Ebony Bridge

The 618e is a rounded-shoulder dreadnought guitar that takes on one of the most classic Gibson designs.

It has one foot planted in tradition and one foot stepping far into the future with its V-class bracing, bringing better projection and sustain than traditional X-bracing dreadnoughts. The solid Spruce top paired with the solid Maple back and sides produce a loud and projecting sound, making it perfect for making a statement in front of an audience.

  • Solid Sitka spruce top and figured maple back and sides provide outstanding tonal
  • With a hard strum, your guitar will increase in volume without decreasing in tone
  • This acoustic guitar cuts through the mix
  • Great low-end response without being muddy
  • The jumbo body might be uncomfortable for players with smaller frames
  • It's expensive
For Picks5
For Fingerstyle3
For Recording3.5
For Travel/Gigging4.5

Full Review:

The Taylor Guitars 618e is an excellent dreadnought-style acoustic guitar for those looking to make their music stand out. This model offers plenty of volume and tonal chord balance with its Grand Orchestra body shape, making it perfect for heavy-handed strumming players.

The 618e is a rounded-shoulder dreadnought guitar with a similar look to the classic Gibson design. However, in true Taylor fashion, the 618e has one foot planted in tradition and one foot stepping far into the future.

Starting with the V-class bracing that brings better projection and sustain than traditional X-bracing dreadnoughts. This means you can play at higher volumes without sacrificing sound quality and creating muddy chords, which is a challenge with other dreadnought-style guitars. It also will help stand out in band situations where you need volume to cut through the mix.

Read the Rest of the Review…

What makes this a fantastic stage guitar is the choice of tonewood combinations. The solid Spruce top paired with the solid Maple back and sides produces a loud and projecting sound. The Maple doesn’t color the tone keeping notes clean and clear (especially those big cowboy chords). Some liken it to the “grand piano” of acoustic guitars.

The neck continues with the Maple topped with an Ebony fingerboard. So you’re going to get the same buttery feel as any other of the best Taylor guitars on this list, but with a little more balance and articulation, thanks to the Maple.

This isn’t a subtle or affordable guitar. When purchasing the 618, you’re committing to something designed to make a statement and be heard. If you’re a casual player or are primarily a studio musician, this may not be the instrument for you.

However, suppose you’re trying to make your music felt in a live setting while not sacrificing quality or playability. In that case, the 618e is the best Taylor guitar for strumming and making a statement.

Best for Fingerstyle: PS12ce

Best for Fingerstyle
Taylor PS12ce
  • Solid Sinker Redwood Top
  • Honduran Rosewood Back & Sides
  • Tropical Mahogany Slim Neck
  • West African Ebony Fretboard
  • West African Ebony Binding
  • Gloss Finish
  • Grand Concert Body Shape
  • V-Class Bracing
  • 1.75'' Nut Width
  • 24.875'' Scale Length
  • 15'' Radius
  • Comes With a Hardshell Case
  • ES-2 Electronics
  • Bone Nut & Micarta Saddle
  • Ebony Bridge
  • Abalone Nouveau Inlays

The Taylor PS12ce is a bucket-list guitar that any serious fingerstyle player should aspire to own.

Its Sinker Redwood soundboard comes from century-old redwood trees stuck at the bottom of riverbeds in California for more than 100 years! The Honduran Rosewood back and sides add articulate and rich harmonics to the guitar's tone. This premium acoustic guitar comes with a price tag of $10,000, making it a once-in-a-lifetime investment that will be passed down from generation to generation.

  • Beautiful appointments, inlays, and high-quality hardware
  • Each note will be articulate, balanced, and warm with little picking effort
  • Unique soundboard made from a treasured tonewood
  • A "forever guitar" that will never fail to inspire
  • The price of this guitar is not for the faint of heart
  • s a $10,000 guitar that much better than a $2,000+ guitar?
For Picks3.8
For Fingerstyle5
For Recording5
For Travel/Gigging1

Full Review:

The Taylor Guitars PS12ce is a dream guitar for fingerstyle players. It has a warm sound, a comfortable playing experience, and excellent playability.

However, this guitar is not cheap!

The soundboard is made with Sinker Redwood. Sinker redwood is a treasured tonewood with a resonant and punchy sound, with warm undertones. It is often referred to as “Cedar on Steroids.” The wood comes from giant aged redwood trees that have been stuck at the bottom of riverbeds in California for more than 100 years!

Read the Rest of the Review…

The back and sides are made with Honduran Rosewood, which adds balance and rich harmonics to the acoustic guitar’s tone.

The short scale length, slightly wider neck, and Grand Concert body size make for an easy-playing guitar. The tonewoods also help create the perfect blend of long sustain with clarity, so your notes are articulate without extra effort on behalf of your fingers or fretting hand.

The radius armrest in the guitar makes for a comfortable playing experience. At the same time, its West African Ebony fingerboard and tropical mahogany neck couldn’t be more inviting.

Now, if you’re looking to purchase a Taylor and are primarily a fingerpicking player, you may want to look at the article I wrote on my top picks for fingerpicking guitars here. I didn’t include the PS12ce on that list because, in the context of the entire acoustic guitar market, this is beyond reasonable for most people.

However, This premium acoustic guitar is perfect for an experienced fingerstyle player who wants to own a unique craftsman guitar. I guarantee that anyone who plays it will fall in love and have a guitar that will inspire beautiful music for the rest of their life.

Best for Gigging: T5z Series

Best for Gigging
Taylor T5z Series
  • Multiple Solid Wood Topwood Options
  • Multiple Bodywood Options
  • Set Neck
  • 21 Fret Ebony Fretboard
  • 1.6875'' Nut Width
  • 24.875'' Scale Length
  • 12'' Radius
  • Comes With a Hardshell Case
  • Ebony Bridge
  • 3 Onboard Pickup Options
  • 5 Way Pickup Selector Switch
  • Premium Electronics

The Taylor T5z Pro is perfect for gigging musicians who want to switch between acoustic and electric guitar sounds without sacrificing tone and quality.

The compact body and shorter scale length make it easy to play, while the dual pickup system with an acoustic body sensor and two humbuckers allows for versatile sound options. The T5z Pro & Custom models also feature Taylor's Urban Ash body and updated design features for sustainability and innovation.

  • Never worry about sounding great unplugged or amplified again
  • Great option for electric guitar players
  • Swiss army knife acoustic-electric guitar for live settings
  • The use case is specific and won't be for everyone
  • The acoustic tone may not be "acoustic" enough, and the electric tone may not be "electric" enough for some players
T5z Series
For Picks4
For Fingerstyle4
For Recording3
For Travel/Gigging5

Full Review:

If you are a gigging musician who wants to quickly switch between acoustic and electric guitar sounds without sacrificing tone and quality, the T5z series may be the guitar for you.

The compact body will feel right at home for solid-body electric players. The shorter scale length, fast action, and jumbo frets make fretting and bending strings easy.

The T5z has been designed to be used in the most demanding and versatile situations without sacrificing sound quality or playability.

Read the Rest of the Review…

These electric acoustic-electric hybrid features a dual pickup system with an acoustic body sensor, a concealed neck humbucker, and a visible bridge humbucker.

The modern f-hole acoustic design adds to the elegant look that pays homage to the past while still looking toward the future.

The updated Pro & Custom ranges now include Taylor’s Urban Ash body and some updated design features that continue Taylor’s sustainability and innovation legacy.

While the T5z are fantastic instruments, they suffer a bit from the “jack of all trades, master of none” problem. First, because you choose wether your T5z uses electric guitar strings or acoustic strings, you don’t get a truly “authentic” acoustic and electric tone rolled into one instrument. Also the electric tone works better for softer genres like jazz, folk, R&B, and soft rock.

However, with that said, when you consider that these acoustic-electric guitars are designed for the stage, you’ll have a better expectation of what you’re getting when picking one up.

Best for Kids: Baby Taylor Series

Best for Kids
Baby Taylor Series
  • 3/4 Dreadnought Guitars
  • Solid Mahogany, Spruce, or Koa Top Options
  • 1.6875'' Nut Width
  • 22.75'' Scale Length
  • Comes With a Gig Bag
  • ES-B Electronics (Paid Upgrade)
  • Ebony Fretboard

Want to inspire your kid to become a musical genius? The Baby Taylor is perfect for kids and players with smaller frames.

Thanks to the reduced size and smooth ebony fretboard and bridge, it's easy to play. Plus, the built-in tuner and ES-B electronics (paid upgrade) deliver great plugged-in tones, and the gig bag keeps it safe on the go.

  • A great size for kids and beginners
  • They have an impressive sound for its size
  • Has a built-in tuner and pickups (paid upgrade)
  • Comes with a gig bag
  • It's expensive for a kid's guitar
  • There's a chance your kid will outgrow this guitar
Baby Taylor Series
For Picks4
For Fingerstyle4
For Recording5
For Travel/Gigging3.5

Full Review:

The Baby Taylor acoustic is a 3/4 size dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar (the ES-B system is a paid upgrade). Depending on your model choice, it features an impressive solid Spruce, Koa, or Mahogany top and either layered Sapele, Walnut, or Koa back & sides.

The Baby is the best Taylor acoustic for young kids and players with smaller frames because the reduced size produces less string tension and makes the frets sit closer together, making it easier to play. This makes for an overall more comfortable experience for players with smaller hands.

Read the Rest of the Review…

The Baby Taylor acoustic also features the ES-B electronics that deliver great plugged-in tones and comes equipped with a built-in tuner. This does come at an additional cost, but it’s nice not to have to remember to carry around a clip-on acoustic guitar tuner and to be able to gig out or jam with friends.

The ebony fretboard and bridge provide a smooth and easy playing experience characteristic of the best Taylor guitars. At the same time, the gig bag offers protection when traveling or dealing with outdoor weather conditions.

While this is a fantastic acoustic guitar for kids, Baby Taylor’s are still not cheap. Depending on which option you’re looking at, there is also quite a wide swing in cost.

To make it easier for you to decide which may be the best choice for you, here is a quick breakdown of the benefits of each:

  • Mahogany: Clean and clear tone. It naturally compresses the sound, making it an excellent choice for beginners and players who strum with their fingers.
  • Spruce: Lively and dynamic. This is a versatile tonewood that loves being played with a guitar pick. However, its touch sensitivity can make playing sound sloppy if not controlled.
  • Koa: A beautiful tonewood that has a brighter attack than Mahogany while still maintaining some of the compression characteristics. It’s the most expensive option on this list, but the wood ages nicely over time (like a more premium guitar).

Overall, I’m impressed with the quality of this small-size guitar. It sounds excellent, and the high-quality build and this guitar will inspire your musical kiddo toward greatness!

Best Premium: PS14ce

Best Premium Option
Taylor PS14ce
  • Solid Sinker Redwood Topwood
  • Solid Honduran Rosewood Back & Sides
  • Tropical Mahogany Neck
  • 20 Fret West African Crelicam Ebony Fretboard
  • V-Class Bracing
  • 1.75'' Nut Width
  • 25.5'' Scale Length
  • Abalone California Vine Inlay
  • Tusq Nut & Micarta Saddle
  • Ebony Bridge
  • West African Crelicam Ebony Binding
  • Comes With a Premium Case
  • ES-2 Electronics

The Taylor Guitars PS14ce is the ultimate acoustic guitar for musicians who demand the best Taylor has to offer.

This magnificent instrument is made with rare sinker redwood, which gives it a rich, resonant sound with punchy bass and warm undertones. Also, you'll love the craftsmanship that has gone into this guitar - it's a beautifully hand-crafted instrument that will be the star of your collection.

  • It has both the warm overtones of cedar and the dynamic range of solid spruce
  • It's got a beautiful, rich tone
  • A hand-crafted piece of art made in the USA
  • The price of this guitar is not for the faint of heart
  • Is a $10,000 guitar that much better than a $2,000+ guitar?
For Picks5
For Fingerstyle4.8
For Recording5
For Travel/Gigging2

Full Review:

The Taylor Guitars PS14ce is the bigger, bolder brother to the PS12ce. This model features its predecessor’s best qualities with an even larger body and longer scale length. Making it more suited for grandeur performances or recording sessions where you want that full-range tone and volume.

If you’re looking for a guitar that can do it all, this one may be what your ears are craving. It’s a beautifully hand-crafted guitar that will be the prized instrument in any guitar collection.

Editor’s Choice: The American Dream Series

Editor's Choice
Taylor American Dream Series
  • Choice of Solid Mahogany or Spruce Top
  • 3 Distinct Body Types to Choose From
  • Innovative V-Class or C-Class Bracing
  • It comes With a Premium Aerocase
  • ES-2 Electronics (Paid Upgrade)

Want a premium Taylor acoustic guitar without the premium price tag? Check out the American Dream series.

These guitars are all USA-made and feature Taylor's innovative V-class bracing for superior tone and resonance. The Taylor AD17e is the standout model, with a beautiful Grand Pacific body design, solid Sitka Spruce top, and Ovangkol back and sides. The blacktop finish gives it a cool, edgy look that is perfect for any musician. 

  • Get a premium USA-made Taylor without paying the premium price
  • Fantastic build quality and incredible versatility in the line-up that will suit all types of players and genres
  • It comes with a high-quality aerospace gig bag


  • You have to pay extra for the ES2 electronics
  • There's a wide swing in the price range
American Dream Series
For Picks4.5
For Fingerstyle4.5
For Recording4.5
For Travel/Gigging3.8

Full Review:

Taylor Guitars make premium guitars that often cost several thousand dollars for their mid-tier guitars.

This is a photo of Brad Johnson, the writer and owner of Song Production Pros playing a Taylor American Dream AD17e. He is wearing a white sweatshirt and hat in a guitar shop room.

However, with the 2020 Pandemic, Taylor Guitars released their American Dream series of acoustic guitars. These guitars are all solid wood and made in the USA.

They feature Taylor’s innovative V-class bracing, which provides superior intonation, sustain, and resonance to the guitar’s tone. These guitars also look timeless and come equipped with Taylor’s patented Expression System 2 pickup system for an extra charge.

This makes the American Dream series the best Taylor acoustics for around $2,000, and some even just north of $1,000.

Read the Rest of the Review…

While there are a few different models to choose from, all excellent instruments, the Taylor AD17e stands out as the frontrunner for versatility, tone, and playability.

This guitar has beautiful overtones, dynamic range, and projection, featuring Taylor’s Grand Pacific body design with a solid spruce Sitka Spruce top and solid Ovangkol back and sides. The tone has a fantastic roundness and balance with that classic acoustic guitar tone you’ve heard on countless records.

The Sitka Spruce version of the American dream comes in two different finishes: natural or blacktop. The blacktop version has an effortlessly cool look that seems like it was taken right out of the hands of Johnny Cash.

The American Dream series has the same outstanding playability as all other premium Taylor Guitars, but with stripped-down features and appointments to keep the price reasonable.

Also, this guitar comes with a superb, lightweight aero case that will ensure extra protection for your investment from bumps, dings, and warping.

Suppose you are looking for a premium Taylor guitar for a great price. In that case, The American Dream Series are guitars you shouldn’t sleep on.

Best for Travel: GS Mini Series

Best for Travel
Taylor GS-Mini Series
  • Choice of Solid Mahogany, Spruce, Koa Topwood
  • Ebony Fingerboard
  • 1.6875" Nut Width
  • 23.5'' Scale Length
  • X-Bracing with Relief Rout
  • Taylor NT Neck
  • Comes With a Gig Bag
  • Premium Aerocase Comes with Plus Models
  • ES-B Electronics (Paid Upgrade)
  • ES-2 Electronics with Plus Models

The Taylor GS Mini is a guitar meant for taking on the go. It has the playability and tone of a full-size guitar and is easy to store in an overhead bin or in the trunk of a car.

And with the ES2 electronics and pickup system (Plus models only), it's great for gigging musicians. The premium aerospace gig bag (Plus models only) also offers superior protection while being extremely lightweight. Check it out today!

  • A wonderful-sounding guitar that can fit into an overhead bin on an airplane
  • Comes with gig bag or premium aerospace case if a Plus Model
  • Fantastic construction and really fun to play
  • You have to pay extra for the ES-2 electronics (Plus) or ES-B Electronics
  • Lack of cutaway makes accessing upper frets difficult
GS-Mini Series
For Picks4
For Fingerstyle3.5
For Recording4
For Travel/Gigging4.5

Full Review:

This is a photo of Brad Johnson, the writer and owner of Song Production Pros playing a Taylor GS-Mini Koa. He is wearing a white sweatshirt and hat in a guitar shop room.

The Taylor GS Mini guitars are essentially 3/4 size guitars with the playability and tone of a full-size guitar. However, they can easily be stored in an overhead bin or in the trunk of a car.

While small guitars lack depth and resonance in their tone, the Taylor GS Mini has a deep and resonant sound. A tone that is objectively better than most affordable full-size guitars in a similar price range.

Read the Rest of the Review…

Due to the scalloped X-bracing and sightly larger soundhole, this shrunken-down guitar keeps the projection and tone of a full-size acoustic guitar.

The Taylor GS Mini-e (e stating it comes with electronics) comes in many different tonewood varieties like solid spruce or mahogany. While each has its tonal flavor and aesthetic, the Koa-topped GS Mini has a dynamic and diverse tone that is perfect for a wide range of music and looks beautiful.

The Koa Plus has a solid wood top and laminated Koa back and sides. The tonewood wood has a rich mid-range presence, like mahogany-topped guitars, but also has a snappy brightness similar to spruce.

This makes it an incredibly versatile guitar that responds well to flatpicking and fingerpicking strumming styles.

The “Plus” designation means that this GS Mini-e comes with Taylor’s innovative and proprietary ES2 electronics and pickup system installed in their full-sized guitars. The ES2 is famous for keeping the integrity of the acoustic sound while plugged into a PA and amplifier, making this guitar an excellent option for gigging musicians.

What also makes this a great acoustic guitar for traveling is the upgraded premium aerospace gig bag also offers superior protection while being extremely lightweight.

It’s not all great with the Taylor GS Mini. The non-cutaway makes getting to the upper frets difficult, and the price is steep. For the price one with electronics, you are getting into the price range of The American Dream series, which are subjectively better guitars (if travel isn’t a main criterion for your acoustic guitar purchase).

However, no matter what GS Mini you invest in, you will have a guitar you can travel with without sacrificing playability or tone.

Ultimate Buyers Guide for Taylor Acoustic Guitars

Suppose you have been shopping around trying to find the best Taylor guitars. In that case, the following guide will help you narrow down other options that weren’t in my best Taylor Acoustic guitar reviews.

Body Styles

One of the most significant factors to consider before purchasing any guitar is to decide what shape you want the body to be.

Here is a breakdown of each Taylor Guitar body shape with its use case.

Baby Taylor Guitar


The small size of this Dreadnought guitar is a perfect starter guitar for youngsters and travelers alike.

The Baby size can also be used for other creative purposes like lap-steel playing and producing alternative acoustic tones for recording.

Taylor GS Mini e Guitar

GS Mini

The Taylor GS Mini guitar is a fun and comfortable option for young adults at an intermediate level.

This 3/4-sized guitar makes it perfect for those with petite frames and those that want a guitar that is easy to travel with.

Big Baby Taylor Guitar

Big Baby

The Big Baby guitar design has long been a favorite among budding acoustic musicians. The guitar’s easy-to-play, comfortable performance can help many beginning players grow.

The lightweight feel of this affordable range makes it perfect for taking on trips or as your “lounging-on-the-couch” guitar.

Taylor GT Body

Taylor GT (Grand Theatre)

Taylor’s most petite body shape in their full-sized guitars lineup. The GT body was inspired by the big tones of their biggest body guitar, the Grand Orchestra.

This small body guitar is the perfect option for players with small hands and people who want something comfortable and portable that doesn’t skimp out on that sacred tone.

This is the perfect body shape for that “campfire guitar.”

Grand Concert Body

Grand Concert

The grand concert model is similar to a parlor shaped acoustic guitar but with more clarity and depth. If you’re looking for a comfortable instrument that will shine when playing fingerstyle. For recording, the Grand Concert is also the shape for you!

Taylor Grand Auditorium Guitar

Grand Auditorium

The grand auditorium body style is the classic Taylor Guitar body shape and the most versatile shape in the Taylor Acoustic Guitars’ lineup. If you want something that can do fingerstyle, flat-picking, and strumming well, then a grand auditorium should be your go-to guitar shape.

The grand auditorium is the Taylor Acoustic Guitar shape that has defined the brand for decades.

Taylor Grand Pacific Body

Grand Pacific

Taylor’s grand pacific body type is a variation on the classic dreadnought. The rounded shoulders of the guitar’s body create excellent projection and musical overtones, making it perfect for rock, blues music, and folk-style playing.

If you’re a rhythm player and songwriter who mainly plays cowboy chords, this guitar shape is an excellent choice.

Taylor Dreadnought Body


There aren’t many Taylor guitar models that have the classic dreadnought shape. The re-envisioned Grand Pacific Taylor model has replaced it.

However, if you are looking for a Taylor acoustic that mimics the classic, you can find it in the 110e.

Taylor Grand Symphony Body

Grand Symphony

The grand symphony is described as a supercharged grand auditorium body shape.

The sound of this body style will be bright and percussive, with strong volume when strumming or flat-picking.

Its elegant performance and playability are perfect for acoustic guitarists who want to make their guitar playing felt by the audience.

Taylor Grand Orchestra Bodey

Grand Orchestra

The grand orchestra is the perfect body style for a loud, dynamic, and complex sound. Especially if you want something that can fill an entire room.

Acoustic guitars that have this body produce big, rich lows and thick trebles.

If you’re a stage performer, this guitar shape might be just what you’re looking for.


When choosing the best Taylor guitar, you must consider what woods will produce your desired sound. Not only do tonewoods affect the guitar’s tone, but they also shape their dynamic range and playability.

The Soundboard

The soundboard (or top wood) is the most essential tonewood of an acoustic instrument. When shopping for your next Taylor guitar, you will traditionally run across four different top-woods for the soundboard.

Spruce Wood


Acoustic guitars are often made with solid spruce, the most popular top wood. Solid spruce is a softwood with a wide dynamic range and sonic versatility.

Taylor guitars will use multiple different spruce species for their guitars. The spruce used is:

  • Solid Sitka Spruce: Versatile and dynamic
  • Solid Lutz Spruce: Rich and loud
  • Solid Engelmann Spruce: Warmer, more mid-range focused tone
  • Solid European Spruce: Great dynamics and warm overtones
  • Solid Adirondack Spruce: Loud, dynamic, and clear tone
Mahogany Wood


Mahogany is a hard, dark wood with a rich midrange and less dynamic range than other top woods.

Mahogany is an excellent option for recording artists and guitarists with uneven strumming techniques.

Cedar Wood


Cedar is a softwood that responds quickly to delicate touch. It can be warm and percussive, making it perfect for fingerstyle and classical players.

In fact, cedar is often found on nylon-stringed guitars.

The downfalls of cedar are that the sound doesn’t hold up well to hard picking or strumming and can be prone to cracking.

Cedar-topped guitars are often found in the Taylor 500 series range.

Koa Wood


Hawaiian koa wood is similar in characteristic to mahogany. However, Koa wood has a brighter sound, making koa a great guitar option for those who play the pads of their fingers and need the extra treble response.

If you are a player with a pick or don’t like overly bright acoustic guitars, then this top wood might not suit your playing style.


Sinker Redwood

A visually appealing and rare tonewood, sinker redwood is often described as “cedar on steroids.”

It has the warmth of cedar but responds more like a Sitka spruce top creating more dynamics. It makes it great for a player who plays with a light and heavy touch.

Beware, Taylor Acoustic guitars with sinker redwood are about as expensive as it gets.

Body Woods

Taylor guitars are known for their alternative wood choices and sustainable business practices. They have many body and neck tonewoods to pair with the top wood throughout their other guitar models.

The wood used for the body and sides adds additional flavor and “seasoning” to the guitar’s tone.

The best Taylor guitars offer classic body tonewoods like solid Indian Rosewood, Mahogany, Sapele, and Maple. However, they also introduced sustainable guitar woods such as Ovangkol and Urban Ironbark to the guitar world.

For most of the guitars you would purchase from Taylor, you will most likely find it to be the traditional tonewoods mentioned above; however, you will discover a variety of unique options for their more premium guitars.

Suppose you want to dive deeper into tonewoods used for different Taylor Guitars. In that case, their website has a breakdown and descriptions of the body tonewoods that they use(1).

How to read model numbers

To more easily navigate Taylor’s many guitar offerings, you will need to understand how they label their guitars.

Here is a guide to help you out with the general number system:

The first number represents the wood type (i.e., 714):

1Solid Sitka Spruce Top with Layered Walnut Body
2Solid Sitka Spruce Top with Choice of Layered Wood Body
3Either Spruce Top with Sapele Body or Mahogany Top with Blackwood Body (All Solid Wood)
4Solid Spruce Top with a Choice of Ovangkol or Rosewood Body (All Solid Wood)
5Either Solid All Mahogany Body or Cedar Top with Mahogany Body (All Solid Wood)
6Solid Spruce Top with Maple Body (All Solid Wood)
7Solid Spruce Top with Indian Rosewood Body (All Solid Wood)
8Solid Spruce Top with Indian Rosewood Body (All Solid Wood)
9Solid Spruce Top with Indian Rosewood Body (All Solid Wood)
KKoa Wood Series
GTGrand Theatre Body Style
PTPresentation Series

The second number represents whether it is a six-string or twelve-string guitar (ie 724 is a twelve-string).

The third number represents the body size (i.e., 714):

NumberBody Style
2Grand Concert
4Grand Auditorium
6Grand Symphony
7Grand Pacific
8Grand Orchestra

Some numbers can come after this number to designate it’s a cutaway “c” and has electronics “e.”

If there is an “N” after, it specifies a nylon-stringed guitar over a steel-stringed guitar.

V-Class Bracing vs. X-Bracing

Head luthier Andy Powers innovated acoustic guitar design when he introduced V-Class bracing in 2018.

V-Class revolutionizes acoustic playing by improving the guitar’s volume, sustain, and intonation.

This bucked the conventional wisdom that the best way to structure the interior of a guitar was with X-bracing that Martin Guitars designed over a century ago.

The best Taylor guitars utilize V-Class Bracing, which is one of the features that makes Taylor acoustic guitars stand out.

Taylors Patented NT Neck

Founder Bob Taylor invented the patented NT neck back in 1999. This neck has superior playability to other acoustic guitars and is incredibly easy to take off and adjust.

Other manufacturers glue the neck at the 14th fret, while Taylor acoustic guitars go up to the 19th fret and bolt it in. This helps keep the neck straight while decreasing the chances the neck will warp and bow.

This innovative feature will save you tons of money later down the road if you ever need a neck reset.

Taylors Expression System 2 Pickups

The Taylor Expression System 2 is an innovative pickup system for acoustic guitars. Instead of placing the pickup directly underneath the guitar’s saddle, it is placed behind the saddle with three calibrated pickup sensors.

The most prominent problem players face with an acoustic-electric guitar is it doesn’t sound great when plugged in.

When plugged into a PA or amp, this innovation gives your guitar a more natural and true-to-tone signal, which is a giant leap forward in DI acoustic guitar sounds.

Manufacturing Innovation

It can be challenging to buy a new guitar without playing it first. However, as Guitar Center and other music shops carry less-and-less inventory, buying guitars online is becoming the norm.

Taylor Guitar’s El Cajon, USA & Tecate, MX factories use state-of-the-art technology that ensures consistency, quality, and playability in all of their guitars.

There isn’t such a thing as a lemon in the Taylor lineup. You can buy Taylor acoustic guitars confidently; they will be high quality in every way.


Bob Taylor has made it his company’s mission to preserve timber and to produce guitars sustainably and ethically.

He has made great strides in sustainable manufacturing, including:

  • Creating an eco-friendly polyester guitar finish that does not contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • NT Neck design increased the number of necks supplied per tree by 50%
  • Taylor donates wood scraps to be transformed into toys for orphanages in Mexico.
  • Taylor sustainably harvests woods and works/owns an ebony mill and Koa farm.


Here are some answers to the most popular questions about the best Taylor acoustic guitars:

Are Taylor Guitars worth the money?

In short, yes!

Taylor Guitars are expertly made and easy-to-play high-end acoustic guitars that are built to last. You’ll be proud of your Taylor in any setting – they’re a worthy investment for serious guitar players.

While Taylor Guitars prices were used to be considered too expensive, in recent years, they have come out with guitars (most notably the Academy Series) that maintain cutting-edge design and playability but made them more affordable for the everyday player.

Do Taylor Guitars sound better with age?

Like all exceptional guitars built with solid wood, the guitar will open up and develop a more complex and rich sound over time.

Taylor Guitars are no different.

Are Taylor Guitars good for fingerstyle?

Absolutely! With the V-Class Bracing system, A Taylor guitar will respond to a lighter touch with greater volume, sustain, and more articulate sound.

They also have plenty of guitar body styles like the Grand Concert and GT, perfect for fingerstyle playing.

Is Taylor Guitars better than Martin Guitars?

This is subjective.

Both guitar companies produce high-quality guitars and have incredibly talented luthiers working for them.

Generally speaking, Taylor has a brighter, more modern sound. While Martin Acoustic Guitars has a mid-range and classic sound.

As a guitar player, you can’t go wrong with either brand.

What strings come with Taylor Guitars?

When you purchase a Taylor Guitar, they will come with Elixir strings.

Where are the Baby Taylor Guitars made?

The Baby Taylor guitars are made in Tecate, Mexico factory.

Why didn’t you include any Taylor 12-String acoustic guitars?

Because they are specialty-style acoustic instruments with varied use cases, I did not include any Taylor acoustic guitars that are 12-strings on my list. However, Taylor makes some fantastic 12-string acoustic guitars, and most of their series has at least one.

The Best Taylor Guitar Conclusion

The best Taylor acoustic guitars are subjective and depend on your use case, budget, and skill level. However, regarding playability, history, price, features, and sound, the Taylor 814ce V-Class stands out as a quintessential Taylor acoustic.

Suppose you are looking for a guitar that will last you a lifetime and maintain playability through the years. In that case, a Taylor guitar is the way to go!

A picture of Brad Johnson (Owner & Writer of Song Production Pros) playing and testing a guitar at the Sam Ash Westminster Store. The guitar being played is a Taylor 814ce.

Why you can trust our content

Brad Johnson, the creator of Song Production Pros, researches and writes these reviews.

He's been playing music since he was nine and has played, used, and owned many instruments and pro audio gear. His reviews are based on hands-on experience, user-generated reviews, and subject matter expert reviews.

Please refer to our page, Our Review Process, for more details on how we approach writing our review articles.

Photo of author
Brad Johnson
Brad is the creator of Song Production Pros. He writes songs and surfs on the weekends when he's not too busy with family or this website. He writes music under the moniker FJ Isles, and can be heard on all streaming services.