What do you think about Taylor Guitars? It’s probably something in line of royalty, high end and expensive. At this point, what comes into your mind when you think about value for money?
No, am not crazy!
Here’s a highlight of some of the best Taylor Guitars that guarantee you value for money without compromising on quality and functionality. Most of them are below $1000 and offer the unmistakable quality of the brand without making you dig deeper into your pockets.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Best Taylor Guitar for Money
Taylor GS Mini Acoustic Guitar
The GS Mini is hands down the best Taylor Guitar for money on our list. It’s a travel-size guitar for ease of carrying around, sounds exceptionally well and is incredibly comfortable.
Taylor designs the GS Mini Acoustic Guitar in a range of tops including Rosewood, Mahogany, All-Koa and Spruce models. Koa is the most beautiful of all. Spruce, on the other hand, gives you more expressive and lively acoustics. Save for that, you also get other different non-electric variants for $150 or even less.
However, I believe having built-in electronics can make it a lot more fun and equally versatile. The GS Mini usually comes in a well-padded, lightweight case for protection saving you the hassle of having to deal with scratches on the silky-smooth finish.
In addition, most of Taylor’s guitars with laminate bodies feature a bump at the back. It shouldn’t be a cause for alarm when you see it on one of your units. The bump is specially designed to help prevent that particular side from bubbling inside.
When it comes to size, the GS Mini falls between the Big Baby and Taylor Dreadnought. It has a slightly shorter scale length as compared to the typical full-size scale. I think the size is perfectly fine for beginners, travelers and professional guitarists alike.
Taylor Guitars guarantee quality that’s why even the entry level variants are perfectly set up. And the GS Mini is no exception since you can start playing it as soon as you unbox it. It additionally features an ebony fretboard that feels great on the fingers. Plus, the set action is extremely low right from the manufacturer.
What’s more, you can always raise the Taylor GS Mini’s action by a hair if you feel like the relatively heavy playstyle causes a buzz.
Taylor GS Mini especially the Mahogany and Rosewood variants, are loud as compared to other different parlor guitars available on the market. It not only sustains forever but also tends to resonate. The sound will not disappoint you especially since it’s a travel-size acoustic guitar.
The Koa version, on the other hand, sounds a bit muffled and dead especially on the first few uses. This is because it takes longer to open up. Plus, its inherently duller than mahogany and spruce variants. However, it can disappoint you when you’re gigging or jamming with other instruments especially in heavy settings.
It features a parlor size body meaning it can be easily drowned out by Little Martin or Taylor regardless of its projection and loudness. However, if you’re looking for a parlor acoustic guitar that’s powerful like the dreadnought then the GS Mini is the way to go.
Taylor GS Mini is best suited for all types of styles ranging from fingerstyle to flatpicking. Plus, anyone can play it owing to its compactness. It sounds great on its own, when plugged in and even through a microphone. You can never go wrong with the GS Mini and that makes it the best Taylor Guitar for money.
- It guarantees your money’s worth
- Concept and build quality
- It sounds just like a full-size acoustic guitar even though its compact
- It’s shipped in a lightweight, well-padded gig bag
- It has a satin finish that’s more prone to scratch
Taylor 241ce is the best Taylor guitar for money on our list as it costs less than $1000. Taylor has 200 series guitars that focus on delivering the brand’s high-end experience without making you dig deeper into your pockets. It’s a perfect middle ground for advanced and intermediate players. For less than a thousand dollars, Taylor 214ce is the best sounding grand auditorium.
Taylor’s build quality and craftmanship shows in Taylor 214ce. All aspects of this guitar ranging from the voice, feel and sight are unmistakably and distinctively Taylor. The aesthetics of this guitar are quite simple but the beauty is in the unique and high-quality craftmanship.
You’ll get a somewhat familiar Indian rosewood sides and back along with a Sitka spruce top that is a tried and approved tone wood combination. The hardware is equally top tier. Premium quality tuning pegs, ebony bridge, immaculate factory set up and flawless finish so that you don’t tune the guitar anytime you want to practice.
In my opinion, the simple design was meant to fool you into believing that the guitar plays exceptionally well. Well, that is not far from the truth. Playing this guitar is a dream thanks to the effortless fretboard, low action, perfect size and cutaway. What’s more, the neck has a heavenly feel especially in the upper register.
You’ll not have any trouble playing solos and riffs thanks to the cutaway. Plus, it’ll give you more than a pleasurable experience especially if you’re looking to learn challenging acoustic compositions. If this is you, then Taylor 214ce is your best bet.
In my opinion, Taylor 214ce plays and sounds like any acoustic. The incredible harmonics that seep out of the GA-sized body feels like you’re singing with the guitar. The projection and sound of this guitar will blow your mind especially if you’re used to playing entry level acoustic guitars. Taylor 214ce delivers great results without a solid construction and that is plausible.
Taylor 214ce offers a rich and full tone with crystal clear highs and mids along with adequate bass. If that’s not enough, then I don’t know what is!
Taylor 214ce replicates its acoustics accurately whilst plugged in owing to the ES-2 pickup system. This makes it one of the best Taylor guitars for money since Taylor uses this system in high-end and costly variants.
Strangely, the only limitation is that Taylor 214ce doesn’t come with a built-in tuner.
I believe Taylor 214ce strikes a perfect balance between versatility, sound and quality. This means that it can comfortably handle all your music needs for many years to come. One of the best things about this guitar is that it’s uniquely designed to cater to every need and genre.
Country pop guitarists, flat pickers, fingerstyle guitarists, folk/indie musicians and song writers stand to benefit from the pristine and full tone of Taylor 214ce. For the price, you can barely find a viable alternative to Taylor 214ce.
- You can play it right out of the box
- It has a perfect setup
- It features top-notch construction since it’s made with premium quality materials
- It features transparent electronics and is quite natural
- Your fingers will effortlessly glide across thanks to the satin finish on the neck
- It doesn’t come with an in-built tuner
- It could use a saddle and an actual bone nut
Taylor Academy 12e
Just as the name suggests, Taylor Academy 12e is best suited for students and intermediate guitarists. If you’re a beginner looking for a budget-friendly acoustic guitar, then this is an excellent choice for you.
Taylor has an entire Academy series that is all about simplicity with no-frills aesthetic. Don’t expect a fancy binding or rosette, instead you’ll get a flawless finish, elegant appearance and sturdy construction.
Taylor Academy 12e features a sturdy Sitka spruce top that translates to brilliant, bright and loud sounding. It additionally features laminate back and sides but it’s the top that predominantly determines the sound. This means that it’s not by any means a dealbreaker and if anything, it significantly reduces the cost.
The approach is quite simple but Taylor made it look more beautiful.
What’s more, Taylor Academy 12e is at par with some acoustic guitars that are more expensive when it comes to the build quality. The lack of an actual bone nut or saddle and tortoise pickguard bugs me although that’s nitpicking.
A contoured armrest at the top edge of the body is one appointment that all acoustics should have. It’s a simple addition but it makes the Taylor Academy 12e comfortable to play. You’ll notice that the action is relatively low, extremely low that it causes buzzing when you dig in especially if you usually play cheap guitars.
However, professional guitarists find it as comfortable and low as the action is supposed to be.
Taylor Academy 12e has a grand concert body with slightly more brightness as compared to that of dreadnought. However, the latter has less bass than the Taylor Academy 12e owing to its small size. The Sapele and spruce combo produces more balanced tones with a merry timbre and lithe. One thing that makes this acoustic guitar to have an edge over the others in the same price range is the typical sustain.
Taylor Academy 12e is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something to sustain for a long time. And what makes it better is the sustainic pickup. You get the drift?
Taylor is a renowned brand that’s known to make top-notch electronics and the Academy 12e is no exception. It features an onboard tuner, system 2 piezo pickup and preamp. It doesn’t come with a 3-band EQ but it provides a single tone when it comes to sound shaping.
The Taylor Academy 12e is an all-round acoustic guitar best suited for learners and intermediate guitarists.
- It’s perfectly sized for newbies
- Its incredibly well-built
- It comes with a fatigue-resistant armrest
- Super low-action that is ideal for percussive techniques and delicate playing
- It doesn’t come with an onboard tuner
Taylor 114e is hands down the best Taylor guitar for money. If you like the 214ce but you’re working on a tight budget then you should try out Taylor 114e since it’s a cheaper option.
The series is the first step in the budget-friendly Academy line on Taylor’s high-end acoustics. It’s nothing close to the premium models when it comes to face value and quality. However, you’ll find some traces of the unique 300 and 200 series on holding the Taylor 114e.
It features a grand auditorium body that’s made from layered walnut with a Sitka spruce top crown. The neck on the other hand, is made of maple. Plus, it houses a silky-smooth ebony fretboard. As earlier mentioned, it’s simply designed without any inlays or binding.
The overall finish and fit of this acoustic guitar check the right boxes. What’s more, the saddle/Tusq nut is replaceable with actual bone to give it a modern look although it’s not quite necessary.
The ebony fretboard and maple neck are comfortable and equally easy to navigate. Taylor 114e doesn’t come with a cutaway but accessing high fret is a lot easier as compared to that of a dreadnought. You’ll love its grand auditorium shape which is a great size for an acoustic guitar.
It’s compact, meaning its best suited for younger players but is also big enough that it will get that full and versatile tone out there. The best thing about this acoustic guitar is that it also comes with a cutaway variant but its relatively expensive and not available on the market at the moment.
You’ll hear a big difference in sound when you compare Taylor 114e to Taylor 214ce. The latter is crisper and more pristine in terms of projection and sound. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Taylor 114e falls far behind. This is because it gives you a warmer tone with subtle lows and a little less shimmer. It makes this acoustic guitar great for fingerstyle jazz and blues, best suited for guitarists who’s playing styles isn’t delicate.
The best thing about this guitar is that it tends to borrow the solid Sitka spruce top like that of its counterpart for excellent projection and balanced tones. It additionally features an ES-2 pickup which makes it one of the best sounding acoustic guitars for the price especially when plugged in.
Taylor 114e strikes a perfect balance between the premium 200 series and the entry level Academy. If that’s what you’re looking for in an acoustic guitar then you know what to do. It’s forth on out list because most guitarists usually prefer either of the two variants mentioned above.
If you’re a beginner, you might want to stick to the entry level Academy series since its relatively cheap. The 200 series will come in handy if you are looking to save a few bucks. That’s why it’s the best Taylor guitar for money.
- It comes with the brand’s deluxe gig bag
- It features a compact and lightweight design that impacts positively on its playability
- It comes with great onboard electronics
- It doesn’t come with a built-in digital tuner
- Its cutaway variant is very expensive
Taylor Baby Mahogany BT2
Taylor Baby Mahogany is an excellent smaller guitar best suited for students and the novice.
Just as the name suggests, Taylor Baby Mahogany is a petite musical instrument that features a mahogany top. The layered Sapele body and the solid mahogany top gives it a warmer, mid-range and darker heavy sound. It’s slightly smaller than the ¾ acoustic guitar that makes it an excellent travel companion.
Taylor Baby Mahogany is made of Sapele and features a unique ebony fretboard with about 19 frets. What’s more, it comes with the brand’s famous gig bag for protection and ease of carrying around especially when travelling.
Playability is one of the most important aspects for a kids or beginner acoustic guitar. This is because at this point you only care about ease of playing and something that’s bound to inspire you to put more effort into practicing as opposed to how it actually sounds.
Taylor Baby Mahogany has a smaller scale length in comparison to the typical one which is 25.5inches. This means that you wouldn’t have to stretch out your fingers too much as you try to reach the neck. The best thing about this guitar is that the nut width is similar to that of a full-sized guitar. Plus, you won’t feel cramped when fretting notes.
In addition, the Baby Mahogany is extremely lightweight for ease of carrying around especially when travelling. That’s why it’s the best Taylor Guitar for money for travelers.
Taylor Baby Mahogany has a ¾ body so you shouldn’t except it to sustain and ring the same way as a dreadnought does. But the BT2 has more than enough punch that will make you love it.
This acoustic guitar is a bit thin sounding and can’t take heavier strumming well. However, it’s quite impressive for the size and price point in terms of tone and produces crisp overtones with rich harmonics.
As earlier mentioned, it’s made from mahogany wood that gives it a warm sound and toned-down highs. The smaller air cavity, on the other hand, tends to lose on the sustain and low-end. But that might actually work in your favor. This is because there are times that you don’t necessarily need a twinkling and super shimmery sound for both practice as well as cozy avenues.
Not everyone likes the Taylor Baby Mahogany. It’s best suited for players working on a tight budget and looking for premium quality small guitar.
- It’s relatively cheap
- It features a ¾ body shape for ease of travelling and carrying around
- It’s best suited for younger children and students
- It’s loudness and sound are quite impressive especially for its size and price point
- It lacks low-end
- Players with bigger hands find trouble playing this guitar owing to the shorter scale length and narrower neck
- It produces a tiny tone if you strum it hard
Congratulations if you made it to this point!
The above mentioned are the best Taylor guitar for money available on the market. They are all great in different aspects in their respective size segments and price points.
The Taylor Mini GS comes highly recommended if you’re looking for an acoustic guitar with a small body. Taylor Baby Mahogany, on the other hand, is an excellent compromise between price and sound especially where the GS Mini gives dreadnoughts a run for their money. Plus, the former is best suited for younger children and the novice working on a tight budget.
Taylor 214ce is typically the most premium sounding and feeling acoustic guitar below $1000. Also, it checks all the right boxes. However, if you’re not looking to spend that much on a musical instrument, the Taylor 114e is a minor downgrade but works remarkably well.
Lastly, if you’re looking for the most comfortable option, then the Taylor Academy series is the way to go.