Its no secret we are massive fans of Taylor Guitars at Colemans Music. Our Melbourne CBD Store and Online Store are Stoked with some of the best Models from Taylor.
Taylor has an amazing history dating back to 1974 and we have a bit of look at whats gone on since then in this blog.
Taylor Guitars - Origins
The Taylor Guitar Company was co-founded by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug. Bob Taylor, a guitar maker, and Kurt Listug, an entrepreneur, joined forces in 1974 to establish the company. They started by crafting guitars and gradually built Taylor Guitars into one of the most prominent and innovative acoustic guitar manufacturers in the world.
Bob Taylor's journey into guitar making started during his teenage years when he began repairing guitars. His interest in guitars led him to work at American Dream, a guitar shop in Lemon Grove, California. There, he gained hands-on experience repairing and understanding the intricacies of guitars.
While working at American Dream, he met Kurt Listug. Together, they shared a passion for guitars and recognized the potential to create high-quality instruments.They bought out the owner for a cool $3,700 dollars and the pair had a shop to create what they’ve always dreamed of. Though Taylor Guitars was born, the first few years were tough.
Bob's fascination with guitar construction and craftsmanship led him to experiment with guitar building techniques and materials. Eventually, Bob Taylor's dedication to understanding the construction and nuances of guitars, combined with his craftsmanship, played a pivotal role in the founding of Taylor Guitars. His expertise and commitment to innovation have been fundamental to the company's success.
The First Taylor Guitar
The first model produced by Taylor Guitars was the Taylor 810. Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug crafted this guitar in 1974, marking the beginning of their guitar-making venture. They only built a few guitars initially, focusing on crafting high-quality instruments with attention to detail.
The specific number of Taylor 810 guitars manufactured in the early days of the company was quite limited. Taylor Guitars started on a small scale, and they gradually expanded production as the demand for their guitars grew over time. These initial guitars are considered highly collectible due to their historical significance as the earliest instruments produced by Taylor Guitars.
Taylor Guitars Increases Production
Taylor Guitars began its transition to larger-scale production in the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, it wasn't until the mid-1980s that the company significantly expanded its production capabilities and started to be recognized as a major manufacturer of high-quality acoustic guitars.
Around the mid-1980s, Taylor Guitars invested in modern manufacturing techniques and technologies, enabling them to increase production while maintaining their commitment to crafting instruments of exceptional quality. This period marked the shift toward what could be considered mass production compared to their earlier, smaller-scale operations.
Taylor Guitars in the 90’s
During the 1990s, Taylor Guitars made several advancements and innovations that contributed significantly to their reputation as a leading acoustic guitar manufacturer. Some key advancements during that period include:
- Expression System Pickup: In 1999, Taylor introduced the Expression System, their proprietary acoustic guitar pickup system. This pickup system was designed to accurately reproduce the natural acoustic sound of the guitar when amplified, providing a more authentic and high-fidelity amplified tone.
- New Guitar Models: Taylor expanded its guitar lineup during this decade, introducing new models and variations, catering to a wider range of players. This included the Grand Auditorium and the Grand Concert body shapes, which offered different tonal qualities and ergonomic designs to suit various playing styles.
- Construction Techniques and Materials: Taylor continued to refine their guitar-building techniques and experiment with different materials. They explored innovations in bracing patterns, wood sourcing, and construction methods to enhance the sound, playability, and durability of their guitars.
- Environmental Initiatives: Taylor Guitars became increasingly focused on sustainable practices and environmental responsibility during the 1990s. They were pioneers in using sustainable tonewoods and introduced the "Trees" project, where they acquired and responsibly used rare and environmentally significant tonewoods like ebony and mahogany.
- Factory Expansion and Technology Integration: Taylor expanded its factory and production capabilities. They integrated modern technology and machinery into their manufacturing process while maintaining a balance with skilled craftsmanship, enabling higher production while ensuring consistent quality.
Overall, the 1990s were a period of significant growth and innovation for Taylor Guitars. They continued to push boundaries in guitar design, craftsmanship, and sustainability, solidifying their position as a respected and innovative guitar manufacturer in the industry.
Taylor starts manufacturing in Mexico
Taylor Guitars began manufacturing guitars in Mexico in 2007. The company established a factory in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico, called Taylor Guitars Tecate (TGT). This expansion allowed Taylor to offer more affordable, yet high-quality guitars by utilizing skilled craftsmanship in Mexico while maintaining stringent quality control measures overseen by the Taylor team. The production in Mexico helped Taylor Guitars cater to a broader market and offer guitars at different price points while upholding their standards of craftsmanship and playability.
Andy Powers, a highly skilled luthier and guitar designer, became involved with Taylor Guitars in the early 2000s. His timeline of involvement and contributions to the company is as follows:
- Early Collaboration (Early 2000s): Andy Powers initially collaborated with Taylor Guitars on various projects and guitar designs in the early 2000s as an independent luthier.
- Formal Engagement (2011): In 2011, Andy Powers officially joined Taylor Guitars as a full-time master guitar designer. His arrival marked a significant milestone for the company as he brought a wealth of expertise in guitar craftsmanship, design, and innovation.
- Innovations and New Guitar Designs: After joining Taylor Guitars, Powers became instrumental in spearheading numerous design innovations and introducing new guitar models. He played a crucial role in refining existing models, developing new bracing patterns (such as the V-Class bracing), and contributing to the design of guitars that focused on tonal improvements, playability, and resonance.
- Role as Master Guitar Designer: Andy Powers' role expanded over the years, and he became the face of Taylor's guitar design and innovation efforts. His contributions were highly regarded within the industry, and he played a pivotal role in shaping the direction of Taylor's guitar designs and manufacturing processes.
- Continued Influence (Ongoing):January 2022, Andy Powers remained an essential figure at Taylor Guitars, continuing to lead the company's design and innovation initiatives. His ongoing involvement continued to influence Taylor's commitment to creating high-quality, innovative guitars.
- The Boss: In May of 2022 Andy Powers took over as the CEO of Taylor Guitars.
Andy Powers' tenure at Taylor Guitars has been marked by his dedication to pushing the boundaries of guitar design and craftsmanship, contributing significantly to the company's reputation for producing exceptional instruments.
The Five most important Taylor Guitar Models
Selecting the "most important" Taylor guitar models can be subjective, as each model has its significance based on innovation, popularity, and impact on the guitar industry. However, here are five Taylor guitar models that have been influential in the company's history:
- Taylor 814ce: The Taylor 814ce is one of Taylor's most iconic and best-selling models. It's known for its versatility, comfortable playability, and high-quality tonewoods. The 814ce has been a favorite among musicians for its balanced tone, making it suitable for various playing styles and genres.
Taylor Urban Ash Models: The Taylor Urban Ash series is a line of guitars introduced by Taylor Guitars that features tonewoods sourced from sustainably managed urban forests. These forests are found within cities or urban areas and are often the result of trees that need to be removed due to various reasons like urban development, infrastructure maintenance, or safety concerns.
The Urban Ash series was launched by Taylor Guitars as an initiative to utilize this sustainably sourced tonewood. The primary wood used in these guitars is called "Shamel Ash," which is a type of ash wood found in various urban settings. By repurposing this wood that would otherwise be discarded or chipped, Taylor Guitars aims to promote sustainability and responsible sourcing practices.
- Taylor GS Mini: The GS Mini is a smaller-sized guitar that became incredibly popular due to its portability, playability, and surprisingly rich tone for its compact size. It's been a favorite for travel, practice, and for musicians seeking a smaller-bodied guitar without compromising on sound quality.
- Taylor Koa Series: Taylor's use of Koa wood in their guitars has been notable. The Koa series instruments showcase the beautiful tonewood, known for its striking grain patterns and tonal warmth. These guitars have been revered for their aesthetics and unique sound.
- Taylor V-Class Models: The introduction of the V-Class bracing system in certain Taylor models represents a significant innovation in acoustic guitar design. This bracing pattern enhances the guitar's volume, sustain, and overall tonal clarity, leading to a new level of acoustic performance. Models like the 814ce, 912ce, and others benefited from this bracing, attracting attention for their improved sound quality.
These models have had a notable impact on Taylor Guitars' reputation, contributing to the company's success and influence within the guitar industry.