Taylor make their guitars in the USA and Mexico. Taylor make all their American guitars in El Cajon, California and all their Mexican guitars in Tecate. They do not make guitars anywhere else except for these two factories so do not make any guitars in Asia.
Taylor Guitars was founded in 1974 in Lemon Grove which is a city in the San Diego County of California. Taylor’s headquarters are in El Cajon, California which has a 145,000 square foot manufacturing area. They moved to the El Cajon factory in 1992 which was their second expansion and have been there ever since.
The following Taylor guitars are made in the USA:
- American Dream series
- 300 series
- 400 series
- 500 series
- 600 series
- 700 series
- 800 series
- 900 series
All American-made Taylor guitars come with a hardshell case, have solid wood on the back and sides, and many models use V-bracing over the more traditional X-bracing. USA-made Taylors cost upwards of $1500.
Taylor’s Mexican guitars are made in their factory in Tecate which is only a 60 minute drive away from their headquarters in California, USA. Taylor first started making guitars in Mexico in 2000 in Tecate and opened a new factory there in 2016.
The following Taylor guitars are made in Mexico:
- Academy series
- 100 series
- 200 series
- Big Baby
- Baby Taylor
All Mexican-made Taylor acoustic guitars have X-bracing and laminated wood on the back and sides. Made-in-Mexico Taylors start at $400 and cost up to $1900.
Mexican vs USA-Made Taylor Guitars
Any Taylor guitar that’s a 200 series or lower (including the GS-Mini, Big Baby and Baby Taylor), is made in Mexico, and any Taylor in the 300 series or above is made in the USA.
So what is the difference between a Mexican and USA-made Taylor acoustic guitar?
|Mexican Taylor Guitar||American Taylor Guitar|
|Laminate back and sides||Solid back and sides|
|All models use X-bracing||Most models use V-bracing|
|All models have soft gig bag except 200 series||All models come with hard shell case|
|Cost $400-$1900||Cost $1500 and upwards|
Solid vs Laminate Wood
All Taylor guitars that are made in the USA have solid tops and solid back and sides, whereas all Mexican-made Taylor guitars have laminated (layered) back and sides. All Taylor guitars (regardless of where they are made) have solid wood tops.
Solid wood acoustic guitars sound more resonant and have better sustain compared to laminate wood acoustic guitars, hence the more expensive price. This is a big draw of American-made Taylor guitars.
Laminate acoustic guitars on the other hand are cheaper to produce and used on less-expensive models.
Check out this YouTube video comparing a 100-series Mexican Taylor (114) with a 300-series American Taylor (314).
Check out my comparison between solid and laminated acoustic guitars to learn more.
Craftsmanship and Build
Although it does really depend what models you are comparing, there are several differences between the build of USA and Mexican-made Taylors.
Many American-made Taylor guitars have V-bracing whereas Mexican-made Taylors all have X-bracing. V-bracing on an acoustic guitar helps to improve sustain, intonation and increase the volume compared to X-class bracing. Check out my article comparing V and X bracing to learn more.
You can also expect to see some cosmetic upgrades on American Taylors such as more detailed binding and inlays, nicer finishes and better tonewoods.
All USA-made Taylor guitars come with a hardshell case whereas all Mexican-made Taylors come with a soft gig-bag except for those in the 200-series.
Mexican Taylor acoustic guitars cost between $400 and $1,900, and average at $900. USA-made Taylor guitars start at $1,400 and can cost over $10,000. Although more expensive, USA-made Taylor guitars on average hold a higher percentage of their value when it comes to resale.
Taylor guitars are split into different series which are roughly grouped by price. Here’s a table showing the price range of each series. Remember, the cheapest USA-made Taylor guitars are in the American Dream Series and the most expensive Mexican-Made Taylors are in the 200-series.
|Taylor Guitar Series||Starting Price|
Heritage and Prestige
It probably goes without saying but USA-made guitars are more desirable because they carry a lot more heritage and prestige in comparison to Mexican-made guitars, and this is true when it comes to Taylor. USA-made guitars are highly regarded as the best in the world, and this reputation commands a higher price.
Check out my guide to where Martin acoustic guitars are made.