The pioneer in acoustic guitar manufacturing, Taylor has been popular for its commitment to quality, innovation, and above all, customer satisfaction. The acoustic guitar brand was founded in 1974 in El Cajon, California, by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug. Taylor guitars are best known for their excellent sound and ease in the guitar world. However, it was not an easy task to reach the top of guitar manufacturing. Taylor has gone through ups and downs throughout its manufacturing history. Let’s take a look at the brief history of Taylor guitars.
History of Taylor Guitars
The Early History
The company was started in El Cajon, California, by Sam Radding and was named as American Dream. Initially, it was a guitar-making shop, and he hired an 18-year-old young boy named Bob Taylor. The American dream was not successful at the beginning. Taylor worked there for two years, and then Radding decided to sell his business. It was the time when Taylor, Kurt Listug, and Steve Schemmer (two other employees of American Dream) bought the business and named it Westland Music Company.
After reviewing the name, they decided that Westland Music Company was too long a name, and it would be awkward to create a long logo, so they considered Listug as their new brand name. After reconsidering for the third time, they finalized Taylor is the best name for the American guitar market. Listug was responsible for the company control, whereas Taylor focused on design, innovation, and guitar production.
In 1976, the company extended into retail stores and started to grow its business. Now, Taylor guitar manufacturing company has more than 900 employees, and they produced hundreds of high-quality guitars every day.
History of Innovation
Bob Taylor successfully combined high-tech manufacturing with old-fashioned craftsmanship to produce the most versatile guitars of the era. Therefore he was known as the most visionary guitar manufacturer of his time. Nowadays, Taylor is known for easy to play, excellent sound, and attractive design, and with a popular neck recognized by guitarists everywhere.
The first prominent innovation in acoustic guitar design in more than 100 years was the Taylor patented neck. Other notable Taylor designs include a hybrid acoustic, T5, electric guitar, and the Expression system, which was, in fact, the revolutionary pickup for acoustic guitar amplification.
Taylor and Playability
Taylor was well aware of the fact that no matter what kind of exotic tonewoods are used or how good the guitar sounds, good playability is one of the most essential factors for guitarists. If guitar playing is an uncomfortable and painful experience, no one will ever play it. In the early 1930s-1950s, guitars usually had a fat V-shaped curve which was quite uncomfortable to hold and play.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the Taylor guitars featured thin neck shapes that were comfortable to hold and play. Taylor was not a well-known brand by that time and was struggling to make a place in top manufacturers. One of the great tactics used by Taylor was that rather than direct sales, they disturbed their instruments to retail stores, which helped them to get some fame.
The goal of Taylor was not to reinvent the guitar but to bring the acoustic guitar into the modern world with great playability and comfort. The techniques used by Taylor are modern, but they are also simple intuitive real-world solutions.
Modern Acoustic Guitar Milestones by Taylor
Initially, the quality of Taylor guitars was consistent, but the technological advancements of the late 90s put Taylor on the music world map.
Used by every popular guitar manufacturer today, Taylor was the first producer to use computer drive tech to help make instruments faster and with excellent precision. The Taylor “4” series guitars are the very first all-solid guitars to use CNC machines. The genuine 4 series is the only American-made all solid wood best acoustic guitars under $1000 at the time of its introduction.
An excellent initiative that Taylor took was that Bob invested in re-planting 1500 Ebony trees in the West Congo basin Africa. In collaboration with the government of Cameroon, the brand is helping to ensure a sustainable Ebony source for future generations.
In addition to excellent playing guitar, Taylor electronics are best known for their supreme performance. The Taylor Expression System was one of the notable developments in the modern era. The under-saddle transducer was combined with the type of microphone that is directly attached to the soundboard.
The current electronic system used by Taylor is Expression System 2 and Gold Standard. The ES2 has repositioned transducer along with the two contact mics that are attached to the underside of the soundboard. Also, the placement of two contact mics offers a broader and more complete tone of the unique character of the guitar.
Taylor NT Neck Joint
The Taylor NT neck joint was indeed the most fantastic feature introduced by the brand in acoustic guitar technology. It is the most important and dramatic alternative to the age-old dovetail joint. The NT (New Technology) neck joint is a prominent leap in the playability of the acoustic guitar. In other words, Taylor guitars were completely transformed from a well-regarded guitar manufacturer to one of the most popular makers of acoustic guitar producers in the world.
The fingerboard is flawlessly attached and supported by the neck to the last fret, removing the potential for a hump to improve where the fretboard is typically supported by the vibrating top. Also, the NT neck avoids the need to painstakingly set and glue the ideal neck angle and clamp and then glue it into place. The neck makes guitar playability second to none. You can’t see the NT joint from the outside, but you can’t miss it when playing. This excellent but subtle change in how this neck is joined to the body makes Taylor one of the best acoustic guitars on planet earth. Not only has it helped to improve Taylor’s profile, but the acoustic guitar in common.
Read More: Best Taylor Acoustic Guitars
Taylor has been an innovator and forward-thinking Conversationalist Company. The top priority of the brand is to source their wood with environmental sustainability. With such responsible and proactive action teamed with the beautiful sounds, flawless and innovative craftsmanship, and appealing designs, no wonder the Taylor guitar is still the most desired acoustic guitar in the musical world.