Big Baby Taylor Review | A Great Beginner Guitar?

Taylor Guitars as a brand stands tall as one of the most trusted, high-quality guitars on the market today. They manufacture great acoustic guitars, electric guitars and even some classical guitars.

How do I know? I own one (specifically the Taylor 310ce) and I love it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything and it sounds better now than it did when I first bought it.

The biggest obstacle to these guitars, however, is the price. Most Taylor guitars range between $1,000 – $2,000, well above the budget of most people looking to buy a beginner acoustic guitar.

Taylor has attempted to break that barrier with the introduction of what they call the “Taylor Big Baby“.

The Taylor “Baby” Family

Taylor first introduced the original Baby Taylor, a 3/4 size travel guitar, back in 1996. The unexpected success of this guitar was a catalyst for Taylor deciding to respond with a larger, high-quality version of the Baby Taylor.

As a result, the “Big Baby” was born. It’s still not the same size as a traditional dreadnaught guitar (the body is 15/16 size) and it still acts more like a travel guitar than an all-purpose guitar, but the response from the guitar community was still the same – everybody loved it.

Big Baby Taylor Review

Having played many Big Baby guitars, there is no doubt that it is, indeed, a great beginner guitar. Taylor maintains it’s manufacturing excellence by delivering a quality guitar at an affordable price. But how does it stack up?

The Sound

Despite having a smaller body than most full-size guitars, the Taylor Big Baby packs an incredible sound. It’s not as much the sound projection as much as it is the sound quality.

Part of this has to do with the solid sitka spruce top soundboard. Whereas most guitar makers in the beginner guitar market save money by putting a laminate wood as the soundboard, Taylor has decided that the sound quality is of greater importance than inferior production.

The Feel

In keeping with the Taylor Guitar tradition, the Big Baby offers excellent playability. Because the neck of the guitar attaches to the body without the traditional heel, players have easier access to the higher register.

The “action” of the Big Baby (defined as the distance between the string and the neck at the 12th fret) is much better than most beginner guitars, which means that it is easier for fingers to play.

So, if you haven’t yet formed calluses on your fingertips, this will be music to your ears.

The Accessories

Included with the Big Baby Taylor is the gig bag, which is actually a huge bonus. Normally these kind of bags range in price between $50-$100, and often aren’t even of the same quality.

The gig bag offers adequate padding for most travel situations and will keep the guitar from getting scratched. The pouch on the front is perfect for music, capos, picks and anything else that you might need to bring along with you.

Big Baby: Pros vs. Cons

All in all, this guitar deserves the 5 star rating it usually gets. But to be fair, here are the pros and cons of the Big Baby Guitar as a great beginner guitar:

Pros:

  • Affordable Taylor: If you like the prestige of carrying around a Taylor guitar, this is a great option.
  • Excellent Quality: Taylor’s production standards are some of the best in the industry.
  • Solid Top Sound: The solid sitka spruce top offers great sound quality
  • Gig Bag: The gig bag that comes with the Big Baby is well-made and also great for all travel situations.
  • An Electronics Option: You can plug this guitar in, therefore, if you want to play on stage you won’t have to install a pickup yourself.

Cons:

  • Relatively Expensive: Compared to other “beginner” guitars, the Taylor is expensive at around $400, but the quality is much better

Big Baby Taylor Review

13 Responses to Big Baby Taylor Review | A Great Beginner Guitar?

  1. David B. Zaharik says:

    Which of the acoustic travel guitars (or Big Baby Taylor) have a full size neck! I had a Baby Taylor many years ago and I would practice scales like crazy only to find my muscle memory “off” when I got home to my full size guitar.

    • ellie says:

      This guitar does sound awesome, however within five minutes of owning this guitar I had already inflicted a pretty bad scratch due to the lack of a shine or finish. It is a flat finish, therefore leaving the INCREDIBLY SOFT wood that this guitar is made of (feels almost luke a rashly thin, cheap, particle board). This is a bummer bc the guitar is prone to scratch with only the lightest touch.

      • Sam says:

        You can fill the deep scratches with thick superglue, then scrape with a razor blade (use blue tape on the blade to protect the guitar except for 1/2 inch in the center)until flat. Then, sand with 320 grit paper on treated area only, then go up to 600 grit, then 800. At that point it should look much better; you can decide to take it further up the grits if you like as anything over 800 grip is essentially polishing. If you like, buy a can of satin clear guitar lacquer from Stewart MacDonald guitar supplies and touch up over your repairs. Don’t get high gloss.

      • Happy Whale says:

        @ ellie
        *Big Baby Taylors* are made out of laminated Sapele Wood (back & sides), solid Sitka Spruce (top) and solid Mahogany (neck), not a particle board. Yes, they do have thin, satin kind of finish, but that’s why they sound so great. You can have shiny and hard, polyurethane finish for half price of the Taylor if you like, but it will kill the sound. Besides that, guitars are meant for playing music, NOT SCRATCHING Lol…

    • Happy Whale says:

      @ David B. Zaharik
      Big Baby Taylor is the ideal beginner guitar, especially for younger person or smaller/petite size lady. It has smaller 15/16 size dreadnought body, but full size 25.5″ scale and 20 frets. It comes as acoustic or electric/acoustic these days. Electr./Acoust. – $529.00 US @ Sweetwater (USA); Or $739.00 CAD @ Long & McQuade (Canada).
      P.S. Make sure that seller does proper set-up before you buy it. Taylors used to be ready to play out of the box but may have high action and/or bowed necks lately.

  2. been_around_block says:

    Josh, you should scratch that second con. There is the BBT-e, acoustic-electric with Taylor’s built-in ES-2 system: under-saddle pickup, pre-amp and tuner.

    • Josh Summers says:

      Interesting – thanks for the update!

      • Donnie says:

        + There is an acoustic and electro acoustic version of the Taylor big baby, the BBT is the acoustic version reviewed here,the BBTe is the electro acoustic version + I hope to get my hands on a BBTe soon

  3. Chip Robison says:

    Hello Josh…really enjoy your blog.

    A question for you and your audience…Just got back from a life-changing journey…”What a loooong strange trip it’s been…”

    Had to leave my Big Baby behind, but in relatively good storage conditions, humidity and temp-wise. Can you recommend a checklist for ensuring the integrity of the neck and soundboard prior to loosening or tightening strings, etc….? I.e. things to look for prior to re-learning ?

    Many thanks,

    Chip Robison
    Atlanta

  4. Stuart says:

    I went into a shop yesterday to try the Yamaha APX500III and they had a Big Baby sitting nearby, so I ended up trying it.

    A day later, I’m becoming a bit obsessed with having one (I want the acoustic-electric version so that would put me about 50% over budget), as the playability and sound were awesome. Also, despite the two visible screw heads in the fretboard and the minimal finishing on the guitar, it felt and looked fantastic. The feel of the neck and the action made me feel like I was slipping my hands into a pair of perfect-fitting gloves.

    I think I’m smitten and I’m pretty sure I’m going to go for it. Such a well-made guitar and such playability and tone.

    Lucky I stumbled upon it I think. 🙂

    • tango lima chua says:

      had wanted to buy a Epiphone PR-5E but when I tried out the BBT-e right next to it, i changed my mind immediately. Yes the Taylor BBB-e is more than twice the price of the Epiphone but the Taylor sounds more than twice as good. Not to mention that its easier to play because of a smaller neck for my small hands. Plugged into my Luca Nano and had forgotten to sleep last night! It just sounds so rich and crisp. Try playing all the chords of ‘ Morning has broken’ and you would know what i mean…

  5. […] The Larrivée Parlor guitar, which includes the P-03 Mahogany model, the P-09 Rosewood model and the PV-09 model with a cutaway, are a series of guitars that have effectively packed an amazing sound into a smaller-body. These parlor guitars have a somewhat elongated body, making them different in both tone and look from something like the Baby Taylor guitar. […]

  6. Eddie says:

    The quality of the Big Baby is not much better than other $400 guitars. In fact you can get $150 guitars with as good quality from Washburn, Yamaha and the usual suspects. My Sub $200 Takamine G solid cedar top is built as good, looks nicer, sounds better than my Big Baby. Nothing wrong with the Big Baby. but if it wasn’t a Taylor you’d be paying half as much (or less) and people would be saying… it doesn’t sound like a Taylor, lol.

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