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