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Bob Taylor on why Taylor’s budget guitars still have to be their “best guitars”: “It literally can’t afford a warranty repair… it’s not expensive enough”

There are plenty of sub-£1k acoustics in the Taylor lineup – Bob Taylor explains why the company can’t afford to miss the mark on them.

Taylor Builder's Edition acoustic laid flat on a wooden surface

Image: Taylor

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Bob Taylor, co-founder of Taylor Guitars, says the brand’s most affordable guitars should still be top quality, as there’s “no room for something to go wrong” when it comes to the price of repairs.

There’s a hefty selection of Taylor models that sit above the £1,000 price mark, but you’ll also find a range of guitars selling for £999 or less, too – its Academy series, Baby Taylors, and also many of its 100 series offer a more budget-friendly price point.

In the second episode of Taylor’s podcast, American Dreamers: 50 Years of Taylor Guitars – which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the brand – Bob Taylor recalls its early days, and how he learned to “not make love” to a guitar, but rather to get the job done and make a sturdy tool.

“A lot of people they’ll say, ‘I just don’t know why this guitar that you make… How can you charge more for that?’ and I go, ‘well actually, it’s the wrong question it’s like, how can we charge so little for this guitar?’” He says. “Because our company started it, the 800 series, that’s what we would have to make to make any money, and then we learned how to make a less expensive [model]…”

Andy Powers, Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug
Andy Powers, Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug. Image: Taylor

He adds, “When you buy our least expensive guitars you’re getting the most valued thing that we can get, and even today I tell people, ‘Our least expensive guitar has to be our best guitar, because there’s no room in there for something to go wrong.’ No matter what you make, people expect it to work. It literally can’t afford a warranty repair or a trip back to El Cajon. It’s not expensive enough.”

Bob likens these early days of trial and error to being rough, and like a teacher who would whack your knuckles on the daily. Clearly though, the hard work paid off as the brand continues celebrating its 50th birthday this year.

Find out more and check out the American Dreamers podcast episodes at Taylor Guitars.

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