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Last Updated on January 9, 2024 by Justin Thomas

Author: Santiago Motto

Aka. Sandel. Telecasters and all-mahogany Martins lover.

Besides that, Sandel is a professional writer, guitar player, confessed guitar nerd, and all-things-guitar consumer. He has been playing for 25 years which makes him a nineties kid with serious low-tuning youngster years, and a pop palate for melodies, ballads, and world music.

Whenever Santiago is not pouring all that experience and love for the instrument into articles, you can find him playing live shows supporting his music and poetry books as “Sandel”. If he’s not doing either of those, you can also find him gigging with his band, “San Juan”, writing, reading, or enjoying the Sun.

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Editing & Research: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I love guitars and have played dozens and dozens of different guitars through different amps and pedals over the years, and also, building a website interested me, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website.

I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have also been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as SongsterrMusicnotesGuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar.

I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog (I guess that went the right way…).

Arguably, Taylor Guitars is the third member of the acoustic guitar world podium. The other two are, obviously, Martin and Gibson.

Yet, these three huge brands aren’t the same. Yes, there’s something that separates Taylor guitars from the other competitors: it is a new brand making modern guitars to play modern music.

Wait! Wasn’t Taylor a company making acoustic guitars; the most traditional version of the guitar ever?

Well, saying that is like painting half the picture because Martin has been making acoustics since 1833 and Gibson since 1894. Taylor, on the other hand, was founded in 1974, and it’s a brand that makes up for what it doesn’t have in longevity with audacious design innovations and impeccable craftsmanship.

Read on, because we’re about to unveil what you always wanted to know about where Taylor Guitars are made. Plus, we’ll tell some of the brand’s history and how it became one of the most revolutionary acoustic guitar brands in guitar history.

Quick answer: Where Are Taylor Guitars Made?

Taylor guitars are made in two different locations: El Cajon, California, USA, and Tecate, Baja California, Mexico. Funny enough, the distance between these two facilities (that are in different countries) is only 40 miles.

Check our other Taylor articles:

5 Best Taylor Guitars

5 Best Budget Taylor Guitars Under $1000

Are Taylor Guitars Good For Beginners?


Taylor Guitar factory locations

Let’s begin by saying that Taylor was founded by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug in 1974 and its headquarters are currently in El Cajon, California.

The story behind the brand is that of two friends who shared the same passion for guitar. Yes, they met while working at the same music shop in San Diego.

Nowadays, almost half a century later, the same company has grown to employ over 1,200 people making over 700 guitars every day. Yes, Taylor manufactures a staggering amount of more than 130,000 guitars every year.

Taylor guitars are made in two different locations: El Cajon, California, USA, and Tecate, Baja California, Mexico. Funny enough, the distance between these two facilities (that are in different countries) is only 40 miles.

Taylor doesn’t manufacture any guitars outside of these facilities. This is made very clear by the brand in the “About Us” section of their website with the line: “Taylor does not manufacture any guitars in Asia.

So, to make this clear, despite the controversy, copies, counterfeits, and fake guitars flooding the world, Taylor Guitars doesn’t manufacture guitars outside North America.

Let’s break down what each factory does:

El Cajon, California, USA

This is Taylor’s main facility and the place where high-end instruments are built. Moreover, El Cajon is where the brand’s Custom Shop and headquarters are too. To say this is also to say that some of the finest acoustic guitars in the world come from this facility. But that’s not all, since the El Cajon factory also takes care of the more intricate inlay patterns and the exotic woods.

Tecate, Baja California, Mexico

The Tecate factory was opened by Taylor in the early 2000s and nowadays makes the more affordable lines of the company. Roughly speaking, we could say that all Taylor solid-top guitars with laminated backs and sides are made in Tecate.


If you are not 100% sure if Taylor guitars are the right choice for you, check this article: “Are Taylor Guitars Any Good?

FAQ

Which Taylor Guitars Are Made in The USA?

The guitars that Taylor manufactures in its 200,000-square-foot facility represent the best of the company. Yes, the master luthier, the most experienced builders, and most of the state-of-the-art technology the company has developed in the last 50 years are at this facility.

Also, this is the place where all the design and prototyping are made for the upcoming lines, even if they are to be built in Mexico afterward.

displays Taylor 814ce in a guitar case
Stunning Taylor.

So, in a nutshell, the USA facilities are the headquarters of the company and the place where the Taylor legend was born and grew. Therefore, the kind of guitars you could expect from this facility are the top-tier models with all-solid wood construction and innovative V-Style bracing, considered an evolution from X-bracing increasing the guitar’s resonance and enhancing tone.

If you want to know more about this groundbreaking invention, you can check this video and this video about it.

These are the guitar lines made by Taylor in the USA facility:

  • The American Dream Series
  • 300 Series
  • 400 Series
  • 500 Series
  • 600 Series
  • 700 Series
  • 800 Series
  • 900 Series
  • Koa Series
  • Presentation series
  • T3 Series
  • T5 Series

If you want to know more about Taylor’s El Cajon facility, you can watch this video tour made by Sweetwater.

Which Taylor Guitars Are Made in Mexico?

Believe it or not, the beginnings of Taylor’s Mexico facility have to be traced back to a problem with cases that happened in the late ‘90s.

Yes, it all started because Taylor was growing exponentially and having problems with their Chinese case provider to meet the needed supply. Thus, the company decided to manufacture them in-house to avoid future problems and also to be able to grow as a manufacturer.

Nowadays, the Tecate factory continues to supply the Taylor Company with cases and gig bags for all models.

Also, with time, the Tecate facility started making some of the more affordable lines Taylor offers. Yes, as awkward as it might sound, although these facilities started making cases, no guitars featuring cases are made in Mexico.

The other distinction is that all guitars made in Mexico have laminated backs and sides. This includes the revolutionary smaller series like the Baby Taylor, the Big Baby, the GS-mini, and more.

What you can expect from Mexican-made Taylor guitars is a simpler, more austere layout that can lower the cost of carrying the Taylor tone to beginners, students, and amateur musicians.

These are the Mexican-made Taylor guitar lines:

  • Academy Series
  • 100 Series
  • 200 Series
  • GS-Mini Series
  • Big Baby Series
  • Baby Taylor Series

If you want to know more about Taylor’s Tecate factory, you can join this tour virtually.

Where Are Cheap Taylor Guitars Made?

Unlike many other big guitar companies, like Gibson and Fender, neither Martin nor Taylor manufacture any guitars in the most affordable end of the spectrum.  This means that these companies do not manufacture anything outside North America and that the cheapest guitar you can buy from Taylor is the Baby Taylor, which has served artists the size of Taylor Swift to fill stadiums around the world.

So, in a nutshell, Taylor only builds quality instruments in Mexico and the USA.

Where Have Taylor Guitars Been Made Throughout History?

For Taylor, it all started in a small shop in San Diego. After buying the owner out, the same pair of guitar enthusiasts started making the kind of guitars they would like to buy.

As a result, a company that was to change the way we look at acoustic guitars forever was born.

By the time the brand was really taking off, the meteoric ascend and the exponential growth in sales forced Taylor to outgrow its structure, and thus, the Mexico facility was created; first for cases, then for guitars.

These are the only two locations Taylor has ever built guitars at.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Taylor is a 100% employee-owned business since 2021. Yes, instead of selling it to any competitor, the company’s founders, Bob Taylor, new partner Andy Powers, and Kurt Listug decided to transition the company to Taylor’s employees through an employee stock ownership plan (AKA ESOP). This way, the legacy, the vision, and the quality remain in the hands of those who create the Taylor products day after day.


Conclusion

Taylor is one of those companies that take a lot of pride in the kind of products they manufacture and work very hard to preserve not only the brand’s reputation but also its innovative spirit.

Taylor was a new player when it arrived in 1974 but is now the owner of a new, distinct, and revolutionary sound that can be heard in every radio station around the globe.

If you’re a stranger to “The Taylor Sound”, my recommendation is to try one today; and if the budget allows it, a guitar from their 300-series or above.

One caveat, though, do it at your own risk, since you might not be able to put it down.

Happy playing!

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Santiago Motto

Aka. Sandel. Pure Telecasters and all-mahogany Martins lover. Besides that, Sandel is a professional writer, guitar player, confessed guitar nerd, and all-things-guitar consumer. He has been playing for 25 years which makes him a nineties kid with serious low-tuning youngster years, and a pop palate for melodies, ballads, and world music. You can connect with Santiago on LinkedIn or just email him.
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Tyler Connaghan

Has anyone made a comparison between Mexican and Californian-made Taylors?