Inside Taylor Guitars – Brian visits Taylor – Part 1

Mass Street Music‘s own Brian Soden is at Taylor Guitars in California this week. He’s getting the inside scoop on Taylor and checking out what’s new…Check out Mass Street’s Taylor Acoustics here and our Taylor Electrics here.  Now,  Part One of Brian’s Taylor visit….

Hey folks!  I just arrived back at the hotel from an incredible day at Taylor Guitars in California! My first day here consisted of a “three hour tour” of the factory floor to kick things off.  There are two things I noticed right off the bat – the factory is CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!  It’s obvious that their luthiers take extreme pride in their jobs.  They were excited to show me how their part of the guitar making process works, what it consists of, etc.  Brian Swerdfeger, VP of Marketing, led us through the tour and pretty much the entire day.  His interaction with the entire factory team is the second thing I noticed, and was really impressed with.  There is a very “team” oriented vibe.  Whether your role at Taylor is cutting braces, finishing bodies or you’re a VP, you’re all family.  In my experience, that’s EXACTLY what makes a team function at their best.

Brian meets Brian - Taylor's Brian Swerdfeger leads the tour...

Brian meets Brian - Taylor's Brian Swerdfeger leads the tour...

NOW to the guitars!  I had a chance to play Bob Taylor’s personal guitar he made at age 17.  It was a great sounding and playing guitar…and for it to be made by a 17 year old high school kid, WOW.  At 17, I was probably watching Sportscenter and eating chips after school…not diving in the ocean for inlay materials for my guitar!  I also had the opportunity yesterday to play 1 of 2 double neck Taylors that were made for Richie Sambora.  Richie swaps the guitars back and forth to keep a freshly set up guitar to take on the road.  It’s an amazing guitar…flat out! CLICK ‘CONTINUE READING’ FOR MORE…

Checking out one of Richie Samboro's Taylor double-necks! Sweet!

Checking out one of Richie Sambora's Taylor double-necks! Sweet!

Lastly, the machines! The making of Taylors is still very hands-on but they incorporate new technology as well to ensure that Taylor perfection.  My favorite was “Buffy the Guitar Slayer”, a huge buffing machine used for guitars after the finish phase.  Also, the laser cutting machine used for cutting body tops, sides, intricate inlays was so impressive to watch.  The laser cutter keeps all cuts incredibly consistent, which allows for no “surprises” at the end of the process, when it’s time to assemble the instrument.

Oh, by the way…I saw a pile of Koa worth roughly a million dollars.  We’ve seen some amazing Taylor Koas at Mass Street Music so it was nice to see the raw source wood in person. And so much of it!

Gorgeous raw Koa!!

Gorgeous raw Koa!!

Day 2 is going to consist of the Build To Order process – one of the things that makes Taylor so cool, and so personal for the customer…you can order exactly, and I mean exactly, what your heart desires. We’ll also be  covering the Taylor Electrics – something I think they do very well and are frankly underrated on.  Can’t wait!!  I’ll have more blog entries on the way.  There are so many things I want to cover from this experience, so stay tuned!!

– Brian

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