If you’re in the market for a new acoustic guitar, and you’re looking in the mid range, you going to be undoubtedly look at PRS and Taylor guitars.
PRS acoustic vs Taylor is an age old question of comparison. Which brand is better and what’s going to give you the most rock and roll for your dollar?
PRS (Paul Reed Smith) is known for making great quality guitars that need to be in the conversation when looking at mid-range acoustic guitars.
The same is true, if not more so with Taylor Guitars. This brand will be found in every single music shop as one of the most trusted brands in the acoustic guitar space.
I’m going to disclose my bias right out of the gate: I’ve been playing Taylors since before PRS started making acoustic guitars.
So I’ll do my best to discuss this in an unbiased manner, but ya, I like Taylors.
PRS acoustic Vs Taylor acoustic guitars
PRS has been making guitars since the mid 1980s, this makes them an established brand.
Similarly, Taylor has been in the business for about a decade longer than its rival PRS.
What really separates the two companies, however, is where they started.
Taylor guitars is, and always has been an acoustic guitar maker. While they do carry a line of semi-hollow body guitars, Taylor by no means is known for their electric guitar.
The near opposite is true for PRS. PRS started out making electric guitars and they are very good at it.
However, they did not get into the acoustic guitar market until 2009.
This is my one gripe, than may be a little unpopular.
Taylor has been making acoustic guitars for about 50 years. PRS has barely been making them for a decade.
That’s a big difference.
You might say, ya but a guitar is a guitar, but this isn’t quite true.
The build process, materials, and requirements between making an electric guitar, and an acoustic are very, very different.
I’m not saying PRS doesn’t know what they are doing by any means, they make great quality guitars, acoustic or electric.
What I will say is that if you’re a company, skilled in making acoustic guitars, it’s going to be easier to transition to producing a line of electric guitars, rather than the opposite.
It will be harder to go from electric guitar building to acoustic, as PRS has.
But what about the pickups?
Well yes, that’s one thing that PRS would have over Taylor, the fact that an electric guitar maker should be building better pickups than acoustic luthiers.
However, and this speaks more to Taylor being a great brand, and isn’t meant to discredit PRS, but Taylor’s pickups are some of the best acoustic pickups in the industry.
Of course, both makers produce fine quality acoustic guitars.
However, it is good to know that one company is all about acoustics, and the other is making acoustics as an additional line of products.
What’s better PRS or Taylors?
We’re talking about the mid range today, as that is where the two brands tend to line up most comparably.
If our budget is lower than mid-range, Taylor isn’t going to be your best option, and if you’re going above the mid-range, Taylor will still be there, but PRS won’t.
Above the mid-range is where Taylor shines, and they drastically outpace PRS.
Entry level, PRS will have more options with better value than Taylor.
So at the mid-range price point, you’re much more likely to see more PRS options.
The problem I have with Taylors in the mid-range is that they feel like a cheaper version of their performance lines of guitars.
From afar, they have that same classic Taylor look, but every time I pick up a mid-range Taylor I think “feels a little cheap”.
I’m not even sure what it is about it. Tone maybe, but the feel just isn’t right either.
If you go to a big music shop, and look at a 600 dollar Taylor, and then go over to a 1,200 dollar Taylor, there just seems to be more than double the price worth of value in the more expensive model.
It’s also worth pointing out that for both brands, at the mid-range, may use laminate in the build.
This might not be a sticking point for some, at this price, but it might ruin it for others, thus I mention it.
PRS Parlor Vs Taylor GS Mini
This is a good match up. The PRS Parlor line and the Taylor GS Mini lines are smaller body acoustic guitars meant to be for a more casual “parlor” setting.
This means they aren’t designed to play loud, on stage, but rather should fill a small- medium size room in your home with the right level of volume.
Parlor style guitars are also marketed as supposedly more portable, however, if you want portable, look at a smaller scale guitar, as parlor style guitars are going to get beaten out.
For this specific match up, I’d go with the PRS Parlor, as the Taylor GS Mini’s just aren’t where Taylor shines.
PRS Parlors, on the other hand, are well reviewed and hold their own.
Overall, PRS will likely provide you some better value when compared to Taylor.
The lower your budget, the more PRS will likely win out.
However, as the budget increases, and you get closer to the top end of the mid-range, Taylor is going to start clobbering PRS.
PRS acoustic vs Taylor acoustic guitars isn’t an easy decision, but the more money you spend the more you’ll want to lean towards Taylor Guitars.
Is Taylor GS Mini a parlor guitar?
No, not technically. The Taylor GS Mini line of guitars do not fit the description of parlor guitars.
Parlor guitars are typically supposed to be a full scale guitar with a smaller body. Where as the Taylor GS Minis are overall a smaller profile than the full scale that is expected of parlor style guitars.
Although, the parlor style of guitars has somewhat faded from the limelight, as their popularity has decreased over the last few decades.
If you want a true parlor style, when looking at PRS vs Taylor, PRS is going to give you a true parlor guitar.