*From 1993 until the end of 1999, each Taylor guitar featured a nine-digit serial number that precisely pinpoints when work was begun on that guitar.
(As of 2000, the serial number expanded to 11 digits to accommodate the four-digit year designation.) Reading left to right, the first two digits (or four starting in 2000) represent the year; the second pair of digits represents the month; and the third pair of digits represents the calendar day that work was begun.
Gradually, we got around to our current, more accurate formula for pinpointing the exact day that work was begun on a particular guitar.
Employees Bob Taylor, Kurt Listug, and Steve Schemmer purchase the American Dream Musical Instrument Manufacturing shop in Lemon Grove, California, and change the name to Taylor Guitars; all rosewood used is Brazilian.
The new serial numbering convention takes into account Taylor’s two manufacturing locations: its main complex in El Cajon, California and a second factory complex located in nearby Tecate, Mexico.
Guitar #20168 is the first Taylor made from East Indian rosewood; guitar #20179 is the latest Taylor “on record” to have the mortise neck joint (by the time we made #20229, we were not using mortise neck joints); Kurt hits the road to sell direct to dealers.
Still finishing up and selling off guitars started in 1979, before we let our employees go for the second time; sold some guitars to Musician’s Supply, and finally paid off a five-year-old bill for wood we’d purchased from Martin.
The seventh digit indicates whether the guitar is a 300 or 400 series (“0”) or a higher series (“1”); and the last two digits denote the guitar’s position in that day’s production sequence.
So, for example, if the serial number were 980103004, it would break down as follows: 98: It should be emphasized that the serial number does not indicate when a guitar was finished, or when it was shipped.