Taylor GS Mini Review

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Acoustic guitars are either light and easy to play with a thin tone or are huge beasts you have to wrestle down but sound amazing. The rare instruments, light and tonally pleasing, are few and far between. This Taylor GS Mini review covers the latter and will be a big surprise to experienced players that pick it up and expect the usual thin tone from such a light and breezy instrument.

The classic Grand Symphony (GS) is a fantastic guitar and this is essentially a scaled down version of that. The narrow mid section of the guitar makes playing while sitting very comfortable and the decreased depth of the body itself helps the guitar conform to the player more smoothly by requiring less shoulder extension. The length of the guitar is 36 5/8″ with a scale of 23 1/2″. The depth of the body is 4 7/16″ and while being slightly more shallow than the standard GS this decrease doesn’t sacrifice tone. If the purpose of the guitar was to make it easier to play on the go without losing alot of the classic Grand Symphony sound then well done.

Don’t confuse the mini with the older Baby Taylor, which is actually quite a bit smaller. The mini is clearly an evolved version of the Baby embracing the smaller size (but larger) and increasing the tone and playability.

Features:

  • Case: GS Mini Hardbag
  • Top: Sitka Spruce
  • Shape: GS
  • Back/Sides: Layered Sapele
  • Finish: Satin
  • Neck: Sapele
  • Cutaway: None
  • Headstock: Lexan
  • Inlays: 5mm dots
  • Nut: 1-11/16″
  • Fretboard: Ebony
  • Body Depth: 4-7/16″
  • Body Width: 14-3/8″
  • Body Length: 17-5/8″
  • Pins: Plastic
  • No of Frets: 20
  • Pickguard: Tortoise
  • Overall Length: 36-5/8″
  • Scale Length: 23-1/2″
  • Bridge: Ebony
  • Nut/Saddle: Tusq Nut/Micarta Saddle
  • Tuners: Chrome

Action on an acoustic guitar has to be right or the instrument becomes unplayable real fast. Taylor is known for its great action and even their entry level guitars play smooth. This GS Mini does the brand proud and will continue the great Taylor legendary action. the Taylor NT neck feels like the full sized version, albeit smaller, and the instrument feels like a much higher end guitar. Taylor really knocked it out of the park here.

The gleaming gold grain has an illusion of depth and the laminated sapele sides and back are honey colored mahogany. The guitar has a solid Sitka top and an ebony bridge and fretboard. The mini uses the same materials for the nut, tuners and saddle that Taylor uses on the full sized guitars so no skimping there.

It’s time to get serious about the tone here. It isn’t possible for the GS Mini to have the same sound as a full GS or a dreadnaught. The builders must eventually give in to the physics of sound and embrace the fact that this guitar is smaller and that’s the deal. The highs are very clear, the mids are smooth and gentle and the lows don’t rumble so the guitar sounds great, just without the full harmonic range of its larger sized cousins. I I had to guess if this was as good as it get’s with this sized body I would lean towards yes. Tested under a D standards tuning as well as Drop C and E standard (with the same strings!) the guitar held up great. If I were to stay in Drop C I’d get heavier gauged strings than the mediums that came on the guitar but that unavoidable and not an issue with the instrument.

Taylor makes some great guitars and the Taylor GS Mini is counted among them. It is affordable, mobile, great sounding and gracefully playable. This get s a big thumbs up.