Mini-guitars are usually good for children and travelling, but when it comes to sound quality they can not compete with full-sized versions. GS was promised to be an innovative product suitable for both purposes.
|#||Model||Rating||Body Material||Dimensions||Our top||Check|
|1||Taylor GS Mini||Sapele, Sitka Spruce||18 x 42 x 8 inches||1|| Check|
|2||GS Mini Mahogany||Solid Mahogany||18 x 42 x 8 inches||2|| Check|
|3||GS Mini-e Mahogany||Relief Route||41.5 x 17.5 x 7.2 inches||3|| Check|
|Taylor GS Mini|
|Body Material||Sapele, Sitka Spruce|
|Dimensions||18 x 42 x 8 inches|
|GS Mini Mahogany|
|Body Material||Solid Mahogany|
|Dimensions||18 x 42 x 8 inches|
|GS Mini-e Mahogany|
|Body Material||Relief Route|
|Dimensions||41.5 x 17.5 x 7.2 inches|
The First Impression
The first thing that catches an eye is not even the guitar, but the case it comes in. It looks really solid and promising. And, well, the quality of the product inside does meet the expectations.
Taylor GS mini is a short version of another Taylor’s product – Grand Symphony guitar. But if other mini-guitars look like babes when compared to their full-sized analogues, GS mini looks like a teenager. What I mean, is that this guitar is not a stereotypical ? model, it is something more.
Unlike many budget guitars, Taylor has no mahogany in it. The body is made out of Sapele (back and sides, both covered in satin) and Sitka spruce (top). Taylor uses the same general technology for creating all of its models, so the material here is not cheap wood, but the original ebony one. The whole guitar is matte.
Die-cast tuners are classy and solid. They will serve their purpose for a long time, without being replaced. Easy to adjust and fix, replaceable and well-made, these tuners will not spoil your play.
Not even the smallest parts were forgotten. The tortoise pickguard adds +1 to solidity and durability. It is small things that matters, and it seems like this model has no downsides in the build.
Being a mini-guitar GS mini has body thinner and shorter than classical instruments. The difference isn’t that big for usual adult person, but for a child or an adventurer this is an advantage. Smaller size makes transporting much easier.
The look did not suffer as well. The model has no cutaways as many other small-sized guitars do, which keeps its’ look symmetrical and classical, just like a usual acoustic guitar.
GS Mini in Action
Sound is always the most frightening part of mini-guitars reviewing. Even the models that look promising and should, in theory, sound well, turn out to be disgusting ones. Taylor GS mini did manage to surprise everyone, as it is hard to tell the difference between it and usual acoustic guitar.
- Tones. The tones are easy-to-listen, bright and juicy. They are warm in general and respond to touches in a really nice manner.
- Bass. Unlike most of mini-guitars Taylor GS does not lack neither volume nor loudness. Bass sounds really strong, has no dull and weak notes. This model can be named the unique one, as no other opponent in this price-range can suggest such a high quality of sound.
- Lows, mids and trebles. They are clear and clean. Just this.
As you could have already guessed, the playability action here is low. The guitar is really consistent and easy to play. In fact, super active players should even raise the action level, as it is really low.
This is what makes playing convenient for both the beginning and the experienced players. The first category will have easy times playing notes clear, as there is no strings buzz. Members of the second one have an opportunity to speed up, as the distance between frets and strings is high enough not to be a problem. There is no common annoying problem of losing tempo due to high action. New players will not be demotivated and therefore will have more opportunities to develop their skill.
The final argument is the Taylor’s GS mini neck. The same neck joint is used in all Taylor’s models, independently from size and cost. It makes playability level comfortable and convinient.
Default build is decent for a learner, but as the skill grows so do the requirements to hardware. Taylor GS mini has a high upgrade potential. It is to replace most of its parts and adjust the new ones. Here are the most popular features, that usually get improved:
The classic build includes medium bronze strings. These are good for an average player during the first couple months of practicing. However, one may want to replace it immediately with soft nylon material (for children and women). It will ease the playing even more. It would also be reasonable to get harder strings after getting used to guitar, to make the sound more bright and loud.
The picture is almost identical to the strings. Basic ones are nice and suitable, but as the skill level grows they need to be replaced with better ones. It is recommended to get Gotoh’s samples or replace with the elder brother’s tuners. Yes, they are universal, so golden ones from Taylor F/S will fit nicely. Such replacement will allow to go for improved adjusting and higher levels of personalization.
A separate chapter of upgrades is electrifying the acoustic guitar. Honestly, it only helps with studio records and performances, and will be the complete waste of money for a new practising player.
Taylor has its own electrification kit, which is sold separately for around a hundred dollars. It is simple and plugging in only requires a screwdriver. There are only two components, but instructions are super-extended and clear.
The quality of this product is as high as it is in all the other Taylor’s devices. Despite being really simple, the kit does its’ job. It helps with recording and analyzing skill levels.
Upgradability makes Taylor GS Mini really flexible. It has well-done basic complectation, so called “Beginner’s pack”, and lots of replaceable parts, which is really convenient for the players, who feel how the skill is raising, but do not want to switch the guitar.
Other GS-Series Products
Sometimes it feels like Taylor decided to occupy the market of mini-guitars completely, leaving opponents with zero chances to catch up. The main reason for feeling like this is the overwhelming amount of GS devices. Let us take a look at the most popular ones:
GS Mini Mahogany
It is like 80% the same guitar, but performed completely out of mahogany. This type of wood provides softer tactile feelings, softer sound and really nice vintage look. All the other features are alike.
- Body type: Taylor Grand Symphony Mini
- Neck shape: Taylor GS Mini Profile
- Fingerboard: Genuine African Ebony
- Scale length: 23-1/2″
- Number of strings: 6
GS Mini-e Mahogany
Basically the mahogany version of Taylor GS Mini which has built-in ES-B preamp, tuners, battery indicator and some software. It costs a hundred dollars more. Summing two numbers, we get the price of Taylor GS Mini + electrification kit. The Mini-E version however has bigger potential, so it is worth buying exactly this one for studio recording. Honestly, other mini-guitars are either not this good or cost much more, so there are not really many opponents.
- Body Body type: Grand Symphony, Cutaway: No, Top wood: Solid Sitka Spruce Back
- There’s something undeniably inviting about the Taylor GS Mini’s scaled-down size, yet a single strum reveals the impressive voice of a full-size guitar
- That mix of portability and musicality has proven to be a winning combination that fits into so many scenarios in life, from the couch to the campfire to the concert hall
- That broad-based accessibility has given it a resounding universal appeal, not to mention a built-in fun factor
Feedback from Users
Theory is all good, but it is only possible to realize some things after practical using. A couple of users shared their opinion about how it feels to own Taylor GS Mini in real life conditions.
Summing it Up
Taylor GS mini is a successful product indeed. It is compact, well-built and comfortable-to-play instrument, both suitable for children and adults, beginners and intermediate players. The sound quality is high. Basses are loud enough, lows, mediums and trebles sound clean and clear.
There is quite a lot of options to upgrade the guitar, so it can be a long-time purchase developing many skills. Finally, it looks stylish and is suitable both at the party and in the forest. Taylor GS mini is one of the best options in its’ price category.