Bench Test: Taylor GS Mini Series
By: Kevin Manieri
The Taylor GS Mini caused quite a buzz when it first came out in late 2010. That buzz continues today we can barely keep the original model in stock, and we are just starting to receiving several limited-edition runs for Spring 2012! What makes this guitar so special, and so different from other Taylor models? Read on to find out.
With the GS Mini, Taylor set out to build the worlds best short-scale acoustic guitar. They succeeded! They built a scaled-down version of their patented Grand Symphony guitar, and it was a huge hit with guitarists on the go, young players, recording enthusiasts, and anyone else who wouldnt mind an amazing guitar for under $500. Why is it so popular? Im guessing because no matter what the size, a Taylor is a Taylor. The GS Mini sports the same good looks, effortless playability, quality construction and rich tone that every Taylor does.
One question came up right away with this guitar how is it different from the Big Baby Taylor? The Big Baby is popular as well, and has been around a bit longer how could a player decide between the two? First, the guitars are different shapes and sizes. The Big Baby is a scaled-down dreadnaught, which means a slightly bigger, more traditional body than the GS Mini. Its tone is a bit boomier. The GS Mini, on the other hand, features a slimmer waist and a larger sound hole, contributing to a bright, clear tone. The GS Mini is also more ornate it has more decoration, including a rosette around the sound hole and binding around the body. In my hands, the GS Mini also felt a bit more comfortable. Its neck is rounder, and the neck joint is more traditional than on the Big Baby.
I enjoyed some great hands-on playing time with both of these models, and I can honestly say that Ive never been more impressed with short-scale instruments. Anything short-scale is usually not my cup of tea, but its impossible to deny how good these guitars sound and play.
If all of that wasnt enough to make you want to try one out, there are special limited-edition GS Mini models arriving at our stores right now. The Spring 2012 Limiteds all have Spruce tops like the original, but you can choose from Blackwood, Rosewood, and Maple for the back and sides, each having a unique tone and beautiful looks. Contact your local store for details but act fast, Taylor Limiteds never last long!
Check out the original GS Mini here