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Taylor Guitars

Taylor Guitars, one of the largest guitar manufacturers in the United States, is located in El Cajon, California. They specialize in acoustic guitars in a variety of different sizes, plus semi-hollow body electric guitars. Their lower-priced guitars, the Baby Taylor, Big Baby Taylor, GS-Mini, and Academy Series acoustic guitars and acoustic-electric guitars are all made just over the border near Tecate, Mexico. 

The GuitarSquid stated in a review that Taylor Guitars have produced some of the greatest guitars in the business and have continued doing so for more than 40 years.

The GuitarSquid goes on to say that the GS Mini, one of their newest guitars, is a compact guitar that gives the guitarist great quality and can be valued as a guitar superstar.

In an interview, GuitarSquid stated that Taylor had produced some of the best guitars during their 40 years in business. They went on to say that one of Taylor’s  newest models, the GS-Mini, another small travel guitar, is being seen as one of the guitar superstars.

Disclaimer

Taylor recently released that, “The Taylor Big Baby (BBT) and Taylor BBTE are not currently offered as standard production models. Although, many authorized dealers do have the Big Baby Taylors in stock. Contact your local distributor for more information. You can also contact Taylor directly to find a distributor at 1-800-943-6782.”

Another option is to check different music stores that offer online sales, such as eBay who offers many guitars both new and used. You can also find several well-known music stores selling on eBay.

Taylor Big Baby vs GS-Mini Comparison Review

Taylor Big Baby and GS Mini Comparison Review

The BBT (Big Baby Taylor), a top travel acoustic guitar, is portable, playable, and affordable. It is designed after the bigger dreadnoughts, but size-wise, it is bigger than the Baby Taylor and smaller than the dreadnought. Even though the BBT is small, the volume and bass are more than other travel guitars.

Sound Quality

Both the Big Baby Taylor and the GS Mini are great travel guitars while maintaining good sound quality. The GS Mini maintains the responsiveness and sustain that you’ve come to expect from the bigger guitars, yet, without the muddiness.

The Big Baby Taylor’s Sitka Spruce top deliveries a broader dynamic sound range for playing a wide variety of styles, yielding more bottom-end and volume, with more projection, resonance, and sustain, then the GS-mini.

Even though it does not have the full jumbo body sound of the dreadnought, it does produce a fair amount of volume. If you are looking for a travel guitar with full sound, you might consider the Big Baby Taylor.

The intonation, another consideration when buying a smaller travel guitar, is great in the BBT, where it can get a little quirky in some of the other small guitars. The arched back that Taylor added to the BBT compensates for the intonation, giving it more strength and a fuller tone.

Size

Even though the BBT is only slightly larger than the GS-mini, it has a 15/16th size non-cutaway dreadnought shape with a full 4” depth and a scale length of 25.5”.

Because of the GS-Mini size, it is very portable providing the same playability and comfort level no matter where you are. Some do say it requires some adjustment to adapt to its small size, but they also state that the adapting was not an issue. It has been stated that the smaller size makes it easier to play the single-note lines.

Patented Neck

Both guitars feature Taylor’s patented neck which has a very natural feel to the guitarist.

Taylor patented a unique neck construction, a bolt-on neck, called the NT (New Technology) neck. Its construction, form, and function are unique in design. First of all, the Taylor NT Neck consists of one continuous piece of wood all the way to the 19th fret to support the fretboard as opposed to the typical design of ending the neck at the 14th fret where it attaches. That leaves the 19th fret supported by being glued to the guitar top that is actually designed to move. The slim neck is constructed of solid sapele, with a genuine African ebony fretboard.

The perfect neck angle is set and maintained throughout the life of the guitar by a very unique attachment method. Instead of being glued, the neck is bolted into a custom-fit pocket. Alignment is set by precision laser-cut spacers placed in the pocket in tolerances of 1000ths of an inch. Should realignment be necessary for any reason, the neck can be disassembled and reassembled with new spacers.

This ensures that the fretboard is aligned perfectly and completely supported, even with years of changing heat, humidity, and natural stress. Also, with the new construction, the Taylor NT Neck can be easily “reset” by replacing the spacers, instead of removing and replacing the neck and bridge as with other guitars.

Scale Length

Some have stated that the slightly larger size and the scale length of the Big Baby Taylor, make it feel more like a standard-size guitar, even though you can tell it’s smaller.

The scale length is defined as the portion of the open string that vibrates between the nut and the saddle. The BBT scale length feels more natural at 25.5”. The GS-Mini, on the other hand, is shorter at 23.5”. Guitarists have reported that the strumming feels more normal and familiar on the BBT.

Tonewoods

The tonewoods construction gives both guitars the look and feel of quality that the Taylor is known for. Both guitars are constructed with a solid Sitka Spruce top and laminated Sapele, a type of African Mahogany, is used for the back and sides. They include a single-ring rosette and tortoise shell pickguard to enhance the look of the guitar.

The wood used on the top makes a huge impact because the top distributes the string vibration through the instrument to make the sound. Most of the BBT guitars come with the Sitka Spruce top, which seems to be the most popular today. That may be because the wood has a perfect blend of stiffness and elasticity with just the right proportions, which produces a wide range of crisp articulation.

The sides and back also work with the top in emitting the sound by giving it a firm platform. They make the guitar less susceptible to temperature and humidity changes.

 Both guitars are ideal for traveling because the layered wood of the sides and back are less susceptible to temperature and humidity changes which are often encountered during travel.

Hardware for Both

The tuners, on both guitars, are standard. The Nubone nut, which sits just below the head is similar to TUSQ. At the other end, you will find an African ebony bridge where the Micarta saddle sits.

Taylor Big Baby & GS-Mini Features

Taylor BBT Big Baby Specs

  • 15/16 Size Dreadnought
  • Sitka Spruce Top
  • Sapele Back and Sides
  • Maple Neck
  • Ebony Fretboard
  • 25.5″ Scale Length
  • 1-11/16″ Nut Width
  • 15″ Fretboard Radius
  • X-Bracing
  • Ebony Bridge
  • Tusq Nut and Saddle
  • Die-Cast Chrome Tuners

Taylor GS-Mini Specs 

  • Natural Finish
  • 6-String Miniature GS Body Shape
  • Sitka Spruce Top
  • Sapele Laminate Back and Sides
  • Sapele Neck
  • Ebony Fretboard
  • Lexan Headstock Overlay
  • 23-1/2″ Scale Length
  • 1-11/16″ Nut Width
  • 20 Frets
  • Ebony Bridge
  • Chrome Tuners

The Big Baby Taylor or The Taylor GS-Mini

The Big Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitars are well suited as a travel guitar, but because of their larger size, they are not limited to being a travel guitar or for children or those with smaller hands. They have great sound and enough projection for strumming, flatpicking, or fingerpicking.

The Big Baby was tested by the musicians at The Music Zoo. They did not find any unbalanced notes on the neck, the frets had good spacing, the string height and the thin neck provided a very comfortable play.

The Taylor GS-Mini is smaller in size, but is definitely not a toy. It is a powerhouse. It is very versatile making it a great guitar for beginners, children or people with small hands. Because of its size it makes a great travel guitar.

It is also great for fingerpicking or strumming with enough volume for home or around the campfire. For many, the size is perfect, not too big, not too small. It’s just right as a ultra-portable Taylor guitar.

If you need an acoustic or acoustic-electric with a sound quality closer to the dreadnought, but small enough for smaller venues or practice sessions, consider the Taylor BBT Big Baby. It can meet your needs with ease.

So now the choice is yours. Which guitar is best for you?

Most music stores online price the Taylor GS-Mini for about $599 with pre-owned prices between $400 and $500. The Taylor GS-Mini-e acoustic-electric is priced between $700 and $800, depending on the type of wood used.

The Big Baby Taylor new prices ranges between $400 and $600, whereas, the pre-owned price varies between $300 and $500.

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