Build Quality:
Hardware:
Sound:
Value:
Average:

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Taylor GS Mini-e Koa

Pros:

  • Quality tonewood
  • Good, easy to use electronics
  • Consistent

Cons:

  • Strings (they are not bad, per se, but for such an amazing quality guitar I would choose a better set)
  • Price (A bit high for a mini guitar but in my opinion it’s worth it)

The history of Taylor might not be as old as some of the other giants of the industry but it definitely is as impressive. Starting from 1970s Taylor has been creating high-quality instruments that have become a pinnacle of the industry. If you have been meaning to get a smaller sized guitar (for instance for traveling) Taylor GS Mini-e Koa is not a guitar to miss. Quality tonewood used for this model along with hardware and electronics delivers beautiful, warm sound that any professional player would love to have.

Build

This is a mini grand symphony body guitar with solid Hawaiian koa used for the top wood. This tonewood is especially amazing for warm tone (not to mention how beautiful it is). The back and sides are layered koa. Great thing about koa is that it is very resistant to humidity level changes. So if you are a travelling musician (since this is a smaller sized guitar, it is especially good for travelling) you will not have to worry too much about the toll that the changing environment usually has on the tonewood. The neck is sapele with African ebony fingerboard. Combination of these woods creates a beautiful, warm and resonant sound that is hard to come by.

Hardware

This model features chrome tuners with GS Mini with chrome buttons and Lexan headstock. The nut and saddle are made of Nubone/Micarta “Wave” which offers crisp durability and sound that is basically indecipherable form the real bone. You can never underestimate the importance of protection for your guitar, especially if you are travelling a lot with it. I have already mentioned that Hawaiian koa is very resistant to humidity changes but of course that is not enough. That is why Taylor also adds, as a nice bonus, a hard bag so that your beautiful guitar does not get damaged accidently during your travels.  

Sound

A lot of manufacturers claim that the sound on their smaller sized guitars is indistinguishable from their full-sized models. Most times that is not the case and people just need to accept the fact that smaller sized guitars cannot have the same volume as big ones. That does not really mean that mini or ¾ guitars are bad. Not at all. The volume is not all that matters and what actually matters is the sound and tone (well, other things as well, but you get the gist) which GS Mini-e Koa definitely can boast. The solid Hawaiian koa top along with the koa back and sides provides warm and rich sound that a lot of bigger guitars do not have. AND, needless to say, this material ages extremely well, making this model sound better and better with time.

Electronics

If you are a beginner, learning about acoustic-electric guitars might be a bit dauntic. I mean, the first time I started getting into guitars I had hard time learning everything about just acoustics. But now you got to learn about pickups, tuners and so much more. It might be a bit dizzying. You learn through trial and error but hopefully your first attempt is not going to be a full-on failure. The ES-B pickups on GS Mini-e Koa incorporate preamp with digital chromatic tuner that is extremely easy to read. The LED display shows you not only tuning but battery levels (and of course, you get tone and volume controls). Overall, this is a great system that will give you control of the sound completely.

Conclusion

A beautifully crafted, the well-designed guitar is not something you should take for granted. While there are a few (and by a few I mean a LOT) of brands that say they use “top quality” material that is rarely the case. I might claim that the Hawaiian koa used for the top of this guitar is an amazing material that produces crisp, warm sound and you can trust me on that or not. That’s your choice completely. However I am sure that this mini guitar is worth the same and even more money than a lot of full-sized guitars.

Click here to find out more about Taylor GS Mini-e Koa.
Click here to view more from Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under 1000.

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