In the world of scaled down guitars, it is hard to find one that will be consistent in quality and sound. It is not easy to make a small sized instrument that can play the same level of sound and detail in sound as that of a normal sized guitar. Thankfully, there are also manufacturers who have cracked the formula and produce exactly such instruments for people who do not have the space or patience to carry a full size guitar. The Taylor GS Mini Mahogany is one of these guitars. Let’s take a closer look and see why it is as good as it is.
As the name of the guitar implies, the guitar is mostly of mahogany. While some might find this choice of material uninspired, I find it to be quite genius. You see, the GS mini has a small body, which means a lower resonance and projection capability than the body shape of an average size guitar. This means that some of the lower register sounds will have a hard time feeling as full as they would on a full size guitar. The GS mini compensates for this by using mahogany, which brings out the detail in the lower register sounds, and assists the guitar in projecting these tones better into the room. It is no wonder than that the top of the guitar is mahogany. To keep the top and mid range tones relevant, the manufacturer decided to make the back and sides of the guitar from sapele. This hardwood brings out the mid tones into a bright and punchy sound, while the high tones become very bright and energetic.
The neck of the guitar is made of african ebony, a sturdy material with a very smooth feeling to it and almost no noticeable weight addition. The fretboard of the guitar is rosewood, and as expected, is a pleasure to play .The neck itself is slender and easy for anyone, be it a beginner, child or professional, to play.
The hardware finish on this guitar is chrome, as we have all come to expect of most guitars. Sturdy and well made, most of the little details you don’t even notice will remain so well into the guitar’s age.
The nut and saddle of the guitar is a very apt Nubone Nut and Micarta Saddle combination. These materials have a great, warming effect on the sound of the guitar, while also being useful for a long time, without the need of replacement. Still bone tends to wear down sooner than most other materials (excluding plastic). You should keep an eye so that you can replace it as soon as the guitar starts to suffer from it.
The tuners are a great GS mini specific set. The stability on them is very nice and while you will need to retune your guitar every couple of weeks, with proper maintenance, you will not have to replace these tuners for a long time after you’ve bought the guitar.
The guitar, surprisingly, has a very strong sound. I say surprisingly because despite the advertising campaign saying “small in body, big in sound” or something along the lines, I have grown used to not expecting much projection from smaller guitars. Which is why this one, thanks to its louder than average projection ability, blew me away. The sound is very warm, mellow, with the ability to go into overdrive and sound a lot brighter and livelier than what you are used to from mahogany top guitars.
This guitar is an example of several great tonewood choices made by a manufacturer to compensate for the lack of a large resonance chamber. Whether you’re a beginner or professional, you will find this guitar to be a pleasant addition to your collection, with hours upon hours of fun being a result of owning it.