Taylor GS Mini : SonicPulverizer's user review
"Incredible player's acoustic"
Product bought new in December 2011, for 499$ VAT incl
The Taylor Gs Mini incorporates a beautiful sitka spruce top and sapele laminate back and sides. A 23 1/2" scale length allows for an enjoyable elasticity in playing feel. No onboard electronics are present but you do have the option of purchasing the Es-Go pickup system from Taylor. Designed specifically for the Mini, the Es-Go system sports a fairly simple installation procedure and is an excellent companion if you plan to play this guitar in a live setting. The guitar is factory equipped with Elixir nanoweb strings which sound wonderful and pair well with the naturally bright voicing of the Mini. The included gigbag was, to my pleasant surprise, well constructed and durable.
The small size of the guitar allows for a very intimate feel. The frets felt very nice for an acoustic in this price range. I found the Mini's tuning stability to be nothing short of extraordinary. Even going frequently between Standard, Eb, DADGAD, Open C, and a variety of other tunings-- the guitar rarely fell out of tune. This behavior stayed consistent over the 8 months that I owned it.
The guitar is inherently bright but very pleasant to the ear. Chords and arpeggiations ring out with crystal articulation. Fingerpicking passages that were indistinct and lowend-heavy on other guitars were brilliant and perfectly intelligible. Easily the best sounding Taylor guitar below the likes of the 600 series. I found the laminate back and sides to actually provide a superior tone to the hardwood models compared against it, offering greater (yet intelligible) low end and volume. This guitar can project loudly in a room despite it's small shape.
I had ample funds to purchase just about any acoustic on the market. I compared many high end acoustic guitars from names such as Taylor, Guild, Gibson, and Martin. The Taylor Gs Mini was one of the strongest contenders and the only guitar in a price point below $1800 in the roundup. The finish and playability of the Mini is unchallenged, outclassing many guitars in higher price points. With that said, I am a fan of bright sounding guitars. If you enjoy a darker, earthier tone-- you might seek out the mahogany counterpart to the Gs Mini that Taylor offers. The lack of an onboard preamp is my one complaint. While the external pickup offered is affordable and easy to install, it is an inconvenience.