Surprised by a new Taylor GS Mini

theprofessor

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I wanted a smaller, short-scale acoustic both to travel with and to teach my youngest how to play. Initially, I ordered a used Eastman ACT2GE-OV from Guitar Center. I was impressed by the dynamics of that guitar. It sounded really great, as many Eastmans do. But it did not come with the case, as advertised, and it was also not in "great" condition, as advertised (a pretty big set of dings/gouges on the top). So I tried to sort this out with GC, but after the sending store claimed they couldn't find the original case they didn't send, and after the receiving store tried to put it in a super crappy paper-thin gig bag and call it good, I decided simply to return it with the thought of buying another one.

Before I left GC, I went into the acoustic room one last time and saw several GS minis. Both the price and the appointment of one of the non-electric versions caught my eye. I pulled it down and looked at it. It was flawlessly built -- bear-claw sitka spruce on rosewood laminate back & sides. The appointments of the wood were so nice that I thought it must be some kind of mistake. I played it, and it sounded great. Action was high, but I knew I could fix that easily. Yes, I could have found a used GS mini in great condition, and right, I never, ever buy new guitars. But I decided that I had to have _this one_. I've since changed the Nubone saddle to an unbleached bone wave compensated saddle from MacNichol Guitars (this one), and I have a set of Taylor ebony bridge pins on the way (Josh at Taylor said that while the plastic pins and the normal Taylor ebony pins are not the same size, all their guitars have the same ream for the bridge pins). I kept the Elixir mediums on the guitar, but I may experiment with other strings as well.

One question for you experts: does anyone know where I can purchase a similar-sized set of ebony tuner buttons as a drop-in replacement for the chrome buttons on the GS mini tuners? I realize I could upgrade the entire mechanism, but I don't see any need to do that right now.

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cousinpaul

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Jun 19, 2009
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Nashville TN
I had a similar experience with my korina mini. I visited 4 music stores, played a half dozen or so of them and eventually bought the first one that caught my eye. I've been working on a series of guitar/vocal demos and the GS records beautifully. Favorite strings are Elixer HD Lights in phosphor bronze
 

CCK1

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North Of Atlanta, South of Disorder
I wanted a smaller, short-scale acoustic both to travel with and to teach my youngest how to play. Initially, I ordered a used Eastman ACT2GE-OV from Guitar Center. I was impressed by the dynamics of that guitar. It sounded really great, as many Eastmans do. But it did not come with the case, as advertised, and it was also not in "great" condition, as advertised (a pretty big set of dings/gouges on the top). So I tried to sort this out with GC, but after the sending store claimed they couldn't find the original case they didn't send, and after the receiving store tried to put it in a super crappy paper-thin gig bag and call it good, I decided simply to return it with the thought of buying another one.

Before I left GC, I went into the acoustic room one last time and saw several GS minis. Both the price and the appointment of one of the non-electric versions caught my eye. I pulled it down and looked at it. It was flawlessly built -- bear-claw sitka spruce on rosewood laminate back & sides. The appointments of the wood were so nice that I thought it must be some kind of mistake. I played it, and it sounded great. Action was high, but I knew I could fix that easily. Yes, I could have found a used GS mini in great condition, and right, I never, ever buy new guitars. But I decided that I had to have _this one_. I've since changed the Nubone saddle to an unbleached bone wave compensated saddle from MacNichol Guitars (this one), and I have a set of Taylor ebony bridge pins on the way (Josh at Taylor said that while the plastic pins and the normal Taylor ebony pins are not the same size, all their guitars have the same ream for the bridge pins). I kept the Elixir mediums on the guitar, but I may experiment with other strings as well.

One question for you experts: does anyone know where I can purchase a similar-sized set of ebony tuner buttons as a drop-in replacement for the chrome buttons on the GS mini tuners? I realize I could upgrade the entire mechanism, but I don't see any need to do that right now.

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I tried three or four different brands/gauges of strings on my GS Mini, but ended up back with the Elixr medium's. And this is from someone that usually doesn't really care for Elixr. They just work well on this guitar.
 

swervinbob

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Jul 10, 2018
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Location
Texas
I bought one last week and can’t quit playing it. I’ve been battling a cold and a busy work schedule so I haven’t taken any pictures. Mine is the limited edition Blackwood version with no pickup. I may get the mahogany next. I’ve never been much on playing acoustic, but I can’t put this one down. I’m about to start using it to record. It’s just so easy to play.
 

JamesAM

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Virginia, USA
I’m a dyed in the wool Martin guy but these are great guitars. The hpl Martin minis are good, but the real laminates and construction on these really set the standard for travel guitars. And that bear claw in the top is extremely nice. Congrats!
 

timbgtr

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Mar 21, 2012
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348
Location
Maryland
I’ll add to the GS Mini kudos. I bought a spruce-sapele one when they were brand new and I still love it. I’ve got a regular sized Martin, Gibson and Taylor, and the GS Mini gets played more than all of them put together. On top of the sound, it’s really comfortable.
 

peteycaster

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Lovely. Good upgrades too. I have an Eastman ACTG1 and love it (came with the travel case too). Shame you got dudded on yours but now you have a nice guitar you are happy with. Enjoy.
 

Controller

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Congrats! Nice to find a keeper.

I am a big fan of trying out acoustic guitars in person. I got mine just going through the acoustic racks at a small guitar shop with a nice selection. Martins, Taylors, others, and right at the end I picked up a Fender because I had often read here how awful they are and I wanted to make a comparison for myself. I was shocked at how nice it looked, felt, sounded and played. I figured I was just tired and put it back. The next day, right before I left town I dropped by again to try it. Same impression. I bought it and have enjoyed it since. Sometimes you just hit one that is right for you.
 
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burntfrijoles

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Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Surprised by a new Taylor GS Mini​

Before I left GC, I went into the acoustic room one last time and saw several GS minis. Both the price and the appointment of one of the non-electric versions caught my eye. I pulled it down and looked at it. It was flawlessly built -- bear-claw sitka spruce on rosewood laminate back & sides. The appointments of the wood were so nice that I thought it must be some kind of mistake. I played it, and it sounded great.
I think the GS Mini surprises a lot of folks. They sound much better than you would think.
As for build quality, I think Taylor beats the hell out of Martin and Gibson's lower priced instruments. I think their 200 series begin around $1000 but even their lower priced 100 series and below are really well made.
 

BuckNekkid

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Nov 28, 2016
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Virginia, USA
I was getting very frustrated looking for a small guitar that was larger than the Little Martin LX1RE or the KLŌS travel guitar I had. I added a Gretsch Jim Dandy and a Breedlove Copper Companion CE, but it wasn't until I found my GS Mini-e Koa that I realized my quest. In fact, it's sitting six feet from me now, and I played it this morning during a lull. Plays great, sounds great, looks great. Win-win-win!

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theprofessor

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Chattanooga, TN
I was getting very frustrated looking for a small guitar that was larger than the Little Martin LX1RE or the KLŌS travel guitar I had. I added a Gretsch Jim Dandy and a Breedlove Copper Companion CE, but it wasn't until I found my GS Mini-e Koa that I realized my quest. In fact, it's sitting six feet from me now, and I played it this morning during a lull. Plays great, sounds great, looks great. Win-win-win!

Taylor%20GS%20Mini%20Koa-M.jpg
That’s gorgeous!
 




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