Today’s article is pretty special, because I’m going to share my thoughts about one of my favorite travel guitars of all time – the famous Taylor GS Mini Mahogany.
The GS Mini by Taylor really stands out from other acoustic guitars of this type. The mahogany model sounds absolutely amazing and it’s perfect not only for fingerstyle, but also for strumming. Where’s the catch? Well, the price is not that low.
But even though it’s not a budget guitar, I still believe that it deserves A LOT of attention. Let’s take a close look on that model and let me explain you what exactly makes it so awesome. Who knows, maybe you’ll decide to get it for yourself too?
About Taylor GS Mini Mahogany
It doesn’t really matter where you’re from – United States, Australia, Europe or Asia – the GS Mini is one of the most popular Taylor guitars all around the world.
What’s interesting, it was originally released in 2016. So for the last 7 years, it was actually one of their best-selling models.
Due to the compact size, the GS Mini is often recommended for either songwriters or travelers. It’s not as large as a regular dreadnought acoustic guitar, so you can take it with you to the other side of the globe.
And since it offers a high quality, it also inspires you to create your own music. Imagine traveling, visiting new places and writing new songs. Sounds pretty cool, right?
Body & Neck
The guitar features as solid top made of mahogany – and that’s very important. Not all mini guitars have solid tops, so it’s definitely a big advantage.
The back and sides of that model are made of sapele plywood. It’s also a very good material which is pretty lightweight.
The neck is also made of sapele – it feels good and it’s pretty slim. We can definitely say that this type of neck is very comfortable.
On top of that, Taylor decided to use ebony as a fretboard. And it feels great! Surely, all guitar players will enjoy that smooth playing experience.
I also have to mention that the GS Mini has the X bracing with relief rout. It definitely makes this guitar sound more rich and balanced.
This Taylor also comes with a really good soft case. I think that’s awesome!
I know that quite often guitar brands sell guitars with basic cases and they don’t really pay that much attention to it. But I loved the feel and functionality of the case included with the GS Mini. I’d say that it’s worth around $50-$100.
And what’s interesting, I found an article that says that if you register your Taylor guitar, you can get a 12-year warranty. That’s pretty cool, right?
Who Is It For?
In my opinion, Taylor GS Mini can be used not only for all-level guitarists. It doesn’t really matter if you’re a pro or not. And it doesn’t really matter what kind of music you want to play.
This guitar is perfect for both strumming and fingerpicking, so it’s a very versatile instrument. Mahogany guitars often sound warm, so they’re particularly loved by fingerstyle guitarists. But it’s not always the case.
Overall, I’m pretty sure that every guitarist would be happy to use that model on a daily basis. Sometimes you pick a new guitar up and you just know that it will be good. And there’s a high chance that you’ll get that feeling once you pick up that Taylor.
So summing up, the GS Mini will be ideal for:
- anyone who’s looking for a compact acoustic guitar
- aspiring guitarists who want a high quality guitar suitable for fingerpicking on lazy Sunday afternoons
- experienced songwriters who are looking for a great sounding instrument that will inspire them to write more music
- travelers who need a reliable instrument suitable for their travels
Playability & Build Quality
Based on the reviews online (and my own experience with Taylor guitars), I’m positive that the overall playability and build quality of the GS Mini is 10/10.
Is it possible to experience some quality control issues? Well, never say never, but it’s very unlikely. Taylor REALLY cares about their QC.
The GS Mini Mahogany is pretty much ready to go straight after unboxing, so you most likely won’t have to do anything with that guitar. However, if you end up with this guitar and you notice that something is a bit weird, visit your local luthier and sort it out.
And for those who are wondering, this model is made in Mexico.
So far I only covered the advantages of that guitar, so you’re probably wondering if it has any flaws. And you know what? It’s not that easy to find major cons here.
In my opinion, the relatively high price may be the biggest disadvantage of that model. I mean it’s not extremely high, but in a world full of budget guitars, there are a lot of guitars that may be more appealing when it comes to price.
Additionally, you have to be aware that the GS Mini comes with a pretty good gig bag, but it’s still a soft case. If you’re thinking about traveling far away and you want to avoid any potential damage, getting a high quality hardshell case may be a better idea.
But apart from that, there’s nothing to complain about. What’s there not to like? Especially if it sounds and feels good.
Let’s say that you have the Taylor GS Mini Mahogany and you want to keep it in excellent condition for years to come. What do you have to do to maintain it?
Well, the overall maintenance isn’t that complicated, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind. That includes:
- changing the strings from time to time (ideally every couple of months)
- washing your hands before playing
- cleaning the guitar body, neck and fretboard with a dry cloth
- moisturizing the fretboard regularly (I recommend lemon oil by Dunlop)
- keeping the guitar in either a soft case or a hard case (especially during transit)
All of these things are common – it’s just some basic knowledge about guitar maintenance. As long as you’re not throwing your guitar at walls, you should be fine.
But since this model is often used for traveling, you may have to take some extra effort. I mean, traveling with an instrument is always risky. So it’s better to be safe than sorry!
It’s time for a few sound samples! Have a look at the videos below and check out the beautiful tone of the GS Mini.
Other Models – Rosewood, Koa, Sitka Spruce
We all know that Taylor makes amazing guitars. I’m sure that you can agree with me on that. But not many people are aware that the GS Mini is actually available in a few different versions.
So while I’m a huge fan of the version with the solid mahogany top, you can also consider getting the versions with solid rosewood, koa or Sitka spruce tops.
All of these models sound and look slightly different, but at the same time they all have on thing in common – they are all worth the money.
Which one is the best? Well, that’s debatable. You can check out some sound demos on YouTube to figure out what kind of tone is your favorite. For me, the warmth of mahogany tonewood is just the best.
Acoustic-Electric GS Mini-e
It is also worth mentioning that all of these GS Minis with different solid tops are also available as acoustic-electric guitars.
The GS Mini-e is a bit more expensive than the GS Mini – it costs around $100-$150 more. So it’s up to you whether you want your guitar to have a pickup system or not.
Taylor equipped these models with the Taylor ES-B preamp which guarantees a really good sound quality.
I think it’s an awesome option for those who want to play and perform live. If you’re a singer-songwriter who wants to travel, the GS Mini-e will be ideal for you.
On the other hand, if you just want to practice at home and you don’t want to perform in front of anyone, spending these extra hundred bucks is probably not worth it.
So overall, it all depends on your own personal preferences. Whether you get the guitar with the preamp or not, you won’t regret it.
Here’s the truth – not everyone can afford getting a guitar made by Taylor. Their gear is generally considered as pretty expensive.
In the world full of cheap (and pretty good) Chinese-made guitars, it’s possible to find guitars that are way more affordable.
So if you have a feeling that the GS Mini costs a bit too much, I highly encourage you to check out the Harley Benton CG-45. This is actually the cheapest all-mahogany guitar that I ever got. And it sounds awesome!
The CG-45 doesn’t have the solid top like the Taylor mentioned in today’s article, but it doesn’t really matter. It will be extremely difficult to find a better cheap acoustic guitar. I mean, it costs less than $100. That’s just awesome!
If you’re looking for something a bit better, you can also check out the guitars made by Dowina. This is a small guitar from Slovakia that manufactures fantastic acoustic guitars which are particularly good for fingerstyle playing. If that’s your vibe – definitely check them out.
Let’s be real – all versions of Taylor GS Mini are great, but the mahogany one seems to be truly exceptional. It has everything – the look, the sound and the feel. It’s hard to argue with that.
So summing up, although it’s not a cheap guitar, it’s worth the money. If you’re okay with spending that amount of cash for new gear, you should consider getting it for yourself.
And trust me, if you’re a frequent traveler like me, it will make your trips even more magical.
Thanks for checking out this article, hopefully it was helpful and you found out more about this cool axe! What do you think of that model? Feel free to leave a comment under this post and share some of your thoughts with me and my readers.