Has anyone directly compared the Taylor GS Mini with the Taylor GT?

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BRISTOL86BRISTOL86 Frets: 1879
edited October 23 in Acoustics
Hello All

Very long time, no speak! Hope everyone is well

Life pulled me away from music and towards other things, and it’s been a long time since I picked up an instrument! I currently own nothing and haven’t played for some time.

But as expected, I’ve eventually been drawn back, but will be picking up the guitar in a much more casual way. I had a lot of expensive kit in the past that I didn’t have the skill or time to get the best out of, and this time am coming back with nothing more than myself and an unplugged instrument (I’ve never liked electronics in an acoustic anyway - I only play at home in a small room).

I’ve always been very impressed with the playability of Taylors, and as someone with very frail, arthritic-esque hands for my age, they’ve always been quite kind on that front.

I’m drawn to the GS mini (rosewood/spruce) on price and comfort (I’m only considering a new instrument at this stage - yes I know the value for money is there in the second hand market, but it’s not for me at this point in time), but my concern is that I’ll get it and have that ‘should have gotten something bigger’ regret.

I have had a couple of GC Taylors in the past, 322 and 712 and enjoyed the size and feel of that sized instrument, so I’m tempted, if I can get a good deal, to stump up the difference to fund a GT instead of the GS Mini. I understand that these bridge the gap between the GS Mini and the GC body size, which sounds like it might be just about perfect.

Has anyone directly compared these two? I’d be keen to hear your thoughts if so. It’s roughly double the cost, so if it’s orders of magnitude better I could stump up the extra, but if the difference isn’t mind blowing I’d be tempted to go with the GS Mini. 

I don’t think the GS Mini has much competition in it’s niche, but I’d be keen to hear if there are any other options you’d consider for something closer to the GT in terms of size and playability for similar money new.

All thoughts welcome
Cheers
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Comments

  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 5627
    edited October 23
    I've owned a spruce GS mini for about 9 years and still enjoy playing it, especially writing and taking it travelling for rehearsal. It's not shouty and its nice and clear.
    When I need bigger tones or record I will grab an OM or Advanced Jumbo but for years I played the GS more often.

    So when I played a GT a month ago I was disappointed that what should have some great dna felt a bit bland. I'm not sure the world needs an in-between like this.

    With acoustics you really should try in person.
    And if you want easy to play you can also check out a Gibson variant with a 23 3/4 scale.
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  • Jez6345789Jez6345789 Frets: 1468
    edited October 24
    Yes fairly extensively. 
    Although I have a few acoustics the GS Mini Koa has been my go-to acoustic for the last 5 years the others get a turn from time to time depending on my Arthritis but most of the time it's GS mini. 

    As much as I love my GS and the tone has matured nicely over the years. All that said it's still a budget guitar and often I have said if Taylor did a US version they would probably get my dollars. So when the GT was announced Urban Ash I was excited. All through lockdown I listened to demo's online and there was a lot but I never found one where the Urban Ash did not sound like a box of spanners falling downstairs very clangy when pushed and lacking the great mids and mellow top of the KOA.

    So when lockdown was lifted spent most of the day in Guitar Guitar auditioning and back to back the GS Mini v GT.

    In essence 
    I still do not like the tone from the Urban Ash the GT's across the board are better fit and finish than the mini's.
    The 811 is a much nicer guitar with Rosewood Spruce and the Koa version for my tastes is the best but I like the mids and the whole koa tone. It does take a bit of time to mature but that's fine. 

    There is a bit more bass in the GT but it seems less defined than my GSM

    For me after a few hours, I could not see the justification for dropping 2.6k on the 811 or 3.9-4.2k on the Koa version

    Yes nicer fit finish but the Mini is fine and I love the slightly shorter scale.

    As for playability If I bought another Mini I would get it setup mine came with a cheese grater action and 13 gauge strings.
    I now have it nicely set on 11's with a nice action and it makes for an easy-playing acoustic for an old arthritic git

    I also tried the Wee Lowden's whilst I was there and they are nice 24" scale similar to the GT but different tonally from the Taylor not in a bad way just different. 

    As a slight aside Harley Benton do sub £100 copies of the GS mini and I often wonder how good they are as they also have a 23.5 inch scale [Typo corrected]. and are for no money. 




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  • MellishMellish Frets: 154
    Only a GS Mini at PMT. It's a while ago so I forget back and sides material. What struck me was the volume, not at all what I expected from a little fella. Had I been looking for another guitar, I'd definitely have bought him. If you're looking to buy one or the other, I'm sure you'll be happy. Good luck :) 
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  • BRISTOL86BRISTOL86 Frets: 1879
    Thanks all. Sounds to me like a GS Mini is a great place to be jumping back into this world, and I do like the added bonus of not being precious about it like I have been with more expensive guitars. 

    I get the odd hour here and there to play so I  want something that makes me want to just pick it up and have a bit of fun with, I think the Mini will tick all those boxes and if I find myself gassing for something more ‘serious’ in future it’s not a lot of money to justify upgrading and possibly keeping the Mini! 
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  • droflufdrofluf Frets: 1524
    <snip>

    As a slight aside Harley Benton do sub £100 copies of the GS mini and I often wonder how good they are as they have a 23.5mm scale.




    You may find that just a touch too short :lol:
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  • BluesLoverBluesLover Frets: 207
    I have a GS mini, am old, with increasingly arthritic hands, play in a small room purely for myself. I had it set up for a low action with Martin retro monel strings 10-47. Really easy to play, so worth trying. You get less volume with the lighter strings, but it doesn't matter to me. The monel strings stop it sounding too "plinky" which can happen with lighter elixirs etc, I've found.
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 22784
    The monel strings stop it sounding too "plinky" which can happen with lighter elixirs etc, I've found.
    The mahogany top version helps with this. The spruce ones always sound ‘thin’ in higher positions on the unwound strings to my ears.
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 7205
    My main acoustic for 20 years was a dreadnought Taylor 310, and I bought a GS Mini about a year ago. All what I read about them was true. The size makes it a joy to pick up and play wherever you are, and the sound still surprises me now - it’s not small in any way. What I also like is they’ve made it with little in terms of ornamentation yet it still looks and feels classy and not plain like many “bare wood” guitars.

    I would definitely also buy new, many of the used ones I looked at were beat up yet still priced highly and the new ones have a wood veneer on the headstock rather than black plastic. The standard model now has rosewood laminate back and sides - I’m pretty sure it doesn’t affect the tone but it looks nicer than sapele imho. If I wanted to spend more I would be considering Koa for something different. 

    Bear in mind though that the GS Mini, although it is the one I pick most often these days, is “another” guitar for me, so I can understand the appeal of the GT.
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  • BRISTOL86BRISTOL86 Frets: 1879
    Thanks all. Decision made, new GS Mini, and if I feel the need to move on from it in the next year or two then it’s cheap enough to not feel bad about adding rather than replacing! :)  
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