NGD Nagd - Taylor Gs Mini-e Koa

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by voodoorat, May 7, 2018.

  1. voodoorat

    voodoorat Well-Known Member

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    So I've been looking into a travel guitar for a couple of months and have played a bunch of small body (3/4-sized mostly although this one is a 7/8). I went to several B&M stores around here (Guitar Center, Ken Stanton Music, and Atlanta Discount Music) and played a bunch of the smaller-body acoustics to see if there were any that I particularly liked. I liked a bunch of them, really, but as far as the feel and the sound it wasn't really a fair fight, the Taylor GS Mini absolutely blew me away and I coveted one from the moment I laid hands on one. The first one I played was the $799 GS Mini-e Koa (with electronics and solid koa top and koa layered back and sides, sapele neck and headstock, and ebony board) and the minutes I touched it I knew it was what I wanted, but I couldn't really justify dropping that much cash on a travel guitar (I'm pretty cheap so that's more than I've spent on almost any of my guitars), especially when I already had a few perfectly serviceable 6-string full-sized acoustics (tho one is an O-size). The guitar is also in high demand apparently compared to what I'm used to, I haven't seen any on the local used market at all (and there were a couple of "SEEKING" posts for the on the local CL) and the prices for the non-local listings that I saw were close enough to the new price that I wasn't sure it was even worth it, I figured I might be able to get one of the more vanilla models, preferably with electronics but also possibly without--the base sitka/mahogany non-electronics ones are $499 or $599 with the electronics--and I played some of those as well and they felt and sounded great too) but probably not that first one I'd played.

    All that said, a few days ago there was a 15%/$100 coupon for eBay and I saw one of the Koa model available as basically an open box model for like $720, so I talked myself into it--it didn't take a ton of convincing.

    It was listed as being economy shipping but they actually shipped it 3-day priority and it arrived today while I was at work.

    It's tiny--it's probably about 3" shorter in full length than my O-sized Seagull guitar, which itself is considerably smaller (mostly less deep, but probably a little less wide and long also) than a full-sized dreadnought. The scale length is 23.5" if I remember correctly and it feels quite short (not bad but your fretting hand feels noticeably closer than normal). The neck feels great, is fairly narrow (1-11/16" at the nut) but comfortably fat--the feel of it reminds me of an electric (albeit a very short scale electric with thick-ass strings on it). My hands aren't huge, so it's quite comfortable for me, not sure if the short scale length is tricking me into not feeling cramped at the nut or what. The smallness is a big boon to me since I find my shoulder starts hurting after maybe a half hour or so playing a full-sized dreadnought. Even the O-size hurts my shoulder a little bit after a while although not nearly as much. I'm not certain yet but it feels small enough that it might not irritate my shoulder at all.

    The body looks great, the back is slightly arched and has what looks like flame figuring that gives it a shimmery 3D-like rippling effect in bright light. The ebony board is dark and smooth (although neither quite as smooth or quite as solidly black as the ebony board on my G&L). I can't find any flaws or blemishes.

    This little guy is loud, it's as loud or louder than my Seagull S6 full-sized dread and far louder than the concert hall Seagull. To my ears it's also much clearer and more chime-y, and I never thought the Seagulls sounded bad at all. I haven't tried it through an amp/PA although I guess technically I used the electronics because I tuned it with them.

    It came with a thick padded gig bag which seems like it should do the trick (I was a little worried I'd need to buy a HSC but I think this is about as good).

    My only concern is that I feel like it's a little too nice to take on vacation, I might just take the Seagull instead, lol.

    Some pics:

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  2. voodoorat

    voodoorat Well-Known Member

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    Tiny loud bump

    02a174cbcb15f7627db32b032cfc5f37.jpg

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  3. stevebway

    stevebway Metaphysician & Ham

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    I am SO effing jealous of you...
     
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  4. Tiga

    Tiga Well-Known Member

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    Man that's nice -love the Koa. Big fan of small acoustics here - loving my sapele Martin JR. I've thought about picking up your exact model more than once.
     
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  5. Spike

    Spike Well-Known Member

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    Sweet guitar. I love the small travel size Taylor minis. Great guitar for the money. Congrats!
     
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  6. stevebway

    stevebway Metaphysician & Ham

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    That's the top of the line one and with the newer electronics. This would be the perfect guitar for what I do and will probably end up with something like it. It's bigger than a 3/4 so you have a bit more room to stretch and not feel cramped. Lot's of players in my Open Mic have one. I'll probably noodle on one tonite.
     
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  7. voodoorat

    voodoorat Well-Known Member

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    @stevebway I haven't had it long and I do admit a recentcy bias but for me this thing is I think very close to perfect--small enough to not bother my shoulder and fit in places, acoustically loud even when fingerpicking which I do most of the time on acoustic, and with electronics if I ever need to use it in front of a crowd (and so it'll never be without a handy tuner). Maybe in a few days I'll want to pick up one of my other guitars again. I'm sure I would have been happy with the middle tier model too but I'm glad I got this one or it'd still be in my head.
     
  8. stevebway

    stevebway Metaphysician & Ham

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    I felt the same way after playing it. This is a very warm balanced guitar with that Taylor "even sounding" tone. They have sold so many of these it's become a standard. I was seriously looking at the Walnut/Spruce one and will probably get one soon. Yamaha just came out with its CSF3M which they call a "parlor" guitar , a reduced scale instrument that has a huge sound for its size and is quite attractive as well. The smaller acoustic has become very popular of late, light and big sounding for its size with electronics allowing you to play anywhere. I've been gigging the "smalls" for months. I love how unique and interesting each Koa looks. No 2 are alike.
    Good luck with this one...
     
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  9. double_a

    double_a New Member

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    One of my students has to be if these. She loves it. Since she got it, I have noticed that she is spending a lot more time practicing.
    That is always a good sign !!


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  10. nrussell23

    nrussell23 Mr. Crown Royal Staff Member

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    Congrats! My GS-Mini is my favorite acoustic I’ve ever owned and I’ve had some nice higher end Taylor’s and Martins. It practically plays itself. Beautiful grain on yours. You’ll enjoy this one for many years to come.
     
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  11. JeffBeck

    JeffBeck Baldy McBaldhead Staff Member

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    Nice. That's a whole lotta little guitar.
     
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  12. mbroadus

    mbroadus Well-Known Member

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    Awesome, when you buy a little guitar you go HUGE!

    I know what you mean about it being too nice to travel with, I feel the same way about my washburn koa.

    But ..... now I don't feel like playing another guitar that doesn't sound as sweet so I'll have to risk it.
     
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  13. stevebway

    stevebway Metaphysician & Ham

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    As expected spent some time with the Min e Koa. A worthy instrument

    Koa.JPG
     
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  14. voodoorat

    voodoorat Well-Known Member

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    She wears (and likely plays) it better than me.
     
  15. dspellman

    dspellman Well-Known Member

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    And I like the new look with the long hair and skinny jeans.
     
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  16. solteroblues

    solteroblues Well-Known Member

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    Congrats! It's hard to believe that they sound so big, isn't it? I love mine, and I just have the base model with Sitka spruce top. My only wish is that it had a cutaway to reach up past 12 easier...
     
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