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Taylor GS Mini-e Maple Bass
 
The maple version of Taylor’s short-scale bass packs a punch.
May 17, 2021
 

When Taylor introduced the bass version of its GS Mini guitar back in 2017, reactions ranged from disbelief to amazement. How was it possible that such a small body and short scale could produce such satisfying bass tones, even when played completely acoustically? While most acoustic bass guitars rely on jumbo bodies and full 34-inch scales to produce bass-range frequencies, Taylor accomplished comparable results with a 23½-inch scale, partially thanks to a special set of strings co-developed with D’Addario that use a soft nylon core wound with phosphor bronze. We were impressed when we checked out the original GS Mini-e Bass (click here for our demo) with sapele back and sides, and now I had a chance to check out the more recently released version with maple back and sides in the Peghead Nation video studio.

The Taylor GS Mini-e Maple Bass has the same dimensions and design as other GS Mini basses (besides the standard sapele version, there is also an all-koa model). The instrument’s body is 14⅜ inches wide at the lower bout and it has the same outline, though shrunk down, as Taylor’s Grand Symphony models. It has a solid Sitka spruce top, and as with all GS Minis, the back and sides are made of layered wood. The maple on our demo instrument was beautifully figured, with flame and lovely coloring on the back and sides. The instrument’s appointments are simple, with a basic multi-ring black-and-white rosette, and small fingerboard dots made of Italian acrylic. The GS Mini-e Maple Bass also includes Taylor’s ES-B electronics, which combines the company’s Expression System 2 pickup (a piezo design mounted behind the saddle in the bridge) and a side-mounted preamp with controls for volume and tone and a built-in chromatic tuner. 

Playing the GS Mini-e Maple Bass, I was reminded how incredibly fun these basses are. Not only is the sound completely satisfying, the instrument’s astonishingly easy playability makes it ideal for guitarists who aren’t used to the long scale of a regular bass. Whether you want to add bass parts to a recording, play bass in a jam that already includes too many guitarists, or just work out some song ideas, it’s impossible to think of a reason guitarists shouldn’t consider adding a GS Mini bass to their collection. Plugging into a Fishman Loudbox Mini amp also yieds highly satisfying tone, and I have no doubts that playing through an actual bass rig would make heads turn. 

Overall, the Taylor GS Mini-e Maple Bass is an ideal instrument for folks whose main instrument isn’t bass: It’s easy to play, easy to lug around, not too costly, and it offers a great sound that will expand many musicians’ musical palette. 

SPECS: GS Mini body. Solid Sitka spruce top. Layered maple back and sides. Maple neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 23.5-inch scale. 1¹¹/₁₆-inch nut width. Chrome tuning machines. ES-B electronics with built-in tuner. D’Addario EXPPBB190GS strings. Made in Mexico. $799 street. Taylorguitars.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com