How durable are the Taylor GS Mini's?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Markv7, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. Markv7

    Markv7 Supporting Member

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    Every video I see of the Taylor GS mini is at home or in a hotel room. Has anyone taken them on off the beaten path? I do a lot of backpacking and paddle trips, and have brought along a Martin Backpacker on previous trips. My backpacker has been played on mountain peaks, arctic river floats, and even exposed to salt spray on sea kayaking trips. It has held up remarkably well. I'm about to island hop for a week with a tiny exposed sailboat(no cabin), and I can accomodate a slightly larger guitar. I was going to bring a Taylor GS Mini, but wonder how it will hold up. Everyone says it's one of the best sounding travel guitars, but I worry their definition of travel is house to climate controlled plane to climate controlled hotel room. Someone on another thread mentioned they are notoriously sensitive to humidity changes? Does anyone do any serious camping with these?
     
  2. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    I've taken it on variouis camping trips, though not the back country variety, and they seem pretty well-suited to the task. The soft case is more trustworthy/firm than their standard soft case. I'd be curious to hear others' experience.
     
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  3. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    curious to hear more, about the taylor, and perhaps other seaworthy vessels in that price range or below. i'd love something you can toss in a bag or overhead compartment. part of the reason i got my m20, but kinda don't have the heart to subject it to that, though i'd like something that size or smaller. maybe an a&e parlor? guess i can't be too particular about the sound, though it would be cool to busk with it, maybe plug it in too.
     
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  4. Markv7

    Markv7 Supporting Member

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    Yeah, everyone seems to suggest carbon fiber guitars, but they are pretty expensive for something I do twice a year. The way I look at it, folks a 100 years ago roughed it a lot more with their solidbody acoustics and did fine. Lots of humidity changes and temperature shifts, less climate control. They didn't have laminate or carbon fiber guitars around camp fires back then. So maybe I'm overthinking it. The GS mini has laminated back and sides which helps. And I would think the mahogany topped ones would be less prone to top cracking. I'll still have the Martin Backpacker when weight and size have to be totally optimized(hiking), but the boat affords me to play something more comfortable and better sounding. The GS Mini would also serve as a nice platform for my kids to tool around on if they were to take interest.
     
  5. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    @feet - I've seen people take the Taylor GS mini on planes and stowed them in the overhead. I don't think I would do that because I'd be worried I would have to check it for some reason. And even though it's a really good soft case--it's a soft case. I have taken it on the train to Chicago a few times and on various camping trips.

    @Markv7 - There are certainly more portable and durable guitars than the GS-mini. What I like about mine is that it sounds more like a full sized guitar than any travel guitar I've played. I even gig with it now and again.
     
  6. paddywhack

    paddywhack Silver Supporting Member

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    ....I found mine to be quite sturdy...definitely not a lightly built guitar but really resonant and responsive....never had a problem being able to carry on flights....I would get a hard case if I was doing some serious schlepping...
     
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  7. Markv7

    Markv7 Supporting Member

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  8. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Member

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    'Durable'? Everything is only as durable as the way you treat it. Buy one, look after it-but remember that wood and water don't mix very well. If you're exposing it to salt spray and high humidity I wouldn't expect any wooden guitar to last long, frankly. Treat it with the same level of respect which any decent musical instrument deserves; or just take your Backpacker-it barely falls into the 'musical instrument' category anyway:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 7:03 AM
  9. Markv7

    Markv7 Supporting Member

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    I'm not going to use it as a paddle! :D But you're spot on about some due diligence in treating right. I picked up a nice dry bag for when we're on the water, and will keep it in the shade so it doesn't cook in there. But I frankly think maybe we get a little OCD about these things. Acoustics were meant to be played around campfires, not in a humidity controlled room. We'll see how it goes. I think you have a better relationship with a guitar if you create some good memories with it. Nobody ever feels too sentimental about a case queen guitar.
     
  10. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    Would one of these (or similar) fit into the parlor sized mono case? You have to stuff the m20 in there as it is a little tall for it, but maybe it's just right for something else.
     
  11. Markv7

    Markv7 Supporting Member

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  12. zul

    zul Supporting Member

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    Go for it. It's built to play. GS mini koa my wife gifted for my birthday.
    Solid koa top with layered koa back and sides is gorgeous, and practical.
    I've played it countless times over smoky campfires. Lake beach too.

    It consistently sounds great and because it projects so well, has been
    able to keep up with friend's full dreadnoughts, concerts and auditoriums.
    It retains that healthy midrange that parlor guitars have with the solid
    treble and crisp zing that koa tops are known for. Robust bass from the
    13's lets me relax my thumb and still project. My favorite blue chip sounds
    great and the entire fret board has a consistent projection, tone and balance.

    It takes a couple of years for koa to settle but I already have a solid year invested.
    Easy to do since this guitar is so easy to play. 13's feel like 12's due to the scale.
    I've never bonded so well with any acoustics I've owned so my wife is plenty proud.

    Now, humidity changes will affect any acoustic guitar but no fuss for this practical body design.
    However the neck will shift accordingly, so I tweak the neck appropriately to compensate.
    Remember that a campfire on a cold night has pockets of temperature all over the place.
    Nothing major though, so for the most part just enjoy the company and pick and grin.
    Strings, however will be shot very quickly. When I took it out after, at home, I shuddered.
     
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  13. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Member

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    I still wouldn't take a nice acoustic on a small sailing boat with no cabin as the op intends; one rogue wave and your guitar is completely buggered.
     
  14. Markv7

    Markv7 Supporting Member

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    It’s going into a 100 dollar pvc dry bag designed for full size dreadnaughts. Water isn’t my concern. I’m concerned about heat and humidity. But I think shading it helps and 70% humidity for a week should be ok. Mahogany is strong and will recover when back in a climate controlled environment. I don’t think cowboys at the campfires back in the day worried much about these things. The Wild West is pretty dry.
    https://www.jpwinc.com/product/guitar-bag-2/?v=7516fd43adaa
     

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