To a bassist with deeply ingrained, 34"-scale muscle memory, Taylor’s GS Mini-e Bass might feel like a ukulele at first. But size is about the only way this Taylor comes up short. The Mini-e reveals clean construction and an impeccable setup. After acclimatizing to its size, I got lost enjoying its buttery smooth neck and quick, ebony fretboard. And thanks to the D’Addario nylon-core strings made specifically for the Mini-e, the sometimes loud, zingy squeaking that can accompany the thicker roundwounds on acoustic bass guitars was held in check.
Unplugged, the 23 1/2"-scale Mini-e’s dry, woody timbre projects with impressive fullness and volume for small body. It’s plenty loud for solo practice or playing along with a couple guitarists, provided your pals use a lighter touch. Plugged in, the Mini-e came to life with a punchy thump and warmth that leans towards the darker tones of an upright, but remain articulate courtesy of the pronounced midrange. The sounds aren’t tight and bright like some long-scale acoustic basses, but that’s exactly what I liked about it.
The Mini-e Bass is a travel-sized instrument, but it can throw down with much bigger acoustic cousins. If you’re after an acoustic bass—be it for a couch companion, an addition to your live rig, or recording tool—the Mini-e should relieve you of the need to say “super-size me.”
Test gear: Gallien-Krueger 800RB head, Orange OBC212 cab, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Big, upright-esque tones from a small-bodied instrument. Super-clean build. Excellent playability. Nice gig bag.
Limited to one type of strings, so don’t get caught stranded without a backup set.
Taylor GS Mini-e Bass