Taylor GS Mini-E Bass Review: Couch-Friendly Acoustic Bass

Anyone who has heard an Unplugged album from the '90s has probably fallen in love with the deep, rich sound of the acoustic bass.

And that's exactly what Taylor was aiming for when it created its GS Mini-E Bass: a portable instrument that sounds as good as it feels. Very few basses can stand up to this tiny powerhouse — and for a good reason.

Let's break down the Taylor GS Mini-E, including its high points, its negatives, and everything in between. But be warned: this isn't your standard bass guitar.

Taylor GS Mini-E Bass: Our Take

Taylor GS Mini-E Bass

Average Overall Rating: 4.75/5


  • Type: Small-scale acoustic bass
  • Scale length: 23.5"
  • Frets: 20
  • Nut width: 1.6875"
  • Strings: D'Addario XTB3790GS, .037-.090

Why I Like It:

  • Incredible sound
  • Very portable
  • Premium tonewoods
  • Top-notch hardware

What I Think Could Be Improved:

  • Custom nylon core strings required
  • Somewhat expensive

The Taylor GS Mini-E Bass is nothing short of a dream for seasoned bass players craving a couch-friendly, travel-sized premium instrument.

Despite its 23-1/2-inch scale length, the GS Mini-E packs an unbelievable punch in terms of sound quality. This thing just sounds great: its low range is deep and rich, and the higher frequencies have a much-appreciated crispness.

There are three versions of the GS Mini-E: sapele, koa, and maple. The sapele one is the standard one, so I'll focus mainly on that one — but the other two are pretty much identical besides the tonewoods.

The standard GS Mini-E Bass' body is made out of a combination of spruce and sapele, while its neck is mahogany. The 20 frets lay on a delicate Crelicam ebony fingerboard, ensuring maximum comfort along with the premium sound.

But what makes the GS Mini-E Bass so special?

Well, you probably guessed it: its portability. The shorter scale length, 1.68-inch nut width, and light weight make this tiny monster an absolute delight to carry around and play while traveling.

And that's also exactly what makes it a fantastic choice for a guitar player who's looking to expand their horizons by also playing bass. Whether you want to try your hand at recording some bass parts or you just want to jam for a bit, the GS Mini-E will be pretty much perfect.

And if you ever feel ready to take your playing to a new level, just plug the GS Mini-E into a bass amp and shred away! Thanks to the premium Taylor ES-B electronics, this tiny monster will sound just as good when plugged in — if not better.

Features of the Taylor GS Mini Bass

Taylor GS Mini-E Bass

Don't let the GS Mini Bass's size fool you — this thing is a true powerhouse among travel basses. There are quite a few aspects to keep in mind before pulling the trigger, so here's a quick rundown of the key specs:

Sound - 5.0

There's no getting around it: the GS Mini-E sounds fantastic.

The low-end is rich, loud, and well-rounded, and the mid-range provides just enough rasp and presence to make the notes stand out. The high-end is surprisingly well-defined and has a slinky feel to it — which any veteran bassist will appreciate when soloing.

Build quality - 4.75

There are three versions of the GS Mini-E Bass, and each and every one of them is built to last. Premium tonewoods, precise intonation, smooth fretwork, and overall professional craftmanship are the name of the game here!

But, of course, this sort of quality doesn't come for free — the GS Mini-E Bass is almost $900!

Hardware - 4.5

When it comes to sheer quality, Taylor made sure not to gloss over hardware and electronics. Everything you'll find on this bass is built to last for years on end while providing a premium feel — from the tuners to the bridge, and from the frets to the pickups.

But there is one big downside: everything related to the GS Mini-E is made to work ONLY with custom-made D'Addario strings and no other strings.

What to Know Before Buying

Taylor GS Mini-E Bass

Buying any instrument is hard enough — but things get considerably more daunting when you're about to pull the trigger on a 900-dollar Taylor.

The main thing to keep in mind is that the GS Mini-E Bass is a portable acoustic bass that's compact, lightweight, and ultra-comfortable — and it doesn't sacrifice any sound quality for it.

But if you're a professional or veteran bassist looking for a new axe to take on stage, then this one may feel a bit... underwhelming. This is a more "couch-friendly" inspiring tool, designed mostly for traveling players, curious guitarists, and bass newbies.

If all of that sounds good, then the GS Mini-E will be, without a doubt, perfect for you. But if you're not quite sold on it yet, then below I'll give you a couple of key alternatives.

Alternatives to the Taylor GS Mini-E

There are dozens of options out there when it comes to travel or short-scale-length basses. But there are only two that can truly stand up to the GS Mini-E:

GS Mini-E Maple vs Fender Kingman

Fender Kingman

The Fender Kingman sounds just as good as the Mini-E, yet it manages to drag the price down to $600. It is a bit bigger than the Mini-E though, so it all comes down to personal choice regarding size and strings.

GS Mini-E Maple vs Kala U-Bass

Kala U-Bass

The Kala U-Bass is one of the most affordable travel basses on the market. It may not sound as good or feel as premium as the Mini-E — but it's still a fantastic couch-friendly option for bass newbies.

Final Verdict

Taylor GS Mini-E Bass

To wrap things up, the Taylor GS Mini-E is a fantastic bass for anyone who loves to travel around with their instruments. Premium, compact, and just a delight to play, there's no going wrong with this one.

Still, if you're not quite sold on it yet, I recommend you take a look at its top two competitors: the Fender Kingman and the Kala U-Bass.

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