Brand/Model: Taylor Big Baby BBT
Number of Strings: 6
Hand Orientation: Right/Left
Body Material: Sapele/Spruce top
Neck Material: Sapele
Fretboard Material: Ebony
Price Range: Under $500
Our Rating: 10/10
Taylor Big Baby Series BBT Acoustic Guitar Review
It’s not every day that a Taylor falls within the affordable budget. When it does, it might be your chance to finally own a Taylor guitar. There are some cut backs on this model, but its strategic moves to save costs may be what attracts you to this guitar.
There are full-size, thundering guitars and then there’s travel-size and mini. The Big Baby Taylor falls in the middle with a 3/4-size that delivers powerful volume and tone to satisfy musical geniuses and amateurs alike.
It’s just like its Baby Taylor sibling, but it’s the largest fish in the pond amongst its small-bodied family. The 15/16-scale dreadnought guitar with a solid spruce top rings crisp, bright, and clear. The cost savings are apparent with the laminate sapele back and sides. You have an ebony 20-fret fingerboard that dons the sapele neck. To maintain its traditional aesthetic, this guitar doesn’t feature a cutaway. It may be scaled down just a tad, but it’s still got full-size appeal in every way that’s needed.
Digging deeper into the nitty-gritty, the solid top has X bracing, plastic single ring rosette, and a tortoise shell pickguard. The entire guitar is finished with a light coating of varnish that won’t diminish the richness and projection that’s closer to the roaring voice of a full-size dreadnought.
Made in Mexico, Taylor is known for excellently crafted guitars. Chrome die-cast tuners sit on a printed Taylor-branded headstock with a Nubone nut. A micarta saddle is expertly placed on the ebony bridge with black bridge pins holding in the Elixir phosphor bronze light gauge strings.
The sound is rich, note-defining, and on-point, but it’s more in-line with projection that’s similar to its Baby siblings. The x-braced, solid top lends to its clarity and intonation, while the laminate back and sides contributes more to the durability and protection of the guitar than it does to resonance.
- Solid top
- Shallow body
- Arched back
- Bottom end not as strong as full-size
Buyer’s Feedback on the Big Baby Taylor Guitar
It should be no surprise that this guitar is well-loved among guitar-lovers across the board, not just loyal Taylor fans. For under $500, the craftsmanship, tone, and playability of the Big Baby Taylor couldn’t be better. You’ll see it ranked by experienced owners and beginner players with nothing but the best ratings.
It plays bright without being tinny, and it’s crisp and clear as you would expect for a Taylor. However, the bottom end of the bass range isn’t going to be as strong and resounding as a full-size dreadnought. It suffices for most players as it still has a decent presence. This guitar may quickly become your go-to instrument, not just for price and value, but for intonation quality too.
Alternatives to Consider
If you enjoy the crisp notes of the mid to high end, you might want to check out the Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar. This gorgeous git has a pressure-tested, solid cedar top that chimes and rings in the good way purists love to hear. It’s made in North America, it’s around the same price as the Big Baby Taylor, and it has a 25.5″ scale length just like this 3/4-size guitar.
Staying in the same budget range, you could also land another brand-name guitar, a Martin. The LX1 Little Martin guitar may only be a concert-size instrument, but it’s the portability factor that makes it a hit amongst the traveling crowd. Spruced up with a solid spruce top and high-pressure laminate mahogany back and sides, its visual appeal matches its bright, yet warm tones.
Big Baby Taylor BBT Q&A
In regard to the Big Baby Taylor, size is important for sound projection as well as comfort and ease of use for playing in combination with portability. Small-bodied guitars are great for picking up and playing for the spur of the moment and for taking on road trips or around the corner to the coffee shop.
Full-size guitars are known for their sound projection and ability to be played in open spaces and in larger rooms. The BBT provides both portability and resonance to play comfortably in your own home or at a small gathering with friends and family.
This guitar is an excellent choice for a beginner player. Its laminate sides and back, 3/4-size body, and excellent craftsmanship makes it a usable, fun, and hardy instrument for beginners to learn the ropes on. Additionally, pro players will enjoy the easiness of picking up this guitar in an instant and strumming up some tunes to brighten an afternoon.
The Taylor Baby and Big Baby Series guitars have an arched back, and this a modern design element that Taylor is one of the first to incorporate in their guitars. The idea behind an arched back is to increase guitar body strength and provide more sustain and tonal output.
Being made with laminate, it’s going to be lighter than a traditional, solid wood, arch back acoustic guitar. But, with the added strength, sound will bounce off the stiff back to reduce vibration absorption here. Vibrations are then reflected to the braced soundboard to resonate and ‘focus’ projection. The concept is increased loudness, sustain, and resonant frequency from a small-bodied guitar.
This guitar is just a tad shy of a full-size one. It has a 25 1/2″ scale length, 19 1/2″ body length, 15 1/10″ body width, and a 4″ body depth. Most players can easily consider this a full-size guitar, but you’ll find it’ll be much easier to play and wield if you’re on the smaller or petite side.
This is a great guitar for all playing styles. Finger picking and strumming can both be done with expertness thanks to the playability that includes string spacing, light gauge strings, and the quality materials used to make the guitar.
The neck is suited for those with narrow fingers, say for kids, women, and even men with shorter fingers. The width at the nut is 43 mm/1 11/16″. It’s suited for both strumming and fingerstyle playing.
Hardware/Electronics You’ll Need:
This guitar doesn’t come with much. If you’re a long-time player, this won’t be a big deal. But, if you’re a beginner, there’s going to be more than just a couple things you’ll need to acquire to get all set up and ready to go. The good news is that the BBT acoustic guitar comes with a gig bag. It’s a Taylor brand bag that’s extremely durable, and not one of those flimsy ones you’d typically get in a complete guitar kit. Saving some money here with the included case is a win in our books. What’s left to buy? Our “Must-Have Accessories Guide” will set you straight on what’s a need and what’s a “want.” But, here’s a quick list to give you an idea!
- Arched back for added strength
- Solid spruce top
- Excellent value, quality, and sound
Our Verdict on the BBT Guitar
To strum it up, the Big Baby Taylor BBT guitar has a lot to offer. It may not have all the fancy trappings that we associate with Taylor, but the foundational quality is all there.
Some guitars sound okay for the price, but this one clearly knocks the rest out of the ball park in its price class. It’s a guitar that should be taken out and about to really maximize its convenience in its size and sound projection!