Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Guitar Review – Acoustic Electric Guitar For Under $1000

Taylor GS Mini-e Koa acoustic electric guitar

Brand/Model: Taylor GS Mini-e Koa

Number of Strings: 6

Hand Orientation: Left, Right

Body Material: Koa

Neck Material: Sapele

Fretboard Material: Ebony

Price Range: Under $1000

Our Rating: 9.4/10

Taylor’s GS Mini-e Koa Guitar Review

Taylor created this under 1000 dollar, beautiful guitar with a scaled-down body. The most striking feature of this Taylor is definitely its Hawaiian koa wood.

It has a poplar middle core with three-layered koa wood for the back and sides. This actually makes it more durable against climate threats that can ruin your investment.

The solid top is made of koa for consistently bright tones. But, as the wood matures, along with the player, the tones develop into a warm, blooming, and rich variation which enhances the mid range.

This top quality acoustic-electric guitar goes very well for finger stylists who have a heftier touch with the pads of their fingers, as long as you don’t plan on playing too much in the upper register.

Taylor GS Mini-e Koa guitar

This brings us to another of one of the most obvious features of this guitar – its non-cutaway shape.

The traditional and symmetrical design of this guitar has simple but exacting aesthetic appeal. But, as we musicians know, there’s more to a guitar than just how it looks.

The Mini-e Koa guitar is outfitted with the Expression System 2 pickup design. Instead of pickups being installed under the saddle, this system installs three pickup sensors behind the saddle for a more powerful punch to responsive transference of the strings and vibrations natural movement.

The preamp system is a result of Taylor’s professional audio-grade engineering to sound awesome plugged in, recording, or jamming on stage.

  • Small size
  • Hawaiian koa solid top
  • Non-cutaway
  • Expressions System 2 pickups
  • Undersaddle piezo preamp EQ
  • Price

Taylor’s GS Mini-e Koa Reviews

back of Taylor GS mini-e koa guitar

There’s absolutely nothing to complain about when it comes to the Taylor Mini-e Koa guitar. It’s a Taylor all the way.

But, when the price is still close to a grand, it might be a disappointment for many who don’t have the luxury of splurging.

However, it’s a Taylor – this is about as cheap as you can get without compromising on quality.

Its koa wood and aesthetic appeal is by far the most attractive feature of this guitar. Buyers don’t even care that it doesn’t have a pickguard – it would cover the exotic design and grains of the wood.

Players also love the perfect size that’s not overwhelming or boxy for their comfort style. While the guitar might be a scaled-down size, the sound is definitely full-size.

Taylor GS Mini-e Solid Koa Top ESB w/Gig Bag with case
155 Reviews
Taylor GS Mini-e Solid Koa Top ESB w/Gig Bag with case
  • Back/Side Wood: Layered Koa / Top Wood: Hawaiian Koa
  • Fretboard Wood: Ebony
  • Neck Wood: Tropical Mahogany

Alternative Acoustic-Electric Guitars to Consider

How can we rave on and on about the Mini-e Koa and not mention the others in the GS Series? This is our chance to highlight the other outstanding mini Taylor guitars. The GS Mini-E Mahogany Acoustic Electric Guitar is just as popular with its mahogany top and sapele back and sides.

It features a pickguard and is under 600 bucks. The Taylor GS Mini Mahogany Guitar is the exact counterpart of the Mini-E Mahogany Guitar expect for a few differences like the electronics, nut and saddle, bracing, and of course, the price. The latter Mini Mahogany guitar is under 500 dollars – a steal!

One of the best comparisons to a Taylor would be a Martin. The Martin Road Series DRS1 Acoustic Electric Guitar is in the same price range of under 1000 dollars. It’s larger than the Mini-e Koa for sure but not by much.

It has sapele and richlite tonewoods, Fishman electronics, and includes a hardshell case in the purchase. It’s not a bad rival for the Taylor Mini guitar that’s why we gave did a full review of the Martin Road DRS1.

Check out the 4 other guitars in our lineup of the ultimate acoustic electric guitars for beginners.

Taylor GS Mini-e Koa FAQ

What are the Dimensions of Taylor’s Mini-e Koa Guitar?

The body length is 17 5/8″, body width 14 3/8″, body depth 4 7/16″, and the scale length is 23 1/2″.

What are the Main Differences between the Mini Series and the Mini-E Series?

The Mini Series has a tortoise shell pickguard, die-cast chrome tuners, X-bracing, laminate back, and ES-Go electronics. The Mini-e Series lacks a pickguard, has Taylor chrome tuners, GS Mini with Relief Rout bracing, 3-layered wood back, and the Expression System 2 electronics.

How does the Sound on the Koa Compare with the Mahogany?

The mahogany is known for its more mellow tones. The koa is bright and has almost bell-like chimes. However, koa matures over time and the tones will mellow and become more warm as the wood and player matures.

What kind of Strings do the Taylor Mini-E Series come with?

Both the Mini and Mini-E Series guitars come pre-strung with Elixir phosphor bronze medium strings.

Is the Baby Taylor Guitar Larger than the Mini-E Koa?

No. The Koa guitar is larger than the Baby Taylor by a couple inches all around. However, the Mini-E Koa is still smaller than the Big Baby Taylor guitar.

How is the Piezo Pickup Different in the Mini-E Koa Guitar?

Piezo pickups are usually located under the saddle to pick up vertical movement from the vibrations of the strings. However, Taylor Guitars discovered that the natural movement of the saddle is actually akin to pendulum action.

They relocated Piezo crystals to be behind the saddle to pick up vibrations stronger from the natural pendulum movement.

Does the GS Mini-e Koa Guitar come with any Accessories?

The purchase of the GS Mini-e Koa guitar does include a soft carry case that’s well padded. The case is also specifically designed for the GS Mini Series guitars.

What is the Finish on the Taylor Mini-e GS Koa Guitar?

The guitar has a clear varnish that’s consistent throughout the entire body and neck.

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Hardware/Electronics You’ll Need:

The only extra item included in this guitar purchase is a soft carry bag. You’ll need everything else to get amplified and to protect your guitar from humidity. Here’s some suggestions on what you’ll need to make the most of your Taylor investment.

If you think you’re missing something, be sure to strum by our guitar accessories list to pick up everything you need to get started.

Standout Features of the Taylor Mini-e Koa

  • High quality
  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Dynamic sound

Our Verdict On The Taylor GS Mini-e Koa

To strum it up, the Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Guitar is one of the best small body, travel guitars we’ve seen in our line-up. It would be such a waste to pass this baby up for a few hundred bucks.

For under 1000 dollars you definitely won’t be disappointed. We and the masses have spoken, it’s a thumbs up!

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