Premier Guitar Looks at the Taylor GS Mini-e Bass

Taylor GS Mini-e Bass

The new Taylor GS Mini-e short-scale travel bass. Photo: Taylor Guitars

Guitar publication Premier Guitar magazine has a short “quick hit” review of the new Taylor GS Mini-e acoustic/electric short-scale travel bass. While not based on a ukulele body, this 23.5″ scale instrument is on par with other small basses and longer-scale uBasses, like the Gold Tone M-Bass (23″ and 25″ scale models) and the Aquila Short Bass One (23.6″ scale).

The Taylor GS Mini-e Bass features the company’s ES-B pickup/preamp combination, layered Sapele wood construction and its Grand Symphony body shape.

According to Premier Guitar, the Taylor GS Mini-e Bass rates 4.5 guitar picks (their equivalent of stars) in every category.

The publication notes:

Unplugged, the 23 1/2″-scale Mini-e’s dry, woody timbre projects with impressive fullness and volume for small body… 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.

Curiously, the author has this to say about the new bass:

“The sounds aren’t tight and bright like some long-scale acoustic basses, but that’s exactly what I liked about it.”

Generally, “brightness” is a factor of the type of strings you’re using and the placement of the pickup on the instrument. For example, Roundwound strings will sound “brighter” than Flatwound strings, which will sound “thumpy.”

Still, Premier Guitar gives the Taylor bass high marks. They even have a sound clip with the review.

Taylor has a video of the bass here.

The Taylor GS Mini-e Bass seems to be a worth addition to any bass arsenal. However, at a street price of about $700, it’s not cheap. And the fact that it uses specially designed strings that Taylor recommends only be used on the bass, limits the instrument’s versatility.

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Kala vs. the Acoustic Competition

Bass Direct in the U.K. pits the competition against the Kala uBass Standard and Rumbler models.

Bass Direct in the U.K. pits the competition against the Kala uBass Standard and Rumbler models.

 

Ever wonder how the little Kala acoustic uBasses stack up against the competition? Well, this video, posted by U.K. music retailer Bass Direct will give you a good idea.

In the video, Bass Direct pits the Kala uBass Rumbler Mahogany, the Kala Spruce Fretless uBass and the Kala uBass Mahogany Fretless (with both Pahoehoe and Pyramid strings) against the Tanglewood Roadster Travel Bass Fretless, the Countryman Ukulele Bass Fretless, the Aquila Short Bass One Basic Fretless.

Which one sounds the best? Watch the video and decide for yourself. I will say that they all sound good, though I think the Kala uBasses sound more focused and refined. Except the Mahogany Fretless with the Pyramid strings. That one sounds horrible. And it’s not the uBass, it’s the Pyramid strings and the lackluster playing. Among the competitors, I think the Tanglewood sounds the best.

Though, to be fair, the Countryman and the Short Bass One have horrible setups (with string buzzes everywhere), so they don’t sound their best in this clip. Interestingly, the Short Bass One–which looks to have the largest body of all the uBasses–is the quietest. It does not project sound very well.

While it may not be a very “scientific” test of all the uBasses, this video will give you an idea of what they all sound like.