Taylor GS Mini Koa Expert Guitar Review

The Taylor GS Mini features Koa which is a treasured tonewood. It’s found only on the Hawaiian islands. Koa provides a wide-ranging tone and excellent balance.

Just a few minutes with this guitar will have you convinced that it truly is the best in class. And this acoustic is under $1000! Let’s take a deeper look at the Taylor GS Mini-e Koa!


Let’s take a look at some key features of the Taylor GS Mini Koa Acoustic guitar.

  • Solid Hawaiian Koa top.
  • Layered Koa back and sides.
  • Sapele neck with matte finish.
  • Ebony finger board.
  • Mini Taylor grand auditorium body.
  • 23.5 inch scale with 20 frets.
  • Built in electronics.
Taylor GS Mini Koa acoustic guitar.


  • Materials and design.
  • Well-balanced sound.
  • Fun to play.
  • Built in electronics.
  • Smaller body, great for travel.


  • A set-up may be required out of the box.
  • Tuning machine heads are generic.
  • A bit more expensive because it’s a Taylor.
Taylor GS Mini Koa Back.

Body and Construction

The body on the GS Mini Koa is Taylor’s grand auditorium design. It provides a full lower register. Also, a very present mid-range. And with the Solid Hawaiian Koa top, a very natural brightness!

The grand auditorium body falls in between a dreadnought and a grand concert. It makes this guitar a workhorse all-purpose acoustic! The body, being a mini, is very portable while providing a rich, full sound!

The back and sides are made from layered Koa. This method allows for an attractive, durable acoustic with great sound. Layered woods handle humid environments better. So this can be a benefit, especially if you travel.

The body is then finished in varnish to enhance the beautiful wood grain of the Koa. It really gives this acoustic a brilliant look! And as the acoustic ages, the sonic rewards will unfold. The warm, sweet overtones will gradually emerge!

Taylor GS Mini Koa Neck.

Neck and Headstock

Secondly, the GS Mini Koa neck is Taylor’s patented neck design. It’s made from Sapele and features an African ebony fingerboard with a 23.5-inch scale. The nut width is roughly 1.68 inches wide and has a matte finish with 4 mm dot Italian Acrylic Inlays.

The neck is designed to stay sturdy and remain in tune with rock-solid intonation. The neck feels great when playing and is easy to get around on. Thanks to the great action and smaller neck!

The Taylor neck design claims that their necks ensure lasting stability and intonation. We had no issues with the GS Mini Koa when it came to tuning or intonation.

The guitar is quite sturdy and held tune for a very long time. You can feel the quality of this guitar over cheaper acoustics, and it’s very good!

GS Mini Koa Electronics.


The GS Mini Koa comes with a Nubone nut and Micarta saddle. Nubone has been designed to transfer the right frequencies more efficiently. From the strings to the guitar body.

It also produces more harmonics in the mid and upper ranges. Nubone responds like bone. Making it hard to tell the difference when it comes to sustain or resonance.

Micarta is a synthetic material that is a substitute for bone. But is softer and does transfer frequency very well. The bridge pins are PVC from the factory on this guitar.

The die-cast chrome plated tuning machine heads feel good and hold tune very well. I had no issues with tuning on the GS Mini Koa. Tuning when required was quite easy and was maintained for a very long time.

The GS Mini Koa comes equipped with Taylor’s revolutionary ES-B pickup system. This patented behind-the-saddle design is actually calibrated piezo sensors. They come into full contact with the bridge. This allows the nuances of the guitar tone to be amplified naturally!

The pre-amp features a volume and tone control knob with a built-in tuner.

Taylor GS Mini Koa guitar.

Sound Performance

So, now that you know a bit about the guitar, the question is, how does it sound for the price? The GS Mini Koa being a Taylor guitar has all the sweet Taylor tones as it should!

The guitar is unique in that is it made from Hawaiian Koa wood. It sounds very warm but has a natural compression to it that blooms in the midrange. Yet has a brighter focused tone.

The sound from this guitar is great and has a pretty good volume and punch for a smaller-bodied guitar! The electronics sound great and natural. It seems Taylor got what they were after when designing the system!

This guitar is worth the money, plain and simple! If you are an experienced player looking to upgrade, you will notice the difference.

If you are a beginner, you will be in good hands starting off with this guitar, especially if you have smaller hands!


But how does it feel? Well, it is a Taylor! The action was great and so playing up and down the neck felt great, and being a smaller guitar made it easy to get around.

There are no rough edges along the neck, the frets were nice, and the strings were well spaced.

The intonation and tuning were great. Playing up and down the fretboard was a great experience. The guitar just feels robust and the neck sturdy. It is no wonder this guitar is popular and man it is fun to play!

Final Thoughts

There are many great acoustic guitars in this price range that play and sound great. The Taylor GS Mini Koa while in the top bracket price wise is well worth the money!

The build quality, materials, and engineering to name a few. They are all top-shelf and amazing Taylor quality.

You could spend more on an acoustic with less bang for your buck, for sure! And if you travel more often, then this guitar is the perfect companion. For great quality in both build and sound.

Have smaller hands? Another great guitar choice to provide a better experience for you all around!

Taylor is an acoustic guitar manufacturing pioneer. The quality and sound are present! We had fun with this guitar, its big balanced sound and options make it very versatile, and it’s very hard to put down!

The Hawaiian Koa wood and grand auditorium body are a great combo. Taylor really created a great acoustic.

We highly recommend it for anyone looking to upgrade from a cheaper guitar. Or even those that have years of experience looking for a backup acoustic. You will recognize the Taylor quality in both sounds and feel!