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Old 08-26-2019, 11:19 AM
Pickcity Pickcity is offline
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Default Are mini guitars all the rage?

Seems to me they keep getting better and better, with some of them rivaling their full size counterparts. I find myself liking the minis more and more, and after playing quite a few of them, I must say they make a lot of sense, from a player's perspective. I am not saying they can or will replace full sized guitars, but there are some very good mini guitars out there producing big sounds in a small, convenient package. Short scales, small bodies, lightweight, big sound. Most of them are quite budget friendly as well. I can understand why so many folks seem to be gravitating towards them, and why more of these mini guitars seem to be invading the market...Is anyone else noticing this trend, or is it just my imagination?

I played a few mini guitars at a local shop recently, and I don't hesitate to say I would play some of them on stage. They were excellent. A special mention goes to the Taylor GS mini. I played the mahogany and the Koa. Both of them blew my mind when it comes to the capabilities of mini guitars. My only problem is deciding which one to buy.
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Old 08-26-2019, 11:23 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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I've yet to hear a "mini" that rivals their full-sized counterparts. Yes, minis have gotten better since the days when the most accessible option was the Martin backpacker, but I've never played one that made me think it was a better decision to put money toward that than a non-mini guitar.
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  #3  
Old 08-26-2019, 11:38 AM
Pickcity Pickcity is offline
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Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
I've yet to hear a "mini" that rivals their full-sized counterparts. Yes, minis have gotten better since the days when the most accessible option was the Martin backpacker, but I've never played one that made me think it was a better decision to put money toward that than a non-mini guitar.
Keep playing them. I would take a Taylor GS over lots of full sized guitars in the same price range. Note I did not say they could or should replace full sized guitars, but rival some of them? Absolutely.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
I've yet to hear a "mini" that rivals their full-sized counterparts. Yes, minis have gotten better since the days when the most accessible option was the Martin backpacker, but I've never played one that made me think it was a better decision to put money toward that than a non-mini guitar.
Of course it depends on the definition of "mini", but you have an 00 and a parlor in your sig.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:05 PM
colder colder is offline
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On guitar boards it seems that a lot of people buy them, but I haven't heard any that I liked yet. Even the Taylor GS which has a good reputation online sounded very weak and boxy to me. I wouldn't choose it over a full size beater or a parlor at all if you're talking about something you need to transport in your trunk or leave stored somewhere. JMO
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:07 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Yes, we've come full circle. Twas a day when all you could get were small body guitars. The along came the 000/OM that was a game changer with awesome volume and tone. Then along came the dread and really shook things up and for the longest time that was pretty much all anyone made and could be found, or so it seemed at least.

Then came the Clapton VH1 Unplugged show and the 000 body was suddenly in demand again and then the smaller and smaller body guitars seemed to make a comeback. For the longest time one needed that huge dread body for the volume so one could be heard. Nowadays with modern pickup systems and dedicated acoustic amplifiers you can be heard even with a small body guitars.

Plus that whole generation of dread guys my age(ish) aren't getting any younger and our shoulders and necks and elbows and wrists (and just about everything else!) are killing us so smaller guitars are easier to play without so much discomfort and pain.

I've always been a small body guitar fan and much prefer their size along with a short scale. And many have come a LONG way in sound doing a halfway decent job. But just halfway. I have yet to play anything smaller than a dread that has the glorious tone, sound and volume of a dread. I love playing my little Emerald X7 all day long. But if I A/B it with any dread it loses badly.

I test drove several GS Mini's a while back after reading all the love. Wonderful little guitar for the price but the sound did nothing for me. Probably the best small body guitars I've played over the years for great tone and decent volume are the smaller shop 00 12 frets like Santa Cruz. I had a Martin 00-18VS UMGF and 00-28VS that were both great. But none of them held a candle to that D-18GE I played a while back.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:08 PM
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DCCougar DCCougar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickcity View Post
...I find myself liking the minis more and more....
Not me. It's 17" lower bout jumbos for me! Nothin' quite like 'em!
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:19 PM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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I don't know if they're all the rage, but I certainly think they've gotten better and better. The mini I enjoyed the most for travel was a Go Grande Mahogany. For the really small guitars, it couldn't be beat. The small size and light weight were appealing to me.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:21 PM
Pickcity Pickcity is offline
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Originally Posted by DCCougar View Post
Not me. It's 17" lower bout jumbos for me! Nothin' quite like 'em!
I play a J-15 most of the time, and love big guitars as well. I'm only saying that I like the minis more than ever before. Some of the new offerings are exceptional. It is not only sheer volume, which has been more than acceptable to me, but the sound they produce. Some of them sound really good to my ears.

There was a time when I would not consider such a small guitar. That has changed. Not only would I own a mini, but I will own a mini very soon.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:22 PM
Pickcity Pickcity is offline
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Originally Posted by Kerbie View Post
I don't know if they're all the rage, but I certainly think they've gotten better and better. The mini I enjoyed the most for travel was a Go Grande Mahogany. For the really small guitars, it couldn't be beat. The small size and light weight were appealing to me.
Just another one out there that I have not heard of before now. I will check it out.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:26 PM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickcity View Post
Just another one out there that I have not heard of before now. I will check it out.
Go Guitars was Sam Radding's company in San Diego. Great guy, but I believe he isn't building any longer. He had his Go Guitars, Go Grandes (a little bigger) and a parlor. I imagine they come up on the used market every once in a while. Can't beat 'em for the money.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:45 PM
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I don't think that the modern "mini" guitars are anywhere near as good as the parlour guitars that were popular many decades ago. I think, they have their use for children, travelling, etc and for me they include things like guileles. It's good to have so many choices, but for guitars I prefer full size at least OM/000 or larger and for smaller instrument I prefer my concert and tenor sized ukuleles which have even better portability and a much better sound than small guitars.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:56 PM
jpmist jpmist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post
I test drove several GS Mini's a while back after reading all the love. Wonderful little guitar for the price but the sound did nothing for me. Probably the best small body guitars I've played over the years for great tone and decent volume are the smaller shop 00 12 frets like Santa Cruz. I had a Martin 00-18VS UMGF and 00-28VS that were both great. But none of them held a candle to that D-18GE I played a while back.

Likewise, I was really pleasantly surprised the first time I picked up a fun to play Taylor Mini, but the second time I thought there was something missing. The OOs and GC's I have now make me think they're the smallest you can go and still get a reasonable amount of resonance. But if I needed a travel guitar that'd be it.

I recently experimented with Larrivee's larger LSs and they did nothing for me which makes me wonder if my small bodied guitars have trained my ear for them only. . .
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:32 PM
TokyoNeko TokyoNeko is offline
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Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post
Yes, we've come full circle. Twas a day when all you could get were small body guitars. The along came the 000/OM that was a game changer with awesome volume and tone...
This. ^^^

I get a chuckle (or sometimes roll my eyes) whenever I hear 000/OMs being mentioned as "small guitars." They were originally introduced as LARGE guitars meant to be heard in middle of ORCHESTRAS. (Hence the term "Orchestra Model" or "OM" for short.)

I get that dreads and jumbos came later to provide even more volume and size. But at worst 000/OMs should be classified as "medium-sized" guitars, IMHO.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:07 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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I don't rally know what you mean by a mini ?

Do you mean anything smaller than a dreadnought or jumbo?

At one time it was impossible to buy anything like a 000,00 or 0 but they are seemingly back in fashion for fingerstyle, which is sensible as that's what they were designed for.
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