|Body And Neck:|
There are full-sized guitars, and there are travel guitars. Then comes the Big Baby Taylor, which sits somewhere in the middle. The main advantage of this popular acoustic – that finds itself in our chart of the best acoustic guitars under $500 – is that it retains the convenience of a travel-friendly guitar, but with a little more volume and bass response. Like what you hear? Read on!
The body is pretty unique, sporting a 15/16th-size non-cutaway dreadnought shape, with a full 4” of body depth and a scale length of 25.5”. This translates to a guitar that is smaller than your regular dreadnought, but with a projection and richness that’s nearer the traditional dreadnought sound. And, being a Taylor, it looks and feels quality. This is thanks to the tonewoods used to construct the Big Baby Taylor – the top is made from solid sitka spruce, while the back and sides use laminated sapele. This all has a matte finish, which gives a refined look that’s enhanced by the single ring rosette and attractive tortoiseshell pickguard. The neck is crafted from solid sapele, with a genuine African ebony fretboard, 20 frets, and simple dot inlays. It’s also very player-friendly, with a slim profile and smooth matte finish.
Made in Taylor’s respected Tecate factory in Mexico, the craftsmanship on the body and neck of the Big Baby Taylor is excellent, and complemented by the hardware. A set of chrome die-cast tuners sit on the standard Taylor-branded headstock, while just below you’ll find a Nubone nut, which is similar in consistency to the more premium Tusq. At the other end, a Micarta saddle sits on the African ebony bridge. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that this guitar comes shipped with a deluxe Taylor gig bag, that’s incredibly stylish, snug and protective – an excellent addition, especially considering you’ll want to take this baby out on the road.
The original Baby Taylor, while superbly portable, has the traditional small guitar voice. There is no such problem with the Big Baby Taylor, as the near full-size body depth gives this guitar plenty of projection, resonance and sustain. The tonewoods combine for a sweet and well-balanced sound – the X-braced solid sitka spruce top gives you the classic Taylor crispness, with the layered sapele benefiting travelers as it provides more resistance to temperature/humidity changes. Overall yes, it’s not as big in sound as an all-solid, full-size dreadnought, but the tone on this Big Baby is still very rich.
Guitarists of all abilities will appreciate Taylor’s Big Baby Taylor, which packs a lot into a relatively small package. With its smaller than usual size, it is obviously well-suited as a travel guitar, but it shouldn’t be limited to life on the road – this is a smart choice as a main guitar that never leaves the house! It sounds bright and crisp, with enough natural projection for strumming, flatpicking or fingerstyle players. Throw in that excellent gig bag and, for under $500, the Big Baby Taylor shows very good value indeed.