Taylor is known for its high quality guitars which are also high priced guitars. Most of us would want to have one of their guitars but the price is what hinders us that’s why we compromise to a lower priced guitars that are not completely subpar to the quality.
But Taylor bridged the gap from the high-priced to the “low-priced” guitar by introducing us the Baby Series. I just want to clarify that there is no full-sized guitar in this series that’s why it’s called the Baby series and most of them are classified as travel guitars. They have small body and easy to carry.
One of the guitar in that series is the Big Baby Taylor. It is classified as a travel guitar but its size is quite bigger than most travel guitars. You can expect an “almost” full sound guitar with a convenience of a travel guitar. Do you like what you are reading? Then continue reading as we make an in-depth review of Taylor’s Big Baby Taylor (BBT).
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Place to Buy: Amazon
- “Almost” full sound produced by a travel guitar
- Sweet tones and long sustains are perfect for performance
- Very responsive to any playstyle
- Tuners, saddle and nut are high grade
- Layered sapele adds more resistance to humidity
- Size is not overwhelming even for those who have small body
- Stays in tune for a long time
- Price is not for Beginner’s guitar
- High action is reported by some users
Body size and material
The body size of Big Baby Taylor sits right in the middle of a full-sized guitar and a travel guitar. To be exact, it is 15/16th of a Dreadnought guitar. It is bigger than a travel guitar and there’s a lot of opinions out there whether this guitar is a travel guitar or not. It is easy to carry and very light weight compared to a full-sized guitar so for me, I still consider this as a travel guitar.
Big Baby Taylor features a Solid spruce top with an X bracing which is common in travel guitars, solid Mahogany on its neck and layered sapele on back and sides. Layered sapele adds more resistance to humidity which is perfect for travel guitarists and do a lot of gigging out of town.
Big Baby Taylor has an “Almost” full sound
I can’t consider its sound as full like the ones you hear with Dreadnought but it is close enough. It is still loud enough to be heard in a small room and its tone is sweet and has long sustains. Not really warm but slightly bright because it has a smaller body but its low end tones are still there but not rich like a full-sized guitar.
One thing I like in this guitar is that it is very responsive to any playstyle. It projects perfectly when strummed aggressively and also sounds nice when played softly. You can also play fingerstyle and you can hear each tone perfectly.
Taylor has to cut corners
In order to bridge the gap between high-priced guitar and low-priced guitar, Taylor has to cut corners with this guitar in order to achieve an affordable Taylor guitar.
They are known in having a justified high priced guitar but they also thought of people who can’t afford their high-priced guitar. Big Baby Taylor is one of their most affordable guitar but definitely, they have to decrease the quality of materials they often used.
If you will look carefully at its neck, there is no heel. They used two screws which you can also see in the top of the fretboard to secure the neck. This practice is not limited only to Taylor but also in some travel guitars. Soundwise, there is no effect and I can assure you that this is still a well-built guitar. They had to this in order to cut the cost without compromising the built quality.
Action is high out of factory at some users. You can feel the high action particularly on the higher frets. It is suggested that you reduce the height of the saddle in order to achieve low action but you must study how to do it or you can just simply bring it to a professional. But if you are fortunate enough to have a low action, then you don’t need to do anything.
Nut and Saddle are also have lower quality compared to their high end guitars. They used Tusq nut in this guitar and micarta saddle which are not bad quality materials. They are not the best but are close enough to premium ones. Tuners are in great quality and holds the tune for a very long time.
Consider this before buying one
Since Big Baby Taylor are in the middle of full-size and travel guitar, you must carefully think about it before buying. Yes, it sounds fantastic and built is superb (we’ll, it’s a Taylor) but do not let the brand dictate your choices.
You must have a clear purpose if you are buying one. If you are just looking for a practice guitar then I suggest that you don’t purchase this one. This guitar is made for travelling without losing the sound of a full-sized guitar. I’d rather choose the full-sized guitar if you are going to buy a guitar for practice and if you are not going to travel.
However, if you are travelling often and the 3/4 guitars is not your thing because you can’t get a full sound, then BBT is a good choice. Having an almost full sound with the convenience of a travel guitar, you can enjoy both worlds.
Big Baby Taylor is at the top range of Solid top + Laminated back and sides combination when regards to the price. You can still get good sounds at some Solid Top + Laminated back and sides which are lower in price. Guitar brands like Yamaha, Epiphone, and Fender offer some good solid top + laminated back and sides guitar which is affordable and good for beginners. My favorite is the Yamaha FG830. You can see the complete details of it here
So before buying this, please think of your purpose and consider the price. There are other guitars out there that can still be worthy of your money but if you just want to have a taste of Taylor and want a full sound, then this guitar is a good choice as your FIRST TAYLOR GUITAR. BBT will let you have a taste of both worlds, the almost the same sound of a full sized guitar and the convenience of a travel guitar.
If you want to know other factors you should consider, you can learn more in my guide on how to choose the right guitar
Big Baby Taylor has both models of Acoustic and Acoustic-Electric. If you want the Acoustic-Electric model, you should look for the Taylor BBT-E. Most model available is the Taylor BBT and it has no pick-up system.
The pick-up used in the BBT-E is the ES-B and incorporates the Taylor Expression System 2 with an on-board preamp that has a built-in tuner and 2 control knobs. It uses two button cell 3V lithium batteries. Its performance is good enough and amplifies the Natural sound perfectly.
Big Baby Taylor vs GS mini
Taylor BBT is often compared to Taylor GS Mini. Not only it has almost the same price, it is also a travel guitar. GS Mini has a Grand Symphony body size which is a little bigger than Grand Auditorium. This model has a smaller body because it is the “mini” version.
Taylor GS Mini has less volume compared to Taylor BBT because of its body size but it is more balanced in tone. The Taylor BBT is much brighter and louder compared to GS Mini. It will be dependent to your preference and purpose. I suggest that you try both guitars in the nearest music store and trust your ears.
Should you buy it?
Well, I recommend it if you want to have a taste of a Taylor guitar. Price is not really high and can be considered “affordable” yet having a high quality built and sound. But then again, Taylor BBT can be considered as a travel guitar and it’s still much better to go for a full-sized guitar if you are not travelling often.
Also, if you are looking for an acoustic-electric model, you should carefully check the model so that you won’t get the wrong guitar. The Acoustic-Electric model is the Taylor BBT-E and of course, it is priced higher.
Taylor’s Big Baby Taylor has clearly lived up to the hype. It is a well built guitar with a really good sound and can play well whatever playstyle you do with it. It is one of the affordable guitars of Taylor and definitely worth every penny.
If you have any questions regarding this guitar, feel free to leave a comment and I will gladly answer you.
Taylor's Big Baby Taylor (BBT) Review - does a low-priced Taylor guitar still lived up the hype?
Big Baby Taylor is one of the most 'affordable' guitar of Taylor. They had to cut some corners to lower the price, but can it give the Taylor vibe we all want?