Price paid: $ 299
Purchased from: Advance Music
Sound — 3
These are bright sounding guitars. The small (and shallow) body of the BT-1 and BT-2 doesn't allow for any significant bass response. The Mahogany body of the BT-2 has a little darker tone than the Sitka topped BT-1. After spending a lot of time comparing both models in the store, I settled on the BT-2 with the Mahogany top.
Overall Impression — 10
I bought the BT-2 specifically as a travel guitar to bring camping. In that respect, I can't say enough good stuff about this guitar. It's small enough that you can cradle it like a ukulele if you don't have a strap handy. The shorter scale length makes the string tension lower, so the Elixir light gauge strings are easy to play and bend. This guitar is fun to play. Yes, fun to play! The tone is in no way comparable to a full sized guitar, but that's not what the guitar is designed for. This is a guitar that can pack into the back of a small car with all your camping gear and still leave room for a cooler full of brew. This is the guitar to play around the campfire or easily carry to the beach. During a recent 10 days camping vacation at the beach, I played the guitar every day. I had to tweak the tuning jut once... This is a well designed guitar with solid tuners. If this guitar was lost or stolen, I'd replace it in a heartbeat. I'd recommend this guitar to anybody as a travel guitar. Anybody looking for a small bodied 'primary' guitar would do better with something a little larger like a Taylor GS-Mini.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This is a well made guitar. The die cast tuners don't seem to slip at all. I've owned this guitar for less than a month so haven't had any issues with reliability. I've been playing guitar for over 46 years, so I feel I have some sense of a well made guitar when I see one. With normal care, it should last a lifetime.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The fit and finish is bare-bones but flawless. There is no body binding, but the lighter end-grain of the top and bottom give the effect. The top on my guitar is a single piece of mahogany. It has a couple of dark grain marks which are perfectly centered... Somebody was paying attention when they cut this top. The fretboard is Ebony, mine has a few light streaks in it which just prove that it's real wood. The guitar is very playable. I don't know if the shop had done any set-up work prior to putting it on display, but off the shelf, this guitar played perfectly.
Features — 7
The Baby Taylor is a 3/4 scale (22.75") dreadnought shaped guitar with a slightly arched back. It comes in two flavors: the BT-1 with a solid Sitka spruce top, and BT-2 with a solid Mahogany top. Both have Sapele laminate sides and back. The 19 fret neck joins the body at the 14th fret. One unusual feature is that the neck is bolted on with two large screws at the 16th fret. The neck width is a standard 1 11/16" at the nut. The top has X-bracing and the bottom has no bracing at all. The entire guitar has a matte varnish finish. A snug gig bag is included.