Review: LR Baggs Lyric + Taylor GS Mini

I recently had an LR Baggs lyric acoustic guitar microphone installed in my 2011 Taylor GS Mini. This is one of the original GS Minis that came without electronics but had the internal bracket for the optional ES-Go magnetic soundhole pickup, now discontinued. I had this pickup for a while but was never satisfied with the fully passive design, and so decided to upgrade to something active.

The Lyric from LR Baggs is a miniature microphone installed on the inside of the guitar, stuck to the bridge plate using double-sided tape. Being a microphone it does not suffer from the honky/quacky sound of typical undersaddle piezo pickups, and being placed inside the guitar is much more resistant to feedback than an external microphone. It also enables complete freedom of movement for the performer as there is no need to stand in a fixed position in front of a stand-mounted microphone.

Continue reading

The Rail Dwellers (part one)

Author’s note: One of my favourite pastimes is to cycle around Singapore late at night, when it is less frenetic and when there is time to think and reflect. One of my routes leads me past Pasir Panjang Container terminal, and I am always fascinated by the gigantic concrete piers that straddle the container storage yards, stretching for kilometer after kilometer (see picture below). Seeing them lit up at night was the seed for this story, which explores a future in which mankind has been forced to live above ground in rail cars that serve as mobile dwellings.

Pasir Panjang container terminal concrete piers circa 1999.

The Rail Dwellers

A short story by B.G. Luse

It was night. The rain kept falling, incessant as the clouds that had blanketed the landscape for days now. The rain splashed on the dull grey concrete of the towers and piers, running down in small rivulets to the dark earth beneath. It seemed a long time since it had done anything but rain.

“Is there any mail?” Evan’s voice came from one corner of the dull metal container that served as a home for the family. It had once been red, the paint now faded to a colour between that of rust and burnt earth. The rain drummed on the metal roof and bounced off in little crown-shaped splashes which eventually also succumbed to gravity.

“No I don’t think so…” came Elsa’s voice from the corner near the stove. She was waiting for some water to boil. It was dinner time, at least when it had been called dinner. Now it was simply called the eighteen hundred. Continue reading

How my GS Mini has survived 6 years in the tropics!

Over the past year, especially since the publication of my GS Mini vs Taka Mini video, I have received numerous questions about how durable the GS mini (and indeed all guitars) are in the tropics. It seems like there is a widespread perception amongst guitarists out there that the high temperature and relative humidity found in the tropics will destroy guitars the moment they are taken out of their cases. I have not found this to be the case, and in this video I go through the reasons why.

Continue reading