I’ve owned this lovely guitar since February 2017 – seems like only a few months ago that I bought it. I guess the past two years have been a bit of a black hole for many of us. I was really excited to get this instrument – it’s one of the relatively few Takamine models with the 45mm (1-3/4″) nut that is relatively affordable, priced at around US$2,000 at time of writing. Since the bluegrass series was discontinued, these wider-nut guitars have been largely restricted to the very top of the pro series and limited edition guitars such as the EF75M TT, EF7M-LS etc. I like to play a combination of strumming and fingerstyle, so this combination of features: OM body style, thermal spruce top with ovangkol back and sides (a variation on rosewood), and 45mm nut is ideal.
Having said that, this guitar has always felt a bit “hard to play” with the stock light (12-53) strings. I’m not sure if this is a function of the way the guitar was set up from the factory but whenever I switch to this instrument from one of my other Taks the strings feel comparatively hard to press down, especially the two unwound strings, especially when playing barre chords. So this has always prevented me from fully enjoying the instrument. It’s not a big deal, maybe the difference between 90% and 100% satisfaction.
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.
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.