Have you ever wanted to travel with your full body dreadnought and wished it were just a little bit smaller?
When the Baby Taylor, was first released, it caused ripples and received massive acceptance as an ideal travel sized guitar.
Well, the Baby size was a little less than perfect for a section of guitarist like you who preferred something fuller yet still portable. Taylor listened and Big Baby was born.
As the name suggests, Taylor Big Baby is an all grown version of the 1996 three quarter body Baby Taylor, a travel sized guitar manufactured by the Taylor Guitars from their Tecate, Mexico based factory. The name Taylor has emerged to become one of the most sought after guitar brands. It has a solid reputation for manufacturing nothing short of superb quality guitars be it acoustic or electric for over four decades.
This acoustic oversized sibling of the Baby Taylor shares similar looks and structure as its predecessor. However, it is fuller, projects greater sound and is higher in action. It positions itself somewhere in the middle of the Baby Taylor and a full body Dreadnought size. Not too big, not too small, just perfect!
Despite having extra volume in its build, the mobility of the Big Baby Taylor is not hampered by its close to full body size. It’s measurements still qualify it as a portable enough option to fit in the travel size class. Not to mention its lightweight. It weighs only 11.3 pounds.
Big Baby Taylor boasts of a stellar solid construction. This is evident from its choice of materials and hardware which display class, strength, and durability. Everything from the chrome tuners to the Mircata saddle and even the gig bag are of high caliber.
For tonewoods, Taylor opted for Sitka Spruce for the Big Baby’s soundboard, a laminate Sapele neck, back and sides, and an African ebony fingerboard. The overall appearance is a simple classic and balanced look.
The guitar sounds as impressive as its build and will take your music to the next level. It is medium action with a fuller projection than what you are used to if you started out with the Baby Taylor. The mid tone sound is articulate and distinct on every string. It tunes with ease and strums really well. Fingerpicking as well as flat picking both work fine. You can actually play it right out of the box.
Was there a mention of a gig bag earlier? Absolutely. Taylor Big Baby like every other Taylor guitar comes complete with high quality, posh looking deluxe gig bag wrapped up in one package. The protection and safety of your guitar from harsh impacts and scratches as is with journeying is guaranteed wherever you tag along with it.
The tip of the iceberg is, the Taylor Big Baby is retailing for less than $500. How cool is that? For a high end brand name like Taylor whose instruments sell at an all-time sky high price ranging from $1000 up to $2000, it sounds too good to be true but it is not. With this particular model, you enjoy the value of a premium guitar brand at a pocket friendly price.
Key Features and Benefits
- Dreadnought 15/16 scale body size
Taylor Big Baby is scaled to be just the right size which is a 15/16 scale. A little less than a full body sized Dreadnought (half inch thinner to be exact) but with a higher capacity than its smaller version the Baby Taylor. The advantage of this added volume over the Baby Taylor is a higher projection, a more comfortable fuller feeling when holding the guitar. Yet it still remains light and mobile.
- Solid Sitka Spruce top
A solid Sitka Spruce forms the top. Sitka Spruce is popular among Taylor guitars. Besides being strong, it produces an array of lovely sweet tones and resonates well too. It is also more accommodating of numerous playing styles.
- Laminate Sapele back and sides
The back and sides have a 3 layer construction with laminate Sapele. The essence of layering is to protect the wooden parts of the guitar from adverse effects of climatic change. You know how wood acts up when exposed to different climatic conditions. This means you can travel with your Taylor Big Baby just about anywhere worry free. Besides offering resilience against extreme weather, layering also shields off unnecessary buzz when playing to give a crisp, clear tune.
- Arched back A curved back provides rigidity and improve intonation without requiring any internal bracing.
- Buffed up African Ebony fingerboard with 20 frets.
- A new technology (NT) 2 piece structured bolt-on, heel-less neck that is more stable than it looks and offers faster resetting when needed.
- Dimensions Length measures 19 1/2 inches, depth is 4 inches. 1 11/16 inches for the nut width and 25-1/2 scale length.
- 6 Elixir phosphorous bronze light gauge strings coated with a thin protective plastic lining to keep off corrosion. This ensures your strings last for longer.
- Beautiful die-cast chrome tuners.
- Matte finish.
A few drawbacks to note about this guitar model. Unfortunately, the Taylor Big Baby is only available for right handed players, a big blow to left hand oriented users who would have loved to try it out. Not unless you can play it flipped.
There exists a considerable sized open grainy patch that is hard to miss coupled with a lack of edge binding makes the guitar look a little off. For a while until you get used to it. Besides, that has no effect on intonation.
Also, you should not expect the full bass effect of a standard size dreadnought. Due to a smaller capacity, the Big Baby produces a little less rounded bass output.
While the neck is more rigid than what people give it credit for, the two screws can be a quite a bother when playing.
How does it compare?
1. Taylor Baby Taylor
Baby Taylor is a cheaper option to the Big Baby definitely due to size. It is highly portable, a great “grab and go” sized guitar. Plays well and easy, does not’s a project much but still sounds good enough. However, with the Big Baby is where the action is. It has the fuller body advantage and as a result yields a more pronounced projection. Also, the Sitka Spruce top of Big Baby produces greater tonal variation than the mahogany top of its counterpart. The Baby Taylor could be a more suitable option for children.
2. Taylor GS Mini
For a mini guitar, the sound quality and projection of the GS Mini is astounding; better than Taylor Big Baby and of course over and above the Baby Taylor. So is its build and aesthetics. Constructed of a mahogany top and costing slightly higher than the Big Baby, for its size, it is a guitar of unmatched substance. But if you fancy something fuller than child sized, the Big baby is the next best Taylor in its size range.
3. Martin Dread Jr E Acoustic
As expected of a martin, this spruce top guitar is pricier than the Big Baby. They are both a 15/16 scale; excellent build, almost full body travel guitars. The major difference is with the neck scale. Taylor Big Baby’s neck is full scale while the Martin’s is shorter. The sound quality is powerful with equal intensity but different to the ears. It is really a matter of preference and what fills your heart; a crispy Taylor sound or a warmer Martin sound. The finishing is OK but rather below standard compared with other Martins or even the Taylor Big Baby which has a smoother matte finish. Overall, the Taylor makes a better introductory guitar for starters.
Who should buy this product?
The minimalist design of the Taylor Big Baby is perfect for musicians on the go. Whether traveling the world on a music tour, camping on safari or just traveling for other professions but like to keep a guitar close by to pluck as a hobby, this model is an excellent fit.
It is specially adapted for travel with its compact size, light weight and other aspects such as layering.
If you run really long gigs performing for hours, you will appreciate the fact that being featherweight, it will not tire you out too quickly.
Young players and adult with petite bodies will also enjoy playing or learning on the slim profile 89Taylor Big Baby. It will feel more comfortable as it will be easier on them thanks to the smaller thinner frame.
For a Taylor, the Big Baby is certainly way below the price range but not a cheap guitar. Its Taylor’s way of bringing affordable entry level guitars by using cost cutting structural techniques while still upholding quality and their rich reputation. It may not be as sleek and luxurious as other high end Taylors but plays well, sounds amazing, makes a worthy travel companion and you can have so much fun with at a reasonable price tag.