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Acoustic basses can be large and ungainly, but to produce decent enough low end, it typically needs to be big. Taylor’s figured out how to get that big bass tone in a small package. With a 23.5” scale length, it feels more like an electric guitar neck, rather than a bass neck. With 20 frets installed on the ebony fingerboard, and a well carved sapele neck, it feels fantastic. The neck width is tight enough to do chordal work with ease, and normal sized hands can cover a lot of the fretboard. Guitar players who sometimes have to sub in for a bass player, this has your name written all over it.
The top is sitka spruce, and the body is layered sapele, with an inner poplar core. This constructed layer system cuts down on any issues with variations in temperature and humidity that usually wreaks havoc with acoustics. Taylor has amazingly consistent build quality, and that reputation is certainly held up here, as well. The fretwork and rosette detailing are fantastic.▼ Article continues below ▼
Each fretted note rings out with definition and authority. The overall feel is fast, but not something that sacrifices tone for size. Sound wise, it’s mind blowing that so much low end comes out of such a small instrument. Playing with another acoustic guitar player, it sits in the mix nicely. It kind of pokes its head a bit into the lower midranges of guitar frequencies in the higher frets, but somehow doesn’t clutter up the in the mix.
For bass players who like to sit on the couch and pluck away, but hate to break out a full-scale bass, this is beyond perfect for that situation, and when your band does that coffee shop gig, you don’t have to lug out that full size acoustic. It’s killing a lot of birds with just one bass [ed note – not that we condone killing birds, mind you]. It’s strung with a proprietary string made by D’Addario, with a phosphor bronze exterior and a nylon core. Taylor’s website states that no other string will work on it. A slight bummer for players who might want to change string gauges or manufacturers, but we’re guessing the strings are a part of why it can maintain that big low end.
The electronics are Taylor’s ES-B system, which also sports an onboard tuner, with the endpin doubling as a 1/4” jack. It’s very simple with only a volume and tone control, but it’s simple while flexible, EQ-wise, to keep things from getting boomy or brittle connected to a PA system or a bass amp.
Included is a really nice gig bag with padded sides that are thick enough that this could almost be called a soft-shell case, with well stitched shoulder straps, and a neck support system on the inside.
Overall, it’s so well designed, and sounds fantastic, it’s hard to nitpick. The tuner switch can sometimes be engaged while the bass is in the gig bag, and will drain the battery when it’s time to play, but removing the batteries can solve that problem. Overall, not a huge deal but worth pointing out.
Put simply, this is a travel-sized instrument without the travel-sized tone.
Small size, big sound, hyper easy to play, well built.
Tuner switch can be accidentally engaged while in the case.