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Hello my friends. I have posted before about TBB's.
This time though, I am seriously considering buying one.
But, I have some concerns, and I could really use the help
figuring out if my concerns are real or imagined.
First off, the bolted-on neck. It actually is not bolted-on,
but screwed-on, correct? Is that really OK? How stable is that?
Second, the lack of much internal bracing, and also the lack
of much finish. I have heard reviews saying the minimal internal
bracing, combined with the light satin finish, make the guitar
extremely sensitive to humidity changes, and thus warping
of the guitar, mainly the neck.
I live in Mass. and the humidity changes very much between the seasons,
so this scares me, if it is in fact true.
Third, the very bright sound, which I like, but it seems almost too bright.
Can I deepen the sound with the right strings?
Thank you for any help..

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Much of what you have heard makes no sense. How, for example, would light body bracing make the neck more prone to warpage? The arched back on the Baby and Big Baby models has no bracing because it needs none; the pressed arch gets its strength from the arched shape. As far as the finish affecting humidity sensitivity, remember that every [well, 99%] guitar is unfinished on the inside surfaces. Any instrument with solid wood needs to be protected from humidity extremes.

I was a Taylor Guitar dealer for 26 years. I never encountered a neck joint failure in a Baby or Big Baby.

The tone is what it is. Perhaps look at the GS Mini.

Arthur, it sounds like you have already decided that this is not the guitar for you. Your concerns about the design and finish should be enough to keep you looking but, on top of that, you evidently are not satisfied with the sound. That consideration alone would cause me to move on. You should buy what you like, not what you think you might like. Keep looking until you are satisfied.

Arthur the Taylor Big Babies are what they are and need to be judged as such and not against our preconceived notions, observations, experience, etc with other guitars including and especially full sized beasts.

A couple of weeks ago I did a neck reset on a Taylor Big Baby and it took all of 15 minutes to do....  That's notable in my book and I will always give a positive nod to any builder/manufacturer who understands and endeavors to engineer into their products the idea AND reality of serviceability.  Just like most if not seemingly all things Taylor the Big Baby is very well engineered, designed, and constructed in my view.  Again it is what it is and this has to be considered as well in the context of the price point AND the Big Babies particular market segment that it seeks to address, small, inexpensive guitars.

As for the neck joint so what if two drywall screws are holding the fret board extension in place?  A number of excellent high-end builders have less than this in terms of hardware holding their butt-jointed, small puddle of glue under the extension creations that catch at least $5K and may command a multi-year waiting list as well. 

Taylor addressed the physics and requirements in their design and in my opinion it works very well, is super simple, keeps the cost and complexity out of the product AND servicing same if need be at a later date.

As for any claims of being overly sensitive to RH fluctuations any decent (and lousy ones too...) guitar should have humidification in the winter if one lives in a dry, cold climate and not be kept in an overly humid place in a hot summer.  That part is up to us and what it would take to design and build a guitar that can thumb it's nose at what ever RH abuse we throw it's way would likely produce an instrument that played and sounded a bit like a solid core door.... 

Rick Turner is an exception here with his Antarctica guitar designed for that environment but beyond this any guitar out there requires some level of care and feeding depending on where one may live.

No one has mentioned so far so I will that those two drywall screws are actually very special Brazilian sourced "tonescrews" that are said to plug into a Tonerite machine (available from LMI or Tropical fish sellers everywhere....) via USB cable and soon firewire....  ;)  Please note smiley face because I am kidding with ya and sincerely hope that you don't mind.

My real point is that the Big Baby has a very loyal and HUGE following, it's inexpensive, well set-up for the most part, easily available, and engineered and built well enough in my opinion for it's stated purpose.  As such I believe that Taylor nailed it, or, er.... screwed it.... with no additional meaning intended with this very fine little guitar.

If I was in the market for a small, inexpensive guitar of the scale of a Big Baby I would have no concerns about purchasing a Taylor Big Baby.  As for any increased sensitivity to RH swings perhaps this is where our own responsibility comes into play in so much as with a bit of proper care, humidification when needed, etc. a Big Baby should last you until yours needs a neck reset too.  No worries either, my client paid less than $50 for his reset and that included a complete set-up as well.  Good things do come in small packages at times.

Hi Arthur.

Between the time I started my response & got around to sending it, Hesh posted his.  Hesh & I will cover a lot of the same ground(:

I agree with Greg's & Hesh's comments on the structural issues.

The TBB is an 'economy" model and is built as such, meaning that they incorporated design & manufacturing methods to produce a guitar stripped-down to its essential components. They're good guitars but they're NOT heirloom quality instruments or what I'd refer to as a "fine" instrument. What it does is provides a great quality 'knitch' guitar at a great price.


As far as the 'reviews' are concerned: look at the poster's info and I bet you'll notice a few things (and this applies to all MI related reviews). Firstly, there are too many folks offering "I heard" & "they said" comments. First hand experience is ALWAYS better and heresay is B.S.

2nd: Most of the folks commenting on the build of the guitar don't have a clue about guitar design/manufacturing, but "just have to" offer comments using terms [incorrectly], they've picked-up along the way.

3rd: Most reviews are posted by inexperienced players [typically: "I've been playing for 6 months and this is the 5th guitar I've owned...". kinds of things.] Ignore those completely.

And finally: Brand loyalty fanatics. When Taylor's became "something that wasn't going away' in the "High-end production" guitar world, many loyal Martin owners did the best they could to discredit the guitars. Unfortunately, this unfounded prejudice still exists en-mass. It started with their use of a bolt-on neck (now COMMON with many makers of high quality instruments) and continued with their UV cured finish and other unfounded issues such as they're too lightly built etc.

When it comes to maintenance & repair issues, they're no different from a Martin except for the ease of resetting the neck. In fairness, there are many Taylor brand loyalists too who think Martin's are antiquated woofy sounding instruments.  In truth, they are both excellent manufacturers offering quality products.  Their only differences are their signature 'sound' which is ENTIRELY up to the buyer as to preference.

Taylors DO have an extended high frequency response engineered into them so you have to decide if it's a sound you like. If the TBB comes with coated Elixir Strings, it's brightness on the wound strings may be tamed by going to an uncoated string. GHS makes a 85/15 alloy string that is significantly less brighter (after play-in) than other bronze strings.  Then there are Silk & Bronze & Silk & Steel sets that are even 'warmer' post break-in. Season to taste.

Hesh covered the humidity issue inside the guitar very well.  Whoever told you that is misinformed to the max. I'd also like to add that if a guitar is stored in its case when not being played, humidity issues are almost a year 'round moot issue. It's an important issue for players that wall-hang or stand mount their guitars in their homes, but that's NOT the right way to do it. It should always be in its closed case if not being played. The cases not only physically protect the instrument, they are also humidity control tools.

In closing, & like Greg, I ENCOURAGE YOU to try the GS mini.  It's a much more comfortable guitar to hold and looks more refined than the BB.  Think of the BB as a guitar that you'd take to a campfire sing-along. Think of the GS mini as a guitar that you'd take to a campfire sing-along when jackets & ties are required(:  They're a boatload of fun!!!!!

Good hunting my friend(:

Paul

Thank you very much to everyone who has commented on my posting.

Your input is very helpful and informative.

I am going to take a look at the GS Mini.

I actually saw a mint one on craigslist for a great price.

About the GS mini, is the fretboard a shorter scale?

I know the body is smaller of course, but is the fretboard also?

Thanks again,

-Arthur

 

Well, I believe I have finally found my "forever guitar".

I just picked-up a Taylor 110, and I absolutely love it!

Thanks again for all those who responded.

Regards,

-Arthur

 

Arthur, I was going to post days ago when I saw the title of this thread, that it should at least, be a 110 that you should buy!  There ya go. How about posting a picture of it for us?

here ya go!

:-)

 

Attachments:

Looks terrif!  Thanks for posting!

Congrats, Arthur, It feels good to find a guitar you really like. Have fun.

That's a GREAT guitar Arthur.

I know that you've been on the hunt for a quality guitar for a long time and this is super news.

I don't think you could have made a better choice as the 110 is the perfect entry-level instrument to the world of high-end production guitars.  

May you enjoy it and make wonderful music for a lifetime our friend( -:

Thanks! As some of you may know, I have been on a long journey to find just the right acoustic for myself.
I believe my search is finally over, as the Taylor 110 has it all, and at a price I could afford. What a nice guitar!

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