Baby Taylor BT2 – Review of Acoustic Travel Guitar

Whether you need a guitar for kids or just a highly portable smaller guitar, the Taylor BT2 Baby is an excellent option. This pint-size mini dreadnought is a great smaller starter size guitar, but don't be fooled by its size. The BT2 Baby is a legitimate musical companion for players of all ages and abilities. But before we jump into our Baby Taylor BT2 review, let's check out some pros and cons.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Smaller Guitar

Plenty of players seek out a small acoustic guitar for traveling or a guitar for kids. Here are some things to think about before purchasing yours:

  • Does it have a solid top? It's possible for a guitar to be both suitable for kids and a legitimate musical instrument for more experienced players. A solid top is ideal for a full, responsive tone. Laminated guitars are more durable, but their sound quality isn't nearly as good.
  • What tonewoods are used? A lot of smaller guitars have spruce tops, since spruce is a classic all-around wood. However, it's possible to find small guitars with tops made of mahogany and other woods. Be sure you choose a tonewood that suits your playing style.
  • Are the components high quality? The Baby Taylor acoustic line is known for quality, but many smaller guitars are made as inexpensive starter guitars. It's best to choose one with high-quality tuners, saddle, and nut in order to get optimal tonal quality.
  • Do you need electronics? You can find Baby Taylor guitars with electronics, and these are ideal for performers who need a highly portable acoustic guitar they can just plug in and play. If you don't need to perform, though, you can save some money and purchase all-acoustic models like this one.

Our Picks for Review

Guitar

Guitar

Model

Price

Full Review

Main

Taylor

Baby BT2

Cell

Alternative

Martin

Little Martin LX1

Alternative

Taylor

Baby Taylor BT1

Alternative

Taylor

GS Mini Mahogany

Cell

baby taylor bT2

PRO's & CON's of baby taylor bT2

Before we dive into our review, let's look at some of the pros and cons of the baby taylor bt2:

Pros

  • The solid tropical mahogany top gives a slightly darker earthier tone than spruce
  • Layered Sapele back and sides add some brightness to round out the tone
  • The ebony fingerboard is highly playable and contrasts with the mahogany top
  • Quality appointments like a Tusq nut and micarta saddle round out this impressive guitar

Cons

  • The very pronounced midrange can sometimes drown out the low end
  • Some players may not like the fact that the back and sides are layered instead of solid

Features and Benefits

Now, let's take a look at some of the most important features of the BT2 Baby Taylor.

Body Style And Bracing

This acoustic guitar is a 3/4-size dreadnought. Taylor doesn't specialize in dreadnoughts, but if you like the classic, bass-heavy sound of the mahogany dreadnought, the BT2 just might be the guitar for you. A smaller guitar like this one won't have the same bass response as a full-size dreadnought, but the dreadnought shape combined with classic X-bracing creates a tone that's very balanced across the bass, treble, and mid spectrum.

The scale length is 22.75 inches, which means that the string tension is lower than that of a full-size guitar. Shorter-scale guitars are ideal for embracing alternate tunings that add unique character to your music. These tunings can be used in all sorts of creative ways.

And if you're buying a starter guitar for a child, the shorter scale length means the BT2 won't be quite as hard on their fingers. If you want to take a closer look at the BT2, check out this video demo.

Tonewoods, Playability, and Sound Quality

The Baby Taylor mini dreadnought was originally designed with a spruce top, but the BT2 is a departure. The solid tropical American mahogany top is designed to yield a slightly darker tone, and it can add unique acoustic flavors to recordings. The neck is also made of tropical American mahogany.

This mahogany top edition of the Baby Taylor is also ideal for blues players. The midrange-focused, punchy sound of mahogany lends itself to blues tracks, and the smaller body of the BT2 Baby Taylor offers the right amount of projection.

The back and sides of Taylor BT2 are made of layered Sapele. This is a tonewood sometimes used by Taylor instead of mahogany. It's tonally similar to mahogany, but it has a little more treble presence.

The tone of this little acoustic guitar is surprisingly full -- it almost sounds like a full-sized guitar. If you want to take a closer look and hear it for yourself, check out this demo.

Playability-wise, BT2 is a dream. The slim-profile neck is easy for nearly everyone to play, and the naturally slick ebony fingerboard is highly comfortable. Thanks to its smaller size, the BT2 avoids the bulkiness issues that some players run into with full-size dreadnoughts.

Appointments and Finish

While the tonewoods are one of the most important things to consider when buying an acoustic guitar, the appointments often make a difference in its sound. This acoustic guitar is well-appointed despite being fairly affordable.

The ebony fingerboard and bridge contrast beautifully with the varnish-finished mahogany top, and the fretboard is inlaid with simple yet elegant Pearloid dots. The rosette is an understated laser-etched ring.

Taylor is known for paying attention to even the small details, and on the BT2, they've delivered -- it comes with a Tusq nut and micarta saddle, both of which support improved sustain, tone, and tuning stability. (If you want to hear about the impact these components have on sound, check out this interesting video from Taylor.)

The tuning machines are enclosed, die-cast, and chrome-plated. They hold tune exceptionally well, even with rough playing. This is a relative rarity when it comes to smaller-size guitars.

Notably, the BT2 does not have binding. This is a little unusual, but it creates a clean, understated look that seems to suit this little acoustic guitar.

And lastly, since the BT2 is a great travel guitar, it makes sense that it would come with something that makes it easy to transport. It comes with a sturdy gig bag for easy toting wherever you need to go.

Social Proof of the Guitar

If you can't try out the Taylor BT2 Baby before making a purchase, the next best thing is to see what other guitarists think of it. On our search, we found almost universally positive reviews. Here are a few helpful ones:

Baby Taylor BT2 Review 01

This helpful review praises the tone of the Taylor BT2 Baby. We agree that, even though this is a very midrange-focused guitar, it still has the sparkling high end that Taylors are known for.

Baby Taylor BT2 Review 02

This helpful review outlines some of the benefits of this little acoustic guitar. It's small enough to travel with, and it's also a great size for songwriting.

Baby Taylor BT2 Review 03

The Taylor BT2 Baby is a great size guitar for kids, and it's also a musical companion for travelers. This review helps showcase just how versatile it is.

Alternatives to Baby Taylor BT2

Buying a little guitar like the Baby Taylor BT2 is a great idea, but as you may have discovered, there are plenty of guitars in this category. In order to help ensure you're making the right choice, here are a few alternatives:

Little Martin LX1

How it Compares to Baby Taylor BT2

  • Martin's signature mortise/tenon neck joint offers durability and supports great tone
  • Solid spruce top produces a bright, responsive tone
  • Richlite fingerboard both looks and plays like ebony
  • Price-wise, it's only slightly more expensive than the Taylor BT2 Baby

Review

Martin's answer to the Baby Taylor is the Little Martin, a compact dreadnaught that makes a great travel or campfire guitar. The LX1, which is the version of the Little Martin that has no electronics, has a solid Sitka spruce top that offers top-quality tone. The back and sides are made of Martin's high-pressure laminate, a material that sounds considerably better than traditional laminate. 

If you like the great sound of solid spruce with the durability of laminate, make sure you give this one a look!

Baby Taylor BT1

How it Compares to Baby Taylor BT2

  • It's also a 3/4-size dreadnaught made with X bracing
  • Solid spruce and layered walnut offer a sound that is a little brighter than that of mahogany
  • It also has high-quality appointments like an ebony fingerboard and bridge and a Tusq nut and saddle
  • It's the same price as the Taylor BT2 Baby

Review

if you like the Taylor BT2 Baby but would prefer a solid Sitka spruce top, this guitar is a great option -- it's the BT2's spruce top sibling. The brightness of the spruce is balanced out by the earthiness of walnut, and the BT1 has the surprisingly big dreadnaught sound shared by all Baby Taylors.

If you like Baby Taylors but want a brighter one, make sure you give this one a look!

Taylor GS Mini Mahogany

How it Compares to Baby Taylor BT2

  • The solid mahogany top gives it a sound that's a little darker wand warmer than that of spruce
  • Small-size Grand Symphony body is great for folk and fingerpicking
  • Ebony fingerboard and bridge offer a beautiful contrast to the mahogany
  • In terms of price, it's about $100 more expensive than the BT2 Baby Taylor

Review

If you like the sound of a small guitar with a mahogany top, then the GS Mini Mahogany just might be for you. This guitar is a scaled-down version of Taylor's Grand Symphony body shape, and it's ideal for fingerpicking. While the top is solid mahogany, the back and sides are layered Sapele, which adds a little brightness to mahogany's dark warmth.

If you'd prefer a more folk-friendly body shape, make sure you check this one out!

In Conclusion

The Baby Taylor line of guitars have been time-tested, and they've earned their popularity. The Taylor BT2 Baby is a great option whether you need a guitar for a child, are looking for a compact travel guitar that still sounds great, or just need something to play around the house. Its mahogany top delivers a rich, warm tone, and appointments like an ebony fingerboard make it a visual standout, too. Click here to check it out!

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