Taylor Mini's are one of the better small options out there for quality. Another one to consider is the Art and Lutherie Ami. I'm not recommending this as a Taylor vs. so much as an option that I've looked at myself. They are relatively inexpensive and sound very good. As a mission trip guitar, I would have no problem taking it along as a "beater":
But if I had to choose between the two and price was no issue, I'd go with the Taylor for sure. I own two Taylors and they are outstanding guitars. You could even find yourself using it all the time.
I have a 414K which is a Koa back and sides. It's a wonderful guitar that truly competes with the likes of Lowedens and Goodalls. I also have a 710BCE which is a fabulous guitar with Brazilian back and sides. Like any brand, you have to play it first. I've played Martins that I hated and Martins that were incredible. I've played Lowdens that were dull and Santa Cruz's that I wouldn't feed to my dog.
One thing I would recommend on your 410 is that if it's rather young, give it some time to mature. My 414 suddenly started sounding great one day and now I'll never get rid of it. My mandolin player is begging me to sell it to him. I think it was about 3 years old when it suddenly opened up. It's also a function of how and how often you play it.
Bruce, do you have any "travel" sized guitars that you prefer. I like Taylors, but I by no means am married to only one brand. The mini appeals to me because of its slightly shorter neck and hard gig bag. It also supposedly fits in an overhead compartment on a plane.
What is your travel guitar of choice?
If you can get one soundhand a Yamaha APXT I pefer mine to any of the other APXs
It has a full scale neck and is electro-acoustic.
I used to put it in overhead lockers but now many airlines will not let you.
However, the last two times I've flown with it I took it apart (bolt on neck) and put it in my suitcase.
As its not a Taylor/Lowen etc I'm not worried about the wear its gained over the years.
Well, someone just had to interject the negative...(and it wasn't Greg), even though the original poster politely asked that we not degrade into that.
To set the record straight for the original poster, this is nothing more than silly talk. If you like that guitar, go for it. The Anti-Taylor thing is more emotional than anything, perhaps a bit of prejudice against something new from the early days when Taylor was trying to establish himself. No one said you had to like Taylors, but the fact that they started replacing Martins one day irritated some traditionalists.
And (also for the benefit of the original poster), if you've actually played or heard many Taylors, you would realize these assumptions are not based in fact (tinny, etc.). There is a whole range of instruments out there. The last 10 years of Taylor have produced copious guitars with plenty of bluegrass thump and clarity. In fact, my 1997 guitar is the last guitar you would think of as a bluegrass cannon, but it hold it's own with projection and bass.
And I'm not an anti Martin or anti Gibson guy just because I own two Taylors. Life is too short to get into that kind of immature talk. There are good and bad examples of everything out there. I could have just as easily ended up with two Guilds or two Martins. My next acoustic will likely be a Gibson or a Martin.
As for your other dislikes (Greg), I'm with you on those. I don't like any of those things either. The dotted eighth note was great - once. And the originator of this idea wasn't Edge, it was Gilmour. (At least the first one who used delay in a tasteful way.) But then these aren't guitars, they are techniques.
lol - I've heard plenty of tinny Taylors mind you. As for electronics, I'm becoming less and less impressed with any and all forms of acoustic-electric arrangements. Having just watched an old James Taylor disc where he had a clip-on mic and a recent "Neil Young at the Reiman" where he played his old D18 into a mic, I started trying that myself. I played my 414k into a mic one Sunday on a particular song and several people said it sounded excellent. But it's tricky.
Plugged in acoustic guitars tend to sound similar, so you might as well get a $500 Takamine for that like Bruce Springsteen or Garth Brooks. And with the new Fishman thingies, you can supposedly make a Yamaha sound like a $4000 Martin.
Always an excuse for your negativism...
Objective descriptions are helpful, the others are not. Things like, "I don't like this guitar" or "this brand is over-rated" without a reason is of no benefit. It smacks of high school boys saying things like, "man, I'll never play a Strat. Strats are for wuss's." But if you say something like, "Every Goodall I've played was too bright for me", or "the single McPherson I played just didn't have the volume and projection that I had expected", then the reader has something to work with.
And because most of us have played good and bad Martins and Taylors, we know when we see an emotional statement not based in fact.
Ok, everybody. All I wanted was opinions on the GS mini, not Taylors in general, and I really didn't want this bickering. Thanks for those that chose to help. I'll keep saving my money and see where it goes. I by no means have made up my mind.