If you’ve been checking lists of amazing travel guitars, there’s one that always pops up. In this Taylor Baby Mahogany BT2 travel guitar review, you’ll understand why it’s such an incredible instrument that is great for taking on your travels, but that also works well in the studio.
- Acoustic guitar
- 3/4 size
- 19 frets
- Steel strings
- Layered sapele back and sides
- Mahogany top
- Mahogany neck
- Ebony fingerboard
- Ebony bridge
- Nubone nut
- Micarta saddle
- Bolt-on neck
- Die-cast chrome tuners
- Dual-action truss rod
- 22-3/4” scale
- 12-1/2” body width
- 3-3/8” body depth
- 15-3/4” body length
- 1-11/16” neck width
- No pickguard
- No cutaway
- No truss rod cover
Let’s start by taking a look at the size of this guitar. It’s a 3/4 size dreadnought style, making it a perfect size for travelers, beginners, and children. It has 19 frets, so you can still practice playing higher on the neck. However, the lack of a cutaway makes it difficult to reach the frets closest to the body.
The scale length is 22-3/4 inches (around 57.8cm), which is compact but not so much smaller than a regular scale that it will feel uncomfortable. It may take some getting used to, but once you do, it will feel just as natural as a standard sized guitar.
The body is 15-3/4” long, 12-1/2” wide, and 3-3/8” deep (40×31.75×8.57cm). It doesn’t take up much space, which is why it’s regularly mentioned on lists of the best travel guitars. It’s easy to store, but doesn’t sacrifice much sound quality. This size also mean it is easier to carry when you’re traveling, just make sure to be informed about flying with a guitar so you can keep it safe.
The depth is another reason why this guitar is such a great choice for kids. Standard acoustic guitars can be quite deep, making it hard for children to see over the top to the strings.
Lastly, the neck has a width of 1-11/16 inches (4.29cm). This isn’t much different from other guitars, like Strats or Les Pauls. If you’re used to classical guitars, it may feel small. But as a beginner guitar, it’s quite comfortable.
It’s compact but not that smaller compared to a regular guitar. If you’re going somewhere that is not possible to carry a travel guitar, consider getting yourself a pocket guitar for practicing guitar chord.
This instrument takes its name from the wood that makes up its top and neck: mahogany. While the back and sides of the body are made up of layered sapele, the mahogany used is solid hardwood. This is what gives the BT2 such a powerful sound.
That’s not to say that the sapele used in the rest of the body isn’t a good material. It serves its function well, while also keeping the cost down. It’s a durable wood, so you know that it can take a few hits during your travels without breaking.
To round off the construction, there is a fingerboard of West African ebony. This wood is supplied by Crelicam, so you can be sure that it comes from sustainable forestry.
The biggest problem with smaller guitars is that they lack a lot of lower frequencies, making them sound thin. Given its dimensions, the BT2 suffers in this way, but not as much as most 3/4 size guitars. The use of mahogany makes up for the missing low-end by giving it a lot of midrange punch.
It’s a versatile guitar in terms of the styles you can play on it. The full midrange sounds great for blues and rock, as well as folk and acoustic pop. The steel strings carry the sound well whether they’re fingerpicked or strummed.
If you’re looking for a travel guitar that you can also use for recording, then this is a fantastic choice. It sounds just as good in the studio as it does being played around the campfire.
It’s important to make sure your guitar is well-protected when you take it on the road. The best way to do this is with a good case. When you buy the Baby Mahogany BT2, Taylor will throw in a free gig bag. It’s softly padded but has some rigidity to it, so your guitar will be safe from any light knocks. For extra protection, it might be best to look into a hardcase.
Seeing as it’s a fully acoustic guitar, there isn’t a built-in tuner, so it’s a good idea to pick one up if you don’t know how to tune by ear. A capo is another great addition to any guitar setup, and is small enough to fit into any little compartment in your gig bag for taking on the road.
If you’re the type of person who prefers plectrums over fingerpicking, the steel strings on the BT2 can handle some heavy strumming. And a slide will complement the bluesy vibe that the guitar has due to its full sounding midrange.
There are a couple of variations of the Baby Mahogany BT2 that are worth taking a look into. If you’re a left-handed guitarist, there is a lefty option, which is actually slightly cheaper than the right-handed one.
And if you’d prefer some electronics for plugging the guitar into a PA or a recording rig, there is an electro-acoustic version, the BT2e, which comes with an under-saddle pickup. There’s a preamp that is powered by a battery, plus tone and volume controls and a tuner.
The price of this guitar is $449 (the lefty version is $399 and the electro-acoustic is $549). Considering the quality of the wood and the great sound for such a compact guitar, the Taylor BT2 is a fantastic price. There are very few guitars that sound this good for such a competitive cost.
Pros and Cons
- Great sound
- Durable materials, sustainably sourced
- Compact size
- Great quality to price ratio
- Free gig bag
- Standard neck width
- Suitable for traveling and recording
- Lack of low-end
- High price if you’re on a tight budget
- Hard to reach higher frets
- Not a good fit for performing. If you’re looking one for this purpose, consider LX1E Little Martin
The Taylor Baby Mahogany BT2 has a punchy, clear sound and is great for taking on the road or for recording. It’s made of durable wood which is sustainably sourced, and is really compact. You shouldn’t have any problems taking it with you on your travels.
If you’re on a tight budget, the price might be a bit high. However, the ratio between cost and quality is fantastic. And even though it’s smaller than a standard guitar, you’ll quickly get used to the size.
So if you’re looking for a compact, robust guitar that can be your traveling companion, this is an amazing option. It’s readily available from many stores, so you won’t have any trouble finding one. Pick one up as soon as possible. You won’t be disappointed.