Taylor Big Baby BBT 6 String Acoustic Guitar
Taylor are one of the most highly respected brands for acoustic guitars and the 15/16 size BBT is the closest you can get to owning a new full-sized Taylor for less than $500.
The Taylor Big Baby line is a series of guitars aimed at students and musicians on the go, featuring smaller body profiles that's easier to carry around and play on. The Big Baby BBT in particular is based on the dreadnought, only this one is around 15/16th of its size.
It is crafted using sapele, which features many of the same characteristics found in mahogany, including the overall warm voicing as well as the strong mid-range presence. The main difference is that sapele is more renewable, and it has bit more high-end frequency response than mahogany, although the difference is not too big.
We first placed the BBT on our recommended list in November 2016 and we reaffirmed that recommendation in January 2018 and again in August 2019, and it's currently on our recommended list of Acoustic Guitars for Beginners.
- Body Shape: Dreadnought 15/16
- Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
- Body: Sapele Laminate back & sides
- Finish: Varnish - Natural
- Bridge: Ebony
- Neck: Tropical American Mahogany
- Neck Profile: Standard Taylor neck
- Fingerboard: Ebony
- Fingerboard Radius: 15"
- Number of Frets: 20
- Scale Length: 25.5"
- Nut Width: 1.6875"
One user rightly describes the Taylor BBT as "unexpectedly good", and his statement encapsulates what many users feel about the instrument. Beginners who are lucky enough to start with this guitar are all praises about its playability, while experienced guitarists are impressed with its tone.
Many of the people who wrote customer reviews about the BBT were ones who already owned more expensive Taylors and the majority of these people were very impressed with the BBT. Despite its slightly smaller body it was often described as being loud. Many reviewers said that it had a well balanced tone from the lows to the highs. Music Radar wrote a glowing review summing it up by saying, "It's obvious, however, that both the Big Baby and its predecessor are not merely relatively cheap guitars, but; more accurately, quality guitars designed and built with such cunning as to not cost so much."
There were few consistently reported negatives however 1 person who identified as a luthier said that after conversion with a Taylor repairman discovered they recommend changing string gauges when you change tuning to maintain string tension and avoid fret buzz. There are some build quality concerns that were raised, from minor cosmetic issues to a loose pickguard. There are also a few who question its reliability, with some reports of the guitar having neck / action issues within a year of use.
If you want a Taylor and you have less than $500 to spend then this is your choice.
Note: Sapele is sometimes referred to as mahogany…because it is mahogany. However, it’s a separate species of the wood from the more widely used Honduran mahogany. That’s why in the video the guitar is referred to as having mahogany back and sides.