Taylor GS Mini bone saddle upgrade

Took in a GS Mini e Rosewood for bone saddle replacement. The owner is a serious guitar collector who knows exactly what he wants.

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I had only one previous encounter with the GS mini. They are good guitars. Very well built and sound great. But nothing is perfect. Obviously Taylors come with a hefty price tag. Secondly, the stock medium gauge strings combined with the unique bridge design may cause bridge lift problems. This has been repeatedly discussed over guitar forums and highlighted by local guitar hero Jarvis Wong.

So the owner is somewhat lucky that he prefers 11-52 gauge strings for all his acoustics. The lighter gauge strings probably adds less pull to the top, hence bridge lift is avoided in this case.

This particular GS Mini rosewood sounds really damn good. The owner needs to lower the action to his preference and swap out the stock tusq saddle to a bone saddle.

Upon initial checks, nut height and neck relief were actually healthy. In fact neck relief measures under my recommendation of 0.3mm. Since there’s no fretbuzz, let’s not change anything for now.

String height at 12th fret was slightly under 8/64 of an inch, so I aimed for 6/64 to suit owner’s style of mostly fingerpicking.

Moisturising the fretboard and bridge before getting down to the main chapter. Not that this guitar was neglected at all, but it is always good to do periodic maintenance.

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I can’t find the official word on the GS Mini’s fretboard radius. Although internet forums widely report it to be 15inch, a quick measure on my radius gauge shows it is really closer to 12inch.

Careful measurements and sanding will transform my regular 16inch radius saddles to fit.

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Wombat comes out to inspect Guitarbear’s work quality. So far so good. 🙂

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More adjustments made to the new saddle to ensure a good fit, especially the curve for the thinner strings that should sit lower.

Now it’s good. Note the lower saddle on the left with a better fit.

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Put on the bridge pins and checked that action can be lowered a wee bit.

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Just a bit of final sanding to go and action is now a fine hair over 6/64 to ensure no buzzing even when strummed by Guitarbear (who is quite strong). 🙂

Final tuning and checks for intonation. The part where B and high E sit on the saddle needed some more adjustments to get a better intonation.

All good to go.

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Guitarbear is glad that the owner is satisfied with the work done and even gave feedback that plugged-in sound actually got better. 🙂

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