Fitting for Any Skill Level By: dlau7
Can't say enough good things about this guitar. I've been researching and testing the Taylor GS Mini and Martin DJr for the past, 2 months. I've always been a devout, Taylor fan, but I couldn't stay away from this travel-sized dreadnought. I struggled hardcore deciding between the GS Mini and the DJr, but it ultimately came down to sound and build.The GS Mini has a solid wood top with laminate back/sides (great for durability), and Taylor's ES2 pickup system with on-board controls is quite refined compared to the initial pickup system. Taylors are usually more bright and have excellent, natural (unplugged) volume, but I've never had a problem there. The size is awesome, action is just right, as is the comparable price and on-point hard bagâwhich even has neck support!The DJr tends to bring out more bass and mid tones, but this is also because the guitar is all solid wood (top/back/sides). And over time, the wood will harden to eventually cause the guitar to sound even better--more mellow. Though I prefer Taylor's ES2 pickup, the Fishman Sonitone is just as good and simple, with only 2 knobs for tone and volume. What I appreciate about the 2016 model is the placement of the battery and 1/4" plug compartment. Both are located at an angled side of the lower bout. The 2015 model has the battery inside a velcro pouch, attached to the back panel, located inside the guitar at the upper bout; in time, this becomes an inconvenience to switch out. Martin has improved the gig bag for the DJr. (It was way flimsy before); but I bought the Martin DJr hardshell case anyways. I travel a lot, so I need to keep it protected.The action on the DJr is perfect (for me, at least); the sounds are crisp, clear, and smooth; I have relatively small hands so the scaling/fret distances are appropriate; and I absolutely adore the size. I've owned a Taylor 214ce, Breedlove Passport Travel, and a Martin DRS1 in the past. But for my playing style and personal preferences, the Martin DJr embodies elements from guitars I've owned previously. This is really the one and only acoustic guitar I need.By the way, Iâve experimented with balancing the tones by using Elixir HD Light Phosphor Bronze strings instead of the Martin factory strings with which the guitar were already equipped. This really brings out the higher tones, especially given that this is a dreadnought AND a Martin.Ultimately, both the GS Mini and the DJr are excellent choices. Still, Iâm completely satisfied with this guitar; Martin really amped up their A-game on this model. I usually play for church and do some recreational finger-picking and jamming, so the travel-size aspect and clear-cut sound were large influencing factors.