Ultimate Guide To Takamine Acoustic Guitars (Pros and Cons)

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Takamine acoustic guitars are known for their excellent sound quality, playability, and value for money. This guide will discuss the pros and cons of different Takamine models, so you can find the perfect guitar for your needs.

1. Takamine GD11MCE           

AFFORDABLE RICH SOUND

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2. Takamine GC5CE-NAT

VERSATILE BALANCED TONE

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3. Takamine GC1 NAT         

TRADITIONAL WARM SOUND

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4. Takamine GD30CE-BLK

STYLISH POWERFUL SOUND

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5. Takamine GD20CE-NS

SIMPLE NATURAL SOUND

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6. Takamine GD20-NS            

TRADITIONAL NATURAL SOUND

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1. Takamine GD11MCE

AFFORDABLE RICH SOUND

Solid spruce top for sound.Rosewood provides balanced tone.
Easy access to upper frets!Fishman electronics included.
Picture by Takamine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Picture by Alesis

PROS

  • 1. The high-quality solid spruce top of the GD11MCE provides a rich and warm sound that is highly desirable in acoustic guitars. Spruce is a classic tonewood known for producing a clear, bright tone with great projection.                                                                                
    2. The rosewood back and sides of the GD11MCE contribute to a balanced and mellow tone that complements the brightness of the spruce top. Rosewood is a denser wood and its inclusion enhances the overall sound of the guitar.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
    3. The cutaway body design of the GD11MCE offers easy access to the upper frets, which is crucial for guitarists who enjoy playing solos or complex chords higher up the neck. It ensures effortless playability and versatility.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
    4. Equipped with Fishman electronics, the GD11MCE delivers exceptional amplified performance. The Fishman electronics not only provide a great sound when plugged in but also enable easy amplification for live performances or recording.

    In addition to these significant pros, the Takamine GD11MCE boasts a comfortable neck, a rosewood fingerboard, and gold hardware, further adding to its value and desirability.

    Let’s delve further into the advantages of each feature:

    – The solid spruce top of the GD11MCE is a popular choice due to its superior sound characteristics, offering brightness, clarity, and excellent projection. It contributes to the guitar’s overall rich and warm sound.                                                                                
    – The rosewood back and sides of the GD11MCE bring a warm and mellow tone to the instrument. This combination with the spruce top ensures a balanced sound suitable for various musical genres.                                                                                
    – The cutaway body of the GD11MCE allows easy access to the upper frets, enabling guitarists to explore higher notes, play complex chords, and engage in impressive solos. Additionally, it enhances comfort during seated playing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
    – The Fishman electronics featured in the GD11MCE provide exceptional performance when the guitar is plugged in. With built-in tuner and volume control, adjusting the sound to perfection is effortless. The electronics also make it seamless to amplify the guitar for live gigs or recording purposes.                                                                                                          

    Overall, the Takamine GD11MCE is an exceptional guitar for players seeking great sound and playability. With its solid spruce top, rosewood back and sides, cutaway body design, and Fishman electronics, the GD11MCE offers unrivaled value for its price. It’s a fantastic option to consider for anyone in search of an acoustic guitar that excels in both versatility and sound quality.

CONS

  • 1. The body is made of laminate wood, which does not produce as rich or resonant a sound as solid wood. However, laminate wood is more durable and resistant to warping and cracking, making it a good choice for a travel guitar or for beginners.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
    2. The electronics are not as high-end as those found on some other acoustic-electric guitars. This means that the sound quality may not be as good when amplified, especially at high volumes. However, the electronics are still good enough for most casual playing and recording.

    Overall, the Takamine GD11MCE is a great acoustic-electric guitar for the price. It offers excellent build quality, a comfortable playing feel, and a rich and balanced tone. The laminate wood body makes it more durable and resistant to warping, while the electronics are good enough for most casual playing and recording.

2. Takamine GC5CE-NAT

VERSATILE BALANCED TONE

Solid spruce top.Rosewood balances out spruce.
Fishman Presys II electronics.Easy access to upper frets
Picture by Takamine

PROS

    • 1. Solid spruce top. The GC5CE-NAT is equipped with a solid spruce top, a classic tonewood for acoustic guitars. This top not only provides a bright and clear sound but also helps the guitar project well, making it suitable for both strumming and fingerpicking.

      2. Rosewood back and sides. The combination of a solid spruce top with rosewood back and sides gives the GC5CE-NAT a rich and full sound. Rosewood, known for its warmth and mellowness, helps to balance out the brightness of the spruce top, resulting in a well-rounded and versatile tone suitable for a variety of musical genres.

      3. Fishman Presys II electronics. The GC5CE-NAT is equipped with high-quality Fishman Presys II electronics, a popular pickup system for acoustic-electric guitars. This system offers excellent amplified sound quality and features a volume control, tone control, and built-in tuner. With these controls, it becomes effortless to achieve the perfect sound for any performance or recording situation.

      4. Cutaway body. The cutaway body design of the GC5CE-NAT allows for easy access to the upper frets, making it ideal for playing solos and chords higher up the neck. Additionally, the cutaway design gives the guitar a more modern and stylish look.

      In addition to these four pros, the Takamine GC5CE-NAT also boasts a comfortable neck, well-balanced feel, and a beautiful natural finish. It is an excellent choice for intermediate and experienced players seeking a high-quality acoustic-electric guitar with a versatile sound.

      To provide further details about the mentioned features:

      The solid spruce top is constructed from a single piece of wood, enhancing the guitar’s resonance and tonal qualities. The rosewood back and sides add warmth and balance to the overall sound, complementing the spruce top perfectly.

      The Fishman Presys II electronics are renowned for their clear and natural sound reproduction, offering ample gain for amplified performances. The volume and tone controls allow for precise sound adjustments, ensuring a tailored sound for individual preferences.

      The cutaway body facilitates easier reach to the upper frets, benefiting those who enjoy playing solos or complex chord progressions higher up the neck. Furthermore, the cutaway design adds a contemporary aesthetic appeal to the instrument.

      In conclusion, the Takamine GC5CE-NAT is an outstanding acoustic-electric guitar choice. Its versatility in sound, comfortable playability, and striking aesthetics make it a preferred option for musicians looking to elevate their playing experience.

CONS

  • 1. The sound is not as full as some other guitars because of its thinner body. Some prefer the brighter sound while others prefer a richer sound.                                                                                                                                                                                      
  • 2. The price is relatively high for an intermediate-level guitar. However, there are less expensive Takamine guitars available with fewer features and lower quality. Other cons include noisy electronics at high volumes, high string action, and a wide neck. It is a high-quality guitar overall, but if you want a fuller sound, consider another model.

3. Takamine GC1 NAT

TRADITIONAL WARM SOUND

Solid spruce top.Rosewood back and sides.
Ebony fingerboard and bridge.Takamine GC1 NAT: Built-in tuner.
Picture by Takamine

PROS

  • The Takamine GC1 NAT is a highly recommended acoustic guitar for musicians of all levels. With its solid spruce top, the guitar produces a bright and clear sound that is perfect for fingerpicking or strumming. The spruce top, made from a single piece of wood, contributes to the guitar’s resonant and full sound.

    Another notable feature of the Takamine GC1 NAT is its rosewood back and sides. This tonewood adds a warm and mellow tone, complementing the sound of the spruce top. Similar to the top, the rosewood back and sides are also made from a single piece of wood, enhancing the guitar’s balanced and well-rounded sound, making it suitable for various genres.

    The guitar is further enhanced with an ebony fingerboard and bridge. Ebony is known for its durability and provides a smooth and fast playing surface. It also aids in projecting the sound of the guitar, resulting in a louder and more articulate tone. The ebony fingerboard and bridge contribute to the guitar’s excellent playability and sound quality.

    Additionally, the Takamine GC1 NAT features the Takamine TP-4D preamp with a built-in tuner. This high-quality pickup system allows players to amplify their guitar’s sound effortlessly. The preamp is known for its natural sound and accurate feedback rejection. The built-in tuner adds convenience, ensuring that the guitar is always in tune, even when not plugged in.

    In addition to these notable features, the Takamine GC1 NAT boasts a comfortable neck, a well-cutaway body, and a variety of other high-quality appointments. It is an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced players, suitable for a wide range of playing styles.

    In conclusion, the Takamine GC1 NAT stands out as an outstanding acoustic-electric guitar with its great sound, playability, and features. With its solid spruce top, rosewood back and sides, ebony fingerboard and bridge, as well as the Takamine TP-4D preamp with a built-in tuner, this instrument offers a versatile and exceptional playing experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, the Takamine GC1 NAT is a guitar that should not be overlooked.

CONS

  • 1. The use of laminated wood. The GC1 NAT’s top, back, and sides are made of laminated spruce, mahogany, and rosewood. Laminated wood is cheaper but lacks resonance.                                                                                
    2. The lack of a tremolo bridge. The GC1 NAT has a fixed bridge, limiting vibrato effects. This may not pose a major issue for most players.

    Additional pros and cons of the Takamine GC1 NAT, as per the blog you mentioned:

    Pros:
    – Excellent build quality
    – Rich, full sound
    – Comfortable playability
    – Versatility
    – Affordable price

    Cons:
    – Laminated wood construction
    – No tremolo bridge
    – Not as loud as some other acoustics

    Ultimately, the Takamine GC1 NAT offers great value. It is well-crafted, produces pleasant tones, and offers a comfortable playing experience. However, those seeking a guitar with a notably resonant sound may prefer a model with a solid wood top.

4. Takamine GD30CE-BLK

STYLISH POWERFUL SOUND

Solid spruce top – Rich, warm tone.Balanced tone with Rosewood.
Easy access to upper frets.Fishman Presys II electronics.
Picture by Takamine

PROS

  • The Takamine GD30CE-BLK acoustic guitar has several standout features that make it a great choice for both beginners and experienced players alike. Firstly, it boasts a solid spruce top which is responsible for producing the majority of the sound. The spruce top is known for its rich, warm tone that is ideal for both fingerstyle playing and strumming.

    Secondly, the rosewood back and sides complement the spruce top nicely and provide a balanced tone. Rosewood also helps to project the sound of the guitar, making it perfect for amplified performances.

    Thirdly, the cutaway body design is another advantage of the Takamine GD30CE-BLK. It allows for easy access to the upper frets, facilitating solos and chords up the neck. This feature is particularly useful for players who enjoy fingerstyle playing.

    Lastly, the Fishman Presys II electronics are worth highlighting. These high-quality electronics allow for amplification of the guitar and connection to a PA system or recording device. A built-in tuner is also included, adding to the convenience of this instrument.

    In addition to these four pros, the Takamine GD30CE-BLK also features a comfortable neck, rosewood fingerboard, and chrome die-cast tuners.

    In summary, the Takamine GD30CE-BLK acoustic guitar offers exceptional value for its price. With its solid spruce top, rosewood back and sides, cutaway body, and Fishman Presys II electronics, it is a well-rounded instrument suitable for various playing styles. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player, the Takamine GD30CE-BLK is a fantastic choice that delivers great sound and playability.

CONS

  • 1. The sound lacks richness compared to other Takamine guitars. The GD30CE-BLK uses solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides, which are decent tonewoods but not of the highest quality. Consequently, the GD30CE-BLK’s sound is not as rich or intricate as higher-tier Takamine guitars made with superior tonewoods.

    2. The electronics are not top-of-the-line compared to other models. Equipped with a Takamine TP-4TD preamp system, the GD30CE-BLK offers satisfactory performance but falls short of the higher-quality preamps found on pricier Takamine guitars. Consequently, the amplified sound of the GD30CE-BLK is not on par with other Takamine guitars.

    Additionally, the Takamine GD30CE-BLK may not suit everyone due to its dreadnought size, which can be cumbersome for some players, a slightly wide neck, and a potentially high string height (action) for certain players.

    In conclusion, the Takamine GD30CE-BLK presents a good value for its price, boasting solid construction and satisfactory sound and playability. However, it is not the epitome of Takamine guitars and has some limitations. For those seeking superior sound and performance, investing in a pricier Takamine guitar may be more suitable.

5. Takamine GD20CE-NS

SIMPLE NATURAL SOUND

Solid spruce top.Rosewood enhances warm, balanced sound.
Cutaway body for easier playing.Fishman Presys II electronics add versatility.
Picture by Takamine

PROS

  • The solid spruce top on the Takamine GD20CE-NS is a standout feature that contributes to its exceptional sound quality. Spruce is a preferred tonewood choice for acoustic guitars due to its ability to produce a bright, clear sound with excellent projection. The solid spruce top of the GD20CE-NS ensures a rich and warm tone that pairs well with various genres.

    In addition to the solid spruce top, the GD20CE-NS also boasts rosewood back and sides. Rosewood is another popular tonewood known for adding warmth and complexity to the sound of the guitar. It effectively balances out the brightness offered by the spruce top, resulting in a well-rounded and pleasant tone.

    The cutaway body of the GD20CE-NS is a valuable feature that enhances playability. It allows easy access to the upper frets, which is particularly advantageous for those playing solos or chords. This convenience makes it an excellent choice for fingerstyle players or anyone seeking to explore a wider range of notes.

    Equipped with Fishman Presys II electronics, the GD20CE-NS offers versatility for both plugged-in and unplugged performances. These electronics enable players to adjust volume, tone, and reverb settings to match their playing style and preference. This adaptability further establishes the GD20CE-NS as a reliable and adaptable instrument.

    Noteworthy as well are the comfortable neck, durable finish, and hardshell case of the GD20CE-NS. These attributes contribute to the instrument’s overall quality and ensure that it will provide years of enjoyment.

    In conclusion, the Takamine GD20CE-NS is an outstanding acoustic-electric guitar that presents several notable advantages. Its solid spruce top, rosewood back and sides, cutaway body, and Fishman Presys II electronics make it a versatile instrument suitable for various genres and playing styles. This guitar combines excellent sound quality, playability, and durability, offering exceptional value for its price.

CONS

  • 1. The soundhole pickup is not ideal for fingerstyle playing. Some users find it harsh and prone to feedback due to its location behind the soundhole where high-frequency sound is produced. Fingerstyle players may prefer a guitar with a different pickup location like a neck pickup or a blended pickup.

    2. The natural satin finish is less durable compared to gloss finishes. The GD20CE-NS can be more susceptible to scratches and dents. Carelessness can result in damage that affects the guitar’s resale value.

    Other pros and cons of the GD20CE-NS mentioned include excellent build quality, rich balanced sound, comfortable playability, a versatile pickup system, and an affordable price. However, it lacks a cutaway for easy access to upper frets. Overall, the GD20CE-NS is a great value option with a few minor drawbacks.

6. Takamine GD20-NS

TRADITIONAL NATURAL SOUND

Solid spruce top.Balanced tone with rosewood.
Smooth playability with ebony.Fishman Presys II electronics for amplification.
Picture by Takamine

PROS

  • The Takamine GD20-NS is a remarkable acoustic guitar that offers several pro features that are worth mentioning. Firstly, its solid spruce top provides a rich and warm sound that is perfect for a variety of genres such as folk, country, and fingerstyle. Spruce is renowned for its ability to produce a bright and clear sound with good projection, making it a popular choice among acoustic guitarists.

    Secondly, the rosewood back and sides of the GD20-NS contribute to a well-rounded and balanced tone. Rosewood is a dense wood known for its warm and mellow sound, and when paired with the brightness of the spruce top, it creates a harmonious blend of tones.

    The third pro is the ebony fingerboard and bridge, which enhance the guitar’s playability. Ebony is a highly durable and smooth wood that ensures comfortable and effortless playing for extended periods. This feature is particularly appreciated by musicians who perform for long durations.

    Lastly, the Fishman Presys II electronics integrated into the GD20-NS add tremendous value. This high-quality pickup system offers a great amplified sound and includes a built-in tuner, volume and tone controls, as well as a three-band EQ. These functionalities allow players to effortlessly customize their sound, making it suitable for any performance setting. Whether on stage or in the studio, the Fishman Presys II electronics are a valuable addition to the guitar.

    Additionally, the GD20-NS boasts a comfortable C-shaped neck, a glossy finish that adds to its aesthetic appeal, and comes with a durable hardshell case for protection during transportation. These supplementary features further enhance the guitar’s overall value and desirability.

    In conclusion, the Takamine GD20-NS is an outstanding choice for intermediate and experienced musicians seeking an acoustic guitar that offers a rich and warm sound, excellent playability, and is well-equipped for amplified performances. Its solid spruce top, rosewood back and sides, ebony fingerboard and bridge, and Fishman Presys II electronics collectively make it a versatile and exceptional instrument.

CONS

  • Firstly, it lacks a cutaway, which makes it harder to reach higher frets.                                                                                                        
  • Secondly, its dreadnought-sized body can be cumbersome for players used to smaller guitars.                                                                                                        
  • Additionally, mentioned in the linked blog post, the laminated back and sides compromise the guitar’s tone, it doesn’t come with a case, and the tuner is subpar.                                                                                                                                  
  • Despite these drawbacks, the GD20-NS is a good value with a solid cedar top, comfortable neck, and warm sound. However, the lack of cutaway and large body size might not suit all players. Check the table for a summary of pros and cons.

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