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Takamine: G series reviews

SCORE: 2,6  
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Review by a visitor on 15.9.2005




I bought my Takamine G-40 at Marguerites Music in Moorhead, MN. Be careful if ever purchasing a Takamine there... they have factory second Takaminenulls right in the same piles as the rest of them and they are not clearly indicated as such. The only way I could tell a guitar was a factory second was by a small black marker line written on the label that is located just inside the soundhole. I could usually find the reason a guitar was marked a second... a blemish in the finish, a warped neck, etc. They also have no qualms with lying straight faced to you. I once took a Tak up to the counter that had an obvious "hill" in the neck where it attaches to the body, knowing the guitar was marked a factory second. Not a biggie to me since on an acoustic I rarely play beyond the 12th fret anyway, but when I asked about the bowed neck the guy at the counter said, "They make guitar necks that way nowadays". Anyway, I eventually picked a non-factory-second Takamine G-40 Natural NEX body style with mahogany back and sides and cedar top. I purchased early in 1997 for $379.

 
 
  Features  
 
The Takamine G-40 is about as plain a guitar as there can be. It has gold tuners, no dot inlays in the neck other than very small dots on the top of the neck which the player can see, a stamped on logo on the headstock, a very diminished stamped on concetric circle around the soundhole, no pick guard, and a very pleasing natural finish. It could be considered a "purists" dream as there is nothing to distract from the music on this guitar. Even so, Inullve received many compliments on the style, looks, and sound of the guitar. I find the Takamine Natural Series in general to have very sexy, simple styling. Tons of abalone and gloss makes a guitar look gaudy in my opinion. Every Takamine Natural Inullve played seemed to "sing" better than the glossy counterparts. The weakest point of the G-40 is the all laminate construction.
 
 
 
  Playability  
 
The neck is as straight as the day I purchased it and the action is nice and low... as Inullve found to be the case with most of the Takamines Inullve played. It is easy to press the strings up and down the neck for barr chords and there is no fret buzz to mention. Intonation is not perfect, but pretty close to spot-on and is better than some high end guitars Inullve played. It does require quite a bit of re-tuning in between sets and sometimes even songs. Takamine necks are narrow and can be hard to play if you have larger hands or fat fingers, particularily if you like to fingerpick your arpegios. I played a friendnulls Taylor 310CE and the Taylornulls neck felt like a classical guitar neck to me... finger picking was much easier on the Taylor. Also the Taylor with its all solid wood construction and Fishman electronics blows away my rudimentary setup in a live setting. The Taylor sounds like a grand piano whereas my Takamine G-40 sounds like a cardboard shipping box strung with yarn in comparison. Nevertheless my Takamine G-40 is easy to play, is built like a tank, sounds decent enough, and I have had it everywhere from campfire sing-alongs to live stage perfomances with a full band.
 
 
 
  Quality  
 
Sound quality with new Elixir nano-web strings is decent and receives many compliments. Any other strings Inullve tried sound dull and muffled. There are definately no bell like tones nor is there any notable timbre with this guitar. Notes are even and flat with particularily subdued treble. The guitar sounds neither warm nor tinny. Base and mid-range seem most pronounced but again are at best flat sounding. Sustain is not particularily notable either. All this could be attributed to the laminate construction or possibly the NEX body shape (which is like a mini jumbo). Coupled with the cedar top, this guitar sounds flat. This is a bottom of the line guitar as far as sound quality, however it is good for learning as there are no problems with pressing strings down, fret buzz, or intonation.
 
 
 
  Durability  
 
This guitar is all laminate construction, from the soundboard to the headhstock. Being constructed of laminate mahogany back and sides with a laminate cedar top, this guitar is very road-worthy. I use it live (with a Dean Markeley Pro Mag Plus) in a worship band on stage and have bumped music stands with the body, back, and headstock with nary a dent. Furthermore, I play heavy strumming parts and keep expecting the G-40 to morph into Willie Nelsonnulls guitar as there is no pick guard on this thing, but there is barely any scratching by the sound hole. The finish is solid. Another reason I like the natural finish... if there are hairline scratches, I certainly cannullt see them. The neck is the same as the day I tried it in the show room and the action is nice and low, although with my style of strumming, I find myself re-tuning alot.
 
 
 
  Overall  
 
This guitar was purchased when I wanted a guitar to learn on while in college. I didnnullt do much research and didnnullt even know there was laminate or solid wood guitars. I figured you either got wood or the nullplasticnull ovations at the time. I played alot of guitars and simply wanted one that was easy on the fingers, sounded good to my ears, and was within a college studentnulls budget. I am now looking at Taylor, Takoma, Garrison, and CA, Rainsong, and Emerald carbon options. Although Inullm becoming frustrated with the sound quality of the Takamine G-40 for live settings, especially after playing my friends Taylor 310CE, I would definately miss this guitar for simply beating around on at home or by the campfire. It has been a reliable companion.
 
 

Review by nine on 2.5.2005




i bought the guitar at a small music shop on the really southside of Chicago, which is known as the wild hundreds. i have had it for about three years now and itnulls pretty much stayed in shape. i paid 350 dollars for it, personally i thought that price was a little expensive, but, when i checked at other more well known places to get guitars i found that the price i paid was pretty good. what i found was that this guitar at guitar center would go for about 400 - 600 dollars. so i felt like i got a good price. now as far as the guitar itself. except for a few little dings on the body of the guitar itnulls in pretty good shape. the sound that projects from the guitar is a bellowy kind of sound, deep, and a sound that when you play the chord just right you can feel the sound deep within your soul. no this guitar is not perfect, but what guitar really is, if you are looking for an acoustic that has a neck that is fairly skinny to get your hand around then this might just be the one you are looking for. check out the Takamine G-series, model number GS-330S. Hope you enjoy and keep folk alive.

 
 
  Features  
 
well this guitar is pretty straight forward. their is nothing exciting about it, there are no unique characteristics, it is just simple. i think what the guitar lacks in excitability makes up for in the sound that is projected when you play any chord. the sound just hits you, and you feel it in your soul. the guitar is just a plain maple looking color, and honestly it would probably be the one at the guitar place you go, that unless you look at every guitar, this would be the one that you probably pass up. so keep a keen eye, because there are such things as diamonds in the rough.
TAKAMINE
 
 
 
  Playability  
 
Compared to some of the top of the line models in acoustic guitars this one probably doesnnullt match up very well. But like i said before this guitar isnnullt going to wow you if you see it in a guitar shop somewhere. that is not to say that it doesnnullt get the job done, because i think even though it is the underdog it still sounds like an acoustic guitar, and it is fairly affordable, unlike some of the guitars where all you by is the name on the head of the guitar.
 
 
 
  Quality  
 
if you are looking to play bob dylan, woody guthrie, and other kinds of this form of music it will suit you very well. but if you are looking to play like pop music with it, then you might want to look somewhere else. like inullve said it is not the best guitar out there, but it gets the job done.
 
 
 
  Durability  
 
This guitar is pretty durable, i have taken it out to Boston with me, I have taken it to Tennessee, and i have played gigs with it, and Inullve never really had to adjust anything with the neck. My feeling is if you take care of any guitar it will take care of you.
 
 
 
  Overall  
 
i cannullt picture myself playing another guitar like this. i love the sound, and i simply love the guitar. when i saw her i knew that she was the one, and if that sounds like a love story well than fine, because that is the truth. she generates a sound that i simply love. no she is not the most good looking, she is not an ovation, or any other top of the line guitars, but she is simple and she is my mine. The TAKAMINE GS-330S buy it you wonnullt be disappointed.