History of Takamine Guitar & Series Review

Takamine Guitars – named for Takamine Mountain in Sakashita, Japan - have been creating well-built affordable guitars for over 40 years. What started as a small, family owned business has developed into a world-wide guitar manufacturing company that produces guitars that are popular with beginning guitarists and professional musicians alike.

So what is it about Takamine that makes them so well liked? One of the most appealing aspects of a Takamine guitar is their affordability. Regardless of whether one is having a guitar specially made in Takamine’s custom guitar shop or purchasing one of their lower-priced lines, the cost of a Takamine guitar is decidedly less than their contemporary counterparts. Another upside to Takamine is their availability. The basic lines of Takamine guitars always seem to be in stock, a definite plus when you need a guitar and you need it now.

Another plus is the broad range of guitars available in Takamine’s various series, and a brief look at what is available may help you to narrow your options as you consider purchasing a Takamine guitar.

Takamine Acoustic Guitar Series Roll Call

Takamine Limited Edition

The Takamine Limited Edition Series are the showcase of the Takamine Guitar Company. Begun 19 years ago, the Limited Edition Series guitars are chosen from among Takamine’s other lines and styles for their ability to display the very best of the company’s craftsmanship. Each guitar in this series has unique qualities. The playability of the various models depends a great deal on the purpose that the guitar was designed for. The quality ranges from awesomely inspiring to play to works of art that you would be afraid to play for fear that you’d hurt the finish and would rather keep hung on your wall.

Takamine Signature Series

Each guitar in the Takamine Signature Series is crafted with a specific famous artist in mind and designed keeping that musician’s specific needs and playing in style in mind. This means that each model in the series is made of different combinations of woods and styled specifically for that particular player’s preferences. If you share a playing style of one of these players, then you are in luck. If not, they can still be great as collectors’ items. Some of the best known names included in the Takamine Signature Series include Garth Brooks, Glenn Frey, John Joregeson, Kenny Chesney and Steve Wainer.

Takamine T Series

The “T” stands for “Tradesman”, and the guitars in the Takamine T series are built for a specific musical purpose. From models crafted especially for flatpickers to models tailored for live performances, each of the T series guitars is crafted of high quality tonewoods and can be quite ornate. It is important to be careful when selecting from the T series for the simple fact that with each guitar made to suite a different playing style. If that purpose does not meet your specific playing style, you may find yourself disappointed with the tone, sound or volume of your selection.

Takamine SuperNaturals

The Takamine SuperNatural Series guitars are made specifically for players who want brilliant high tones to equal the depth of tone produced by this series’ use of solid cedar or spruce tops and a solid rosewood back. This solid wood combination is braced to bring out the real tone of every note. A bit pricier than Takamine’s G series, the SuperNaturals rely on craftsmanship and the simple beauty of the woods used rather than extra aesthetic additions to draw the eye. While the volume of the models in the SuperNatural series can’t be argued with, the tone does tend a bit to the overly bright, especially if too heavy of a string is used.

Takamine Naturals

The Takamine Natural series consists of a line of guitars made to produce the largest and broadest natural sound possible from an acoustic guitar. Each guitar in the series sports solid cedar tops and solid mahogany backs as well as a satin finish and no pickguards are installed in order to avoid interfering with the vibration of the soundboards. These guitars are not for the faint of heart and have a very high playability. In fact, they are so lively that they can take some practice and skill to be able to control the sound.

Takamine Keystone

The Takamine Keystone Series acoustic guitars are all built on a dreadnought body shape (hence the reference to ‘keystone’ as dreadnoughts are considered to be the cornerstone of acoustic musicianship). The deeper body and broader shoulders of the Keystone line makes them favorites for percussion-style players and flatpickers, though their tone can become a bit mush with fingerstyle playing.

Takamine Noveau & Santa Fe

Guitars in the Takamine Guitar Noveau and Santa Fe series have a well-balanced tone that is a favorite with singers who like to accompany themselves on the guitar. Its smaller, more comfortable body size makes these guitars easier to play and manage on stage. While the guitars in this series have a nice, full-bodied sound, they can tend to get a bit ‘tinny’ if strummed too aggressively or with heavy flatpicking.

Takamine Classics

The Classic Series are well-crafted classical style acoustic guitars that are designed for concert hall use. These solid wood instruments (each with solid cedar tops) come with, and are best used with nylon strings. They are crafted to resemble the original drawings of Antonio Torres guitars and are a great favorite with professional classical guitarists and those who favor fingerstyle playing, though they tend to lose their rounded sound with heavy picking or strumming.

Takamine G Series

The Takamine G Series guitars are designed to offer the biggest variety of tone and body shape for the most affordable price. The G series offers over twelve different dreadnought body shaped models; NEX, FXC, JUMBO, DREADNOUGHTS, MINI, CLASSICS and OM BODIES. There are six string versions, 12 string versions, cutaway and non-cutaway models, many of which have solid spruce tops. The body shapes vary from the more rounded NEX and FXC bodies to bigger and smaller versions of the classic dreadnought variety. The sound of each guitar varies depends on a combination of the body’s shape and shoulder width as well as the specific wood combinations used. A rich, full-bodied sound is the signature tone of the G Series, though the tone is hard to maintain as this series tends to lose its pitch rather quickly. Another thing to look out for is that some of the larger dreadnoughts and jumbos in this line tend to get a bit mushy with fingerstyle playing. For the flatpicker, however, they are an excellent choice of guitar.

Conclusion

Selecting a guitar from one of the Takamine guitar series can be an excellent choice for the guitarist who is looking for a good quality acoustic guitar but who doesn’t have a large budget. The selection of Takamines available means that they will be able to find a guitar that fits them and their playing style, and the Takamine Guitar commitment to quality will ensure that they definitely receive a guitar that they can be proud of and that will serve them well for years to come.

Takamine Guitar Reviews

Takamine Guitar, a Japanese manufacturer known for their high quality guitars with excellent sound, has many low-priced guitar models in their line-up. Takamine Guitar is really "the manufacturer" for beginner guitarists, although they do make some higher-end models. Takamine's quality rivals that of Martin so closely that the company has been accused of copying Martin's designs and techniques. That has never been proven. A Takamine Guitar can be yours for as little as $99 with the tone and action of a Martin. Many artists use Takamine routinely due to the sound quality they produce.

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