Takamine G Series Review | Great Beginner Guitar?
Founded in 1962 in Japan, Takamine has become one of the most well-known acoustic guitars all across the world. Over the years their guitars have been played by the likes of Garth Brooks, Tommy Emmanuel and Bruno Mars among many others.
Ever time I walk into a guitar store I know without a doubt that there will be Takamine guitars hanging on the wall for me to play. And I love to play them (well, I love to play pretty much any guitar).
Takamine produces many lines of acoustic guitars, but by far one of the most popular lines is the Takamine G Series. Ranging from $200-$900 with a variety of different styles and sounds, there’s bound to be one that fits your needs – whether you’re a beginner guitarist or a seasoned player.
Understanding the Takamine G Series
Each guitar manufacturer has their own “code” for naming their guitars, so as I dive into the Takamine G Series I want to first take a look at how they classify their guitar.
I’m going to use the Takamine GF30CE-BSB as an example (see the picture to the right). All of those numbers seems confusing at first but they all have significant meaning.
- GF30CE-BSB: The “G” here refers to the G series. The Takamine G Series of guitars is its most basic series (which does not mean it’s cheapest).
- GF30CE-BSB: The “F” in this case refers to the body style. Takamine has a Dreadnaught (D), FXC (F) which is similar to concert style and NEX (N) which closely resembles a jumbo body.
- GF30CE-BSB: The “30” number here refers to the specific G series – in this case “G30” series. Takamine has a G10 through G90 series, with the price and quality going higher as the number goes higher.
- GF30CE-BSB: The “C” here refers to whether or not the guitar has a cutaway. If there is no cutaway the C will not be present.
- GF30CE-BSB: The “E” here refers to whether or not the guitar has on-board electronics. If not, no E will be present.
- GF30CE-BSB: The “BSB” is the color/finish, which in this case is Sunburst (BSB). They also have Natural (NAT), Black (BLK) and Natural Satin (NS).
There’s also a Takamine 12-string guitar, and you’ll find that number before the color/finish (for example, the Takamine GJ72CE-12NAT)
A Takamine G Series Review
It’s difficult to do an entire Takamine G Series review because it includes such a wide range of guitars, but for the sake of a person looking to buy a beginner guitar, I want to look at the options that the G Series provides.
So let’s say, for example, that you’re wanting to buy a new beginner acoustic guitar for under $300 but you don’t want to sacrifice too much quality. What are your options?
Takamine G30 Series
These guitars have a solid spruce top, which is both common and exactly what you want, along with laminate mahogany back and sides.
All of the Takamine guitars under $300 will have laminate back and sides, but the fact that the 30 series has a solid top is an incredible advantage.
You may not be able to hear it at first, but the difference between solid and laminate guitar top is huge.
There are a few great guitars worth considering in the G30 series, including the black Takamine GD30-BLK, the natural Takamine GD30CE-NAT (pricier because of the electronics and cutaway) as well as the Takamine GF30CE-BSB which again, is pricey because of the color and electronics.
If you’ve been playing guitar for a few years and want to upgrade from the ultra-cheap beginner guitar you had earlier, these G30 guitars (or higher!) are a great option.
Takamine G20 Series
What’s great about this series is that it’s priced less than the G30 and yet you still get a solid top (which will improve the sound of the guitar).
Instead of a spruce top, however, these guitars come with a solid cedar top.
It’s also a simple series since it only has two guitars – the Takamine GD20-NS and the Takamine GN20-NS. The only difference is the shape of the body – everything else is the same, including the price of the guitar.
Takamine G10 Series
Again, there are only two guitars in this series, the Takamine GD10-NS and the Takamine GD10CE-NS. If you must have electronics on your guitar to plug it in, you’ll have to spring for the latter, more expensive version.
The reason the G10 series is much more affordable is because instead of having a solid top, it has a laminate spruce top. That’s not a terrible thing – in fact, most beginner guitarist won’t hear the difference.
You’re still going to get a great sound out of the guitar, but it’s definitely a beginner acoustic guitar – it’s thinner, it has a pin-less bridge, and it’s all laminate wood.
A Summary of Thoughts on Takamine G Series
People who own Takamine’s love them. Just ask one! The best Takamine G Series reviews come from those who have owned them for years. They stand up well under heavy use and last forever.
And to top it off, they have an option for pretty much any and every style that you might want. You need electronics? They have one. Prefer a cutaway? No problem. Fancy a sunburst color? They do that too.
All in all, Takamine is a great guitar and you won’t be disappointed whether you’re a beginner guitarist or you’ve been playing for years. You won’t regret adding one to your collection!
Want to hear for yourself? Check out the review video below: