#1
Hey,
i'm looking around to buy a mid range guitar.
The Takamine p4dc has definetly caught my eye but i was just wondering if anyone has any expirience with this guitar. Also, i've noticed on the specifications of this guitar that this guitar has solid spruce top and solid sapele back but with the sides it simply says 'sapele', does this mean if it is laminated? And if so, does this affect the quality of the guitar?
#2
If the spec doesn't specify "solid" the wood will almost certainly be laminate. But don't worry about the sides - they contribute virtually nothing to the sound of the guitar. Personally I think laminate sides are better than solid ones - they are stronger.
#3
Whoah, at $1349, I would expect all solid, but Garthman is right. The sides contribute virtually nothing and the back(it's always against your body) little to the sound, but the wood type(whether laminate or solid) does seem to make a drastic difference. I don't know about sapele, thought it was a budget(Asian) mahogany but that wouldn't make sense for them to use it on a guitar in this price range. Yamaha uses it on their 700 series which get good reviews but those guitars are in the $200-$400 price range. Takamine has a great reputation but for that price you might also want to look at the Yamaha A3 series which are all solid and ebony fretboard, and under $1000.
#4
Its not the material so much as it is the build, I have one of Takamines higher end guitars with bubinga back and sides, it doesnt say solid bubinga on the specs, so im pretty sure its laminate. Despite it being laminate it sounds incredible. Also look at Taylors, some of their $700-$900 guitars also use laminate back and sides.

Some builders make theirs intentionally with a stiff back and sides, because it helps with forward projection, sometimes laminate helps in that regard.

Also there are solid wood laminates and whitewood laminates,and theres a difference there too. Whitewood sandwhiched by solid strip will always sound a bit more muted. I wish manufacturers would be specific about the laminate style there are using, but 9 times out of 10 if you pay a good amount of money and it is a laminate you can be sure that it is a solid wood laminate and its not going to be a bad thing in that regard.
Last edited by jcarlos007 at Oct 4, 2014,
#5
It will be laminated, but that certainly wouldn't deter me from buying it if I liked the sound - my favourite guitar for fingerpicking is all-laminate.

However, I personally wouldn't buy a Tak, I would be looking at Taylor and Martin in that price range, also Maton here in Oz.
#6
In truth, the issue of laminated sides is a non issue. Solid wood for bending is tough to come by, and a certain percentage of breakage could surely drive the cost up.

Keep in mind the side pieces of an acoustic guitar are close to 6 feet long.

The Tak you're looking at doesn't seem to present the best "bang for the buck" in its price range. That from the perspective of a single point under saddle pickup.

That notwithstanding, it seems you should be more concerned if you like the body shape, and the sound of a sapele guitar, rather than getting hung up in the fact it is sapele..

South American (Honduran) mahogany is practically "unobtainium". It's either barely legal, or flat out illegal to harvest it, not sure which.

As cabinet woods, all varieties of "African mahogany", don't machine as well as the true mahoganies of the South American Tropics. Whether that matters more if you're building a chest of drawers, or a guitar, I know not.

Whether or not it's (allegedly), because Takamine give away guitars, they have a strong presence on stages, even in Nashville. In fact, Garth Brooks is a Takamine kind of guy.
#7
Quote by Captaincranky
In fact, Garth Brooks is a Takamine kind of guy.


Is he still smashing them on stage?

I'll tell you why I don't like them. 1) I don't know that they have resettable neck joints, in fact I suspect they don't. 2) I've seen a truly horrible example of grain runout in one of their cedar tops that was in the local luthier for repair, so I think they are more concerned with form than function.

Asian makes I would be looking at are Blueridge, Recording King and Eastman.
#8
Quote by Tony Done
Is he still smashing them on stage?
Dunno. The last time I saw him was a solo TV concert and he didn't break any guitars for that. He did say it was hard being, "Mr. Trisha Yearwood".

Quote by Tony Done
I'll tell you why I don't like them. 1) I don't know that they have resettable neck joints, in fact I suspect they don't. 2)
Yes but if you'd tune those damnable medium strings down a couple of semis when you're not playing your guitars, you might not need them. Or at least no t as often...

Quote by Tony Done
I've seen a truly horrible example of grain runout in one of their cedar tops that was in the local luthier for repair, so I think they are more concerned with form than function.
At one point, Gibson claimed that more than 15 (?) degrees of grain TILT, was enough to affect the sound of an acoustic. (Although, with wood being as scarce as it is, I don't think they're making as much noise about it these days..

Quote by Tony Done
Asian makes I would be looking at are Blueridge, Recording King and Eastman.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, but only if you mention Crafter too.

FWIW, Bob Taylor has a 6 page spread about wood availability and attempts in conservation, in the latest issue of "Guitar Player Magazine". Excellent blurb.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Oct 4, 2014,
#9
Crafters haven't got a big presence here in Oz, so I'm declining to comment. What my three have in common is resettable neck joints (or so one luthier reported). I know it's a bit unrealistic at those prices, but at least in demonstrates good intent in the construction.

I played a couple of really nice Aria dreads yesterday, one an all-solid D-18 knockoff (it sounded about halfway between a Martin and a Taylor to me), the other a plainer version with lam b&s. So they're now on my "maybe" list.
#10
Quote by Tony Done
Crafters haven't got a big presence here in Oz, so I'm declining to comment. What my three have in common is resettable neck joints (or so one luthier reported). I know it's a bit unrealistic at those prices, but at least in demonstrates good intent in the construction....[ ].....
Isn't the issue here mostly the choice of adhesive used for the neck joint? If the glue will soften with heat, then you can do a reset?

I have to make a guess and say the the best, or at least the sturdiest, type of neck joint would be a dovetail, and that would also be the hardest to reshape. (My best, but still a wild guess).
Last edited by Captaincranky at Oct 5, 2014,
#11
Quote by Captaincranky
Isn't the issue here mostly the choice of adhesive used for the neck joint? If the glue will soften with heat, then you can do a reset?

I have to make a guess and say the the best, or at least the sturdiest, type of neck joint would be a dovetail, and that would also be the hardest to reshape. (My best, but still a wild guess).


You're right, it depends on the type of glue. Many Asian guitars use epoxy, and the bond is next to impossible to break. This means that the neck isn't resettable by normal methods. OTOH, the the modern aliphatic resin glues, like Titebond, and hide glue, can be broken with steam treatment and are the kind apparently being used on the brands I mentioned.

The dovetail is the traditional joint used by Martin and many other makers, but I happen to prefer the bolt-on, as used by some makers like Taylor, Collings and Bourgeois. LaSiDo (Seagiull etc) also used to use a bolt-on neck, but I don't know if they still do. The Taylor joint is very cheap and easy to reset, the others take a little more work, but still much easier than a dovetail. A neck reset on a Martin costs about $700, it would be less than $70 on a Taylor, the others would fall somewhere in between.
#12
Replying to the original post I would rather take a look at a P5DC rather than the P4DC anyway. my local shop in the south west of England is selling them at nearly the same price as the P4DC. I tried the P5DC a few days ago and its was great. Nearly had one for myself and would have done if my car hadn't just died. I cant believe how close the 4 and the 5 are in price and I would personally rather the 5 any day.

http://www.projectmusic.net/takamine-pro-p5dc-11544-p.asp

Both the 4 and 5 are laminated but I really don't see this as an issue at all. they sound great and are well built and when I played them and put them up against some others they looked very good value. Not sure what price these guitars may have in other parts of the world but in the UK the Project Music 5 price was only £ 30 more expensive than the 4 version cost.
#13
FYI: I've seen a few comments about the P4DC having Laminated sides? I own one and can tell you that these are NOT laminated. Although, I can see where you're getting this from. It appears to me that the Martin's & Taylors in the same price range ($1500 & under), DO have (the ones I've seen) the composite/laminate sides. The key to keeping them sounding as good as they do is the Top & Back.

I also have had a Martin (DX series, MIM), with the MDF sides, sound was "BOOMING". Certainly a super buy for the price.

As for the Takamine P4DC, I have to say, I grow more impressed with it from the SECOND I picked it up at the store. Tone & Playability are through the roof. Compared to Taylor's & Martin's in the $3,000 + range! You just can't beat this. The ONLY make that comes close is maybe the Westerly (Guild - Import). Doesn't hold a candle to the Takamine (IMO). But, then again the Pro Series Tak's & Alvarez & Epiphone Masteworks are close, seem a bit cheaper.

My 2 cents...

http://www.takamine.com/P4DC
#14
Quote by johngonsalvesjr
...[ ]....My 2 cents...
Considering the last post to this thread was in October 2014, that may be "your 2 cents", unfortunately "it's a day late, and a dollar short"....