Purchased from: local shop
Features: 1987 Japan built C128 classical. All solid wood. Spruce over dark rosewood. Standard classical configuration and no electronics. Neck appears to be spruce; fretboard is dark, likely stained rosewood. All gloss with adequate tuners. Bone nut and saddle. I found it used at a local guitar and ukulele shop. These were built to go into the student market back in the 1980s. All Solid woods was on the nice guitars even then. So this was a fairly nice student calber classical. I have played top line classical guitars and own a mid level Cordoba flamenco negra with truss rod and electronics.
If you run into a Japan mid 1980s Takamine similar to a C128, get it if it is undamaged and the action at fret 12 can be made 1/8" or less. You get crap China guitars for $200 now... So look for these Takamines if you want a classical that plays and sounds rather nice. Mine is easily enough for an advanced student. Some sound much better than others and to have a shop near a big Virginia university with a well established guitar studies department brings out these older guitars. // 9
Sound: Rating a 9 since some of these are unreal. Now and again a guitar in a line of them will be outstanding This one is just very good, nice action, and a pleasure to play and in very good shape. For hardly $200 (they had a pretty good used hard classical case at ~$25!), I was stunned. I owned a concert level classical and a Manuel Adalid once and have played a few top level guitars. This is a better guitar than any you can even find at a SA or GC no matter the price. And you will not see any nice used guitars like this most places... Guys like me are on the lookout for them and grab them! // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: I lowered the saddle bottom and touched up the 'D' nut slot. And now it is very easy to play and sounds quite good. These were all solid and good woods. The spruce top is a pretty good one and solid very dark rosewood back/sides is a bonus. "8" since it needed a bit of help, but it is undamaged and hardly marked. They are disappearing as people discover them... no other Tak classical is reviewed, but real guitar playing is classical and very few people ever really take the effort to start into it. // 8
Reliability & Durability: This is a well made factory guitar, so it is never a 10. But kept humidified and in a case, it will last a lifetime easily of play. I found these were built to withstand hard tension strings. I found that classical strings are varied so much that yu have to match them to the guitar and what you play. I favor thinner trebles in clear and medium and hard tension strings. The titanium and carbon trebles are more aggressive and crisp. You have to find the strings that work and narrow it down by type to get the best tone for your guitar and playing style (soft, aggressive, etc.) // 9
Overall Impression: Renaissance lute tunes, crossover Latin tunes, and guitar studies go well on this guitar. A modern and "pretty" tone with average volume. A bit of a "sweet" treble versus aggressive and cutting. The bass register is strong and clear. For VERY cheap, it's a remarkable find. You will never lose money on these if you can find it in eBay or locally for really cheap and in good shape. They hold up as they were made well from good woods. Along now is the time to get a 1980s vintage guitar or a 500-800 follar nice Cordoba. Those are a good value and some a very nice. I like the GK Studio Negra flamenco with electronics at about $600 new. // 9