Price paid: $ 200
Sound — 9
This guitar is amazing for the type of music that I play, which is mostly acoustic rock, reminiscent to the unplugged works of Noel Gallagher of Oasis and older material by artist Howie Day. It has amazing tone and great bass response, while all the while the mids and trebles rings through clear as day. I am currently playing this through an old Crate PA/stage moniter. I have used a few effects pedals with it to great affect, including a Line 6 DL4 for looping, and a Boss OC-2 for bass effect while looping. The great thing about the electronics on this guitar is that when you need to put in an effect like drop-octave, you can just flip your sliders and away you go, or if you are doing looping and you need a new loop with treble to come out more, just flip it again. Amazing sound, very little to no feedback with a Feedback Buster in the soundhole. I rank this guitars electronics above anything that I've ever played on, minus the Taylor Expression System, and the Fishman Aura, but even against those, the Takamine onboard electronics hold their own as some of the best stage preamps money can buy.
Overall Impression — 9
As I said before, I play acoustic rock like Oasis and Howie Day, so this guitar is a perfect match, not only for me, but for them too, Noel Gallagher used a Takamine acoustic-electric during the Oasis Unplugged in 1997, and much more Live before that, and Howie Day uses Takamine's almost exclusively in his Live shows. I have been playing guitar very hard now for just over 3 years, and in my time I have collected a number of guitars that have been traded and sold and whatnot, but this one will stay in my collection forever. I own another Takamine ESF93, and a Breedlove AC25/SR. My electric guitar is a Line 6 Variax 300 Red. I have a Line 6 Spider 2 amp, and a Crate Stage Moniter, with my effects pedals being a Line 6 DL4, a Boss OC-2, a Boss DD-5 with footswitch, and an Equalizer Switch for vocal changes.I run sound for a recording business so I have several mics, as well as a Presonus Firebox recording hub. I wish I would have asked them to call me sooner about getting this in to the store, but I knew the specs on it before I bought it because I try to keep very up to date on Tak's because I love them so much. If this guitar was stolen or lost, I would consider getting another one, but would probably get something like a Gibson Southern Jumbo, or a Martin Sloped-Shoulder, something without electronics for a change. What I love about this guitar is that I only paid about a total of $400 for this, including buying it and getting it repaired. I hate the fact that the electronics on it are not the cool-tube, but that can wait, and my favorite feature would have to be it's versatility, being able to sound so good unplugged and then being able to be plugged in and have a new sound but still sound really good. I don't really compare it to other products, because it was a really great bang for the buck.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar had already withstood playing 2 live shows and several videos on youtube, and we continue to be put through it's paces in the future. The hardware looks to be of very high quality and even if it doesn't last forever, I can always replace it with new ones. The strap buttons are very solid and are not going anywhere. I can very much depend on this guitar to do what I want it to do, and although I can say with confidence that I would not take a backup guitar, I have 3 guitars that I use for my Live gigs, so I would never be without a backup anyway. There isn't really a finish on this guitar, which has actually caused the beautiful Cedar top to darken several shades over the course of only a few months.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Considering that I got this guitar at a scratch and dent store, it had been sent back from a customer, and been sitting in it's case in a warehouse somewhere in KCMO, I picked this thing up and it was still in tune. There was some damage done to the binding of the guitar on the lower part of the top, it looked like it had been dropped in transit or something, and yet it's tone was still there, and it still played. The action is uncanny for an acoustic, and it almost plays like and electric as far as finger comfort, even with medium gauge strings. Everything this was great about this guitar except for the damage that had been done, and with a little extra cash, I had it fixed and now it sounds even better. I would be damned it I could find one major flaw about this guitar, and for the life of me I can't, other than the factory specs of laminate sides, which were No Doubt to save money on wood that would be cut in place of electronics.
Features — 9
This particular guitar was made in 2006 in Japan. It has 20 frets and I believe is 25.4" scale with a rosewood fingerboard with no inlays. This guitar comes with a solid Cedar top and solid mahogony back, with laminate sides. The finish of this guitar is satin and it has no pick-guard to speak of. It is a dreadnought cutaway model with a pinless bridge. It comes with Takamine's own CT-4BII active electronics. The electronics give control over volume, a 3-band EQ with a built in tuner with multiple Hz tuning settings. The pickup is an undersaddle piezo-style. The tuners are non-locking Gotoh's with the Takamine name on the back. This amazing guitar came with a Takamine dreadnought hard-case, with a few things such as polish rag.