Price paid: A$ 550
Purchased from: Just Music
Features — 9
I think this Takamine ED20SC Ac/Elec was made in China, mass produced. It has a 25.5 inch mahogany neck with medium frets. It's well made, has a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides. A standard Dreadnought shaped body with venetian cutaway for easy access to upper frets. It has a rosewood bridge and fret board, standard Takamine nut and saddle and bridge pins and the standard on board TP-4 electronics/tuner. It has "D Series" stamped under the Takamine name on the head stock (unusual?).
Sound — 10
It has a full sound, the tone is pretty good and it has volume. You can play it hard and soft and it is still clear. It felt a little strange when I first started playing it, but I got used to it pretty quickly. From changing between this and my Artist DS120 CEQ is just a small difference in neck radius. The sustain is very good. You can get the high and mid range, but still have punch in the bottom end. I use Ernie Ball Earthwood lights as my preferred strings, they give a bright clear tone. The electrics are good and sound great when put through an amp.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It's fast up neck, that's due to the satin finish on the neck, easy to do fingerpicking, then go into chords or flat pick without sliding issues with the neck. It feels great and comfortable to play. Spruce top seems one piece, not matched and helps deliver the nice tone and volume. No probs with the TP-4 and under saddle piezo, they work and sound fine. No vibration for any hardware at all. It has a gloss urethane coat on the body and seems it will be pretty good and durable if looked after. No issues with woods, electronics, finish or hardware.
Reliability & Durability — 9
When I tried it at the shop, the action was almost spot on, and was happy with the sound and tone. I always get my guitars serviced and set up before I play them in a gig, but my local tech said it was a great guitar and not much needed doing. No issues with the action, electronics, nut or saddle. No fret buzz or rattles when playing chords or picking. Just clean notes. No hardware issues to mention. Tuning pegs are strong and smooth, end pins are solid and well placed. I use this as my main guitar now, playing gigs at friends or for outdoor gigs with my trio and am very happy with it to date.
Overall Impression — 9
I play mainly acoustic songs, and the Takamine is a great gigging guitar for the $550.00 I paid for it here in Oz. I am sure the Takamine D Series will get better with age. I have had this one about 8 months and play semi-professionally with no complaints. I would recommend it for a first time investment as a buyer of Takamine guitars, quality without breaking the bank. You will get a few good years out of it and the solid spruce top will age and sound better as it gets older. The only complaint I would say is that for the price no hard case?