Price paid: $ 930
Purchased from: Local Store
Sound — 9
I play everything: folk, blues, pop, rock etc. I love Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, blues oldies, and lots of other artists. I was looking for an affordable guitar with solid top and back for strumming. Guitar sound is very clear. You can feel solid woods in this model. It resonates pretty well and it's got good sustain and harmonic sound. Sound is bright but with a punchy feel. I'm using 012 for standard E and Open G tuning and 013 Martin SP strings for an Open D. In strumming in open tunings this guitar is a killer! I've changed bridge pins from plastic/stock for ebony which gave a little better sustain and more lows. Unplugged this guitar sings. It's great for strumming and rock/bluesy solos. Plugged - it's got a pretty good control with a TK40 preamp. I love mid-countour switch and notch filter. I'm not using any pedal effects with my Marshall AS50D acoustic combo. Guitar sounds very well straight in line. I cannot complain.
Overall Impression — 10
I've compared this guitar to some amateur Martins, Taylors, Furch/Dowina guitars or highest Lag models, Epiphones etc. Takamine was the best choice IMHO in this price range. I would definitely buy it again. I love this Tak! I owe couple of acoustic guitars like two Yamahas, an old Epiphone AJ and some made in Mexico cheap acoustic. Takamine is my favorite one unplugged and plugged. It's a simple guitar for a simple guy who wants an instrument for playing and not showing off. In this price range it's hard to find a better guitar straight out of the box.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Guitar with Takamine TK40 preamp is a gig monster for amateurs. I love the sound and finish. I'm a hard strummer and after a year of everyday playing (with Dunlop max grip 1mm/1.14mm picks) this guitar looks like a brand new one. It's worth every penny! Strap buttons are solid. Also hardware stuff are OK. It's a good guitar to start playing in front of people. I'm an amateur with almost 10yrs experience and I can't Imagine better guitar for myself. I would recommend it to a friend. It's the best amateur model I've ever tested and played.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Setup was good out of the box. No buzzing etc. I have not found any cons and flaws on fretboard or finishing. Maybe action wasn't as low as possible, but I like it that way. Finish quality is good. Everything was looking like it should look. I don't like when guitar looks like a Christmas tree with lots of abalone touchups etc. Design is very simple and classy. Sapele looks amazing! It's got a little warmer color which looks great.This guitar is comfortable every way. Neck is great and easiness of playing is outstanding in this price range.
Features — 10
Takamine EG530SSC is an Acoustic-Electric guitar made in Korea in late 2010. SSC means that it's got S-solid top + S-solid back + C-cutaway. - BODY SHAPE: Dreadnought Cutaway - TOP: Solid Spruce - BACK: Solid Sapele - SIDES: Sapele - BRIDGE: Rosewood - FINGERBOARD: Rosewood - TUNERS: Silver (Grover - *my guess) - ROSETTE: Abalone - INLAYS: Abalone Dots - FINISHES: Glossy/Natural Color - ELECTRONICS: TK40 Preamp (volume control, bass, middle and treble frequency slider controls, EQ bypass, a Notch Filter, Tuner and a Mid Contour Switch) - NUT WIDTH (IN/MM): 42mm