Purchased from: Woodwind & Brasswind
Sound — 10
The guitar sounds very good. I am complimented often by family, and many friends who are guitar players. I have also hear many people say that it sounds better than guitars that cost significantly more, and I would have to agree. The guitar gives a rich, resonant sound and will handle virtually any music style that a beginner to intermediate player will play.
Overall Impression — 10
This ES31C has taken everything I can throw at it. I play a lot of different music styles, and have yet to really run into anything that it cannot handle. I do not regret pruchasing it at all, and if something ever did happen to this guitar, I would buy a exact replacement in a heartbeat. For the price, you really will not find a better guitar and a beginner will find great peace of mind knowing that this is a very versatile guitar and will be able to be very flexible in how and where it is played. One day I would like to buy an expensive Martin guitar, as they are very nice as well but I will still own this Takamine, and it will always be the guitar that I grew comfortable and learned the basics with. Hell, even if you manage to take the thing out, have fun with it, and it ends up getting destroyed, you can buy a new one for less than $200! Even when I move on up the guitar buying ladder, the ES31C will always get playing time from me, and will have a place among my guitars. Buy it now, and confirm my review for yourself, you will not be let down.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar has played outside, inside, around the campfire, and in the basement. It has been on road trips, and with me at work. All the while, even though it has been inadvertently banged around a little bit, it really shows very little to no wear. The strap button is on the end of the body, and also is the jack for connecting to an amp (which I thought was a really nifty design). This guitar has been really rugged, and has suited my wide array of needs very well. A friend even scratched my pick guard terribly by hammering on the guitar around the campfire, after punching him several times, I was able to replace the pick guard with a self-adhesive guard that I bought locally for a few bucks. You can't even tell it isn't the stock pick guard, and the guitar still looks as good as day #1.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I had no problems with the action, fit, and finish of this Takamine. Granted, I am not exactly a seasoned guitarist but I took the guitar out of the packaging, and started playing around with it and noticed no real flaws. I did notice, however, that the strings were quite lacking. $5 later I had a set of Martin SP strings on the guitar, and it sounded much better than the original strings. I debated on whether to give this section a 4 or a 5 due to the strings I gave it a 4. But realistically, for what you will pay for this guitar, you can't knock having to chip in $5 for some decent stings. Most guitars, even more expensive ones, don't come with flawless strings either (in my experience).
Features — 8
The guitar is nicely equipped for its price, but those who wish to use the electronics excessively may be disappoined that their is only one gain control and a volume slider, it has never been a problem for me, but just letting you know.