GS330S review by Takamine

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (43 votes)
Takamine: GS330S
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Price paid: $ 279

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
I'm not a very advanced player, but I know a good guitar from a bad one. And let me tell you, this guitar has the most amazing, rich, full sound I've ever heard out of an acoustic in this price range. Bear in mind, if you want to make it louder you'll have to mic it up due to the lack of electronics, but that's a small price to pay for such a good sounding instrument.

Overall Impression — 10
I would, without a doubt, buy this guitar again if it got stolen. It is an unbelievable value at only $300, because it sounds like a guitar worth three times as much money. I'd recommend it to anybody looking to play unplugged and beautiful acoustic music, regardless of genre. If it's expensive acoutic sounds you're looking for, buy this guitar!

Reliability & Durability — 6
Ok, here's my one beef with the guitar. The top scratches SO easily. This is probably because of the fact it has a satin finish (which doesn't protect the guitar very well). The big issue is do not play it fast and hard with a pick. If you're pick scraped the finish, it will leave a mark. But, if you're gentle with it, you could easily do a gig without any issues.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was set up perfecly at the factory. The action is the lowest I've ever seen on an acoustic guitar. It is so easy to play, you won't believe you're playing a $300 guitar. The guitar stays in tune very well also. It also can detune to drop D, or a full step down without any issues what'soever.

Features — 9
Let me first say, I own the GS430. It's the same guitar, but in a Takamine NEX body shape instead of a Dreadnought shape. It's much easier for me to play than a Dreadnought. Anyway, this guitar was made in Korea, but it might as well have been a US made. It's a beautiful,flawlessly assembled guitar. It has a Solid Cedar Top which gives it a very full, expensive sound. The sides and back are NATO, which I believe is a laminate wood, but they look beautiful and don't appear to affect the sound quality. It's also worth mentioning this guitar does not have any electronics. Just simple, pure acoustic sound.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    kantoa
    This is the second guitar I have owned, the first being a Gibson J-45 dreadnought. I bought the Takamine because the Gibson needed work due to a collapsed body (a manufacturing flaw). Before I bought a guitar, I visited 5 music stores, including Sam Ash, Guitar Center, Manny's Music and others and tried dozens of guitars in many price ranges. When I played the Takamine I was amazed at the sound for the price- it was under $300! It is light-weight, but yet puts out a good and varied sound for everything I do-folk, blues, light gigging. It was not love at first sight, though. I recognized that there were some negative issues with this guitar: 1. The satin finish does not protect against dings and dents. 2. There is no pick guard, and if you use a pick, the sound hole and face will show wear, as mine has after 6 years of playing. 3. It does not have a truss rod, any adjustment to the neck requires a potentially pricey trip to a guitar repairman. Still, in six years of playing, it hasn't needed anything but a minor fret job for wear. My favorite guitar technician told me that had Takamine added a pick-guard or a harder finish, the result would be a duller sound. A truss bar would have added some weight. My assessment:Great guitar for the money, just treat it with a love and care.
    NemX162
    Do some of them have inlays and other not? All the pictures I see don't have any, but the first review says dot inlays...
    timmyinpajamas
    it doesnt have inlays on the fretboard... it only has fret markers on the side of the neck like all other guitars .. i love this plain jane guitar .. simplicity is beautiful
    Takamine916
    Started learning guitar a year ago, and this is the guitar a friend recommended to me. It is still my only guitar, and I would recommend it to ANYBODY. I love playing it, and it is so light...make sure to get a good case to protect this baby
    rocnroll4evr93
    this is my first real acoustic (i have a shit wal-mart acoustic that now sits in my closet...). i looked for a while at several different models from seagull, and yamaha in and above this price range. this guitar is amazing. even the salesman who sold the guitar to me was impressed with it! by far the best acoustic in this price range. like the reviews said though, just be gentle with it because it does scratch easily.
    surfallday23
    I was looking for a replacement for my practice beater when I came upon one of these on Craigslist. I read the reviews and got excited when I talked the guy into selling it for under $200. I picked it up and it was in flawless condition. After playing dozens of other guitars at the $300 price range, I was stoked to find that all of the reviews on this guitar are spot on. This blows everything else away. Great guitar. Great score.
    BDutties
    NemX162 wrote: Do some of them have inlays and other not? All the pictures I see don't have any, but the first review says dot inlays...
    Maybe it's a little late to answer this question for you, but it doesn't have any inlays on the fretboard surface, but it does have the dots on the side of the fret board. I am about to buy one of these. I found one at a local pawn shop in perfect condition for about $230. As I was playing the guitars in my price range I was becoming disappointed with the sound of them, and then I picked this one up to play it. Absolutely blew every other guitar out of the water. Beautiful and rich tone, great action, and every string sounds equally as beautiful. It's not much for frills as far as looks or electronics. The look of the guitar is very plain and generic, and as was mentioned there are no electronics, so all of your money is going into it's what I would refer to as its "studio quality." A high profile band could record an album with this guitar and no one would know. Pretty much exactly what I was looking for because I wanted a guitar that sounded great on a budget, as I don't have the money to spend a lot on the extra bells & whistles.
    Jazbo74
    I picked one of these up last weekend and couldn't be happier with it. While I was trying it out at the store, I had them pull a Martin priced at $2,900 down off the wall to play against it. While the Martin definitely had more "clarity" and sounded better on the high end, it DEFINITELY didn't sound $2,600 better. I'm not joking at all when I say that I think the Tak might have even had more low-end than the Martin. If not, it was close. I bought it, slapped some phosphor bronze medium gauge strings on it, and absolutely love it. I'm planning on putting a bone nut and bridge saddle on it bit I'm in no big hurry since it sounds great just like it is. I HIGHLY recommend this guitar for the $$.
    Jazbo74
    I picked one of these up last weekend and couldn't be happier with it. While I was trying it out at the store, I had them pull a Martin priced at $2,900 down off the wall to play against it. While the Martin definitely had more "clarity" and sounded better on the high end, it DEFINITELY didn't sound $2,600 better. I'm not joking at all when I say that I think the Tak might have even had more low-end than the Martin. If not, it was close. I bought it, slapped some phosphor bronze medium gauge strings on it, and absolutely love it. I'm planning on putting a bone nut and bridge saddle on it but I'm in no big hurry since it sounds great just like it is. I HIGHLY recommend this guitar for the $$.
    Jazbo74
    Sorry for the double post. I was trying to edit a typo and ended up double-posting. Rookie mistake!!
    wscotfrazier
    I have this Guitar. I set it up with a Dean Markley sound hole pick up. It sounds great with or without being plugged in. Plays easy and has good tones and resonance. Overall a great instrument for the money. By the way, the guitar has never sold for $400 plus as some sellers state. It was listed at $359 several years ago; dealers marked down to 299 and you'll find them used for between that and 239.