I was looking for a quality guitar at a reasonable price that was versatile enough for strumming, improving my lead playing, home recording, and blasting out through an amp when the neighbours were out, and this does the lot, all VERY well. for 200 - 300 more i could have had a santa fe, or a martin, but with the money i bought a zoom box, and some home recording software, had loads more fun, and still got a damn good guitar.
Model Year: 1999
Price: $380.00 's (new)
Where Obtained: music store
Natural finish solid cedar top with light mahogany back neck and sides. the omission of fret guides on the neck face is a little unerving at first but the guides on the side of the neck show up well and make you look more impressive. The neck and side have a heavy grainy finish, the soundhole as a neat trim and the lack of scratchboard is more athstetically pleasing and not needed (see durability) Overall, a good looking guitar.
At first the action was a bit high, and within a week of buying i was getting a lot of fret buzz on the 1st and 2nd fret on the top e, and the guitar had to be returned to the shop. a new set of martin 10's and a set up bought the action down, cured the buzz, and the martins improved the sound from the original strings. The sngle cutaway gives loads of access to the high frets and the guitar is very comfortable to hold with the neck being slim and smooth
Acoustically the sound is warm with the classic tak bright twang, and is quite loud for its mini jumbo sound only lacking compared against the big jumbos. plug it in though, and it really shows its colours. the piezo reproduces the accoustic sound very nicely and the controls are tucked away nicely at the top of the body. i reckon it could cope with stage work if asked.
With a 1 yr old who insists on grabbing the guitar and doing pete townsend impressions i can testify to the durability of this model, it still looks like new, and does not bear a scratch, despite my son TJ's best efforts.
I had originlly wanted an Ovation but have been very happy with this one. Very comfortable to play, nice tone. Definite recommend to beginners or intermediates, advanced players would appreciate, too.
Where Obtained: Music-Go-Round, Raleigh, NC
I have been extremely happy with this guitar. I had originally wanted an Ovation but that soon passed when I saw the mini-jumbo body style with cutaway. Other than a ding on the top corner right at the bracing it is in perfect condition. The sound is great, even though this guitar is a bit thinner than most dreadnaughts. This particular one was made in Korea and has the Takamine active electronics that has EQ, gain, notch filter, mid contour controls, and EQ bypass; piezo pickup under the bridge. Sounds very nice and full amplified. I bought this guitar used because I was coming back to playing and wanted something to get my feet under me again that wasn't too expensive. Now I don't know if I'll ever stop playing it. Doesn't have a strap button on the neck side of the body, nor does it have a pickguard. finger board and neck dimensions are very comfortable for me and I have long, slender fingers. Would recommend this guitar to anyone looking for an entry level, higher quality guitar. I think this is the only natural finish mini-jumbo they have for less than about $800.
As received, the action was a bit higher that I would have liked, but since I had been playing electric it may have just not been what I was used to. When strung with .010's the action is quite a bit better, but the sound is not as good as the original .012/.013 strings that were on it when I bought it. Don't know if the bridge could be modified to lower the action, but I am rapidly getting used to it. If you are a regular acoustic player, you may find that it is not at all high.
For a thinner guitar (approx. 4.5 inches) it has a wonderful sound. Full bass and clear upper register. Sounds better with .012 guage strings on.
Haven't put it through any paces that would test the durability, but the one ding that is on it looks like it must have been quite a hit (right on the corner) and it is holding up like a champ. No evidence that the damage is spreading or worsening