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Takamine mini review

  /  News & Reviews   /  Takamine mini review

Takamine mini review

We’re going to be
taking a look at this takamine mini review from
Takamine as you can see it is a small
body guitar designed for travel and any
time a compact size is required the
guitar is a 3/4 sized NEX body the NEX
being a scaled-down jumbo so this is
essentially a mini jumbo as it were it
comes in two versions this the solid
spruce top mahogany back and sides and
the GX 11m II – NS which is an all
laminate mahogany guitar that version
does not have the cutaway so let me give
you some specifications and then we’ll
get on with the review now one of the
things that Takamine does not do too
well is specifications on its website.

They don’t specify for example what type
of spruce is used and what type of
mahogany is used so many of the things
that I’m going to give you are based
either on my own measurements or on
experience from playing guitars in
general so the guitar has a solid spruce
top looking at it it’s a bit difficult
to tell what kind of spruce it is I
would say Sitka
it has laminate mahogany back and sides
and if you look there you can see this
very distinctive striping which would
suggest that this is probably sapele
although that’s not stated on
takuma news website it has a rosewood
bridge and a rosewood fingerboard and
very tastefully it also has a headstock
overlay in rosewood laminate
the neck is three-piece mahogany there
is a join here and there is another join
down here all of these joints are very
expertly executed and the only way you
can tell is by a slight discontinuation
in the grain which tells you that there
is in fact a glue join there it has a
fully bound fingerboard with dot inlays
both on the front as well as on the side
a fully bound body which also has
purfling and a very tasteful rosette
with black and white rings it comes
standard with the Takamine TP 40 preamp
the finish on the guitar is a natural
finish most likely catalyzed polymer
guitars in this price range generally
don’t have nitro finishes it ships with
daddario exp 16 light gauge strings and
the guitar is made in China it’s
important to note that Takamine if a
guitar is made by Takamine it is made in
taka mayonnaise own factory Takamine do
not use OEM guitar manufacturers to make
their guitars all of their guitars are
made in their own factories and that’s
one of the advantages of buying from
such a big manufacturer now we come to
the dimensions now the only dimension
that takamina provides for this guitar
is the width of the nut other dimensions
are not provided on the website so I had
to measure them myself scale length on
this guitar is 22 point five inches or
57 centimeters the body length measuring
from the heel to the bottom of the tail
block I measure at 18 inches or 4
six centimeters the body with measuring
across the low about here I measured at
14 inches or 36 centimeters and the body
death measured at its deepest point I
measured at just over four inches or 10
centimeters not width as stated on the
website is 42 millimeters and it’s
important to note that this is point
five of a millimeter narrower than
talking in a standard nut not width
which is 42 point five or one and eleven
sixteenths inches so it is a tiny tiny
bit narrower and although that half a
millimeter seems insignificant as I’ll
say later you can feel it when you’re
playing the guitar the sound hole is 3.5
inches in diameter or 9 centimeters
other details on this guitar it comes
standard with a strap button on the heel
as well as a strap button which is
integrated into the output Jack socket
and this is Tuckerman a standard three
screw output socket which means that
there is no external thread to come
undone and I found that this is a really
valuable feature to have especially when
you’re playing live and when you’re
taking the strap on and off several
times a day one other thing that should
be mentioned is that the guitar comes
with a very nice padded gig bag that has
backpack straps a side carry handle a
back carry handle which is very
important when you’re moving through
confined spaces like on public
transportation or trains and it has a
Velcro front pocket now I personally
feel that the zipper especially the main
zipper that goes around the
side of the bag leave something to be
desired the first time that I unzipped
the bag I actually been one of the
zipper pulls and I have subsequently
added some paracord poles so that the
stress is not on that thin metal zipper
tab if you have this guitar I strongly
recommend that you do the same the other
thing is that the front pocket is
relatively small and it will not take a
four size paper
having said that for an included gig bag
it is perfectly serviceable and it
survived a recent trip of mine overseas
perfectly fine and crucially it will fit
in airline overhead compartments and now
on to what you all came to here how does
the guitar sound the microphone that
we’re using for this demonstration is an
Audio Technica AE 50-100 large diaphragm
end address condenser it’s on a table
stand in front of me and it’s about a
foot away so that you get some idea of
how the guitar sounds overall I’m using
a Dunlop us a nylon 0.6 mm pick and the
microphone is running through my Mackie
802 v LZ for the channel EQ is set flat
and the signal is being run directly
into my video camera
so as you can hear the guitar
acoustically has a surprising amount of
sound coming out of it for such a small
box I would describe the sound as sweet
rather than robust there is not a huge
amount of volume but again you need to
remember the size of this guitar and
what we’re working with
on a recent overseas trip I used it
both acoustically as well as plugged in
and I remember I played it acoustically
in a church for about 30 people and it
does produce enough volume for that sort
of thing
I’ll just strum it hard so you can hear
so you can get by and this is a
relatively thin pic I used a slightly
heavier pick on that trip and I found
that it was okay the thing you got to
remember is that the guitar ships with a
really really low action and even after
opening up the truss rod by half a turn
the action is still really low this
means that it’s great for finger style
playing and the light gauge strings mean
that this is a real joy to play but hard
strumming you can hear their heart
strumming will make the guitar bottom
out so there’s a top limit to what you
can do I would say that this is
perfectly fine
for just a little bit of group jamming
accompanying a singer unplugged gigs
that sort of thing for larger stuff use
the pickup now you could probably hear a
little bit of this in the demo just now
but with these small bodied guitars
including this guitar the Taylor GS mini
and the baby Taylor I have found that
that the tuning even when tuned with an
electronic tuner often sounds a little
bit off and I think that has to do with
the scale length so the way that I test
this is I will I will put a capo on the
guitar usually around the third fret and
then I’ll play it with the copper one
and then take it off and see how it
sounds so once again
I think you can hear their that some of
the overtones don’t quite sound right
in my experience this guitar does not
sound too good
once a capo is put on in open tuning it
sounds fine now with a capo taking off
still pretty good
I found that these tuning machines are
not the best they do feel cheap and they
have some relatively sharp edges and
corners which means that in use they’re
a little bit irritating but they do do
the job and once the guitar is in tune
it does hold its tuning relatively well
so now let’s plug the guitar in and see
how the pickup sounds now let’s hear how
the guitar sounds plugged in I’m running
the guitar into a channel on my Mac e8o
to VLC for the instrument or Heisey
switch is engaged high pass filter is
engaged EQ is set flat and during the
demo of this I’ll switch the microphone
off the preamp the volume is set halfway
and EQ is set completely flat let’s hear
how it sounds
so it sounds like a typical piezo pickup
does which is what this system is I have
found that on this guitar if you run the
EQ flat it sounds boxy and plasticky the
trick I have found is I typically will
boost the bass just a little bit and
I’ll cut the mid-range halfway that I
find gives a much more usable tone let’s
hear that now
so that’s the sound of the pickup for a
full review of this preamp have a look
at my video on the TP 40 and now just
because we can let’s hear both the
pickup and the microphone together
so what are my thoughts on the taka mini
from Takamine first of all I think that
you have to remember that it’s designed
as a travel guitar if you look at it and
you compare it with other guitars on the
market it’s designed to compete directly
with the taylor GS mini in fact the two
guitars are so similar that along with
this review I’m going to post a video
doing a comparison between the two so
travel guitars are inherently a
compromise right you need to get the
smallest package possible whilst
retaining reasonable amounts of volume
and tone and that’s exactly what this
guitar does by scaling down the NEX
which in itself is a beautiful sounding
box takamina have created a guitar which
is relatively small will fit in overhead
compartments on aircraft yet is still a
decent guitar acoustically and a
perfectly acceptable guitar once you add
in the pick up having the Takamine pick
up and priam on board means a couple of
things number one you’ve got a tuner
with you at all times which saves
bringing one additional piece of kit
with batteries and things that can go
wrong it can get lost and so on and it
also means that the acoustic output of
the guitar is no longer major handicap
because if you’re faced with a big
audience just plug in okay so that’s
that’s one of the things that you have
to bear in mind with this guitar all
don’t expect dreadknot type volume
levels it’s not that sort of instrument
fit and finish on the Takamine Takamine
is outstanding all of the binding
purfling inlay is beautifully done and
at this price it really represents a
wonderful value for money as I mentioned
in the demo the tuners are the weak
point of the system they do feel cheap
and they don’t feel really precise
enough however the guitar does stay in
tune relatively speaking the 42
millimeter nut is something of a
handicap but only when using a capo I
found that when playing without a capo
it’s perfectly fine and I didn’t find
myself feeling cramped at all
I have large-size hands and I’m about 5
foot 10 so even for somebody my size it
was okay now the best part of this
guitar is the price street price in
Singapore at time of filming December
2015 on this guitar is 360 Singapore
dollars that is basically half of a
Taylor GS mini and you got to remember
that the bass GS Mini comes with no
electronics at all even the pickup
equipped version of the GS Mini does not
have an onboard – none so in that
respect this guitar I feel represents
fantastic value for money add in solid
spruce top easily adjustable truss rod
and decent tuners excellent fit and
finish and you’ve got a wonderful
package yes the zippers on the gig bag
could be nicer but remember the price
people remember the price so that’s my
review of the Takamine from Takamine
guitars thanks very much for watching if
you have questions or comments do feel
free to get in touch either in the
comment section of this video or via
Facebook links to both are below this is
bruno loose for GLB productions thanks
very much for watching have a wonderful