Submitted June 6, 2018 by Paul L in ENGLEWOOD, CO
"A Very Nice Guitar For It's Price In All Respects"
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First of all I'll admit to being a long time Taylor player and have owned three. I recently sold my 214ce-dlx to my son-in-law and needed to replace it with another layered or laminate body A/E while I await Taylor's conversion of all of their new models to "V" bracing. I chose the GN93CE based on it's value and the reputation of Takamine as a builder of high quality acoustics and I'm not at all disappointed.
Tonally it's not a Taylor but it is damn close. It's well balanced tonally, crisp and clean, but lacks just a bit of the Taylor "sparkle". Not a bad thing for those who don't appreciate that about Taylors. The electronics are based on the TK-40D preamp and are quite good for a guitar in this price range. In fact I would call it's amplified sound one of it's strong points. One improvement I intend to make is replacing it's coated EXP strings with the Nickel/Bronze set I prefer. That should "wake it up" a bit more. Personally I feel mfgs should ditch these coated strings altogether.
The TK-40D preamp has some very nice features not always found on A/E guitars in this price range like a 3 band EQ w/bypass, a mid contour, and an onboard notch filter to control feedback. The onboard tuner is also helpful although possibly not quite as accurate as a pedal tuner or hand held mini-tuner. Still, it's convenient and easy to read.
Ease of Use
Amplified, which is how I intend to use it, it sounds quite good and the output from the pickup and preamp were stronger than I expected. The onboard EQ is effective but I also use a 7 band graphic EQ on my board and a TC BodyRez. Acoustic amplification has always been a Takamine strength. Playability is also quite good although I have a feeling I may want to lower the bridge saddle a bit to get it's action where I like. For many it would be perfect but I prefer lower action because I play with a lighter touch. Access to the truss rod is also quite easy even fully strung and the proper size hex wrench is provided.
The fit and finish are flawless and the combination rosewood/maple back is both unique and attractive as is the maple body and neck trim. The tuners are adequate and the nut is well cut. Intonation is spot on to the 12th fret and the guitar also hold it's tuning well when capo'd. Altogether it has the type of high quality I would expect from a Takamine product.
Having considered this model along with others of a similar price including the 100 Series and GS Mini Taylors I found at this price point I preferred the Takamine. I have a number of friends and fellow players who have played Takamine models for 20 years or more and love them. In it's price range I'd give it 5 stars.
I have not dealt with Takamine directly.
The Wow Factor
The unique combination of rosewood and maple in the body and the maple trim make it a very attractive guitar. That coupled with a full featured quality preamp make it a very nice guitar for performing.
Experienced Guitarist, Bassist, Vocalist and semi-pro performing musician.
Classic Rock, Country Rock, Blue, R&B, Southern Soul and some solo acoustic genre thrown into the mix.
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