Takamine GN90CE

Published 4 years ago on January 11, 2019

By Guitar Interactive Magazine

The attention to detail is extremely pleasing, with the inclusion of strap nuts both on the underside of the neck joint as well as at the base of the body. A small, but important detail often missed by many other manufacturers.

Phil Short

MSRP (UK) £549  (US) $985


Great playability

Excellent build quality

Reasonably priced


Tonally a little limited when compared with Takamine's much more expensive models


Spruce top

Mahogany neck

TK-40D Preamp

Built-in tuner

Guitar Interactive star rating: 4 stars

Takamine GN90CE

Targeted for players seeking a well-balanced guitar with great performance features and refined looks, Takamine's GN90CE could very well be the ultimate in versatility and sound quality without having to break the bank. Here's Phil Short with the details.

Takamine has a rich heritage in the world of acoustic instruments, with over 40 years of guitar building experience, there is no doubt that they are one of the leading manufactures in acoustic guitar design and innovation.

Offering a wide range of products, Takamine has something to offer for every budget, whether you’re just starting out or looking for a robust, professional instrument.

In this issue, we’re checking out the GN90CE-ZC, an affordable, quality acoustic guitar.

Featuring a solid Spruce top, ziricote back and sides, a mahogany neck, a laurel fingerboard, gold vintage style open gear tuners, abalone inlays and rosette and Takamine’s very own TP4TD electronics, this model boasts an ample amount of features and quality tonewoods as well as a free, quality gig bag.

First impressions are extremely positive. The body has a high gloss finish, whilst the neck sports a satin finish, giving a smooth, sticky-free feel. The body and neck are bound with gorgeous flamed maple, giving the guitar a beautiful look. The attention to detail is extremely pleasing, with the inclusion of strap nuts both on the underside of the neck joint as well as at the base of the body. A small, but important detail often missed by many other manufacturers.

The playability is really where the guitar starts to shine through. The neck profile is slim for an acoustic and very comfortable, not feeling cumbersome at all. Many acoustics typically sport a bigger neck profile and higher action than many electric guitar players are used to, making the transition for first time acoustic feel rather laboured.

Takamine has managed to create a neck that is slimmer, whilst maintaining a sturdy feel, with a much lower action than most acoustics would have, making it a dream to play. Barre chords are effortless, and we had no problems running around the neck for single note work.

Plugging the guitar in, the simple 3-band EQ had a surprisingly natural quality to it, with very tweak-able controls that gave us a wide range of tonal control to achieve our desired sound.

Acoustically, the guitar has a vibrant sound, that will cut through well in any mix mic’d up. It could benefit from more bottom end for solo work. This is likely caused by the lower than usual action, so there is a trade-off between sound and ease of playability, but nothing that can’t be fixed by adding a little extra bass from the instruments EQ when plugging in.

The laurel fingerboard was nicely finished, and pleasing to the eye. An alternative to the now protected rosewood, it has very similar tonal qualities. A wood that we are likely to be seeing more and more in the future.

Overall, this is an excellent offering from Takamine, boasting excellent value for money, tone and playability.

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