Takamine’s G Series of acoustic guitars have long been the instrument of choice for singer-songwriters and working pros the world over. Offering the quality and innovation of their more expensive models, but at a very accessible price point, these guitars are a very appealing proposition for a lot of players. Nick Jennison takes a closer look at two acoustics from the G Series range, as he reviews the Takamine TK-GD11MCE-NS & TK-GN11MCE-NS.
The GD11 and GN11 are both all-mahogany designs from the super-affordable G10 range, with the only difference between the two being the body shape - Takamine’s iconic cutaway dreadnought and their original “small jumbo” NEX body respectively. Both sport a mahogany neck, mahogany top, back and and sides, a 25.5” scale, a laurel fretboard and bridge and Takamine’s proprietary TP-4T pickup and preamp.
Under the hand, both guitars feel excellent. The build quality and fit-and-finish for the price is superb, and the fact that it’s the same on both guitars suggests that this is the norm rather than the exception. Action from the factory is very comfortable too - something I recall being an issue with Taks a few years ago, so it’s very reassuring that these guitars came out of the box playing so well.
Sonically, these guitars have a lot in common, but each has a distinct “flavour” thanks to the different body shapes. The NEX has a slightly more pronounced high end and a gentle midrange scoop that lends itself very well to strumming, especially in a band mix. Likewise, the more “produced” vibe feels very polished for fingerstyle and Flatpicking lines. The dreadnought has a similarly full low end, but with more of that classic “mahogany midrange”. It’s an earthier, more natural sound, and the extra presence in the mids makes single-note lines and aggressive strumming really stand out.
Plugged in, both guitars perform very well. While it’s no secret that I prefer a more “minimalist” approach to acoustic guitar preamps, the TP-4T system sounds very natural, with a ton of tone-shaping options. Set flat, you get a very organic and mid-forward tone, while a little midrange dip produces that classic Takamine “mix-ready” tone.
Both of these guitars represent exceptional value for money, with outstanding playability and build quality - something that’s representative of the G Series as a whole. If you’re looking for an entry-level guitar with class and a personality of its own, or a reliable workhorse acoustic, either of these guitars will do you proud.
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