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Old 04-30-2019, 11:35 AM
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fazool fazool is offline
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Default Two guitars (Martin and Takamine) mini-review

One of my work friends is a regionally-famous singer and guitar player. He recently wanted to upgrade to a higher end acoustic and word got around that I do a lot of work on acoustic guitars.

So, we ended up sitting down, going through his preferences, likes, dislikes, needs, technique, style, etc.

He really wanted a nice couch guitar that he could play in the comfort of his home and maybe play it out. Being a performer, great tone was his greatest requirement.

He gets massive artist discount once a year on Martins through MF/GC, so the brand was pre-determined.

After a lot of specification reviews and discussions, he landed on a Martin GPC 16E.

He originally wanted a narrower nut. This one came with a 1-3/4" nut but every other spec checked one of his boxes so he did pick this one.

When he got it, the setup was perfect and it played great - it didn't need anything at all.

He brought it in and we took turns playing it.

It was a fabulous guitar. The fit an finish were absolutely flawless. The guitar somewhat had that typical Martin-esque tone.

I had more Martin 15's so am more used to those. To my ears this was a little crisper than other Martins. And a little brighter, which I liked more. Then again, I am a "Taylor guy" so this appeals to me.

The guitar had some very unique appointments. The binding was silver with a red strip. The tuners were a matching satin nickel. These matched nicely.

The silver binding was something I'd never seen - it created this strange contrast between the organic feel of the wood and this almost space-age metal appearance. But, somehow it worked really nicely.

He is head-over-heels in love with this guitar, and for good reason. When I played it, it was so nice and comfortable. It felt great. When I listened to him play it, it sounded fantastic - just like you would expect.

A really great guitar I would highly recommend.

He found himself totally smitten with this guitar but he is a professional working singer and didn't want to knock it around at the many, and large, gigs he plays.

So, we sat down again to come up with a second acoustic guitar choice.

After a lot of deliberation and reviews he landed on a Takamine GN30CE NEX

The guitar was obviously affordable, compared to his new Martin and made a nice "stage guitar".

I took it home and learned that you can't (easily) adjust the action. I tweaked the truss rod a little, put lighter strings on it, etc. But the saddle has an attached metal plate on the underside. Now, Takamines "claim to fame" is their exceptional plugged in sound. Their pickup system (and pre-amp) are really world-class for OEM systems. There's a reason Taks are so popular with performers - they sound great.

I imagine the factory controlled coupling of the piezo element to the saddle is central to this. So, I couldn't mess with it. Now, my friend is OK with the minor adjustments I could make. But for me, I would have wanted to be able to get a somewhat lower action for my soft finger playing style.

The guitar was heavier and more solid feeling than his Martin, of course.

But he invited me to play a set with his band at a gig he had, so I got a chance to really play it and put it through it's paces.

I can say, from firsthand experience, this guitar was fabulous to play amplified. The plugged in sound was simply terrific.

For the price, it was simply a great stage guitar and I now totally understand the whole Takamine popularity.

I would recommend one of these without any reservation and give it a great recommendation.
Fazool "The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter"
Taylor GC8 / Taylor GS7 / Taylor GA3-12 / Taylor SB2-S / Taylor SB1-X / Ibanez AC-240

Last edited by fazool; 04-30-2019 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:42 AM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2016
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I would love to try that Martin. It's the GPC body with 000 depth. I'll be keeping my eyes and ears out for one, but's it's probably going to take a while.
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