Best strings for Takamine guitars

What Strings Should You Buy for Your Takamine Guitar?

Guitar-Strings-600x375




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I could tell you that I love D’Addario’s Silk and Steel (EJ40) and that you should buy these for their awesome mellow tone, but it really depends what you are looking for or would like to try next. There are a number of variations on guitar strings, and each one offers something else (most of them neither better nor worse than the other, just different).

Coated Strings

Coated strings contain a layer of protective material over the wound strings (usually the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings, which are the three closest to your chin). This protective coating helps keep down on the collection of dirt, skin oils, and grime. It also slows down normal wear and tear. With all this extra protection, you get that bright, new tone far longer than you do with uncoated strings. With the longer life of the strings comes a higher price, but if you like them, it’s definitely worth the few extra dollars.

One thing that some people don’t like about coated strings is that they are slicker on the fingers than normal strings. This is actually a good thing, as it helps reduce the amount of fret noise and string squeaks as you play.

Martin SP 7100

Elixir with Polyweb

Elixir with Nanoweb coating (I recommend these over the polyweb).

D’Addario EXPs (but these are actually my favorite coated string!)

Types of Strings

Past coated and uncoated strings, there are many variations of guitar strings. Some of these are available in coated variations, but for the most part I’ll suggest non-coated strings below.

80/20 Bronze – This is how guitar strings were originally made, and they are often a popular choice today. Using a mixture of 80% copper and 20% tin, the sound out of the box is going to be slightly brighter than any of the other types of strings mentioned here.

Martin M170 80/20

D’Addario EJ10 


Phosphor Bronze – These are probably the most common guitar strings. They were first made popular by D’Addario in the 1970s. Composed of 100% bronze, they have a bright, warm tone and a balanced sound.

D’Addario EJ16

Martin MSP4100

 

Nylon - Nylon strings are used on classical guitars (like the Takamine EG128SC). The tone is going to be very warm, and the tension is going to be relaxed on the guitar. Most guitarists would frown upon putting these on a steel string guitar.

Martin M160

Ernie Ball 2403

D’Addario EJ45

D’Addario EXP46 (this is actually a coated nylon string!)

Flatwound – Flatwound strings use a squared wire wrapping on the wrapped strings (the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings). This makes it more resistant to dirt and grime buildup, giving the string a little more time before being replaced. The feeling of the string is easier on the fingers, and the tone is slightly different from usual strings.

D’Addario EFT16

Silk and Steel – If you want something mellow, go with these. Perfect for folk music applications and smaller guitars, these strings feature the use of silk in the copper to give that mellow, hushed tone that’s excellent for fingerpicking. They won’t be as loud as all-metal strings, but the sound of the guitar will really shine.

Martin M130

Martin M1400

D’Addario EJ40 (I always have a set of these around.)

Ernie Ball 2045 Earthwood

 

Takamine EG340SC Review

MSRP: $699

Actual retail price: $499

Smooth sounds, excellent build



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The Takamine EG340SC is one of the fine guitars designed as part of the Takamine G-series, which are meant to be affordable guitars that don’t sacrifice on quality or sound. That is definitely true when it comes to this acoustic-electric. The top is solid spruce, and the back and sides are made from high-quality mahogany for an excellent tone and superb looks. The fingerboard is composed of rosewood and incorporates attractive abalone dot inlays. The rosette, or the design around the soundhole, is also composed of abalone. A pick guard is standard fare as well. The tuners are gold, and the glossy and natural finish gives a classic look. Additionally, the dreadnaught cutaway body style offers great dreadnaught sound with plenty of mobility for lead guitar playing. The tone is typically bright and clear when equipped with standard strings. The Takamine EG340SC is ideal for someone that is looking for plenty of mid-range tone.

TP4T Preamp

The Takamine EG340SC comes equipped with the TP4T preamp, one of the preamps designed specifically by Takamine for their G-series guitars. This preamp offers a three-band equalizer for easy adjustments. Also included with the preamp is a battery operated tuner that makes tuning on the go extremely simple. The gain pot offers a dynamic range and easy adjustments as well.

Great value, great sound

Out of the box, this guitar doesn’t need any additions. You may want to change the strings to your strings of choice, but the action is comfortable and the sound really shines. The pricing of this guitar compared to the sound may be confusing to those of us that think it costs thousands of dollars for an excellent guitar, but this Takamine can blow that misconception out of the water. The only downside to the guitar is that the tuning pegs are likely to tarnish over time.

Mellow, twangy, mid-range sound

If you love mellow, twangy, mid-range sounds, then the Takamine EG340SC is the perfect guitar for you.  At a realistic retail price of only $499, it’d be incredibly hard to find a brand new guitar with this much oomph and gusto in the mid-range sound for less. Meant for intermediate to advanced players, this guitar will continue to grow with the player as they improve. Easy on the fingers and pleasing to the ears, the Takamine EG340SC offers a value vs. quality that can be expected from Takamine.

See also:

Takamine EG540C Review

Takamine EG535SC Review

Takamine EG360SC Review

Takamine GS330S Review

Gadgets

Strings

Takamine EG540C Review

MSRP: US$879

Estimated retail price: $699

Perfect for vocal accompaniment



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The Takamine EG540C provides an excellent tone thanks to figured and flamed maple top, back, and sides. The fingerboard is composed of rosewood, and it includes dot inlays for easy navigation. The tuners are chrome, and the guitar includes a gorgeous abalone rosette. A pick guard isn’t standard, but it’s easy to add one on for very little. The body shape of the Takamine EG540C is called a NEX body shape, which features a deep waist cut that makes it feel smaller while providing the same amount of sound output you expect from a full-sized guitar. The NEX body shape is only available on Takamine guitars, which help make the EG540C stand out in sound and in style. Additionally, the cutaway design allows for easy access to the higher octaves, which makes the guitar excellent for the occasional solo. The Takamine EG540C is available in red, blue, black, and natural finishes. Additionally, the sound quality is mellow and smooth in a way that is ideal for vocal accompaniment, but when pushed and with effects added, this guitar can wail out notes almost as well as a fully electric guitar. Considering the price point, it is extremely easy to start drooling over the EG540C.

The Takamine TK4NT preamp

The Takamine EG540C comes equipped with the Takamine TK4NT preamp and a piezo pickup. The piezo pickup does an excellent job transcribing the acoustic clarity and smooth tones, and the TK4NT preamp provides high-quality sound and plenty of features that can improve your recording sessions and live shows. The TK4NT comes with a three-band equalizer that allows you to set the bass, middle, and treble tones. Additionally, a notch filter is added. The notch filter works as a way of removing specific frequencies from being sent through to your amp or PA system, so if there are any problems with buzzy feedback, the player can simply dial out the frequency causing the problems and continue on with the show. The built-in tuner also allows for quick adjustments and operates with a battery. The tuner will also mute the sound output to make tuning a quiet experience on stage.

tk4nt

Value of Takamine EG540C

The Takamine EG540C, like most of Takamine’s excellent products, brings an incredible amount of value. You get professional quality at half the price. This isn’t one of Takamine’s cheapest guitars, but the high-quality woods, unique design, and powerful electronics make it worth the extra money. Overall, the Takamine EG540C provides that G-Series sound with a little extra oomph.

 

 

 

 

 

Takamine EG535SC Review

MSRP: $999

Estimated retail price: $699

Designed for great sound



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The Takamine EG535SC is an acoustic-electric, six-string guitar. A with a jumbo-sized body, this is the largest of Takamine’s six-string  collection, and as such, it packs plenty of low end. A solid spruce top provides excellent overall resonance, and the flame maple back and sides are gorgeous. Rosewood bridge and fingerboard help bring out that big sound unplugged or amped. This gorgeous guitar also features abalone inlay and a natural gloss finish that protects the wood and makes the guitar shine. For amplification purposes, the Takamine EG535SC comes with an active pickup and equalizer, the TK40 preamp.

tk40

The TK40 Preamp

Takamine has specifically designed the TK40 preamp for use in their G-series guitar, which are all designed for excellent sound quality and craftsmanship for all levels of players. The TK40 preamp includes the input jack, volume controls, and equalizer, and a mid-contour switch. If that wasn’t enough, the built-in tuner make it easy to get in tune on the fly. The equalizer features simple sliders to control the bass, mid, and treble (lows, mids, and highs), and there’s even an EQ bypass that allows the user to turn the EQ on and off easily without changing settings. The notch filter makes it easy to dial in any frequency that is causing annoying feedback and cut it out almost completely, making this an ideal guitar for use in the studio or on stage, where quick fixes are better made by the player in a moment than through trial and error by the person handling the sound. Overall, the high-quality and specific design make this one of the best preamps available on a stock acoustic-electric guitar.

A realistic price tag

Takamine is known for creating guitars and then putting relatively fair prices on them, and the EG535SC is no exception. The MSRP is listed as $999, but it’s realistic to expect a $600-700 price tag for a brand new Takamine EG535SC. Considering the high attention to detail, abalone inlays, impressive active pickups and electronics, the pricing is extremely reasonable.

Compare it!

When compared with many Martins and Taylors, which easily run twice as much if not more, the Takamine EG535SC holds up extremely well in quality of sound and navigation of the fret board. Die-hard brand lovers may disagree, but when you don’t have three grand for a guitar, you can still get three grand worth of sound.

 

 

Takamine EF341SC Review

MSRP: US$1,799.99

Estimated retail price: $1,250

Sleek looks and professional quality



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The EF341SC model is one of Takamine’s most popular and best-selling models. Part of the Keystone series, it is often used in professional settings. The Takamine EF341SC has been on stage with the likes of the great John Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, and Brad Davis, who has actively toured and played with Billy Bob Thornton’s rock band, Willie Nelson, and Earl Scruggs. The all-black styling gives it a sleek look. It features a solid cedar top and maple back and sides, which work together to give a warm and mellow sound. The rosewood fingerboard includes Takamine’s signature snowflake inlays. The mahogany neck is securely fashioned in a way that helps prevent warping due to changes in weather and aging. Each one is handcrafted in the Takamine pro-series facilities. Electronics include Takamine’s specifically designed Palathetic pickup and the CT4B II preamp. With all orders of new EF341SC comes a hard carrying case. Unfortunately, the guitar only comes in a black finish.

ct4bII

Electronics in the Takamine EF341SC

As mentioned, the Takamine EF341SC comes with a pickup and preamp, both of which are wildly popular among professional musicians. The pickup hangs right below the bridge saddle and features six separate piezo-electric transistors that allow for the separation of the vibrations of the guitar’s body from the strings themselves. The CT4B II preamp comes with three-band equalization, allowing quick adjustments to lows, mids, and highs. The CT4B II also features an onboard tuner that allows for quick tuning on the fly. It requires a nine-volt battery, which can easily last as long as 10 long sets. The tuner includes a simple meter to help fine-tune each of the strings. Also included on the tuner is the pitch button, which allows for tuning in frequency ranges other than the standard A440. When the guitar is plugged in and amplified, the tuner switch also doubles as a mute button for quiet tuning that won’t ring through the PA system or amplifier. Additionally, the tuner shuts itself off if it doesn’t register any input for a few minutes.

Pricing and comparisons

Realistic pricing for a brand new Takamine EF341SC runs around $1,250. This is one of their bestselling models because of the professional sound and highly sleek design, but it certainly isn’t their cheapest option. While it doesn’t have the solid woods like most higher-end guitars, the sound quality and intuitive pickup and preamp make it a solid contender with most higher priced Taylors and Martins. When compared to Taylors or Martins in the same price range (very few options there), the Takamine EF341SC offers better sound and versatility than the (supposedly) budget-conscious high-end guitars.


 

 

Takamine EG360SC Review

MSRP: $859

Actual retail price: $599

Ideal for flatpickers and singer-songwriters



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The Takamine EG360SC provides an excellent classic look with plenty of modern features. The cutaway dreadnaught style makes it easy to access the higher octaves, and the pick guard comes standard. Dot inlays make it easy to navigate the frets, and an abalone rosette accents the sound hole. The large sound provided by the Takamine EG360SC is ideal for flatpickers and singer-songwriters, but the EG360SC is likely to surprise most players. Built with a solid spruce top with Indian rosewood fingerboard, back, and sides, the Takamine EG360SC is extremely sturdy. The gloss finish over natural woods gives it that classic dreadnaught appearance. Gold and pearl tuners keep it looking extremely classy and attractive. The acoustic sound is large and powerful as is, but the electronics offer plenty of amplification without any loss of quality.

TP4T Preamp and pickup

The electronics on the Takamine EG360SC includes Takamine’s specifically designed preamp and pickup system. The pickup rests underneath the saddle, giving attention directly to the sounds produced by the strings rather than the entire body of the guitar. The pickup is a TP4T, which was specifically designed by Takamine for a number of their G-series guitars. The TP4T provides three-band equalization with highs, mids, and lows adjustments just being a slider away at all times. The TP-4T also includes a tuner that is battery powered, which makes tuning on the go a breeze. Unlike some of the other preamps for the G-series and other Takamine guitars, this one does not have a notch filter or the bypass switch that stops the EQ from sending through the equalization settings. For many live performers, this means that it may be best to purchase an additional preamp if you have problems with feedback.

preamp tp4t

Great for travel and easy on the wallet

The Takamine EG360SC has a lightweight design that makes it excellent for travel and easy on the shoulders during long sets. It has been compared to a $3000 Gibson Hummingbird on more than one occasion, and while the build isn’t quite up to that standard, it is easy to see why players are just as pleased with this as they are with much more expensive guitars. The factory setup is almost always right on point, making the action low and the intonation ring perfectly. Without a doubt, the Takamine EG360SC offers a lot for its price.

 

Takamine GS330S Review

 

MSRP: $459.99

Real retail price: $299.00

Beautiful simplicity



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The Takamine GS330S is an excellent guitar for beginners that want an instrument that is relatively inexpensive but can actually deliver high-quality, mellow tones. It’s also the perfect guitar for a long-time players looking to add an excellent dreadnaught to their collection without breaking the bank. This dreadnaught features a solid cedar top with laminate nato back and sides and a light satin finish. The slightly arched back helps to give a bigger sound, and although the nato back and sides aren’t as impressive as the mahogany they are used to imitate, they will actually hold up better than the cedar top and produce plenty of tone without the large costs of mahogany. The back of the guitar features a slightly angled build to help propel the sound forward, and the natural finish only uses a light satin gloss, which means that the finish doesn’t impede the sound, but it does help protect the guitar. The neck is slim and allows for fast movements and transitions, and the setup for stock guitars is very clean and proficient. Unlike many guitars in this price range, you won’t typically need to setup the action out of the box.

Pros

  • High-quality build
  • Attractive woods
  • Great setup straight from the box. Typically speaking, intonation and action won’t need to be adjusted. Once the strings are broke in, the tuning will hold extremely well for casual players.
  • Plenty of volume
  • Tons of high-end response
  • Great for beginners and professionals

Cons (and what to do about them)

  • No electronics, (but you can buy a simple sound hole pickup for $30-50 with relatively good results).
  • No pick guard, (but these are extremely cheap and not difficult to add).
  • Only one peg for a guitar strap, (but you can purchase straps that tie around the neck, which is highly suggested over adding a second peg as this can sometimes damage the guitar when done improperly).
  • Doesn’t come with a hard shell case, (but there are plenty that will fit it).

Comparisons with the Takamine GS330S

When compared to other guitars in this price range, the Takamine GS330S blows them out of the water. Takamine and their GS330S are very often quoted as the best value guitars available, and that’s definitely the case here. Play it side by side with one of the lower-end Martins, such as the Martin DM series, and you’ll have a hard time explaining to yourself why the Martin is hundreds of dollars more than the Takamine. For the price, you simply can’t find a better brand-new guitar. This is personally one of my favorite picks.

 

Jasmine S35 Review

MSRP: $169.00

Actual retail price: $75-85

Takamine quality provided by the Jasmine brand



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The Jasmine brand is the beginner brand made by the infamously popular Takamine guitar company. While it’s designed for a very distinct beginner sound, the Jasmine S35 by Takamine offers more than enough quality for even seasoned players to enjoy this guitar. Ideal for both the beginner or the no-budget guitar player looking for a beater, the Jasmine S35 is surprisingly well-built with a spruce top and nato back and sides. Nato is a specialty wood gaining popularity as a tone wood to replace the extremely expensive mahogany often use for sides and backs. The fretboard is composed of rosewood for an excellent tone and sound. Despite the small price tag, the strings stay in tune and the sound is as big as more expensive guitars.

Pros

  • Incredibly cheap price without an incredible cheap build
  • Consistent, bright sound that will astound even seasoned players
  • Plenty of volume thanks to the great tone woods and dreadnaught design
  • Fun to play
  • Excellent as a travel or beater guitar

Cons

  • Comes out of the box with really cheap strings. For most guitar players, this isn’t a problem, but for beginners (a huge part of the target market), changing the strings can be troublesome and adds to the cost of getting started.
  • Doesn’t come with a case
  • Isn’t very forgiving when it’s slightly out of tune
  • No cutaway design means that access to the highest octaves is extremely limited.

It isn’t only a beginner’s guitar

While the design is mostly intended for beginners, the fact that the Jasmine S35 is a well-constructed guitar for less than a hundred dollars means that most guitar players can appreciate how well it will hold up when used as a travel guitar, practice guitar, or a guitar for simply jamming. As a gift, it is cheap enough that it’s alright if the receiver doesn’t play it a lot, but it’s nice enough that the recipient can seriously play without many of the problems seen in most cheap guitars. While the guitar is built to withstand quite a bit, it definitely isn’t an heirloom guitar, and it’s easy to forgive yourself if you scruff or scratch it. For most players, it’s hard to find anything wrong with the Jasmine S35.

Pricing and popularity

There simply isn’t a better brand new guitar for the price. The Jasmine S35 is the ultimate guitar for under $100. In fact, it’s such a popular choice that it is almost always the top-selling guitar at Amazon
and several other retail websites. For a “budget guitar,” this thing seriously rocks.