Estimated retail price: $120
Jasmine by Takamine brings that Takamine sound to the low-budget guitar market. The Jasmine S34C NEX brings that excellent NEX style body to beginners and the budget conscious at a fraction of the cost of the already well-priced Takamine NEX guitars.
Takamine’s NEX bodied guitars are designed to bring on a jumbo guitar sound without the enormous body and frets, making it much easier for the beginner or anyone with small hands to get that big, open sound without all the hassle and aches. Built with a spruce top (laminate with top layer of spruce), rosewood fingerboard, and nato back and sides, this thing sounds amazing for the price. Nato woods are cheaper than mahogany, but offer a relatively close quality for a much lower price. With Takamine’s craftsmanship, many of their expensive guitars even use this wood with beautiful results, and this Jasmine S34C NEX is no exception.
At this price range, there are very few guitars that can even remotely match the quality of this Jasmine. The action is typically going to be close, tight, and well-maintained straight from the factory. You may want to change the strings, but usually these guitars are good to go from the box.
In a very few cases, the Jasmine S34C NEX may need a fret filed down to eliminate fret noise or the action slightly adjusted, but I haven’t noticed this problem when playing these in a multitude of settings. Compared to other guitars in this price range, the Jasmine S34C NEX is shockingly cheap and provides an excellent tone. When compared with many more expensive brands, you may find plenty that are better than the Jasmine S34C, but there will be just as many that cost more and can’t remotely compare in quality of sound.
Interestingly, the pictures online don’t show this guitar with a pick guard, but most of them include a pick guard to help protect the finish from strumming. Considering the low price and high-quality sound, this guitar is ideal for anyone looking for a “banger” to take along on trips, camping, etc. You won’t have to worry about your $500-1000 guitar, and you won’t have to feel like you can’t get an excellent, full sound from the guitar you’re toting along.
Of course, you may want to purchase some extras, such as a case and any type of pickup configuration. This probably won’t be your gigging guitar, but for the price, anyone can start playing or play without worrying about damaging their more expensive gear.
Before purchasing one for you, we would recommend to read our Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar Reviews article.