Takamine Jasmine ES 33C Six-String Guitar Review

  • 12/28/2016
  • JamPlay, LLC
As the silver sun set over the sleepy village of Nakatsugawa Gifu Japan, a small family of woodworkers bent their weary backs to repair and produce fine hand-made instruments. The year was 1959 and the small instrument shop located at the foot of Mount Takamine was collectively bent upon the production of guitars that would eventually come to be known as "Takamine." In 1968 a gentleman by the name of Mass Hirade who was known for his expertise as an artisan and luthier as well, joined forces with the small company with the intent of helping to improve the quality and marketability of Takamine guitars, and hopefully increase sales and distribution as well. Hirade took over design and development of Takamine's well-known classical guitar which to this day has been the most popular of all of their wares worldwide. With Hirade's help, Takamine was able to expand their sales overseas and become a more active enterprise on a global level.

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During the mid 1970's, Hirade became the president of Takamine and made a move to join forces with an American-based company by the name of Kaman Music Corporation. Takamine subsequently began a new phase of world-wide production and distribution that brought the company notoriety throughout the world. During this same period of time, a problem that had been vexing professional acoustic musicians came to a head and compelled the Takamine Corporation to step up and produce what is known as the "palathetic" pick-up. Because an abundant number of successful musicians were playing larger and larger venues, many of these same players struggled to attain accurate and acceptable sounding amplification and sound reproduction from their acoustic guitars. The "palathetic" pickup is designed to be isolated from the vibration of the body of the guitar which allows for less feedback and a clearer representation of the string's resonance. Takamine's design has become the industry standard for acoustic-electric guitars to this day and is endorsed by such big-time players as Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne.

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The Takamine ES 33C is an entry-level acoustic-electric guitar which falls under the classification of a dreadnought body style. The guitar features a cut away Spruce top with pick guard, Lacewood back and sides and die-cast enclosed tuners. The 20-fretted fingerboard is composed of Rosewood and the entire guitar is sealed with a polyurethane finish.

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The body of the ES 33C measures 20 and 1/16 " (51 cm) by 15 and 3/4" (29 cm) and is 4 and 5/16" deep, dimensions which are identical in all of Takamine's dreadnought models. This guitar also features a Shadow LC 4 Preamplifier/EQ which includes a "phase" switch which can help to mitigate feedback when necessary. The preamp also features an external battery which can make replacement-on-the-fly quicker and easier than interior-mounted batteries. Takamine even throws in a hard shell case to protect your investment from hardship and wear and tear.

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The Takamine Jasmine ES33C is currently available for around $250 and can be acquired either on-line or through your local music vendor. Takamine has created this "all-inclusive" acoustic electric package for the beginning to intermediate player who desires an instrument with the flexibility to either play as an acoustic or as an amplified instrument with the necessary electronics built in.

This particular guitar has a thin treble range but a broader mid range as compared to guitars in the similar price range. But, in general it doesn't feel as solid as other guitars bearing similar characteristics. Seemingly, many companies are employing Spruce tops for its reasonable pricing as well as its consistency in the resonance of sound. And although the ES33C also utilizes Spruce, it doesn't seem to match the sound quality that you might find in guitars of similar price and make. Regardless, Takamine offers a generous package that is geared more towards the individual that wishes to have an instrument capable of acoustic and electric play but doesn't have the resources or desire to purchase multiple guitars