Some rockers worry that an acoustic will turn them into a bare-footed hippie. No danger of that with Takamine’s cutaway bruiser, which banishes such drippy connotations with its hearse-inspired paint job and Hells Angel bike chain rosette.
The timbers are a familiar spruce/mahogany combo, so the twist could be the hourglass NEX body. The NEX is a fair compromise: its pinched waist gives decent control, the bloated lower bout delivers plenty of mid-range ‘boom’, and the chunky neck bears out Takamine’s claims that this axe would suit fingerpicking singer-songwriters.
Unplugged, there’s nice jangle and a winning blend of both tonewoods. Plucked notes are given an underpinned warmth by the laminate mahogany, but the bite of the solid spruce top ensures open chords don’t turn soupy. You should be able to protect that tone with a decent acoustic amp, but the TP4T preamp gives good scope to fatten lush chords or boost the treble for solos too.
Beneath the biker attitude, the EG481SCX is a grown-up and balanced electro. It hasn’t got the world-class character that would see it on the rack at a top recording studio, but it’s a tough, tone- packed workhorse that doesn’t drop the ball in any department and gives you enough control over the amplified tone to ensure nobody will hate it.
Pros: Comfortable, tone, good EQ.
Cons: No world-class character.