Takamine P6NC review

Stage-worthy electro-acoustic

  • £2566
  • €3048
  • $3199
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Our Verdict

The pro-spec P6NC has everything you need to plug in and play. Just add talent.


  • Wonderfully playable. Plugged in and mic'd tones sound superb.


  • Price. Easy to hit the wrong controls on the tuner.
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There s a retro looking brown Sunburst finish spruce flame maple construction and snowflake inlaid bound ebony boards

There's a retro-looking brown Sunburst finish, spruce/flame maple construction and snowflake-inlaid bound ebony 'boards

Takamine P6NC review

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The Series 6 specification goes for solid spruce top with solid flame maple back and laminate flame maple sides

The Series 6 specification goes for solid spruce top with solid flame maple back and laminate flame maple sides


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Takamine s NEX shape was introduced in 1992 It combines a relatively trim width with spacious depth and is available with a cutaway as here or non cutaway

Takamine's NEX shape was introduced in 1992. It combines a relatively trim width, with spacious depth and is available with a cutaway, as here, or non-cutaway


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The latest generation CT4 DX preamp with four band EQ volume control onboard tuner and Palathetic under saddle pickup

The latest generation CT4-DX preamp with four-band EQ, volume control, onboard tuner and Palathetic under-saddle pickup


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The 644mm 25 3 inch scale neck has a white bound ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl snowflake inlays

The 644mm (25.3-inch) scale neck has a white- bound ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl 'snowflake inlays


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The tuners are gold plated with pearloid buttons

The tuners are gold-plated with pearloid buttons


One of Takamine's sales tags is "the hardest working electro-acoustic", and it's a perfect description of this long-running Japanese brand. If you regularly need to plug in, it's a great place to start your search.

Takamine, of course, was at the forefront of the development of the electro-acoustic and overtook the originator, Ovation, by combining more traditional acoustic shapes, styles and construction with a fit-for-purpose electro system. But when the electro market exploded over the last decade, it was Taylor and Martin that dominated, leaving the Japanese brand lagging behind.

"Finding fault on a constructional level is impossible"

Takamine still made great guitars, but the firm's impenetrable product codes made the range hard to understand, an issue that the company would try to tackle in 2012 . With distribution and marketing now being handled by Fender, Takamine fundamentally overhauled its range, launching the Pro Series - a distillation of what the brand had to offer, with straightforward 1 to 7 specification and price levels.

So, here we take a look at one of the latest high-end Japanese models from the four-guitar 6 Series. Each comes with the very retro-looking brown Sunburst finish, spruce/flame maple construction and snowflake-inlaid bound ebony 'boards.

Now, this is a £2,500 electro, so you should rightly expect something a little special, but from the ultra-clean scalloped bracing and internal sharpness to the Taylor-like precision and detail of the finishing, finding fault on a constructional level is impossible.


Sitting nicely in that medium-size area, here is a guitar that feels very comfortable whether strapped on (yes, we have two strap buttons!) or played seated. It's not as bulky as a classic jumbo or dreadnought, yet its physical depth suggests a larger body size.

Unplugged, then, we'd expect a big-bottomed sound. In fact, it's a little tighter than that and seems to need a bit of a kick to get it started. Strummed, it sounds balanced with a sonorous power. Picked, there's strength and body to the tone, and with fingernails a more subdued body. Though perfectly functional as a picker, acoustically, it seems to prefer a plectrum.

Plugged in, it's a different matter. With amp and guitar set flat it's a pretty even sound - ideal if you're just handing the soundman the other end of your lead. The low mid control on the four-band slider EQ is very welcome; it's quite often the frequency range that needs attention, to thin and open the sound a little. With just that adjustment made we have an excellent amp'd sound, with balanced rich lows and detailed crisp highs.

"In a quick recording session, both mic'd and DI'd it sounds superb"

Pulling the high EQ down almost gets us into a Taylor ES-like voicing but we have to say there was little EQ'ing necessary. The dual notch filters work extremely well, though this writer missed a phase switch. As we've said countless times, it's probably the most useful first fix for onstage feedback issues.

The tuner is precise, and although the ability to alter the reference pitch between 436 and 445Hz could prove handy if you're playing with instruments that aren't tuned to 440Hz, it's very easy to hit that function instead of engaging the tuner itself.

It's not an obvious choice for a recording guitar, but in a quick session, both mic'd and DI'd it sounds superb: a strong firm tonality mic'd and a very usable, lighter but quite un-piezo-like voice DI'd.

There's a robustness and weight that, for a pure acoustic, might seem excessive but for a working stage guitar, it feels very business-like. The neck, too, with its apparent asymmetrical carve - subtly thinner on the bass-side than the treble - is a good rounded handful. A low action, fast playability and that cutaway all add to the brew providing a very reliable feeling instrument. As we said, very fit-for-purpose.

Many acoustic companies seem to sit on the fence: undecided if the instrument they're offering us is a lighter built acoustic or a heavier built onstage electro.

This Takamine certainly sits in the latter camp and while it wouldn't be our first choice for an acoustic-only fingerpicker, it excels with pick and fingers and quite boisterous strumming. Amplified, it's game on: any style works here and with a comprehensive preamp most of your tweaking can be done by you.

Okay, £2.5k will get you into most top-line production brands, but if you're after a quality guitar that is a real road hog, we can't think of a better all-rounder: a guitar that will take plenty of abuse but, more importantly, produces the sounds you need, night after night.

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Tech Specs

PickupPalathetic under-saddle pickup
Scale Length (Inches)25.3
No. of Frets20
HardwareTakamine logo'd enclosed tuners, gold-plated with pearloid buttons
Country of OriginJapan
BridgeRosewood with split bone saddles
Weight (lb)5.5
Neck MaterialMaple
Left Handed Model Availablefalse
Back MaterialSolid flame maple
Top MaterialSolid spruce
Sides MaterialLaminate flame maple
Scale Length (mm)644
Weight (kg)2.5
Fingerboard MaterialBound Ebony
Pickup TypeCT4-DX preamp with 4-band EQ, 2 notch-filter controls, dual-pickup mix control (if second pickup is added), volume and tuner
Body StyleNEX cutaway electro-acoustic
Available FinishBrown Sunburst (as reviewed)