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Takamine GN75CE-TBK review

The latest from Takamine’s affordable G series

  • £569

Our Verdict

The GN75CE-TBK is something of a dark horse; a superb stage guitar if the looks appeal.


  • An all-rounder with great playability.
  • A lively performance unplugged and amplified.


  • The look isn’t for everyone; we’re not keen on those inlays.

Diversity is becoming a key issue in the electro-acoustic market. 

A competitive price-point isn’t always enough to stand out from the crowd and many players expect their electro to be more than just a stage-ready instrument, but one they can happily use at home and for recording, too. 

The Takamine guitar that we have today falls into the affordable G-Series  and this model and its price-point brings 
it into the most exciting end of the acoustic market. While others are getting subtle with satin, this is a glossy dreadnought wearing some confident honky tonk bling. We’re eager to find out if there’s depth underneath the showy surface. 

The gloss-finished GN75CE-TBK features quilted laminated maple back and sides that take on a smoky effect in their black and charcoal hues. Our eyes are also drawn to the country and western style ‘Grass Flower’ design on the black scratchplate, a contrast that echoes the white plastic binding on an acoustic aiming to unleash your Johnny Cash ambitions. We’re not convinced by the bold inlays, though. 

Takamine’s NEX shape is a scaled-down jumbo by its own description, slightly shallower than a dreadnought with a narrower waist. These add comfort when sitting that could be especially beneficial if you’re a beginner or getting back into playing. But its potential certainly goes beyond that. 

Feel and sounds

The TK-40D performs very well. It accurately captures a tonal character that’s got a little hollow roundness to the highs and mids for mellow lead work, with a very balanced low-end. 

But the medium-low action further enhances a liveliness in the projection that really encourages and rewards muscular strumming. Plugged in, the positive experience continues. 

The TK-40D preamp, positioned on the upper bout, adds more control than much of the competition in its price range. The tuner and three-band EQ
are standard fare, but the Mid Contour, EQ Bypass and Notch Filter are not. It’s got the basics right, too - you can push the treble right up without things getting harsh - and the combinations of control at your disposal can enable you to do more on stage from the guitar. 

The GN75CE-TBK is something of a dark horse; a superb stage guitar if the looks appeal.