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Takamine vs Taylor: How These Guitar Brands Compare [2021 Guide]

If you’re curious about Takamine vs Taylor guitar brands and how they compare, you’ve come to the right post!

This is another article in my series comparing guitar brands.

Be sure to check out my comparisons of Taylor vs Martin, and Breedlove vs Taylor too.

Takamine was first founded in 1959 in a small Japanese town called Sakashita.

Later in 1962, they took the name of the mountain Takamine and started their journey as a full-fledged guitar company.

However, their fame began in 1978 when they became the first company to build acoustic-electric guitars, where they introduced an under-saddle Palatheticâ„¢ pickup to amplify acoustic guitar.

Most consider Takamine a mid-range guitar.

However, they certainly have some high-end instruments and many successful musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, Neil Simon, and Nancy Wilson have used Takamine guitars.

Taylor is a newer brand than Takamine starting in 1974 in El Cajon, California. They quickly gained popularity due to the use of computer mills, lasers, and other high-tech tools in guitar manufacturing that helped them create instruments accurately every time.

Taylor has some mid-range guitars but more high-end instruments than Takamine.

Some of the famous musicians who use Taylor guitars include the Zac Brown Band, Jason Mraz, Tori Kelly, Mon Laferte, Jewel, and many more. 

Takamine vs Taylor

Sound

Takamine produces an excellent sound, particularly from its higher-end instruments.

You can get a sense of that high-quality sound in the video below.

Taylor guitars, on the other hand, typically have a crisp, clear, and bright sound. Taylor uses its patented Expression System® 2 acoustic electronics in most of its models. This helps to bring out that warm acoustic sound naturally when amplified that you can hear in the demo below.  

Takamine guitars sound great particular at the more expensive end of their instrument offerings.

However, they just don’t have the same top-notch reputation as Martin or Taylor does for that quintessential acoustic sound.

Playable Necks

Guitar necks play a vital role in the playability of a guitar. Right angles and easy handling are the essential features of a neck that make them easy to hold and play.

Takamine guitars have an asymmetric neck design in the shape of the letter “C.” This offset neck profile is thinner towards the bass side of the neck, fitting comfortably in the hands. The overall design is slim throughout, with medium width and fingerboard arch. This exceptional design helps reduce the extra wrist movement when the thumb reaches the first string resulting in a comfortable play. 

On the other hand, Taylor guitars feature stable, sleek, comfortable necks. They use their patented NT necks, which sit in the sweetest spot on the guitar. The neck angle is precise, enabling comfortable handling.

Ultimately, the feel of the neck is a personal preference.

Ideally, you try both types of guitars to see which you prefer holding and playing.

Craftsmanship

Takamine combines both old-world craftsmanship and new-age technology to build their guitars. The knowledge passed down through ages is used to handcraft the main parts of the guitars whereas all these different parts are finally brought together using modern-day technology. 

Innovation has been the main idea behind Taylor guitars. They were the first in the industry to use computerized mills and lasers for building guitars. This allowed them to have impeccable precision and detail control. Another great advantage of having a technologically controlled manufacturing system is consistent and high-quality products. This enables them to keep up with the industry standards, with striking aesthetics, which human hands can’t always achieve.

Bracing

Bracing is a very important part of any guitar and can contribute to its sound quality and personality. 

Takamine uses a traditional X-shaped bracing pattern. When combined with the spruce and cedar soundboards, this bracing technique gives a great tone to the guitar. Experienced luthiers handle the bracing, where they carefully tap the top and brace the soundboards for the best possible sound. These small changes made by the skilled hands can have significant effects on volume, richness, and balance.

On the other hand, Taylor has its very own “V- class” bracing pattern that marked its shift from the traditional steel-string bracing. Often termed as the “new Sonic Engine,” V bracing allegedly improves the sound quality by changing the way the guitar top vibrates. Some say this produces more volume and longer sustain with improved intonation.

Ultimately, bracing is just one other aspect that may contribute to the instrument’s sound.

And although there may be some examples of poor bracing in poorly guitars, there are plenty of “right” ways to do bracing.

In short, choose the instrument whose sound you love, not the instrument with allegedly better bracing.

Design

The split saddle feature is one of the many unique designs features Takamine guitar offers. This split saddle design provides accurate acoustic intonation between the higher and lower register strings solving the decade-old challenge of the players. The saddle here is literally split into two parts, giving the two unwound strings a break and improving the overall intonation.

On the other hand, Taylor guitars use a “Dual Compensated” saddle design where all the offsets are put on a single wave-like line. This particular saddle design solves the issues of miss-striking the strings when picking and also provides a smooth and even striking sound.

Both of these are fine ways to ensure great intonation on all your strings.

Takamine Vs Taylor: Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you weigh the pros and cons Takamine vs Taylor guitars.

Each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Do you own one or both?

Let me know in the comments!

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