Takamine EF508KC Review & Prices

Takamine EF508KC Review
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  • From Takamine's 2020 Legacy series
  • Made in Japan
  • 6 strings
  • 25.4"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Koa top
  • Koa back
  • Koa sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: CT4B II (Preamp/Active)
  • Fixed bridge
  • Acoustic Asymmetrical C Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Takamine tuners
  • Weight between 4.7lbs (2.1kgs) and 4.95lbs (2.2kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 77
Sound 81
Build quality 79
Value for money 74
Overall Score 79
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Takamine EF508KC
  • Made in Japan
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Electronics
  • Bone Saddle
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Laminated Top Wood
  • Laminated Side Wood
  • Laminated Back Wood
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $2300, which means that the Takamine EF508KC is around 33% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Japan.

Videos

Takamine Legacy Series EF508KC Demo by Jake Allen
Takamine EF508KC
Takamine EF508KC
Takamine EF508KC Demo
Takamine EF-508KC
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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Takamine EF508KC meets 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Takamine EF508KC
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Soft Strings
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Takamine EF508KC's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

How Lightweight is it?

We found that the Takamine EF508KC weighs between 4.7lbs (2.1kgs) and 4.95lbs (2.2kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the instruments they sell.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Takamine EF508KC's 25.4" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Takamine EF508KC Scale Length Comparison
Takamine EF508KC's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is considered a long scale, but slightly shorter than what's commonly found in acoustic guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, strings will feel stiff and more difficult to bend, but the tone will feel brighter. It will also be less likely to produce fret buzzing and rattling when strumming hard.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Takamine EF508KC Neck Profile
Takamine EF508KC's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a Asymmetrical type neck. The shape is Asymmetrical. Even though it looks like a poorly-made job, it's, in fact, the shape that most naturally adapts to the arc that your hand makes when grabbing a guitar neck. You'll notice that the lower part of your palm makes a more pronounced, deeper curve while the upper part makes a more subtle arch. This is the shape that adapts the best to that natural shape of your hand.

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Takamine EF508KC has a 12" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Takamine EF508KC Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Takamine EF508KC's fretboard radius compared to others

This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Takamine EF508KC has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.4'' Scale Length
Asymmetrical Neck Profile
1.673'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.4'' Scale Length
Asymmetrical Neck Profile
1.673'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.4'' Scale Length
Asymmetrical Neck Profile
1.673'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.4'' Scale Length
Asymmetrical Neck Profile
1.77'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.4'' Scale Length
Asymmetrical Neck Profile
1.673'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Takamine EF508KC Nut Width
Takamine EF508KC Nut Width

The Takamine EF508KC has a nut width of 42.5mm (1.673''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Takamine EF508KC Fret Size Comparison
Takamine EF508KC's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Takamine EF508KC's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 85
Solo Playability 70
Playability 77

Tone Analysis

The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.

Wood

Koa wood pattern used for guitar building
Koa Top, Back, Sides
Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Neck
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood Fretboard

Koa Top, Back and Sides: It's a type of wood native to the Hawaiian Islands, where it's pretty common. Its musical properties make it a great wood for making guitars, but it's especially popular for building Ukuleles.

Mahogany Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Rosewood Fretboard: Since the ban of Brazillian Rosewood, this has become a rare and expensive wood. It's not usually used for guitar bodies because of this, and also because it's heavy. Instead, it's used mainly for fretboards. Sometimes it's also used for necks because it's an extremely hard wood (even harder than maple). Its tonality tends to favor warm tones.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Takamine. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

Sound Score

Sustain 70
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 81

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Takamine EF508KC is made in Japan. You should expect a high-quality guitar with excellent quality control. It can be compared to guitars made in the US, which is why they're also expensive.

Bridge

Fixed: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Takamine EF508KC has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

More with the same nut material:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 61
Features 85
Quality Control 90
Build Quality 79

All Specs

Takamine EF508KC
General
Brand: Takamine
Year: 2020
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: Japan
Series: Legacy
Colors: Natural
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Koa
Bridge: Fixed
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Takamine
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: Takamine diamond
Scale Size: 25.4"
Shape: Acoustic Asymmetrical C
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 42.5mm (1.673'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 0
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: CT4B II (Preamp / Active)

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