Takamine GD30CE-12 Review & Prices

Takamine GD30CE-12 Review
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  • From Takamine's 2019 G series
  • Made in China
  • 12 strings
  • 25.3"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Solid Spruce top
  • Okoume back
  • Okoume sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ovangkol fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: TP4-TD (Preamp/Active)
  • Fixed bridge
  • Acoustic Asymmetrical C Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Takamine Die-cast tuners
  • Weight between 5.3lbs (2.4kgs) and 5.85lbs (2.7kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 85
Build quality 74
Value for money 82
Overall Score 77
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Takamine GD30CE-12
  • Expensive Wood
  • Synthetic Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Electronics
  • Synthetic Bone Saddle
  • Solid Top Wood
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • 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 $600, which means that the Takamine GD30CE-12 is within the average price asked for this kind of guitar. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 12 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in China.

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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 GD30CE-12 meets 3 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not recommended for complete beginners. 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 GD30CE-12
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • 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 GD30CE-12'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 GD30CE-12 weighs between 5.3lbs (2.4kgs) and 5.85lbs (2.7kgs). 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 GD30CE-12's 25.3" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Takamine GD30CE-12 Scale Length Comparison
Takamine GD30CE-12'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 GD30CE-12 Neck Profile
Takamine GD30CE-12'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 GD30CE-12 has a 12" fingerboard radius.

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

Takamine GD30CE-12 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Takamine GD30CE-12'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 GD30CE-12 has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.3'' Scale Length
Asymmetrical Neck Profile
1.87'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.3'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.85'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.512'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.89'' Nut Width
14.96'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.89'' Nut Width
16'' Fretboard Radius
25.4'' Scale Length
Asymmetrical Neck Profile
1.87'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Takamine GD30CE-12 Nut Width
Takamine GD30CE-12 Nut Width

The Takamine GD30CE-12 has a nut width of 47.5mm (1.87''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 12-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

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 GD30CE-12 Fret Size Comparison
Takamine GD30CE-12'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 GD30CE-12'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 75
Solo Playability 70
Playability 73

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

Spruce wood pattern used for guitar building
Spruce Top
Okoume wood pattern used for guitar building
Okoume Back, Sides
Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Neck
Ovangkol wood pattern used for guitar building
Ovangkol Fretboard

Spruce Top: This wood has a light color with tight grain patterns. It's very stiff but relatively light. It's known for producing a well-rounded tone with a broad dynamic range.

Okoume Back and Sides: It's an affordable wood and it was one of the first to replace Mahogany when prohibitions started. It's generally softer than Mahogany and the tone has warmer lows.

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.

Ovangkol Fretboard: It's a beautiful wood that's popular for acoustic guitars. Its tone sits somewhere between rosewood and mahogany, meaning it has a punchy low-end and nice mid-range.

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 85
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 85

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 GD30CE-12 is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.

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 GD30CE-12 has a Synthetic Bone nut. One of the best nuts you can have is a Bone nut thanks to their rich tonality and resistance. The problem is that they're a natural material, so different bone nuts will have inconsistent tonal properties. In other words, one bone nut might not sound as well as the other even when they're made from the same piece. Synthetic bone helps with this by giving you a high-quality, consistent nut that resembles the tone produced by bone.

More with the same nut material:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 76
Features 85
Quality Control 60
Build Quality 74

All Specs

Takamine GD30CE-12
General
Brand: Takamine
Year: 2019
Configuration:
Strings: 12
Made in: China
Series: G
Colors: Natural
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Solid Spruce
Bridge: Fixed
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Takamine Die-cast
Fretboard: Ovangkol
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: Dots
Scale Size: 25.3"
Shape: Acoustic Asymmetrical C
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Synthetic Bone
Nut Width: 47.5mm (1.87'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 0
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: TP4-TD (Preamp / Active)

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