Takamine GC5CE Review – A Modern Take on the Classical

3.95 Stars
  • Punchy bright sound with plenty of snap.

  • Very good onboard electronics.

  • Cutaway opens up the higher frets.

  • No case included with the price of the guitar.

If you are looking for an affordable classical that you can amplify on stage, then the Takamine GC5CE is a guitar to take a look at. It is a traditional classical with a few modern touches for today’s player.

Design

The GC5CE by Takamine is an acoustic/electric nylon string guitar. It has a classical body shape with a Venetian style cutaway. The GC5CE is the pinnacle classical of Takamine’s affordable G series. The top is a fan braced solid spruce, and the back and sides are laminate rosewood. Black binding borders the body with top black-white purfling. There is a gloss finish to show off the natural wood. It has a scale length of 650mm (25.6”).

The mahogany neck has a rosewood fingerboard. The radius of the neck is flat, and it has 19 frets. There are no fret markers either on the fingerboard or on the side of the neck. The synthetic bone nut has a width of 50.8mm (2”). In standard classical form the neck joins to the body at the 12th fret with a dovetail neck joint.

The bridge is made of rosewood with a synthetic bone compensated saddle. There is an inlaid mosaic rosette. The slotted headstock has a rosewood veneer that sports a printed “T” logo.

Features

The onboard electronics are Takamine’s TP-4T preamp. It has a 3 band EQ, and gain control. There is a built in tuner that is chromatic. The battery box is located right next to the preamp controls. It runs on a 9-volt battery, and it will give you about 250 hours of life per battery. The jack out also doubles as the strap button on the lower bout. There is no strap button on the upper bout.

It comes from the factory strung with D’Addario EXP45 Normal Tension (.028 – .044 gauge) strings. The tuners are gold with pearl white buttons in the standard classical 3 in 1 configuration.

There is also a version that comes without the electronics or the cutaway called the GC5.

No case is included with the price of the guitar. Given the standard size and body shape a case or gig bag should not be a problem to find.

Performance

The sound is very good, but to be honest I prefer a cedar top coupled with rosewood. The spruce gives it a more punchy bright sound with plenty of snap.

If you are unused to a classical neck then this will be a hard transition for an electric player. The neck is standard issue classical style so it is very wide with no fret markers. Just because it has built in electronics and a cutaway doesn’t mean this is anything other than a classical style instrument.

The electronics are very simple, but have quite a bit of tone shaping in the 3-band EQ. The guitar sounds just as good plugged in as it does amplified.

Our Final Verdict

Takamine GC5CE Review – A Modern Take on the Classical The GC5CE by Takamine has a solid spruce top with fan bracing, and the back and sides are laminate rosewood. The classical shaped body has a Venetian cutaway. The onboard electronics are Takamine’s TP-4T preamp with a 3-band EQ and volume controls. The sound is bright and punchy, and it sounds just as good plugged in.

HOW IT WORKS

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