What's your take on smaller bodied acoustic guitars? Are they a serious tone contender, instruments for musicians with an ailing back, kiddy alternatives or simply the manufacturer's attempt to swell their coffers? Whatever they may be to us, they are undeniably functional. Takamine's G-Series Taka-mini instruments are scaled down guitars, manifesting a 3/4 body dimension unlike the smaller-bodied travel-type models (Think: Martin's Ed Sheeren model).
The instrument you see above is the GX18CE featuring a solid spruce top & mahogany back & sides. It also includes the TP4T pre-amp on board for plug in moments. I've never come across a Takamine with shoddy workmanship, this one included. I gave it a thorough visual inspection but it has no adversity to justify it's rather entry-level price tag.
The GX18CE is one loud guitar in its unplugged nature despite its 3/4 manifestation. If you have reservations in this regard, this is an assurance for you to re-consider. Unlike a travel-size player, a 3/4 instrument offers a more ideal elbow placement. This isn't crucial for strummers but for the fingerstyle dweebs out there, it helps deal with leverage issues. The default action will get those acoustic shredders going but it's not the lowest I've come across (I've played some Yamaha with lower action). Due to it's spruce/mahogany combination, the unplugged tone is leaning towards the bright side but if you wish to employ the GX18CE for your subtle, fingerstyle moments, employing the on board EQ is a ready discourse.
All in all, this GX18CE is a pleasant surprise tone-wise considering it's not a full-sized acoustic. In this light, it offers those of us who struggle with handling issues, a more comfortable take on playability without sacrificing good tones. On a personal note, I'd recommend this to those players who want a big sounding instrument (in terms of volume projection, not depth) but with a more subdued physical outline. With this episode, the future looks good for guitars of this nature because it's in no way a compromise; a 3/4 being does not equal to 3/4 goodness. Especially for Takamine, the standard remains above average.
Takamine: GX18CE (3/4 NEX type body dimension)
Availability: Davis GMC