Takamine means business. Whenever you see a Takamine acoustic or electro-acoustic guitar, you know it’s a top-tier instrument. The Takamine EF341SC is no different. As part of the Pro Series, the guitar packs some of the best features the brand has to offer to professional performers and songwriters.
The company has been making premium guitars since the ‘50s, but we’ve never reviewed a guitar from the brand before. Needless to say, we must emphasize the innovation, improvement, and continuous quality they push into the market.
Nowadays, the Japanese company is known as one of the best acoustic-electric guitar manufacturers in the world.
“Takamine Naturals series” by mik salac / CC BY 2.0. Takamine guitars are commonly very expensive, with prices going above the one thousand thresholds.
What makes the brand so unique and reputed is the handcraft work they put into all of their guitars.
They treat their instruments as a work of art instead of a mass-produced item. Even though they still use machinery to speed up production, they introduce high levels of handcraft into every model.
For example, luthiers supervise their traditional “X” braced soundboards beneath the soundhole. They achieve better voicing, increased projection, and tone stability.
They also add small changes to the classical X pattern to improve richness and balance. In essence, Takamine makes the soundboards by hand.
Another craftsmanship detail is the smoothness of the fretboard. It’s the result of a laser-guided fret system that finishes the edges and makes the wood smoother. Also, it levels each fret’s curve to 0.0001’’, and the precision is spot-on.
As a result, whenever you play a fret, the string will contact the center of the fret perfectly and translate it as a very clear sound.
Inlay dots (fret markers) might not add anything special to the sound, and an “artistic” inlay doesn’t add anything extra to playability.
Either way, the uncommon Takamine inlays are something you should expect from an expensive guitar. At the brand’s common price point, we should be looking for all kinds of crazy and eccentric sound, playability, and aesthetic features.
Also, I must note Takamine inlays and rosettes are also the results of handwork.
Aside from these features, there’s also plenty of attention to detail regarding the insides of Takamine guitars.
That means luthiers take time to make it all perfect within the soundhole and beneath the neck with sandpaper and similar tools.
Before we go on, I advise you to check the sound of a Takamine guitar:
Takamine ef341SC Pro Acoustic-Electric Guitar Review
The construction, aesthetics, sound, and playability are deserving of a premium price point. It’s a high-end model with all of the Takamine features we were talking about above, and more.
It’s not a beginner-friendly model, though. With its whopping price, it brings a hefty weight, a big body, and a huge sound.
Still, the price might be too much for most or some folks. You could make smarter investments and get a guitar that sounds similarly good while ditching on the aesthetics, for example.
That said, we shall see if the Takamine EF341SC is worth over a thousand dollars.
The Takamine EF341SCX Pro is a handcrafted guitar that delivers the best precision and quality the brand has to offer.
It’s a pro instrument for pro musicians, and it brings the versatility of a solid cedar top, maple back, and mahogany neck.
The model includes Takamine’s Palathetic pickup, which offers premium accuracy and natural sounds. It also includes the brand’s CT4B II preamp system with a 3-band EQ, volume control, and built-in tuner.
The maple back and sides are a perfect reflector for the tone generated by the soundboard and the gloss black finish looks great under the stage lights. The mahogany neck is joined to the body with a traditional, ultra-strong dovetail joint.
The Takamine EF341SC follows the traditional dreadnought body, which is large and curvy. However, it’s a handcrafted guitar featuring premium tonewoods.
For tonewoods, it has solid cedar at the top plus maple on the back and sides, which creates a mellow sound. More so, the sound gets better as time passes, which is something that tends to happen with premium guitars.
Then, the distinctive curves of the guitar allow plenty of sound ranges. That said, dreadnoughts are usually louder and feature stronger lows.
Next, the body and the neck come together with a dovetail joint. Both the neck and the fingerboard choose mahogany as their material.
The guitar’s neck has the asymmetrical “C” shape, which is common on Gibson guitars. The contour is thinner on the bass side, so it fits on your hand and grows a bit thicker on the treble to deliver a better grip.
Additionally, the guitar comes with a gloss finish to taint it black, plus a tortoiseshell black pickguard on the body for further protection. Lastly, it has a greyish white binding on the edges of the body and the neck.
Overall, the quality is premium and the aesthetics are elegant and sophisticated without deviating from the standard dreadnought design.
Japanese guitar maker Takamine specializes in acoustic and electro-acoustic guitars. You won’t find an electric guitar on their shelves.
The acoustic sound of the guitar goes right along with its quality construction. The word to describe its tone signature would be “mesmerizing.” It’s mellow, haunting, and clear.
The overall sound comes out as warm and round. It feels like it could fill a whole room with its melodies.
When it comes to acoustic guitar, the Takamine ef341SC is very versatile. It’s a great tone with great quality. It’s cool for the studio and cool for live playing as well.
Here’s a demo video:
Then, the acoustic sound has enough volume to play on small shows, like for example a cafe. That said, it packs the CT4B II preamp system, a top-tier electronic setup for whenever the opportunity to play live arises.
As for pickup, it has a Palathetic under-saddle pickup. It’s a design that improves over the standard piezoelectric under-saddle bobbin. It uses six shielded piezo-electric pieces at the core plus special steel on the carcass. That means there’s a pickup for each string, which means a Palathetic bobbin is 12 times bigger than standard acoustic-electric tapers.
In essence, the six elements penetrate the steel, the soundboard, and the bridge to make direct contact with the string saddles. As a result, the piece can isolate each string signal and translate it into a rich, full, and harmonious sound.
Moreover, the Palathetic pickup ensures a transparent sound, which means the amplification simply takes the natural tone of the guitar to the speaker, without changing anything. Because of this, the Takamine EF341SC offers infinite possibilities to experiment with guitar pedals.
The preamp comes with Low, Mid, and High EQ adjustments, plus a Master Volume and a Mute button. Also, it brings an onboard tuner.
Here’s another demo:
The playability of the Takamine ef341SC is unsurprisingly top-tier. It feels balanced, solid, and perfectly smooth.
Overall, the ef341SC Pro was the best a dreadnought design could be in terms of playability. With its combination of handcraft and technological finishing, it feels perfect on your hands.
Takamine wraps the design with a hard-tail bridge and solid proprietary tuners. You don’t have to worry about these pieces.
Downside & Alternatives
I wouldn’t say there are downsides to the guitar, although you might think it lacks the same high-end tonewoods as the competition. That said, there’re not many acoustic-electric guitars at this price point.
That’s why I really can’t recommend any other guitar at this price point.
However, if you’re looking for the Takamine quality at a lower price point, here’s an acoustic-electric guitar I recommend:
The GD30CE model downgrades the electronics while keeping a similñar built quality.
Takamine EF341SC Pro specs
- Design: dreadnought body
- Body tonewood: cedar top plus maple on the back and sides
- Neck tonewood: mahogany
- Scale: 25.5’’
- Fingerboard tonewood: mahogany
- Pickup system: CT4B II preamp (Palathelic under-saddle pickup)
- Controls: low, mid, and high knobs; master volume; mute knob; tuner
- Tuners: Takamine proprietary tuners
- Bridge: hardtail mahogany bridge
Why do I like the Takamine EF341SC?
Coming from decades of a premium experience, the EF341SC Pro is a serious acoustic-electric guitar. The moment you have on your hands is the moment you realize it’s sophisticated and special.
Whereas most guitars try to stay humble for home playing and studio setups, the EF341SC aims to look good on the stage. Is a guitar to feel proud of.