Build Quality:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.9 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.9 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars
Average:4.9 out of 5 stars

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Takamine GD30CE


  • Good quality tonewood
  • Great sound
  • Easy to use electronics


  • Needs neck adjustment
  • Strings

When it comes to acoustic-electric guitars it is twice as hard to choose the right model for you. Not only do you have to consider the tonewood, hardware, and overall sound but you also have to know your electronics. Apart from that, you need to filter through hundreds of models and dozens of companies that want to sell you “the best”, “the most affordable”, “the most beginner-friendly” instruments and find the one that actually delivers on its promises. Takamine, for me and many guitar players, has been delivering on their promises for years. Their GD30CE-NAT is Takamine’s mid-priced product that will be a good for intermediate or professional players. Of course, if you are an extremely dedicated beginner you can try your luck as well.

Build Quality

The GD30CE is a dreadnought guitar with a cutaway making it easier for players to access upper frets. The top is solid spruce allowing for amazing volume and sound while the back and sides are made from mahogany, giving the sound woodier rich sound. The mahogany neck with matte finish is easier to grasp and play and it is also slimmer than usual necks so that will be a great bonus for anyone with smaller hands or for beginners. Quartersawn X bracing brings for durability to this mode as well as better volume and resonance.


Now we all know the tonewood is what makes the guitar’s sound and feel but you cannot get a great guitar without high-quality hardware and different features. The GD30CE-NAT’s rosewood headstock and bridge are quite impressive. The action is pretty great. One thing some people might not “enjoy” as much – is the fact that the nut and saddle are synthetic bone. While you might rush into saying that nothing will sound as good as the real bone (and you might be right) I do not think that synthetic bone ruins the sound and feel of this guitar. Then again, at least in my opinion, when you are paying over $500 for a model I expect the real bone. But in most cases, if your ear is not trained very well you can’t decipher between the synthetic and the real bone when you’re playing. Now as for the strings: I don’t think D’Adarrio EXP bronze coated strings that come with this guitar are the best fit. So instead of judging the sound right out of the box, take your time, buy new strings you think might be good for the sound and feel and try out it again. I am pretty sure you will enjoy the overall experience a lot more.

Takamine GD30CE Sound

The tonewood definitely lets this guitar have a rich and resonant sound that you know will not be available in more affordable models (most times). With the low action that allows for better playability and sound and change of strings, I think you can achieve an amazing sound that is woody and well balanced. I, and probably most people, really appreciate when the guitar is ready to play right out of the box and the GD30CE-NAT definitely offers that. Yes, I said that personally, I would prefer other strings but that does not mean that even with those strings it doesn’t have a good sound.


As I have already mentioned, it is far harder to choose an acoustic-electric guitar. Not only do you need to know your tonewood and hardware, you have to figure out whether the electronics are any good. Takamine GD30CE-NAT has TP-4TD preamp system with a built-in tuner and three-band EQ. The tuner is quite intuitive and easy to use. Also, if you are not using it, for the purpose of saving the battery life, it turns off automatically. Overall, this electronics offer immense control over the sound and performance. It is quite versatile and easy to use. From the electronics perspective, this model does not disappoint.


Takamine GD30CE-NAT is a well built, well equipped acoustic-electric guitar. That’s the verdict. The other issue is whether it is better than more affordable models. For me, personally, the sound is more, intricate and well balanced than with a lot of cheaper models. Also, the quality of the tonewood allows for the material to age better making it a long-term guitar. If you buy it you will have the pleasure of owning a beautiful looking and sounding model that only get better and better with time and that’s where, for me, this model wins over a lot of other more affordable ones.

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  1. I’m a beginner looking at this guitar. What strings would you suggest be used instead of the stock strings. Thank you, great review…..


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