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If you need a proper acoustic guitar, Takamine is one of the few brands you can turn to without a moment of hesitation. This also applies if you're into something unconventional. Takamine EF381SC is one of the best 12 string acoustic guitars and today we're going to find out why.
In a traditional Takamine fashion, EF381SC has both the looks but also the quality you would expect. The body is a standard dreadnought design with a cutaway that sports a nice, black finish. In terms of tonewood choices, Takamine went with a solid spruce top combined with maple back and sides. If you look closer at the top, you will see a fine white binding which definitely gives the black finish an appropriate contrast. Build quality is great with good bracing, great attention to detail and rock solid quality control. Neck comes in form of a comfortable mahogany piece with a rosewood fretboard. When put to use, it comes across as fairly playable and fast. The profile isn't all that different from a standard Takamine piece. However, it does give you good access to all 12 strings while keeping them well separated.
Hardware is arguably one of the more important aspects of any 12 string guitar. After all, with the double the amount of strings, there is more tension applied to the neck and all relevant components. Takamine went with a rather robust rosewood bridge, quality pin s and a wonderful saddle. On the other end, we have 12 die cast, high quality tuning machines offer rock solid key retention but also refined tuning. Takamine EF381SC is an acoustic electric guitar, hence it comes with a built in preamp. The unit in question is a CT4B package that features a three band EQ and a built in tuner. If you are wondering whether or not this set of electronics can keep up with those extra strings, you have nothing to worry about. Takamine's choice has proven to be the right one. This preamp packs just enough versatility and most importantly, great performance.
Speaking of performance, there is a reason we chose a Takamine, and this particular one for that matter. It is an unusually stable 12 string with plenty of range. To be more specific, it doesn't struggle with the abundance of overtones like some 12 string guitars do. Instead, everything sounds and feels composed, articulated and well defined. The acoustic sound is just impressive. Takamine EF381SC packs a decent punch in terms of volume and projection. Once you decide to plug it in, you will find that the CT4B manages to translate that acoustic tone with a high level of authenticity. In all honesty, this Takamine is built for and ready for professional stage use. Build quality is there and its tone puts it among the elite. On top of that, their choice of preamp offers a rock solid foundation for detailed tone shaping should you need it.
Takamine EF381SC may not be the cheapest 12 string model out there, but it surely is among the very best. They have pretty much done everything just right with this guitar. From basic design to performance, build quality and pure sound. It's a true work horse meant for professional use.