Buyer's Guide: Top Ten Takamine Guitars Under $500

Buyer's Guide: Top Ten Takamine Guitars Under $500

The holiday season is approaching quickly, and if you’re like many Americans, you’re on a tight budget for this year’s gift-giving plans (even if the recipient is yourself). Therefore, here are some ideas on how to get a new guitar that fulfills the holiday dreams of the favorite musician in your life without spending a ton of dough. All of the suggested guitars below retail for under $500. We’ve also added some upgrade options in case a bigger gift is more appropriate for a more advanced player.

As a US resident, you can purchase these guitars from your favorite Takamine dealer, or right here on our ShopESP web store by clicking the “Buy Now” button on any product page.

Best Dreadnought: GLD12E NS ($459.99)
Perhaps the ultimate iconic shape of an acoustic guitar, the dreadnought — rounded all over with no cutaway — is the epitome of the world’s favorite musical instrument. In the under-$500 range, the GLD12E offers a spruce top, okoume back and sides, and Takamine's TP-3G electronics with built-in 3-band EQ and chromatic tuner.

- FN15 AR ($1,799.99)
- FT341 ($1,799.99)

Best Dreadnought Cutaway: GD11MCE NS ($449.99)
A more modern take on the dreadnought, this guitar offers the same big voice of a big guitar but with a cutaway section for access to the higher frets for leads and solos. Available for well under $500, the GD11MCE is a value-packed guitar that’s great for acoustic blues, bold strumming, or roots music with sapele top, back, and sides, and Takamine’s own TP-4T electronics, complete with an equalizer and chromatic tuner built-in.

- GD37CE PW ($849.99)
- GD90CE-ZC NAT ($949.99)

Best Pure Acoustic: GD51 BSB ($449.99)
While Takamine’s early claim to fame was perfecting the art of acoustic-electric guitars that can be reliably used for both studio and stage work, we also make some outstanding purely acoustic guitars, with no onboard electronics. The GD51 is a ton of guitar for the money, with a solid spruce top, black walnut back and sides, a slim, comfortable mahogany neck, die-cast gold tuners, and a split-saddle design for superior intonation.

- GD93 NAT ($599.99)
- GY93 NAT ($599.99)

Best Nylon String Classical (Traditional Acoustic): GC5 NAT ($429.99)
In our handcrafted Classical and Hirade Series, Takamine makes some of the world’s finest traditional nylon-string acoustic guitars in the world. But our value-packed G Series also offers well-built guitars that are great for anyone who wants the distinctive sound of classical guitar for any style of music. Available for well under $500, the GC5 combines a fan-braced solid spruce top with black walnut back and sides to produce all of the rich, nylon-string tone players expect from a Takamine classical guitar.

- H8SS ($2,499.00)

Best Nylon String Classical (Acoustic-Electric): GC2CE BLK ($429.99)
When it’s time to play live, Takamine allows you to plug in and go, minus the feedback and other headaches of trying to mic up an acoustic guitar. The GC2CE is an affordable nylon-string guitar that features a fan-braced select spruce top and sapele back and sides for a full and balanced sound, and then adds an onboard Takamine TP-4T preamp system that gives you a built-in tuner with volume, bass, middle, and treble controls for excellent amplified performance.

- GC6CE NAT ($599.99)
- TC132SC ($1,949.00)

Best for Beginners/Budget Conscious: GN11M NS ($299.99)
Everyone starts somewhere, and it’s always hard to find an instrument that provides the quality and comfortable playing feel without being a huge investment. But Takamine’s GN11M gives you everything you want, whether you’re getting a guitar for a few player or adding a value-packed instrument to your own collection. With sapele top, back, and sides, it looks great, sounds bold, and is as cool for roots music and fingerstyle as it is for blues and pop.

- GN20 NS ($399.99)
- GD20 NS ($399.99)

Most Cost-Effective Acoustic-Electric: GLD11E NS ($449.99)
Think about it this way: someday, you’re going to want to play live, with real people, on a real stage. Or maybe you’re going to write a hit song, but you’d rather just plug into a computer audio interface than try and mic up your guitar. The GLD11E is a dreadnought with great-looking okoume top, back, and sides, as well as Takamine's TP-3G electronics with 3-band EQ and chromatic tuner, and is still within your budget. Plug in and do your thing!

- GD20CE NS ($589.99)
- GN30CE NAT ($629.99)

Best in Black: GD30 BLK ($449.99)
Every musician wants to sound good… but most of us like looking cool too. Some of Takamine’s most iconic guitars are available in a finish that’s none-more-black. Whether you’re getting a gift for a heavy rocker or an up-and-coming outlaw country star, a guitar like the GD30 comes in under $500, and still looks amazing with its solid spruce, okoume back and sides, and slim, comfortable mahogany neck all finished in glossy black.

- GF30CE BLK ($629.99)
- EF341SC ($1,899.00)

Best Smaller-Bodied Guitar: GY11ME NS ($449.99)
There are so many reasons to love guitars with compact bodies. First off, the tones you get from Takamine’s range of New Yorker-shaped models rank among the very best we offer. Second, many people just find these guitars more comfortable to play as opposed to wrestling with a gargantuan dreadnought or jumbo. The GY11ME is a cool all-sapele New Yorker sized Takamine that’s great for singer-songwriters and fingerstyle pickers alike, and the transition to stage is made effortless with the addition of Takamine’s own TP-4T electronics, complete with an equalizer and chromatic tuner built-in, delivering it all under the $500 mark.

- GY93E NAT ($799.99)
- CP3NYK ($2,149.00)

Best Short-Scale Guitar: GLN11E NS ($449.99)
Having a slightly shorter scale length has a bigger impact on both feel and tone of a guitar than you may be aware. Example: the GLN11E, with its 630mm (24.8”) scale, provides a softer, warmer sound and even easier playability due to the lowered string tension. This guitar has an okoume top, back, and sides, delivering rich tones in a guitar you can afford. Stage amplification is achieved through Takamine's TP-3G electronics with 3-band EQ and chromatic tuner.

- GY51E BSB ($599.99)
- P3NY ($1,799.00)

Ken M.

Great looking acoustics, I’d love to have a GN90 ce zc, has anyone tried one out?

gedova s.

This buyer's guide on the Top Ten Takamine Guitars Under $500 is a great resource for those looking to find quality and affordability in their next instrument. Happy strumming! #GuitarShopping #Takamine #MusicianLife. | honey-do list

Alice B.

Absolutely great deals! A few days ago I was taking a quiz about Ed Sheeran's Guess the Song and remembered that he uses a Lowden guitar which is from an Irish luthier or something like this! They are also amazing and look similar to the ones here!

John O.

They are beautiful guitars!

Ted C.

This guitar is similar to my brother's

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