|Acoustic Guitar - Jasmine S-35.|
|The web is full of acoustic guitar reviews praising or scourning the latest and greatest that guitar builders
have to offer. Rarely; however, do these give insight to what makes a guitar worthwhile for the beginner. Chances
are, if you are reading this, that you or someone you know wants to learn to play. The choice of guitar at this
stage often determines whether the guitar leads to a lifetime of enjoying the instrument or another item in the
Nobody wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a guitar that won't be played. But, cheap guitars are usually pretty... well, bad. In our shop, we've made it a goal since day one to be able to sell a good guitar that beginners can afford. It's just good business. Over the years, we've sold guitars by Washburn, Alvarez, Dean Takamine, Ovation, Ibanez and pretty much everybody else and, for the record, they all make a good guitar somewhere in thier line. But we're concerned with the entry level and that narrows our choices considerably. There are; however, good guitars at amazingly low prices. My favorite, at present, is the Jasmine S-35 by Takamine.
First, it's made of wood. This may seem obvious but you'd be surprised to learn how many guitars aren't. We see cheap guitars manufactured from every imaginable glued, extruded, plastic, pressed-together crap you can think of. Even better, it's made of common guitar woods, mahogany and spruce with a rosewood fingerboard. Here's the basic feature list...
The top of the guitar is called the "sound board" so you can imagin that it will have great impact on the sound of the guitar. Spruce is the most common wood for an acoustic guitar top. The best guitars have "solid tops" meaning that the top is constructed of one layer of wood. You will rarely see an inexpensive guitar with a solid top and the S-35 is no exception. It's top is constructed of three layers. It will never resonate like a high quality solid top but, layered tops are much more durable bo, the plys aren't all bad. Besides, you could add a couple hundred dollars to the price if it had a solid top taking it right out of the running as a great beginner guitar.
The neck and fingerboard are very important to guitarists of all levels. The neck should be adjustable to be adaptable to climatic variations that will cause it to bow or warp (back-bow) as the seasons change. The "scale length" should be 25½" which is the stadard scale length for a guitar. Anything shorter and the guitar will rattle and play badly. Anything longer will make the string tension so great that it will be very difficult to play. The S-35 is standard scale. The fingerboard is rosewood. Nice.
The tuning gears are pretty good though not great. But, these days, even cheap one hold a tune so, I am just fine with these. They are individual so I'd call it a mid-level tuning gear.
Put it all together and you've got a great guitar to learn on. It's adjustable, has low action and is make like a guitar should be. It's warranteed for life to boot. I give the Jasmine S-35 two thumbs up!