I Gotta Say…
…for the price ($80), the Jasmine acoustic guitar by Takamine is by far one of the best value (Q/P where Q=quality and P=price) instruments I have ever owned, and I own two (I keep one at my sister’s out in Colorado so I have something to noodle on during family holidays).
It’s a solid workhorse instrument that can take a beating and still perform. Because of the low cost, it’s a great travel axe. You don’t really care if it gets smacked around, and even if it does, it is still totally playable. The instrument at my sister’s place was accidentally skewered through the side by a construction worker and was none the worse for wear.
I offer up my Madison one to performers at the open mics I sometimes host because it’s a universally playable guitar and I don’t care how rough people are with it. I wouldn’t even care too much if someone stole it, because they are so easily replaceable and I have definitely gotten my money’s worth over the years.
Sure it’s never ever going to play and sound like a Martin or a Taylor or even a high end Takamine. But it’s got good action and a warm sound. I don’t use a capo and I can play bar chords on the Jasmine without much hand or finger fatigue.
Both of mine are acoustic only, without onboard electronics, and when I need amplification, I just throw a Dean Markley acoustic pickup in the sound hole and it’s good to go. I suspect the electronics in the acoustic/electric Jasmines is probably cheap and poor sounding. However, I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that the Dean Markley pickup generates a warm and balanced sound across the whole range of the instrument and is really all I need for my purposes.
I don’t know why I am telling you this. I guess I just felt like paying a bit of homage to the instrument that got me started as a solo singer/songwriter (she’s been through many FAWMs) and has been a reliable axe for years.