Takamine TC132SC Electro Acoustic Classical Guitar Review

Takamine TC132SC Review

Heard great things about Takamine guitars?

Me too!

If the time has come for you to upgrade your classical guitar, the Takamine TC132SC might just be the one for you.

Maybe you’re looking for a great acoustic-electric model or maybe you think the TC132SC could be an excellent choice for your first classical guitar.

Either way, this could be a match made in heaven!

Let’s find out.

At a Glance…

✔️  What we like: A durable model with a beautiful, traditional tone and good playability

❌  What we don’t like: The craftsmanship could be a little more refined

Standout Features:

  • CoolTube (CTP-3) Electronics
  • Piezo pickup
  • Gotoh 35G420 Tuners
  • Solid wood back and top

Our Verdict: The Takamine TC132SC is a brilliant electric-acoustic classical guitar for players of any experience level. Plus, I’d say it’s pretty affordable for an electric-acoustic model. It takes a little bit of time for the tone to warm up (around the same time for the strings to settle in) but after a few weeks of playing it sounds absolutely gorgeous. The only downside I can think of is slight issues with the craftsmanship but we’ll get to that later!

Who is the Takamine TC132SC Best Suited To?

Honestly, I think anyone would enjoy playing the Takamine TC132SC. There’s no reason why even complete beginners shouldn’t pick one up! If this model’s in your budget then I’d say it’s definitely one to consider.

Its laminate sides make it a little more durable than other, more expensive Takamine models so it would be ideal for frequent travelers. I know the sheer stress that comes with taking a completely solid wood guitar traveling and I would avoid it at all costs (unless you’ve got a swanky case with humidity controls).

The built-in preamp would be great for buskers as well actually. All in all, I’d say any serious player that has the budget for the TC132SC should go for it! Unless, of course, you’ve got deep pockets and can afford its slightly more elegant sister, the THC5.

Features & Benefits

Body & Neck

As I mentioned, the TC132SC classical guitar has laminate sides but a solid top and bottom. I know laminate might put you off, especially at this price point, but, honestly, I don’t think it’s an issue.

Acoustic-electric classical guitars are usually pretty extortionate, so I’m not mad at the laminate because it just makes the model more accessible. The solid cedar top and solid rosewood back give you all the tone you need, I’d say! I love that they’ve stuck with a solid mahogany neck though.

If I’m spending over $1000 on a guitar it better be bloody durable (no necks are snapping on my watch)! Okay, let’s talk about this cutaway. I love cutaways, I think they’re a godsend for playability. It’s so much easier to reach for the higher register with this guy. In fact, there’s not much “reaching” involved at all (yup, that’s how easy it is).

Plus, if you’re a “sit down to play” kind of a guitarist, having a cutaway is going to make things way more comfortable!

Hardware

Okay, I absolutely love this preamp. The TC132SC has a built-in CoolTube preamp and, let me tell ya, once you try it you’re not gonna want to play acoustically ever again. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but you’re going to love it.

It’s got a three-band EQ (+ or – 12db), so you’ve loads of control over your sound. You’re probably wondering what all this “CoolTube” stuff’s about as well, right? I was. All you need to know is it’s pretty awesome. Just kidding, I’ll tell you all about it.

Basically, the CoolTube is a glass tube that runs through the body of the guitar, offering even more control over your sound. It runs a vacuum at such a low voltage that it stays cool to the touch.

Science aside, I think it gives the guitar a much warmer, fuller projection. I find most other preamps (at this price point anyway) give me quite a tinny sound after I’ve adjusted the EQ but this guy keeps things sounding so silky smooth!

Oh, and you can also adjust it to be brighter if that’s what you’re into!

Sound

Oh boy, let me tell ya about this tone. The TC132SC has a really beautiful tone with or without an amp. Considering it’s got a cedar top and rosewood back you’d expect it to sound deep straight out of the box but it does take a little while for the tone to warm up.

That’s not really an issue for me (I love hearing my instruments change the more I play them) but it’s something to bear in mind. Whatever your style, you can adjust the TC132SC to suit with the CoolTube and EQ controls. So, whether you’re a flamenco, classical, or jazz player you’re probably going to fall in love with this guy.

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Solid cedar top, solid rosewood back, laminate rosewood sides
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard Material:  Rosewood
  • Pickups: CoolTube (CTP-3) preamp, piezo pickup
  • Bridge: Hardtail rosewood

One of the best classical guitars in this price range

Limitations

As much as I hate to admit it, this guy does have some limitations. For one, it doesn’t come with strap buttons pre-installed which, if anything, is just a pain in the backside. Nobody wants to take a trip to their local luthier just to get strap buttons installed, right?

Also, the TC132SC’s fingerboard isn’t raised. Now, I know that’s the traditional flamenco way of crafting guitars but it could be an issue for classical and jazz players. However, the cutaway does sort of make up for the limitations in playability.

I just think it’s a shame because if this guy had both a raised fingerboard and a cutaway it’d be an absolute dream to play. Also, there’s no truss-rod, so you can’t change the action yourself which is a bit of a nuisance. The default action might be a bit too high for some advanced players so you may have to take it in to be adjusted.

Popular Questions About the Takamine TC132SC

What is the Nut Width of the Takamine TC132SC?

The Takamine TC132SC has a standard nut width of 2.008 inches (52mm). To me, the nut width has to be bang on otherwise playability goes straight out of the window!

What is the Best Takamine Acoustic-Electric Classical Guitar?

I think either the TC132SC or the TH5C are the best acoustic-electric classical guitars Takamine makes in this price range.

Where is the Takamine TC132SC Made?

Japan. I’ve played quite a few Japanese-made instruments recently and they’ve all been great, this one included! I’m pretty impressed by Takamine given that both of the guitars I’ve reviewed from them have been brilliant.

A Durable, Affordable Acoustic-Electric Classical Guitar

Given that the TC132SC is under $2000, I’m surprised I love this guitar so much. Not to sound like a guitar snob but usually, if you want a great acoustic-electric classical guitar that sounds brilliant with or without the pickup, you’d have to spend much more than that.

So, I’m pleasantly surprised by this guitar!

Although it has a few limitations for very advanced players, I’d say the TC132SC is one of the best classical guitar models under $2000. If you’re looking for an acoustic-electric number, this guitar could definitely be the one!

Further Reading: