The Takamine GD51CE Review – Underrated but sounds overwhelming

Takamine guitars came from the guitar makers of Japan. They started the business in 1959 and little by little, they gain popularity across the country and eventually, around the world. I can say that Takamine is not as popular as the other guitar makers, but it doesn’t mean that they lack the skills in making premium guitars.

Today, we will take a look at one of their guitars that is not very popular among the acoustic guitarist. One of the hidden gems of the Takamine Guitars that is underrated. Let’s have a review of Takamine GD51CE if it is worthy of your money.


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  • Perfect for Gigging
  • Rich Tones and Long Sustains
  • Wood Chosen is High Quality
  • Slim Neck
  • Split Bridge Saddle for better intonation
  • Aesthetically Beautiful
  • Price is good for its quality


  • Pickup/Preamp is decent
  • Stock String is in Heavy Gauge (Preferably, in Light Gauge)

The Underrated Takamine GD51CE is a Great Guitar

Takamine GD51CE doesn’t have any special characteristics that can beat the crap out of every guitar out there in its price range. However, Takamine has done a great job in making this guitar better than most in its price range. Having a Dreadnought body size, this guitar features a solid spruce top, which will sound better as it age, and used laminated black walnut on its back and sides.

The Solid Spruce Top is the one of the most popular top wood used in all acoustic guitar in this price range because it is sturdy and lightweight. With regards to sound, it gives a clear and powerful tone.

Despite being underrated, this guitar is still on my top list as one of the best acoustic guitar under $500. You can check out the list here if you are interested.

Action and Playability

This is the Takamine GD51CE in Natural Finish with Guitar Stand and Hard Case

Takamine GD51CE Acoustic Guitar

I can assure you that this guitar is very easy to play with because of the slim neck profile and low action. Chord changing is not a challenge and it will greatly benefit the beginners who are just starting out.

It also uses the synthetic bone nut and the Split Bridge Saddle which results to better intonation compared to using a single bridge saddle. It may sound good enough out of the box, but this guitar still needs some minor adjustments.

I suggest that you bring it to a guitar professional and let him tweak it and you’ll be amazed at how this guitar can sound even better. Definitely worth your money!

String Gauge Preference

The stock string is in heavy gauge which is just right since it has a Dreadnought body that is designed for powerful strumming. In my opinion, however and also according to some users, It is recommended to use the light gauge for this guitar. It sounds better for me than using the heavy gauge. But it will be up to your preference so have an experiment with it.

Preamp: Takamine TP-4TD

Preamp is decent and not really the best one out there. It amplifies the “acoustic” sound that you might want but sometimes the EQ is overwhelming. Adding EQ can sometimes hurt the sound so it is suggested that you lower the EQ when using it to achieve that “Acoustic” sound we all desire.

This is the Takamine GD51CE in Brown Sunburst Finish with Hard Case

Takamine GD51CE BSB

It has on-board tuner and uses 9V battery. This guitar is perfect for gigging and on-stage performances. Just mix it carefully and trust your ears, this guitar will sound perfect for your performances.

Unpopular but sounds amazing

All of the Takamine guitars that I have used before have one thing in common, they all sound fantastic. And this guitar also sounds good. With a deep bass response, warm and not too bright tones, this guitar is pleasing to the ears.

Whatever playstyle you do, either you are an aggressive strummer or do fingerstyle, name it, this guitar will be perfect for any styles. However, it works better when it is strummed with power because dreadnoughts work that way and can deliver better sound.

>>Tight in budget? Check the cheapest guitars that sound great<<

Sturdy Built and Beautiful

One thing I love in this guitar is it’s very sturdy and light weight. Of course, you should avoid hitting it to anything because it can definitely alter the tone if done always. But I can say that this is a very sturdy guitar and will survive for a lot of years.

This guitar is also beautiful in my eyes. Not full of details but retains the classic design. Aesthetics will not affect the tone of the guitar but who doesn’t want a beautiful guitar that also sounds good. And Takamine GD51CE is one of those kind.

Should you buy it?

This is the Takamine GD51CE Left Handed model with picks, strings and gig bag

Takamine GD51CE-NAT LH

Yes, I highly recommend it. This guitar is perfect for beginners to intermediate players who seeks to invest on a higher quality guitar. This guitar is not an entry-level guitar so it really comes with a price but you can be sure that every penny you’ll spend with this guitar is a money well spent.
Good news for lefties, there is also a Left-handed model for this guitar so you can also try it out. Unfortunately, the Left-handed models and also the standard model are always out of stock so if  you have seen one model available, grab the chance. It is one of the reason why it is unpopular because it is not mass-produced.

This guitar is available in Natural Finish and Brown Sunburst Finish so you can have a choice on what color you want.

Final Thoughts

Takamine GD51CE is a great guitar even though it is unpopular. Properly designed with a sturdy built and beautiful aesthetics, this guitar sounds perfect for any playstyle you want.

It may not be the best guitar out there, but still, it’s quality is still greater than some of the pricier guitars out there.

If you have any questions about this guitar, feel free to leave a comment and I will gladly answer you.

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The Takamine GD51CE Review - Underrated but sounds overwhelming

Takamine GD51CE is not popular but when you hear the sound it produce, you'll be overwhelmed. Great guitar at a really affordable price, you should try it.

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2 comments on “The Takamine GD51CE Review – Underrated but sounds overwhelming

  1. Vito Bruno

    vorrei sapere a proposito della takaminegd51ce lh nat qual’è migliore quella con fondo e fasce in palissandro o quella in noce nera.

    1. Vincent Post author

      I can’t tell which is better because it will up to your preference.

      Walnut is more balanced in tone but slightly bright.
      Rosewood is darker and has deeper bass response.

      Both woods are good but I can’t tell what will work for you since we have different preferences


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