Sunday, 19 February 2012

Takamine EGB2S Electro/Acoustic Bass Guitar Review

Key Info
  • Top Solid Spruce
  • Back Mahogany
  • Sides Mahogany
  • Neck Maple
  • Fingerboard Rosewood
  • Bridge Rosewood
  • Tuners Chrome
  • Electronics TP-4T Pre amp inc. Chromatic Tuner
  • Jumbo Bass Body
  • Abalone Rosette
  • 34 inch scale
  • 4 String
  • Available Natural or Black

The Takamine EGB2S Acoustic/Electric Bass is one of the Takamine 'budget' models of guitar.  However, don't mistake budget for cheapy or poor quality. This is a first class instrument which rivals many more expensive instruments and, in my opinion, surpasses the rivals in its price range. It is made of good quality materials which show through in the finished product, making it a joy play and look at too!!

One of the main attractions of this electro acoustic bass is the solid spruce top. For those uninitiated in buying acoustic guitars, this is one of the most important contributors to sound quality. Obviously it's not the only thing to take into account, but on this guitar it makes a great difference. The maple neck is 'C' shaped with a clear lacquer finish making it smooth and fast to navigate. The mahogany back and sides add to the quality and sound of this guitar with an abalone rosette adding to the finish. The guitar is made in China which these days doesn't really mean a lot either way. A few years ago Chinese instruments were synonymous with cheap and nasty but those days are mainly gone for the big manufacturers. The factories are tooled up the same wherever they are by and large. The TP-4T pre amp has a built in chromatic tuner, (I found this to be a bit finicky, especially on the E string) the same as many of the EGB2s's rivals. This is switched on by pressing a small button and switched off by pressing and holding the same button for a second or so. The TP-4T has three bands as would be expected, treble, mid and bass, actuated by the usual slider controls. The 'Gain' control is the volume control and the pre amp is switched on by plugging a jack lead into the input which is located in the strap button. The unit automatically switches off when the jack lead is removed. The 12v battery fits end on into the pre amp which clicks into place with two plastic clips. To be honest I feel that the quality of the pre amp construction is not really the same as the rest of the guitar feeling a little 'plasticky'. I know that's because it's made of plastic but it just doesn't have the same quality feel as some of the rivals pre amps. However, it works just fine and didn't flinch in the test over the last few weeks. Hopefully, it will stand the test of time. Other than this, I found this to be a very well built guitar.

Sound and Playability

a word in advance........

Sound of course is a very subjective thing and it would be difficult if not impossible to describe the sound in words!! It would also be wrong to try and say the bass is only good for this or that style of music. However, it can be true that some basses lend themselves more to one style or another so I will try to give a broad view of the sound.

People often complain that acoustic bass guitars are quiet. Well, that is probably true of this guitar too. However, it is not overly quiet and in my opinion would stand an acoustic jam with a guitar. I've jammed along with a Djembe and could still hear myself!! The sound quality to me is excellent. Having compared it with some equally priced rivals it was, to me, by far the best sounding, and I think there are a few other reviews out there that concur. The sound is far 'rounder' than some without the sharp, brighter edge, giving it an altogether more pleasing acoustic timbre. It also sounds great amplified, but obviously the sound shape can be modified through an amp and using the TP-4T pre amp. Acoustically the guitar has a warm sound with good sustain, an attribute of the spruce top, no doubt and has a good balanced sound throughout the whole range of the instrument.

The guitar is very comfortable to play, bearing in mind it is an acoustic and obviously large. However, I found it could be played in a similar way to a classical guitar, on the right leg sticking up at an angle or equally in a flatter, slightly slouchier position, on the left leg. The action is of course much higher than you would expect on an electric bass. Some may not like this. To be honest, I am used to playing with a very low action on my electric basses, but after a while of playing the EGB2S, I soon got used to it.


There are a wealth of electro acoustic basses available today, some good, some not so good. Ultimately, the best way to find out what you do and don't like is to go to a music shop and have a couple of hours trying them out. However, for my money, and in my opinion, the Takamine EGB2S offers a great balance of quality and value, and most importantly, the sound hard is to beat at this price range. 

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