Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar,Natural Musical Instruments
About this item Gloss Natural Dreadnought body style Laminate Spruce top Sapele back and sides Rosewood Fingerboard Synthetic bone nut and saddle
10 reviews for Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar,Natural Musical Instruments
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John Paris –
I own a beautiful $1,000+ Taylor guitar but after seeing the horrible stories about United Airlines destroying a passenger’s guitar I was reticent to check it on a recent trip to NYC. But I wanted to keep up my practicing so I rolled the dice and ordered this to drop ship to my hotel. I also ordered some nice bronze strings thinking I would need to make that change right away to get decent sound from the guitar. In the end, I never restrung the instrument. Out of the box, it had such a rich sound I just kept it as is. I was truly amazed by the quality of this guitar – both how well it was constructed and of course how nice it sounded. It’s a bit smaller body than my Taylor which also made it a little easier to handle. If it were three times the price I paid, I would have been pleased, so I have no hesitation recommending this guitar whole-heartedly.
Jerrold Shelton –
The Jasmine S34C is an outstanding value.I’m still having a bit of a diffiuclt time reconciling the guitar I received with the amount of money I spent for it.Mine arrived earlier this date, with the factory box inside a larger Amazon box and more than adequately cushioned from movement with plenty of crumpled packing paper.The guitar inside the factory box proved to about as perfect in build quality as human hands and machines can make such a thing out of the materials it is made from. I inspected mine very throughly before tuning it to pitch and trying it out -including examining the body interior with the sort of inspection mirror used in automotive repair. I looked for flaws, expecting to find some, but I didn’tTHE NECK: The tuning machines on my example have a positive feel with no backlash in the gears. The nut on my example is of the correct height and is correctly slotted. The fingerboard is a very nice piece of rosewood. The dot inlays on it were correctly done. The frets on mine are all level, properly crowned, polished, and end-dressed. The binding on the neck was skillfully and correctly applied. The neck appears to have been set at an appropriate angle. The satin-matte finish on the neck makes it a fast and smooth thing to slide the hand upon. There is a metal strap button applied in the exact spot I’d have put one on the neck heel myself had one not have been supplied.THE BODY: The laminate sapele on my example is all uniform in general color, with beautifully figured grain. The binding on the body is perfectly executed. Inside the body, everything is neat and tidy -no globs of glue, no whiskered wood. The top on the insturment is often billed as “select spurce.” It is a laminated top, but on my example, you have look very, very closely at the end grain of the wood around the sound hole to tell. It appears to be a solid, voidless board, faced top and bottom with almost paper-thin spruce veneers. The laminated top on this instrument reminds me of the tops used on the old “Nippon Gakki” Yamaha instruments. The satin-matte finish so perfectly and evenly applied to the back and side of my example was equally well done on my instrument’s top. The simple inlaid black and white ring celluoid or abs rosette around the soundhole was flawlessly done, too. My instrument came with the pick gaurd installed, but I removed it immediately upon completing my inspection of the instrument. It was easily removed by simply slowly peeling it off the sound board, leaving no residue behind. I wrapped it in wax paper as soon as I removed it, so it could be re-installed later, if someone was inclined to do so. I bought this guitar to do lead work on and for that, I generally pick with my bare thumb, index, and middle finger, rather than use a plectrum, so the “scratch plate” isn’t something I need on this instrument -hence my desire to remove it.INITITIAL IMPRESSIONS: This is a light and shockingly resonant and responsive instrument and it is pretty much tailor-made for my style of play. Where responsiveness to picking and pick attack is concerned, I couldn’t be more pleased. It has very even volume response up, down, and across the fingerboard with equal attack equalling equal volume wherever a note is fingered. Mine has a substantial amount of sustain, too. I tuned it to pitch and played it for about an hour and a half, using the whole neck, and playing pieces with plenty of single string and double-stop bends, lots of hammer-ons and pull offs, and etc. I’m having a hard time believing that a new guitar would stay in tune through all of that, but it did.Tone-wise, I would describe mine as “sweet” and “clear” without being overly “tinny” or overly accentuating the high-end of the tonal spectrum.It has very good note separation, too, in spite of having almost too much sustain. It seems to generate enough volume when picked with the bare flesh of my thumb, index, and middle fingers to work well with microphones -something I’ll have a go at tomorrow. Strummed with a plecturm or flat-picked, it puts out a lot of volume for an all-laminate body instrument.It reminds me of everything I liked about my first guitar -an Ovation Balladeer, being similar to that in terms of response to pick attack, even volume and sustain response all over the fingerboard, and being close in terms of tone. What I am still amazed by as I write this is that when I first started playing guitar back in 1980, $30.66 had the same buying power then that the price I paid for my S34C has today, but back in 1980, there wasn’t such a thing as a playable guitar to be had for that kind of money.In sum, the Jasmine S34C I received isn’t just “a good guitar for the money.” It’s just a good guitar. Period and full stop.The only “con” to it that I can come up with is that it shipped to me with insanely high string action. I can remedy this easily enough through simply sanding a few thousanths of an inch off the bottom of the bridge. And it isn’t really a “con” per se, because even expensive guitars need a “set up”.Otherwise, it seems entirely well suited for what I bought it for -an insturment for finger-picked acoustic lead or solo guitar. It isn’t something I’d want to flat-pick fiddle tunes on or back a bluegrass jam with as it lacks the “punch” and powerful bass of a good dreadnaught-style guitar. But it seems all peaches and sunshine for what I bought it for and hoped it would do.My expectations were high based on the number of positive reviews this instrument gets. My example has exceeded those expectations.UPDATE 3/7/2016: After giving the instrument some time to acclimate to its new surroundings, I set the insturment up to my taste, tweaking the truss rod a little to get exactly ten thousandths of an inch of neck relief and popping a lower saddle in the bridge to get the string height over the 12th fret where I like it -using a U.S. quarter-dollar coin as a height gauge. I then strung it up with Ernie Ball Earthwood extra-light silk and steel. I only thought I was impressed with instrument as it came from the box. After setting it up and re-stringing it, I am even more impressed than I was initially. This instrument simply doesn’t play or sound like the “cheap plywood box” that it essentially is. It is a highly resonant, sweet singing, responsive guitar, even when strung with extra-light silk and steel strings, and even when picking it with my bare thumb, index, and middle finger as I am wont to do. Tuning stability has also proven to be really good so far. Since receiving this, I’ve already gigged it, where it took nothing more exotic than a humble Sure SM-57 aimed at the 14th fret to get stellar live sound. I’ve also found that it records really well. To say that I am amazed with this instrument is a bit of an understatement. I’m so impressed with mine that I have literally just purchased another Jasmine S34C from Amazon! Having a second one will allow me to have one in standard tuning and another in altered tuning, and alternate between them in live performance, instead of having to constantly re-tune just one of them. If this second one that I have just ordered is as good as the first one I received, the plan is to put K&K pickup systems in both of them.UPDATE 8/13/2018: I now have several of these instruments. All of them were purchased from Amazon and all arrived on my doorstep in perfect condition, albeit in need of a truss rod and saddle height adjustment. I absolutely could not be more pleased than I am with these instruments. I am something of a guitar geek -the kind who goes to brick and mortar stores and plays everything they’ve got, but I have yet to play an acoustic guitar that I like better than this model, regardless of price, or who made it, or what it is made from. It plays, sounds, and stays in tune every bit as good as instruments costing significantly more and, as such, this instrument has to be one of the best “bang for the buck” values in music today. In fact, it plays, sounds, and stays in tune better than a whole bunch of guitars costing a whole bunch more money. If I had more space to keep them, I’d buy a few more. Yeah, it’s a cheap plywood box and it doesn’t have the “solid board” back, sides, and top that so many players think a great guitar has to have. I could care less what the thing is made from or what it looks like. What I absolutely DO care about is sound, and how easy it is or isn’t for me to get what I hear in my head out to the ears of an audience. These things do what I want a six-string acoustic guitar to do. There generally no other six string acoustic guitar that I would rather play instead. The more I have played them, the more I appreciate them. The “honeymoon phase” ain’t over yet. I have installed K&K pickup systems in two of these for convenient and decent live sound. I use the external K&K pre-amp and the result is something that needs no improvement.
Bob MBob M –
I have been researching guitars and discovered Takamine and how they get such great reviews for their NEX body style and big sound. Takamine’s are quite expensive and since the body style seems different than most, didn’t want to spend that much. Takamine is the maker of this Jasmine guitar and it is the same design as their expensive guitars that can cost well over $1000. I discovered this guitar online and bought this guitar because of all the good reviews that I see on Amazon and other guitar sites. Wanted an acoustic with a cut out but didn’t want to break the bank. It seemed by the reviews that maybe it was too good to be true.The photos attached show two Jasmine Guitars, on the Left, this guitar, the S34C NEX (matte) and on the right the Jasmine JO36-Nat (gloss) – The JO36 is a slightly smaller body style and is very comfortable, more so that the NEX body. The sound is great and the neck is nearly the same. Would highly recommend for smaller guitar players and works great for my big hands too! You can also see the differences in the head stock design and the tuners are quite different. The NEX tuners seem better. All in all both are great quality and an awesome value. (I did not get paid for this review or any discounts, bought these with my hard earned cash and am writing a review, because these really are great guitars!)This review is for the Jasmine S34C NEXPackaging:When I opened the package, I was disappointed in Amazon’s packaging as the head stock was slightly damaged. Overlooking this fact, I tuned it up and played it for a while.Strings:The strings are not the greatest, but the guitar itself is spectacular! Yes, it is a laminated spruce top, but the sound is rich, warm lows and mids and bright highs. It almost has the sound of a solid cedar top guitar (but it is not). The back and side are sapele which some call mahogany, but it is absolutely beautiful! I also own a Taylor GS Mini Mahogany and it also is sapele, and has a rich warm boom with bright notes. First thing that I did to this Jasmine guitar was replace the strings with Martin MFX130 Flexible Core Silk & Phosphor strings and what I thought was a decent guitar, suddenly become a dream! With these strings the guitar really comes to life. Although at first they are a bit bright for my tastes, after a couple of weeks they really tame down and become warm and rich.Quality of workmanship:I was expecting workmanship of an $80 guitar, what I got quality of a guitar worth hundreds more. The finish of this guitar is a beautiful satin finish, I was expecting gloss as the description showed, but was pleasantly surprised to have matte, which I prefer. The body is clean and smooth and has a nice feel, the neck is also matte and just feels great in your hands. The top is a spruce laminate and is darker than one might expect, not yellowish like most spruce tops, but a deeper tanish color, similar to some cedar top guitars that I have seen from Breedlove. I really like the color of the top and the back, which is sapele has a nice natural color and perfectly matches the sides. The black trim really gives the guitar a rich look and it is smooth and perfectly finished. The neck is not quite the same color as the back, but acceptable. The headstock is a nicer design that the one in the photo of the description, not sure if there are different model years from one to the other, I bought mine Jan 2017. The chrome tuners are smooth and keep it in tune very well, not complaints here at all. The Jasmine lettering on the headstock is a subtle gold, not inlaid but printed.This is not a small guitar. While it is smaller than a Jumbo, not by much. It is near the size of a Dreadnought, a smaller waist helps it to be more comfortable and the sound is comparable to a dreadnought.Playability:The neck of this guitar with the matte finish and 12″ radius is a big bonus, it has the feel of an electric guitar. I have big hands and the 1.75″ nut is great for fingerstyle as well. The intonation at the 12th fret is near perfect, with no setup out of the box. The finish on the fret ends could be smoother, but it is not bad. The action is spot on and no adjustment was needed for my style. It can be strummed hard and that huge NEX body packs a punch. It does not sound like a $1000 Taylor, but really with the right setup and strings, it is not $900+ different!Final Thoughts:After buying this guitar, I almost would like to have a second one to keep for when I wear this one out, its that good, especially the cost makes it even more attractive since the quality and playability is so great. I would recommend this to most beginners, smaller adults and kids might be challenged by the size, but I see lots of little kids playing dreadnoughts, so this would be better. If your an intermediate or long time guitar player, I don’t think you would be disappointed, not expect a $1500 guitar, but I have had some expensive guitars, where this one shines over those. So, no matter what level of guitar player you are, Run don’t Walk to the Buy Now, JUST BUY IT!
Chris BassfordChris Bassford –
This is indeed a remarkably nice little cheapo guitar–good looking and, after adjustment, really easy to play. I wish I could get the action on my Taylor 214 to be this good. It is not, however, made by Takamine, though it was designed and built by them–it looks identical to several of their models, especially some in the G70 series. That was a long time ago. Takamine sold the brand to KMC Music Company (Connecticut) around 2005. The one I bought several months ago was made in Indonesia. It looks great and is solid and well made (though one neck-dot was not quite flush), but it is–as several reviews note–essentially a “cheap plywood” box. I replaced the truly mediocre tuners (actually, I put $55 Hipshot locking machines on this $119 ax–had to drill out the mounting holes to 10mm, but that was easy), replaced the nutt and saddle with tusq pieces, and of course put better strings on. It’s fun to play and, as I said, has really great action after proper setup. The weakness is the sound, which varies a great deal–its tone responds more to humidity changes than any guitar I’ve ever had. Sometimes it sounds pretty sweet, but a lot of the time it sounds a bit jarring, like the undertones are clashing somehow. A mix of brass and wood bridge pins helped a lot, but still…. I bought it to experiment with some alternate tunings and it’s been great for that–I now keep it tuned a whole step down for tunes I just can’t sing in the original key and can’t transpose to a different set of chord-shapes. Personally, I wouldn’t gig with it, but I pick it up pretty frequently–especially when my aged, arthritic hands are hurting. It would be a great first guitar for a kid who can handle a regular-sized instrument, but spend the extra money & time to get it professionally setup. I wouldn’t trade the one I’ve got now for anything I’ve seen in the store for less than $500 (yeah, I’d trade it for a Taylor Academy 12), but it took some work to get it there.
I currently own seven guitars, all different, to accommodate/enhance various styles of play. My acoustic workhorse has been an Ovation Celebrity – nothing fancy, not a great tone, but it plays really well and it sounds nice when amplified. I bought this Jasmine for a few reasons – 1) I wanted a beater guitar for camping trips, 2) I wanted a guitar that I could leave in an alternate tuning (probably DADGAD), and 3) because of reason #1, I didn’t want to pay much. After finding this guitar (priced at about $85.00) and reading the reviews, my curiosity was piqued so I thought I’d give it a try.I’ve had it for about a week now and I’m back at square one in a way. This guitar looks too pretty (the satin finish is beautiful), sounds too great (wonderful tone, great sustain, superb intonation), and plays too well (the action was decent right out of the box, no fret buzz anywhere) to use it for its intended purpose! In fact, this ‘budget’ guitar is the first guitar I’ve ever owned that I’ve considered honoring it with a name.I’m selling the Ovation because it just can’t compete tonally with this Jasmine. I’ve already ordered a second. And if the second is consistent with the first, I’ll probably order a third (for camping… ?)!In the words of Vizzini, “it’s inconceivable” that a guitar this nice would be so cheap!A note to beginners:I highly recommend this guitar to any adult (or almost-adult-sized child) wanting to learn to play – it’s inexpensive, it plays well (if properly adjusted), and it has a wonderful tone.Having said that, I would like to add this:The guitar strings will need to be changed occasionally due to use; they will lose tonal quality, they may break.In fact, you may need to change them from the outset (don’t be alarmed or disappointed – it happens, particularly with inexpensive guitars. And they’re pretty cheap). There is a variety from which to choose but I would recommend starting with a ‘Silk and Steel’ type – they’re typically easier on new (un-calloused) fingertips. Once your fretting fingers are toughened, you’ll want to experiment, as your string choice will affect your playing style as well as your tone.The action (the distance from the strings to the fingerboard) may need to be adjusted to make playing easier. As a general rule, if the strings are higher than the thickness of a US quarter (measured at the 12th fret), the action needs to be lowered. If the strings are lower than that, you’re probably getting fret buzz (from the string(s) vibrating against a fret when the string is plucked). Most music stores can correct this (for a fee), or an experienced guitar-playing friend may be kind enough to help. You can do it yourself if you’re so inclined (instructional videos can be easily found on YouTube) but I would strongly suggest having an experienced person oversee your first few efforts.There are a couple of accessories that will be greatly beneficial and should be acquired immediately if you don’t already have them:1) A guitar case or a guitar stand (you have to do something to keep it safe when you’re not playing it).2) A guitar tuner.3) Guitar picks (plectrums). You don’t necessarily need these; some guitarists prefer to play with their fingers. But most use a pick. There is a wide variety, so experiment. They not only affect your ease of play but, if you pay attention, you’ll notice they also affect the tone you’re getting. In fact, I use specific picks for different guitars.4) A neck strap. Another item you don’t necessarily need (if you always sit while playing). If you want to stand while playing, it’s a virtual necessity.I hope this has helped!
I’m a beginner guitarist (about 4 months of practice in) and this thing is great. I own it alongside an Esteban and an electric (Yamaha Pacifica PAC012) and it’s one of my favorites to play on. It’s pretty lightweight and easy to carry around. A great guitar for the price. It stays in tune for a good amount of time.Strings are phosphor bronze 12 gauge. They can tear your fingers up a bit, which in a sense makes it really good for developing finger strength. Same with its action (height between strings and frets), meaning you’ll have to either get your fingers closer to the fret or press down harder to prevent buzzing. If you’re an absolute beginner, practice 15-30 minutes every day and until the tips of your fingers are sore. Within a month or so you should start developing calluses and it’ll be easier to play thereon after. I recommend also getting these picks (plectrums if you’re from anywhere but the states) – https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0002D0CH6?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details – the 0.73mm size is great for multiple types of guitar playing, be it rhythm or lead.Most of the materials are on the cheaper side, which I believe is expected for a budget acoustic. But that doesn’t mean this thing is of poor quality, and it especially doesn’t mean it sounds bad because of it. Anything but, actually, as this thing sounds amazing.The only con I can think of is that (and this could be just because I have poor technique, so not necessarily a fault of the guitar) barre chords towards the headstock of the guitar can be tricky to play (such as F major, Bm, and so on) cleanly on it. Usually my 2nd string starts to buzz or sound off, but again, that could just be me needing to change my technique. The action of the guitar could be responsible for this, but I’d have to get a 2nd opinion.
I’ve owned several guitars over the years in various price categories. This jasmine easily competes with the low end epiphone, fender, and Yamaha acoustics. In fact this guitar outplays a limited edition John Lennon epiphone I recently traded in. The neck is smooth and easily playable. There are no rough or unseated frets. The tuners are acceptable. I will say that I had to call amazon and have a replacement shipped out due to poor handling by the mailer. The first guitar was set up better than the second but was damaged on the bottom of the body. The second guitar I received was not damaged but did need a little work to get it perfect. I had to adjust the truss rod and sand the bridge quite a bit. After that I tossed a new set of strings on (D’addario phosphor bronze light). I also removed the cheap plastic pick guard. The result is a clean crisp sounding guitar with great action and easy playability. So does this guitar stand up to my Seagull S6…? Not quite but for about $80 this is a good guitar that can be great with the right set up.
Mark Duvall –
I’ve been playing guitar for 25 years or more. I know what a cheap piece of crap feels like and what a quality instrument should feel like. The build and feel of this guitar is super slick. It does not feel like a $120.00 guitar this feels like a $300.00 to $400.00 quality guitar. The action is spot on and the tone for the price is spectacular. Even the strings (usually the first thing I replace on a new guitar) are pretty crisp. I bought this as a couch guitar. Something I could just pick up and play and not worry about kids and dogs knocking over my Martin which stays in the case. Now I don’t want to leave this out on the couch. If you are a beginner or someone who’s looking for a decent guitar you don’t have to baby don’t look any further. This is what your looking for. I’m probably going to swap out tuners as the ones that came with it are a bit gritty for my taste, but they are nothing close to terrible.
I am a beginning guitar player, but I’ve also played on other “beginner” guitars that are nowhere near the same quality as this. I have had it for about 8 months, and I am still as impressed with it as I was the first day. The sound quality is fantastic. It also holds its tuning for a long time, which is a major difference I’ve noticed from other beginner guitars. The wood craftsmanship is very good, and I think it has the “feel” of a high quality guitar when holding it. As a beginner or intermediate guitar player, you won’t regret purchasing this guitar! It would also be a great gift for a beginning guitarist, as it’s affordable and you can trust it’s great quality for the price. I’d buy it again 10 times over.
An academic point first. Jasmine guitars have not been made by Takamine since 2005. Takamine sold off the Jasmine rights to KMC music in that year. There is a convoluted history there that you can go research if you like. The Jasmine guitars that were made by Takamine say “by Takamine” on the headstock and on the sticker inside the guitar. I still see current reviewers stating that these are made by Takamine and even sellers putting that in their advertisements and it is misleading. Now does that really matter? Not at all. These still represent an exceptional value.My guitar needed a full setup so be prepared to do that yourself or take it to a pro to have it done. This is perfectly normal.As for a review. I purchased this as a general knock around guitar so that I wouldn’t have to take my Martin or Washburn guitars out of the house. There isn’t much to add that hasn’t already been said by other reviewers. This one arrived in a foam bag, double boxed. My guitar has some very minor cosmetic issues with the finish. The headstock stain is darker in one spot near the treble tuners (see photo) and there are a few light specs on the top where the stain didn’t absorb around the binding. I pulled the strings and saddle off of the bridge and hit it with the micro mesh pads since it was a little rough. I took the tuners off and oiled them and they are much smoother now and hold tuning fine. The nut slots were a little tight and the strings were binding so I hit them gently with the nut slot files. Problem solved. If you have that problem and don’t have any nut slot files, don’t worry. Just use some pieces of old guitar strings and run them back and forth in the right nut slots, rub in some pencil lead and that should do the trick. The fret wire is tiny. Fretwork is fine and there is no fret buzz. Slight fret rock on the 13th and 18th frets, but doesn’t affect playing. All of the internal bracing and purfling is fine. Nothing loose or broken. My action was on the the high side so I ended up taking 2mm off of the bottom of the saddle. Now it’s perfect for me. Still using the factory strings and enjoying it. I would buy this guitar again without hesitation. Typically you get what you pay for. This is certainly one of those wonderful and rare exceptions.