Takamine P1 NC Review: Acoustic Guitars Under $1,500 Reviews

Published Categorized as Cedar Top Wood, Grand Auditorium Reviews, Guitar Reviews, Guitar Reviews under 1500, Laminate Back and Sides Wood, Sapele Patterned Laminate Back and Sides, Solid Wood Top Wood, Takamine Acoustic Guitars

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Hello and welcome to my Takamine P1NC review.

This review will look at Takamine’s P1NC, from their Pro Series 1, in terms of:

  • The Tone;
  • The Playability;
  • The Materials the P1NC is made from;
  • Who the P1NC is best suited to;
  • The P1NC’s value-for-money
Takamine Pro Series 1 P1NC NEX Body Acoustic Electric Guitar...

I’ll also provide video of the P1NC in action so that you can get an appreciation of the tone for yourself and some user reviews so you can read about other people’s opinions.

The Tone

I found the tone of the P1NC to be nice and warm. There’s no better way to describe it than pleasant sounding.

But it wasn’t just pleasant, it also had character. And the way it played (more on that later) made this guitar a real pleasure to try out.

Warm or Bright:

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the warmest possible and 10 being the brightest, I would put the P1NC at a 3. It was definitely on the warm side, which to me was music to my ears as I’m really partial to warm sounding guitars.

The Shape

The P1NC has Takamine’s NEX shape. This is similar to Taylor’s Grand Auditorium. Takamine describe it as a mini-jumbo.

It also has a venetian cutaway.

The Materials

Top: Solid Cedar

Back & Sides: Laminate Sapele

Bracing: X Bracing

Bridge: Rosewood (pinless)

Saddle: Bone (split saddle)

Nut: Bone


The P1NC comes with electronics in the form of an under saddle pick up with a CT4B II preamp. It also has a built-in tuner.


Check out the video below to get more of an understanding of the sound of the P1NC for yourself. This isn’t the perfect representation but will give you some idea.

And here’s another one. It’s actually the P3NC – but it’s a similar guitar but has Solid Sapele on the back. The reason I wanted to show this second video is because that first one only showed strumming. Unfortunately there aren’t too many demonstrations for this guitar.


Takamine P1NC on the shelf

This was definitely a nice guitar to play, right off the shelf without any adjustments needed. You could still tweak it to suit your own personal needs but I wouldn’t be in any hurry to do so.

It was the nicest feeling (and sounding) guitar of the 4 guitars I played that day. It was the stand out on the day for me, for sure.


The action felt fine where it was, which is rare on a guitar straight off the shelf, from my experience. It could still go lower but it was a pleasure to play just where it was.

Nut Width

The nut on the P1NC is 1.675″ (42.5mm). This is a little narrower than the norm. I didn”t notice much difference but this is certainly a plus if you have smaller hands.

Neck & Fretboard (fingerboard)

The neck is Mahogany with a satin finish. The neck felt fast and smooth to play on.

The neck is also an asymmetrical neck. This is designed so that it”s slightly thinner where the base strings are. This is supposed to be a more a more natural fit to the shape of your hand. I don”t know the mechanics behind it, but it certainly felt nice and comfortable to play so I”ll take their word for it on this one.

The fretboard is made from rosewood and this also felt nice and smooth and no doubt contributed to the overall playing experience.

Scale Length

The scale length is 25.375″ (644mm) – so a pretty standard full size scale length.

Unique Features

Takamine P1NC pinless bridge

There are a few unique features on this guitar, and we mentioned them before in Top 10 Acoustic Guitar Brands article.

The asymmetrical neck profile has been mentioned above, so let’s see the second one.

The second thing is the split saddle. The saddle is in two parts. The first part spans the Low E to the G string and the second part spans the B and high E strings (see pic). This is supposed to improve the intonation. Don’t know if it’s this or not, but the intonation was spot on – so it certainly doesn’t hurt it.

And finally, there’s the pinless bridge. This removes the need for bridge pins and is designed to make string changes easier. I didn’t change any strings on it, but I do like the idea of not having to deal with bridge pins – I can’t see any downside to this either.

Who this Guitar is Most Suited to

This guitar is best suited to anyone who wants a guitar that feels effortless to play (everyone?) and for those who have a penchant for a warmer sounding guitar – or want a warmer sounding guitar to add to their collection.

This is essentially similar to Taylor’s grand auditorium shape, or a mini-jumbo, if you want to look at it that way – so it’s a very versatile shape/size, suitable for most guitarists.

The neck is quite narrow, so anyone with smaller hands should definitely consider this guitar too.

Value for Money

Disclosure: Links below are affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you.

Takamine Pro Series 1 P1NC NEX Body Acoustic Electric Guitar...

This guitar felt and sounded nicer than a lot of guitars twice its price and was certainly one of the best sounding and feeling I’ve played compared to others in the same price class.

So, yeah, definitely value for money, in my opinion.

More Info and Where to Buy

If you’re interested in the P1NC, or if you’re ready to buy or want research prices and availability, check out the link below.

FAQs Takamine P1 NC Review

Are Takamine guitars good?

This is a question that remains to be answered by each individual user of one, but Takamine certainly has a formidable reputation at least as far as acoustic guitars go. I, myself, am the owner of a Takamine New Yorker Parlor guitar and, though acoustic is not usually my area, have warmed to it very much over the years. I am especially interested in the way that it can so solidly maintain a monopoly in the mid frequencies of the guitar, allowing it to cut through in a whole bunch of different musical contexts. So, yes, my Takamine is good and gets the job done when I am drawn to playing acoustic, but we must all answer this question ourselves individually.

What Takamine does Kenny Chesney play?

Kenny Chesney is a country music veteran, having ‘recorded 20 albums, scored 40 top-10 hits and 28 number 1 singles. He’s won every country award imaginable and become one of the most successful performers not only in country music, but across all genres, selling out stadium after stadium and year after year.’ In preparing to record his first studio album, a ‘mutual friend, Billy Craven, knew Kenny needed a suitable acoustic and introduced us. That first Takamine of Kenny’s, a dreadnaught cutaway EF360SC, made several appearances in his earliest videos and became his go-to acoustic until 1995 when Takamine introduced the EF317S, a sweet little spruce top, koa back and sides New Yorker that caught the attention of both Kenny Chesney and myself.’

What Takamine does Bon Jovi use?

On each and every tour of theirs for the last 23 years or so, Jon Bon Jovi has made use of a Takamine EF341SC (with a serial number of 94100642, if you want to get specific), which he purchased from a music store in New Jersey in the early- to mid-1990s. Famously enough, this particular guitar pays tribute to his guitar teacher Al Parinello who passed away in 1995, hence the etching of ‘AP 95’ into the upper bout of the black Takamine which was done by Jon himself with a pocket knife.

What musicians use Takamine?

There are a whole bunch: Jon Bon Jovi, Blake Shelton, Steven Wilson, Garth Brooks, Simon Neil (of Biffy Clyro), Glen Hansard, Bruce Springsteen, Nancy Wilson, Bernard Harvey, Hozier, Nils Lofgren, Kenny Chesney, Bruno Mars, Jackson Dean, Kezia Gill, Jacob Johnson, John Scofield, Morgan Myles, Troy Cassar-Daley, David Lee Murphy, Dave Stewart, Karla Davis, Ben Allen, Sean Rowe, Jovanny Cadena, Toby Keith, the band Striking Matches, Kyshona Armstrong, Chayce Beckham, Maddie Rice, Glenn Frey, Katie Larson, Jeff Stinco, Joe Keefe, Mike Herrera, Reba Meyers, Holly Henderson, and even Myself.

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)


  1. Apart from the Cedar Top versus a Sitka Spruce Top and the Pinless Bridge, the P1NC is the same guitar as the ESN40C by Takamine. Both great guitars. I’m not sure if the ESN 40 has the elliptical neck but its neck is really nice as well. In my opinion the Pinless Bridge on the P1NC exerts more upward leverage on the guitar top than the Bridge Pin style of anchoring the strings and this could be a long term consideration…time will tell.

    John Cairns

    1. Hi John

      Great observation. How much difference can you detect from the Sitka Spruce top compared to the Cedar Top?

      That’s an interesting point about the pressure on the top with the pinless bridge – I hadn’t thought about that.

  2. Hi Nat,

    Comparing the Taylor 114ce and 214ce with this Takamine P1NC, what recommendations would you give to a potential buyer (like me..)?
    Thank you very much,
    Maynooth, Ireland

    1. Hi Francesco

      I’d say the main consideration between the P1NC, 114ce and 214ce would be your tone preference.

      In terms of shape they are very similar shapes and all provide a good balance between a relatively high volume ceiling and being responsive to a lighter touch, as is expected from these mid-sized kind of guitars.

      In terms of tone, this is the main difference between the 3.

      The P1NC is a very warm, full tone (to my ears and everyone hears differently of course). On a scale of warm to bright (with 1 being the warmest and 10 the brightest) I put the P1NC at a 3. The 114ce is a little brighter sounding (to me a 5) and the 214ce brighter again (to me a 7).

      In terms of feel/playability, I really liked how the P1NC felt, but Taylor’s, in my experience are consistently nice to play. But I just liked the P1NC just a little better in terms of playability. But not much in it there.

      If you haven’t already you can check out the following for more details.

      >>Taylor 114ce vs 214ce

      >>Taylor 114ce Review

      >>Taylor 214ce Review

      Hope this helps

  3. You indicate that the p1nc from Takemine has a laminate sides and back and the mfg site says it is solid sapele back and sides. Can you confirm it this is solid wood or is it really laminate.

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