Black and white is a colour scheme so often associated with very regal and dignified things, the likes of tuxedos, grand pianos and the New Zealand rugby team (respect). Upon opening the case for the Takamine EF341SC, I knew that I was dealing with a guitar to match the prestige of the aforementioned. Admittedly, I never really thought much of a gloss black finish when it comes to acoustic guitars, but I was pleasantly surprised by just how classy it looked matched with the subtle, yet refined white binding. Colour me surprised.
For those unfamiliar, the EF341SC is known for being Jon Bon Jovi’s guitar of choice and has been for over 20 years. The story goes that he bought his guitar from a local music store in New Jersey in 1994, and that same guitar has travelled with him the world over ever since. If that’s not a testament to the quality and roadworthy-ness of this guitar, then I don’t know what is.
The EF341SC is a dreadnought, single cutaway acoustic/electric guitar, handcrafted in Takamine’s Japanese factory. It has a solid cedar top, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard and maple back and sides. The first thing I noticed when playing the guitar was how well balanced it sounded. Most acoustic guitars that I’ve played through my years are very bright when brand new and take some time to mellow out. Fresh from the factory and out of the case, I was blown away by the rich low end when playing large chord voicings and how none of the notes were lost or muddy.
Acoustically, the EF341SC sounds great and has enough volume to get away with playing small solo shows in something like a café setting. With that being said, the CT4B II preamp system is absolute gold and should be used whenever the opportunity arises. The pickup is incredibly transparent and ensures the true sound of the guitar isn’t lost. The onboard tuner is incredibly accurate and removes the need for either a pedal tuner or a clip on. Simply plug straight in and you’ve got a rich, clear and resonant acoustic guitar sound without needing any other bells and whistles.
The guitar market is full of great options when it comes to acoustics, but Takamine have really got something special here. As previously mentioned, I wasn’t sold on the idea of a gloss black acoustic guitar until I had it in my hands, and whilst it’s not the most traditional of aesthetics in the acoustic world, it makes one hell of a statement and looks sophisticated and elegant. Where some guitars feel like they were made for humble playing at home, the EF341SC is a guitar made to be played and toured. At the end of the day, if it’s good enough for JBJ then it’s definitely good enough for everyone else.
Hits and Misses
Beautifully balanced sound
Classy look and aesthetic
Sturdy hardcase included
Probably going to annoy those looking for a more traditional acoustic look