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Your Thoughts: Yamaha A5R & Takamine P2DC

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by FenderGuy53, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I want to upgrade, so I have listed my Martin Road Series DCRSGT for sale.

    To that end, the Yamaha A5R and the Takamine P2DC acoustic/electric guitar models are on my radar screen. Both are getting kudos at their $1399 price point, and both are dreadnaught cutaways, have onboard electronics and include hard cases.

    Has anyone seen/played either or both of these models? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks, guys!
     
  2. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Yamaha A1M - stellar guitar at the price point. I don't know if I played an A3 or an A5 (dont remember if it as an 'M' or an 'R') when comparing the A1 to the higher end in store - they were certainly better guitars than the A1.

    Whenever I upgrade, it will most likely be an A5 if I can swing it. I think those a great guitars for the price. I don't have any specific experience with the Takamine.

    I don't think my opinion is worth much on this, but my vote would be for the Yamaha.
     
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  3. Buell

    Buell Tele-Meister

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    I think it comes down to feel and personal preference because both are outstanding guitars. I've played both and just for my own comfort prefer the Tak over the Yamaha. To me, the Takamine is lighter and "fits" better, but that Yamaha sounds every bit as good.
     
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  4. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks, bluesholyman. ;)
     
  5. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a Takamine 40+ years, but I was young, and don't remember much about it. From what I've read on the P2DC, I'm intrigued.
     
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  6. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    One of the guys in my band just got the AC5M. It is hands-down one of the most fantastic guitars I have ever met, and I have met a few. I don't have experience with that model Takamine, but from my personal experience with the AC5, I think you'd forget about other guitars altogether if you had one.
     
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  7. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I was looking hard at the A5M, and the P3DC. I ended up getting something else entirely, but here’s my take-

    They are very similar guitars. Very similar.

    The Yamaha is all solid. The Tak is solid top and back. After over 35 years of acoustic guitar being my main instrument, I’m not convinced that laminate sides effect tone negatively. I just don’t see that making a noticeable difference.

    The Yamaha has a slightly wider nut. I don’t find the Tak necks uncomfortably narrow. At all. But some people do. It may be worth feeling out for you.

    The pickguard on the Yamaha is horrifically fugly. But it can be removed.

    To my ears, the Yamaha sounded slightly more scooped. The Tak is a little more balanced across the spectrum. This is a matter of personal preference. I dislike scooped mids. It’s why I dislike most popular Fender amplifiers, and why I slightly preferred the Takamine.

    Both guitars seemed very comparable, volume wise. I’d give a slight edge to the Tak on factory setup. They just play like butter dripping off a hot biscuit. That said, it would take a minimal endeavor to put the Yamaha on equal footing.

    Overall, in addition to a slightly wider nut, the Yamaha has a slightly more substantial neck profile in the shoulders. I like it them both, but I find the rounded shoulders of the Tak a little more to my liking.

    Both have OUTSTANDING electronics packages. Both come with hard shell cases.

    The Tak has a satin finish that I much prefer over gloss. Not only is it more aesthetically pleasing to me, as it doesn’t show smears and smudges and such nearly as much; I find satin much more comfortable under my right arm when I start sweating a lot. But the gloss on the Yamaha is flawlessly applied and quite beautiful.


    Honestly, both are very well made and appointed MIJ guitars that will serve you for a lifetime. It’s gonna come down to personal preference.
     
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  8. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    If I went that way (i.e., Yamaha), I'd probably opt for the deadnaught "R" flavor, being that I like the brighter tone, and I'm on the fence about the boxy .

    Also, the electronics interface on the Tak looks intrusive.
     
  9. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Im probably just used to it since I’ve been playing Taks since the 80’s, but I don’t notice it any more than any other side mounted preamp control box. It’s ultra simple and easy to use.
     
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  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I haven't played either of them. Suggest you do.
     
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  11. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Good to know, Jakedog. ;)
     
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  12. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks, Jakedog. I hope I can find/play both.
     
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  13. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Great advice, Freeman Keller. Talk is cheap. Seeing, and hearing, is believing!
     
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  14. MAXXFIELD

    MAXXFIELD Tele-Meister

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    I had an a3r that was great and I can only imagine the a5r would be a highly desirable axe.

    The a3r had a Mic and a pickup and a blend knob and that was a game changer. Terrific for direct recording in my noisy nyc apartment.
     
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  15. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep. I purchased a similar "blend" setup in a new Martin DC16GTE that I purchased to use in our church's praise band. Very nice guitar.

    I should never have sold it. :(
     
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  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    If I were in the market for a new guitar I would want to play everything I could get my hands on in and slightly above the price range I thought I could afford (its a buyers market right now, you can probably do some serious negotiation). There are obviously some brands and models and colors and stuff that I might not want to try but even if I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted I would want to compare.

    When someone is seeking information from an internet discussion group I always assume that they are planning to order on line and for some reason can't play the guitar. I simply would not do that - there are too many good guitars available to try out no matter where you live. We have a few recent threads on this forum by people buying new guitars and not being totally satisfied with them - that shouldn't happen if you've played it first.

    I am also a big believer in supporting local mom and pop brick and mortar music stores. I live in a small town but we have two nice music stores, they have great inventory, will match prices and best of all, I can sit for hours and play everything on the wall.
     
  17. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I was never a fan of the blender systems until the guitar I have now. I never liked the way the mic sounded, and it caused feedback issues any time I tried to use it at any kind of loud gig volume.

    The current system I have is three way. It’s got an under saddle pickup, a top sensor mounted to a brace, and a condenser mic. The cool part is, it’s like a hi-fi system. None of the elements are full range. The under saddle pickup is shelved to cover low end, the top sensor handles mid range, and the mic does highs. So I get all the thump and punch of an under saddle, but it doesn’t make the high end fake and quacky. It’s an amazing sounding system. And because the elements are are responding to only their selected eq ranges, it’s not feedback prone at all.

    The whole “feedback at gig volume” issue was what originally steered me to Takamine back in the day. I could have my acoustic blasting at me through the wedges, with a full band on a large stage playing LOUD, and had no feedback issues. Nothing else I could find at the time would do that. I didn’t even need one of those stupid rubber sound hole plugs.

    Nowadays everybody makes pretty decent pickup systems. Things have come a long way. I think it says something though that Tak is still considered one of the best plugged in guitars in the world, and they’re still using the same pickup they developed in 1974 or thereabouts.
     
  18. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Regarding the Yamaha A5R, I can't find any information on Yamaha's website regarding the material composition of the fretboard and bridge.

    Does anyone know? Can you point me to a link?

    Also, what, exactly, does Yamaha mean when they say "western body cutaway"?

    Thanks, guys.
     
  19. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    According to Sweetwater Listing, fretboard and bridge are ebony
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...VUNbACh3B7AdmEAQYASABEgIEWfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

    ...listing on GC site says same thing, as does the Yamaha website, here:

    https://usa.yamaha.com/products/mus...s/ac_guitars/a_series/specs.html#product-tabs

    as far as a "Western" cutaway goes, I'm not sure there's any standard design involved; sounds like marketing speak. IIRC, cutaways on dreadnoughts are relatively recent. Looks to me as though Yamaha's "traditional" Western cutaway is a little more pointy then their "concert" cutaway, which looks to have more of a flat, right-angle to the fretboard look.

    I know some folks have to have the cutaway, but it's not a good look on a dread, IMO, which is only an opinion.

    I guess I prefer the traditional cutaways, either Venetian or Florentine, but not sure those have any relation to a dread.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020
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  20. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like that the fretboard and bridge are wood; I didn't particularly like that the fretboard and bridge on my Martin DCRSGT were Richlite.

    I don't go beyond the 12th fret very often, but I do like the "look" of a cutaway. I'm on the fence about getting another dreadnaught with a cutaway. I'll have to play a few to get a feel fo it.

    Thanks for the feedback, teletimetx!
     
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