The Ultimate Takamine GD20-NS Dreadnought Natural Acoustic Guitar Review

By Danny Trent | Acoustic Guitars

Last Updated on

The Takamine GD20-NS Dreadnought Natural Acoustic is well-known for its luxurious appearance; this design of a dreadnought-style acoustic offers a new take on the classic body style, due to the combination of tone woods.

The GD2-NS is comprised of a solid cedar top, as well as solid mahogany sides and back.

By using solid woods in the construction of the body, this guitar achieves a resonance that most other luxurious laminate guitars can’t reach. The X-bracing on this guitar is quarter sawn wood.

GD20-NS is also known for its affordable price; some players even refer to this guitar to be “the dirt-cheap luxury”. This guitar is a favorite among intermediate and advanced players because of the warm and inviting town that it produces, even after years of use. Due to the width of the neck, playing is more comfortable and playing at a faster tempo is easier.

The soundboard on most steel-string acoustics are created with spruce; however, the GD20-NS soundboard is sported with cedar. Cedar is not as dense as spruce is, which allows more warmth and a mellow sound to be produced from the guitar.

This guitar is also known for producing even and warm sound; each string rings clearly and doesn’t get muddy as it resonates.

While the sound of the GD20-NS is what makes it a favorite among singers and songwriters, the tidy construction also adds to the overall quality of this instrument. All 20 of its frets are seated and polished, while the synthetic bone saddles and nut have been carefully notched.

The binding of the GD20-NS is flush with the body; smoothly handed quarter sawn X bracing is visible on the inside of the body.

In comparison to the traditional style of a bridge, Takamine used a two-part saddle on their GD20-NS. The two highest strings receive their own segment, which allows the guitar to have better intonation. Instead of having pins on the bridge to hold in strings, the GD20-NS strings’ ball are placed against the back of the bridge.

The GD20-NS neck is attached to the body using a traditional dovetail joint, which allows an efficient transfer of energy between the neck and the body; this promotes a better sound quality from this guitar.

The neck also has a “C” shape on the GD20-NS slim neck, which helps to reduce the amount of fatigue your hand experiences. The action is also comfortably low and allows an easier time playing barre chords.

While the nut width is smaller in comparison to other fingerpicking guitars, this instruments responds well to fingerpicking; the voice of the guitar does not get muddy while placed in lower tunes, like an open C or a double-drop D. Arpeggios are also produced beautifully, as this guitar is responsive and dynamic.

Criteria

It is very easy to become overwhelmed by the massive guitar market that’s available; there are a countless number of guitars available in every single style in the world. In order to know how to evaluate a guitar’s quality to make sure that the guitar you’re looking at is the proper one for your needs, you need to understand what criteria is used to evaluate a guitar’s quality.

This review of the Takamine GD20-NS Dreadnought Natural Acoustic will look at the following criteria:

  • The playability to the GD20-NS
  • The materials that this guitar is made from
  • Who the GD20-NS is best guitar is best suited for
  • The tone
  • The value of the GD20-NS for your money

Do you recommend the GD20-NS?

If you are beginning guitarist, I would most definitely recommend this guitar. It’s easy to play and does not sound like a ‘cheap’ guitar.

Even if you are a seasoned player, I would recommend this guitar; it would be a great instrument to have if you are looking for a new guitar to add to your collection. While this guitar is not an expensive boutique dreadnought, it does provide players with an expensive sound.

Core industry terms

If you’re deciding that you’re falling in love with this guitar and want to do more research, chances are you’re going to run into several terms that you don’t understand what they mean. That’s why we’re here to help! If you want to know what all of those numbers and letters that talk about the GD20-NS guitar stand for, I’ve compiled a list that explained what they are!

G20: From Takamine’s ‘G20’ Series

D: Dreadnought, the shape of the guitar

What does Takamine advertise the GD20-NS to be?

Takamine advertises this guitar to produce a different sound in comparison to traditional acoustic guitars; that is because of the solid mahogany and solid cedar combination. They also claim that this guitar is perfect for entry-level musicians, because of the size of the neck.

Features of the Takamine GD20-NS Dreadnought Natural Acoustic

  • Dreadnought size
  • Mahogany sides and back
  • Solid cedar top
  • Rosewood bridge
  • Natural satin finish
  • Rosewood headcap
  • Pearloid dot inlays
  • Synethic bone bridge sale and nut
  • Mahogany neck
  • Cedar soundboard
  • Rosewood fingerboard (fretboard)
  • 68-inch nut width (42.8 mm)
  • 3-inch scale length
  • Chrome die-cast tuners
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Comes stringed with the D-Addario EXP 16 coated Phosphor Bronze Strings

What genre is the GD20-NS best suited for?

The GD20-NS is a popular choice among singers and songwriters. However, this is a guitar that is a perfect fit for players of all ranges; if you are someone who is looking for a different sound, the solid cedar top allows this guitar to produce a warm and detailed tone. This guitar is a great fit for many musical styles.

If you are someone who is new to guitar and you are looking for a professional, warm sounding tone to come from your guitar, but you’re afraid of the large dreadnought size affecting your playability, I would suggest this guitar to you!

Does the GD20-NS work as advertised?

Yes, it does! It’s easy to play and offers a rich, full sound. The pin-less bridge makes it easier to change strings; you don’t have to worry breaking or losing a pin while you’re changing your strings. While I played this guitar, I did notice that I was able to play a lot longer; I hold that to the unique shape and size of the neck.

Pros of the GD20-NS:

  • Very affordable, especially for the quality offered
  • The solid cedar and mahogany body, along with the rosewood neck, brings out the full range of tones
  • The split-saddle design of the pin-less rosewood bridge provides the GD20-NS with high-quality intonation for single note runs, as well as richer sounding chords.
  • Slim neck means your hands won’t feel fatigued
  • Warm tone that is evenly balanced across all of the strings
  • Pin-less bridge makes changing your strings a whole lot easier
  • Eye-catching design
  • Hard strumming does not affect the tonality of this guitar
  • Responds well to single-note lines, which other inexpensive guitars are not known to do very well

Cons of the GD20-NS:

  • There’s no cut out, which makes the 12th fret and below more difficult to play
  • The full body dreadnought size does provide the guitar with a more powerful sound, but it the size of the guitar isn’t exactly suited for a fingerstyle player
  • Due to the size of the slim neck, it may take some time to change up your muscle memory, if you are used to playing on a thicker neck
  • Cannot be played as loud as spruce topped guitar
  • The case is not included with your purchase

Other guitars to consider:

Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar

The Yamaha FG800 offers a solid Sitka spruce top, Nato sides and back, a rosewood fingerboard, a rosewood bridge, and diecast tuners. This is a great acoustic guitar that has a new and improved scalloped bracing. The FG800 has a stronger and louder strong in the low to mid ranges, all while maintaining a consistent tone.

Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar with Mahogany Top

This dreadnought 2/4th scale cutaway acoustic features solid mahogany sides and back, with a layered Sapele Bracing pattern. If you’re looking for a bold and beautiful guitar with a bright and warm sound, but want an electric acoustic, come check this guitar out!

Our final conclusion

The Takamine GD20-NS Dreadnought Natural Acoustic is a high-quality guitar for an incredibly low price.

If you are looking for a guitar that is inexpensive but plays like a professional guitar, this is the perfect investment for you to make! This instrument is certainly a great investment to make, whether you’re a beginner or you’re a traveling professional who is looking to add another instrument to add to your collection!

If you want to hear what the Takamine GD20-NS Dreadnought Natural Acoustic Guitar sounds like for yourself, watch this videos! Enjoy!

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