Takamine PTU441-MTB review

Originally produced for the Japanese home market, this little parlour-sized acoustic is now available as a limited UK run. They say small is beautiful – let’s take a listen…

Takamine PTU441-MTB
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

We’ve been saying for ages that smaller-bodied guitars are the new dreadnoughts where current trends are concerned... This guitar ticks many boxes in terms of portability, build quality and sound performance.


  • +

    Nicely priced.

  • +

    Compact, well-built little instrument.


  • -

    That narrow nut and lack of boom in the bass might trouble some players.

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The story behind this acoustic guitar is not at all straightforward, but bear with us – all will become clear shortly. The story goes that the PTU441 was originally available only in Japan, but with a different suffix – TBS (Tobacco Sunburst). 

Essentially, it’s the same guitar and one of the company’s New Yorker range. During our research, we even tracked down a YouTube video from 2016 that shows it being played in its native country, which bears the story out. When a representative from UK distributor Korg was on a visit to Takamine’s Pro Series facility in Gifu, Japan, in 2019, he suggested that the model might do well as a limited run on these shores. 

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David Mead

With over 30 years’ experience writing for guitar magazines, including at one time occupying the role of editor for Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, David is also the best-selling author of a number of guitar books for Sanctuary Publishing, Music Sales, Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. As a player he has performed with blues sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith, played rock ’n’ roll in Marty Wilde’s band, duetted with Martin Taylor and taken part in charity gigs backing Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Robbie McIntosh, among others. An avid composer of acoustic guitar instrumentals, he has released two acclaimed albums, Nocturnal and Arboretum.