Takamine TC135SC and CRN-TS1 review

As Takamine celebrates its 60th year, we look at two very different models that cover a lot of musical ground…

Takamine TC135SC and CRN-TS1
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

The TC135SC is a charming crossover nylon-string with a good range of sounds and excellent live potential, while the CRN-TS1 presents players with a well-priced Japanese stage-ready acoustic guitar with great build quality.


  • +

    CoolTube electronics are excellent.

  • +

    Built for the stage.

  • +

    Typically tip-top build quality.

  • +

    Good price.


  • -

    Some may prefer the wider fretboard and 12th-fret join.

  • -

    If you like a lot of boom in the bass, then look elsewhere.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Another 60th anniversary – albeit an altogether quieter affair in terms of decibel levels – is being celebrated this year by Japanese acoustic maker Takamine. From humble beginnings at the foot of the mountain that lent the company its name, Takamine has established itself as one of the world leaders in the acoustic field.

Here we have a pair of contrasting instruments: the slope-shouldered dreadnought CRN-TS1 and the crossover hybrid nylon-string TC135SC. The former features a thermally treated top. 

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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.