Takamine TSP138C TBS and Takamine TSP178AC SBB review

Two contrasting models from Takamine’s new Thinline range tell tales of superb player comfort and excellent onstage performance. Let’s see how they measure up...

Takamine TSP138C SBB and Takamine TSP178AC TBS review
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

As electro-acoustics go, you would be hard pushed to find two that are more ready for the stage. The shallower bodies and clubby necks offer an electric feel that is a lot of fun to play.


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    The TSP138C TBS will be instantly familiar to electric players.

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    It also has great flexibility of amp’d-up sound.

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    The TSP178AC SBB offers a bright, sparkly ride.

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    It has a little more volume than its stablemate.

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    The build quality is typically Takamine... Flawless.


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    The TSP138C TBS's nasally midrange that purists might not dig.

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    TSP178AC SBB is kinda pricey.

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.

The idea of thinline acoustic guitars is hardly new. In fact, when we first opened the cases and saw this pair of super-slender Takamines we were reminded of Yamaha’s excellent APX range from a few years back. Only these are even thinner. Takamine proclaims that the concept here is to provide “comfort and performance to guitarists seeking a more slender body, uncompromised sound, and excellence on stage”. 

Sounds like a good idea to us. After all, not everyone wants to wrestle with a jumbo or a dreadnought on stage. Guitarists who are predominantly Strat or Les Paul inclined might want something that feels a little more familiar in their hands for the one or two acoustic numbers in their band’s set, for instance. 

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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.