Jasmine s35 Acoustic Guitar Review – It’s All About the Benjamins

jasmine s35 acoustic guitar

Jasmine s35 Acoustic Guitar Review – It’s All About the Benjamins

Jasmine s35 Review

jasmine s35 reviewAre you interested in an acoustic guitar that sounds good and has a ridiculously low price? Allow me to introduce you to the Jasmine s35.

In this Jasmine s35 review, you’ll learn about a budget acoustic that checks off both of these boxes.

Because there are so many ways to spend your hard-earned money, and sometimes you just want a guitar that doesn’t suck.

The Jasmine s35 is light, attractive, and easy to play. It’s a full size acoustic dreadnought (the most popular guitar shape for decades), and was originally designed by the popular Japanese guitar manufacturer Takamine.

It has a rich, bold tone, balanced sound, and plays pretty loud.

And I think it’s a pretty good deal.

I’ll also take a look at the Jasmine s34c, a similar guitar with a grand-orchestra style body and cutaway.

There are better guitars out there, but if keeping the cost low is important to you, the S35 is definitely worth a look.

Are you in a rush? Click here to check out the Jasmine s35 for the Latest Price at Amazon.

Just beginning your guitar journey? For a detailed look at what you need to know when choosing the right starter guitar for you, check out the Best Beginner Guitar Ultimate Guide.

If you’re looking for great acoustic guitar value and are able to spend a little more, check out my article on the Best Acoustic Guitar Under $500.

You can use the box below to skip to a particular section, or just keep on reading this review.

Value Assessment

When we’re looking for a cheap acoustic or starter guitar, the emphasis is often on the “cheap”. I understand, because there are so many things we want to buy, but only so much money available to spend.

Now there are budget guitars on the market cheaper than (or priced similarly to) the Jasmine s35. They are also, for the most part, dreadful.jasmine s35 acoustic guitar natural

There are several reasons why they’re so cheap. They generally use poor quality parts and inferior wood in the construction, have a generic design, look and feel, and are made on a factory-line without the attention to detail we expect in the crafting of premium musical instruments. These combined elements usually result in poorly built guitars with mediocre sound.

The Jasmine s35 recently caught my eye (and ears) because it appears to be an exception to the rule.

Now let’s not kid ourselves …

It’s not a premium guitar. And it doesn’t have amazing sound or build quality.

But when you consider that the price of a Jasmine s35 usually comes in under $100, you start to appreciate the fact that it’s well-designed with a cool look, reasonable build quality, and surprisingly good sound.

And suddenly you realize that it’s one of the best acoustic guitar values available in this price range.

If you’re a beginner just looking to dip your toe in the water, or if you’re looking for a “beater” guitar that you can take with you and play anywhere, the Jasmine s35 should be on your shortlist.

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Who Makes the Jasmine s35?

The Jasmine s35 was originally designed and sold as a budget guitar by Takamine, a high-quality Japanese guitar manufacturer.

Ownership of the company and production of Jasmine guitars has since shifted to the KMC Music Company. The guitars made today are still very similar, and are currently factory-made in China.

Sound and Tone

An essential element of a high-quality acoustic guitar is a solid wood top. But you won’t find those available in this price range.

Now if you are looking for an acoustic starter guitar with a solid top and great sound and build quality, and can expand your budget, I recommend taking a look at the Yamaha FG800.

And if you can stretch that budget just a little further, there’s an even better option (read my Seagull S6 Review here).

However, if saving money is your top priority, consider that the Jasmine s35 acoustic guitar is a top seller on Amazon, and there’s a clear reason why.

jasmine s35 review

Photo by Michel Curi under CC BY 2.0

The advanced “X” bracing in the guitar top means that the braces are located in an X pattern closer to the sound hole, offering a more open sound and enhanced detail in the notes. This also helps reduce the overall weight of the guitar and lets the top vibrate a little more freely for better sound.

For a guitar this cheap, the Jasmine s35 is full of surprises, quickly impressing the skeptics with quality audio and a big, bold, sound.

It has a smooth warm tone with balanced highs and lows, and a full soundscape.

And the Jasmine s35’s light weight and slim neck make it easy to play.

Of course, there are also some drawbacks.

It can sometimes be hard to keep in tune.

Some people find the action a little too high out of the box, or experience some fret buzzing above the 12th fret. These issues can be addressed with a guitar setup.

You may also wish to swap in a better set of strings. Many guitarists prefer light strings on an acoustic, but you can enhanced the sound produced by the Jasmine s35 slightly by equipping it with medium-light strings instead. Although the “best” guitar strings does come down to personal preference.

Ultimately, the Jasmine s35 doesn’t sound like a cheap entry-level acoustic guitar.

Check out the impressive sound quality produced by this guitar here:

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Build and Design

The Jasmine s35 acoustic guitar was originally designed by Takamine, a Japanese company that knows what it’s doing when it comes to acoustic guitars. This design is still used today.

The s35 is a full-size acoustic dreadnought made with a select spruce top, featuring Jasmine’s advanced “X” bracing. It has agathis body and sides (a wood similar to mahogany), and a nato wood slim neck.

It’s got a standard scale length of 25.5” and a nut width of 1.75”. It has 20 frets and chrome hardware, and includes full body binding and a rosewood fingerboard and bridge.

Many budget guitars are made with cheap laminate that gives them that “low-quality” look and feel, but the s35 has a natural satin finish with a matte look that gives the appearance of quality. The satin finish also helps to maximize resonance and optimize sound quality.

Jasmine s35 – Click Pic to Check Price on Amazon

The Jasmine s35 has a comfortable feel and good playability.

Now as with all cheap guitars made on a factory assembly line, you may find some imperfections in the construction, and the odd one may have some sort of build issue. So if you purchase one, inspect it upon arrival to make sure that it’s been put together properly.

Another way they save money in the construction is by using a synthetic bone nut and saddle.

The saddle can sometimes be placed a little too high, and some guitars may require a “setup” to function optimally: basically a tuneup for guitars. This can be done at any guitar shop for a small fee. If you know someone who can set up a guitar, you can have them take a look, and there are also plenty of YouTube videos showing how to do this if you’re technically inclined.

But it should still be playable straight out of the box.

Since Takamine designed and previously manufactured the s35, some of their quality control practices are still in play. The build quality may not be outstanding, but it is pretty reasonable considering the price. So you can definitely expect to receive a quality guitar, and most people are pleasantly surprised at the overall sound and build of the Jasmine s35.

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Pros

  • consistent sound
  • rich balanced tone
  • surprising volume
  • light, comfortable feel
  • fun to play
  • great look
  • useful travel guitar
  • cost is very low

Cons

  • guitar may require a setup
  • may need frequent tuning
  • average build quality, may have minor issues
  • action sometimes set a little high, strings may need to be replaced

Jasmine s34c Review (Nex)

Jasmine s34 Nex – Click Pic to Check Price

Jasmine also offers a guitar model similar to the s35, the Jasmine s34c Nex acoustic guitar.

It’s a little more expensive than the s35, with a few key differences and slightly enhanced sound quality.

Sound

The sound of the Jasmine s34c Nex stays pretty close to the s35.

Both have a similar smooth, balanced sound. Due to the body shape, the s34c has a slightly deeper bass response and brighter tone. The sound may also project a little better with the s34c.

Build

The main difference between these two guitars is the shape. They are both full-size acoustics, but the s35 utilizes a dreadnought shape, whereas the s34c is a grand orchestra-style guitar.

The sleek Jasmine s34c is very similar to the Takamine Jumbo body shape, only a little smaller (Takamine originally named this scaled-down jumbo shape the “Nex”).

It’s a comfortable guitar to hold and play, and has a Venetian cutaway providing easier access to the higher frets.

The size of both guitars is the same: 25.5” scale length and 1.75” nut width, with the same slim neck and headstock.

The Jasmine s34c guitar also has a select spruce top with advanced X bracing, but uses sapele wood for the body and sides. They both include a rosewood fingerboard, chrome tuners, and have a similar smooth satin finish.

The Jasmine s34c also provides good value.

Should You Get a Jasmine Guitar?

If you really want an acoustic beginner or travel guitar right now, but need to keep the cost down, the Jasmine s35 is a very good choice.

The price is shockingly low, and you will probably continue to use it as a secondary travel or “beater” practice guitar even if you do decide to upgrade down the road.

It sounds and looks good, and the slim neck and light weight make it easier to play.

So, if you …

  • only have a small amount of money to spend
  • are a beginner and want to be sure you’re it for the long-term before making a bigger investment
  • are looking for a “beater” or travel guitar

… then the Jasmine s35 (or s34c) may just be the perfect fit.

Verdict

Cheap guitars are generally poorly made, don’t sound very good, and fall apart over time.

jasmine by takamine s35 acoustic guitar review

Photo by Libelul under CC BY 2.0

The Jasmine s35 is an exception: it’s a good quality budget guitar, and a strong contender in this price range.

If you’re looking for a low-cost beginner guitar, or just need a cheap replacement acoustic or travel guitar, you can take it anywhere and not freak out if it gets damaged or dropped.

The Jasmine s35 acoustic guitar features a smart design, reasonable build, and good quality sound.

It plays loud and clear, with nice projection and a rich tone. It can hold its own against more expensive guitars, and definitely compares favorably with pretty much any guitar you’ll find in this price range.

When you get right down to it, if the look, sound and price fit your needs, it’s a pretty easy decision.

FINAL WORD: The Price is Right.

Click Here to Check the Current Price of the Jasmine s35 on Amazon.

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