Jasmine Guitars

You probably already know about Takamine, the renowned Japanese acoustic guitar manufacturer. These guitars have earned a reputation of being highly playable and great-sounding. But if you're on a budget or are just starting out, you may not be able to get your hands on a Takamine. If this is the case, then Jasmine, Takamine's budget brand, is the next best place to look. Jasmine guitars are designed to bring you the quality of Takamine engineering at a price you can afford. In this article, we'll take you through some of the best Jasmine models out there.

Our Picks for the Best Jasmine Guitars

Make

Model

Rating

Price

Full Review

Jasmine

S35

Cell

Jasmine

JD37

Cell

Jasmine

JO36

Cell

Jasmine

S34C NEX

Cell

Jasmine

JS141

Cell

Jasmine

JM10

Cell

Jasmine

JD36

Cell

Jasmine

JD39

Cell

Jasmine

GN20NS NEX

Cell

Jasmine S35 -- Best Beginner Acoustic Guitar

Important Features

  • Spruce top with NATO back and sides give you a balanced tone that leans bright
  • All-laminate construction makes it especially durable
  • Satin finish and chrome tuners give it a high-end look
  • Specially-positioned strap buttons make it uniquely well balanced

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's an incredible value compared to most starter guitars
  • The sound is great for the price, and the quality tuners mean it holds tune fairly well
  • It's a full-sized dreadnought with a full 25.5" scale length
  • Full-body binding and satin finish give it a classic look

Cons

  • The all-laminated build doesn't offer the same sound as a solid-top guitar
  • Like most inexpensive guitars, it arrives in need of a setup

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Jasmine is known for making more affordable, accessible versions of Takamine's legendary acoustic guitars. And if you're just starting out, the Jasmine S35 acoustic guitar is an excellent value. Though it's made of all laminated wood, the S35 offers a surprisingly clear sound, and it's designed to be highly comfortable to play sitting or standing.

Our Star Rating

We think the Jasmine S35 acoustic guitar is the best beginner acoustic guitar on the list, and we give it four out of five stars.

Jasmine JD37 -- Best Value

Important Features

  • The solid spruce top gives you wonderfully responsive and bright sound
  • A rosewood fingerboard and bridge are surprisingly high-end features
  • A synthetic bone nut and saddle enhance sustain and improve tone
  • The slim neck and shorter 24.75" scale length make it highly playable

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Advanced X bracing enhances loudness and tone
  • Given its solid top and other quality features, it's a great value
  • Its slim neck makes it easier to play than many similarly-priced acoustic guitars
  • The rosewood fingerboard and bridge and natural finish give it classic acoustic looks

Cons

  • Laminated Sapele back and sides help create a bright tone that may be too bright for some players
  • Some guitars arrive with corroded or broken strings

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

If you want a Jasmine guitar with great solid-top sound, the JD37 is a great place to start. Like most Jasmine instruments, it's a dreadnought, and it has a solid spruce top and laminated Sapele back and sides. It's also made with Jasmine's Advanced X bracing, a bracing style that helps give it the sound of a higher-end 6 string acoustic guitar. If you like classic dreadnought looks, this acoustic guitar is a great fit -- the gloss natural finish, chrome tuners, tortoiseshell pickguard, and rosewood fingerboard and bridge make it a great-looking instrument for any style. 

The JD37 also has some cosmetic upgrades that are especially impressive in this price range. The rosette is made from beautifully eye-catching abalone, and the bridge pins also are graced by abalone dots as well. You don't typically see features like this in guitars of this price, so this is an excellent opportunity for people looking to buy an entry-level instrument with a little bit of glitter.

Our Star Rating

This guitar has plenty of great features, and we think it offers the best value on the list. We give it five out of five stars.

Jasmine JO36 -- Best Orchestra Model

Important Features

  • It's a great option for the newer guitar player who wants something different from a dreadnought
  • It's made with Jasmine's Advanced X bracing for impressive tonal response
  • The slim NATO neck is easy to play with, even if you have small hands
  • The orchestra body is well-suited to strumming and fingerpicking alike

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Like many Jasmine acoustic guitars, this one is very affordable
  • The classic natural finish gives it a timeless look
  • Sapele back and sides add some brightness to the sound and keep the body durable
  • The slim neck with rosewood fingerboard makes it highly playable

Cons

  • It does not have a solid top, so the sound isn't as rich as it could be
  • Orchestra guitars generally require greater string tension, so it can be hard on beginner players' fingers

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Plenty of people start out playing a dreadnought. But if you want a more powerful response with impressive projection, then an orchestra model may be right for you. This model in particular has a great reputation for being highly playable. While it doesn't have a solid top, its larger body shape and excellent playability make it an excellent choice nonetheless. And like many entry-level Jasmine acoustic guitars, the JO36 comes with a rosewood fingerboard and synthetic bone nut and saddle -- features you typically only see on more expensive guitars.

Our Star Rating

We think this is the best orchestra-style Jasmine acoustic on the list. We give it 3.5 out of five stars.

Jasmine S34C NEX -- Best Playability

Important Features

  • Select spruce top and Sapele back and sides offer a bright, focused sound
  • Slim Nato neck and Venetian cutaway make it highly comfortable to play
  • Uniquely-placed strap buttons ensure that the guitar stays balanced while being played with a strap
  • A rosewood fretboard and bridge and synthetic bone nut and saddle are surprisingly high-end touches

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's one of the most affordable models Jasmine makes
  • It's incredibly comfortable to play
  • Chrome die-cast tuners do a great job of keeping it in tune
  • Its synthetic bone nut and saddle are rarely found on guitars.

Cons

  • It does not have a solid top
  • Some players might prefer rosewood, mahogany, or another more traditional tonewood for the back and sides

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

If you intend to play lead guitar or just want better access to frets further down the neck, a cutaway acoustic is a great option. The S34C NEX is another Jasmine orchestra-style guitar, but this one has a graceful Venetian cutaway that enhances playability. And like most Jasmine acoustic guitars, this one is made with Jasmine's quality Advanced X bracing. Laminated Sapele back and sides add some brightness to the sound while keeping costs down, and a slim Nato neck makes it highly comfortable to play.

Our Star Rating

We think this cutaway acoustic has the best playability on the list. We give it four out of five stars.

Jasmine JS141 -- Best for Kids

Important Features

  • Spruce top and mahogany back and sides give you a classic tone
  • Nylon strings are much easier on a child's fingers, especially if they're just starting out
  • Rosewood fingerboard and bridge add great looks and playability
  • It's an outstanding value in a children's instrument

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's very affordable
  • Nylon strings and lower string tension is ideal for kids
  • All-laminated build can stand up to abuse
  • It's one of the few quality guitars suitable for little children

Cons

  • It does not have a truss rod, so there isn't much you can do if it develops neck issues
  • The intonation is often off as you go down the fretboard

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Thus far, the Jasmine acoustic guitar models we've covered have all had steel strings. But if you're shopping for a quality first guitar for a young child, the JS141 nylon-string guitar may be a better option. This is a 1/4 size guitar -- a relative rarity in the guitar world. Despite its small size, it's not a toy -- the action is decent, and the laminated spruce top and mahogany back and sides give it a classic tone while maintaining durability. Plus, its traditional-style rosette makes it a great-looking acoustic guitar for this price range.

Our Star Rating

We think this is the best acoustic guitar for smaller children on the list. We give it 3.5 out of five stars.

Jasmine JM10 -- Best Travel Acoustic Guitar

Important Features

  • Shorter scale length and reduced string tension make it a great choice for beginner players or those with sensitive fingers
  • Mini size makes it an excellent travel instrument
  • Slim Nato wood neck makes it highly playable
  • All-laminate build resists changes in weather, making it a great travel companion

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's a great Jasmine model for those looking for a travel instrument
  • Special Advanced X bracing gives it a natural, powerful sound
  • You get amazing quality for the price
  • Synthetic bone nut and saddle enhance its tone

Cons

  • It does not have a solid spruce top
  • If you're shopping for a travel guitar, you may want something even more compact

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Whether you're a smaller adult looking for a comfortable six-string acoustic or a player looking for a quality travel instrument, the JM10 is one of the best models out there. The "M" in the name stands for mini, and this acoustic guitar is similar in size to a Little Martin or Baby Taylor. The scale length is 23 3/8", so the guitar is big enough to avoid the ukulele-like sound sometimes associated with smaller acoustic guitars.

Spec-wise, it's a lot like the other Jasmine guitar models we've covered. It has a select spruce top, Sapele back and sides, and Nato wood neck, and both the fingerboard and bridge are rosewood. A simple rosette, black pickguard, and natural finish give this model classic acoustic looks.

Our Star Rating

We think this is the best Jasmine acoustic for travel on the list. We give it four out of five stars.

Jasmine JD36 - Most Durable Full-Size Dreadnought

Important Features

  • Natural finish will full-body binding makes this a great guitar for people who love classic looks
  • Slim Nato neck with rosewood fingerboard is comfortable and easy to play
  • Dreadnought body shape combined with Jasmine Advanced X bracing gives it a well-balanced sound with an impressive bass response
  • Its understated aesthetic makes it a great choice for people who love a classic look

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High-quality tuners don't cause many of the tuning issues you usually find in budget guitars
  • It comes with a synthetic bone nut and saddle for improved tone
  • It's one of the more affordable Jasmine guitar models
  • It has a slimmer neck than many guitars, which makes it easier to play

Cons

  • As is the case with many guitars on the list, this one does not have a solid top
  • Some players may not like the relatively simple aesthetic of this one

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

This one is extremely similar to the Jasmine JD37. Both models have a laminated spruce top with laminated Sapele back and sides and both also have a slim neck made from Nato wood and a 24.75" scale length. However, the JD36 doesn't have the abalone that you get with the JD37. So if you don't need flashy aesthetics, the plainer look of the JD36 isn't likely to be a problem. Like most Jasmine dreadnought models, it's durable, incredibly comfortable to play, and gives you great quality for the price.

Our Star Rating

This guitar offers classic Jasmine sound and playability at a great price, and we think its all-laminate build makes it the most durable full-size dreadnought on the list. We give it 3.5 out of five stars.

Jasmine JD39 -- Best Accessories

Important Features

  • The included hardshell case gives it an edge over other inexpensive guitars
  • Pearloid rosette gives it just a touch of sparkle
  • Jasmine Advanced X quartersawn bracing enhances sound quality
  • A rosewood fingerboard and bridge give it a high-end look

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Dreadnought body gives you classic acoustic sound
  • It's well-appointed for a relatively inexpensive guitar
  • The included case makes it a great value
  • The beautiful grain of Sapele really shines through

Cons

  • It's made of all laminated wood
  • It often arrives with high action and is likely to need a setup

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

This one is in the same series as the JD36 and JD37 guitars, but it has a Pearloid rosette and comes with a deluxe hardshell case. Somewhat surprisingly, it isn't really an upgrade from the JD37, as it has a laminated spruce top. The case may seem like a small detail, but with guitars this price, you often don't even get a gig bag, let alone a hard case.

And since a good hardshell case will often cost you upwards of $100, the included case is an excellent value. Aside from the aesthetics and the case, the JD39 is built a lot like other Jasmine models -- Sapele back and sides, a slim Nato neck, a rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and a synthetic bone nut and saddle round out the package.

Our Star Rating

Thanks to the included hardshell case, we think this guitar has the best accessories on the list. We give it four out of five stars.

GN20NS NEX -- Best Higher-End Option

Important Features

  • Solid cedar top delivers beautifully mellow sound
  • The Orchestra body is good for playing many different styles of music
  • The mahogany neck offers a warmer sound than Nato does
  • Pinless bridge improves intonation and makes it easier for beginners to change strings

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • This guitar is ideal if you want a good sound that's a little different
  • The Jasmine NEX body (essentially an orchestra body) is comfortable to hold
  • Rosewood fingerboard is comfortable and isn't prone to wear
  • Synthetic bone nut and saddle increase sustain and improve tone

Cons

  • It may be too expensive for some beginners
  • Some people may prefer the brighter sound of a spruce top

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Most guitars made by Jasmine are designed to deliver decent quality to beginners and other people on a budget. However, some Jasmine models can offer you surprisingly high quality. This one is another Jasmine orchestra-style guitar, but it has some distinct differences from the rest of the series.

Namely, its top is solid cedar. Cedar gives you a warm, open sound that's a little mellower than spruce. It does well with fingerpicking, flat-picking, or strumming. The back and sides of this guitar are mahogany, which adds some more warmth to the sound. The neck is also mahogany -- a considerable upgrade from the Nato necks you find in most Jasmine guitar models. Plus, its Pinless rosewood bridge makes changing strings effortless.

Our Star Rating

We like this Jasmine guitar, and we think it's the best higher-end model on the list. We give it five out of five stars.

Buying Guide: Choosing Your Jasmine

When beginners look to buy the first guitar, they're often overwhelmed by the prospects. And while some of the Jasmine models mentioned above are fairly similar, there are a few key things that set them apart. Here's what to keep in mind while shopping for your Jasmine:

Solid Or Laminate?

Acoustic guitars can be made with a top of solid wood or laminated wood. Solid tops tend to be more expensive, but they have a fuller sound that improves over time. A guitar with a laminated top is perfectly fine to learn on, but as your playing progresses, you may find playing solid-top guitars to be rewarding. Guitars with laminated tops do have one key advantage: laminates tend to be more durable than solid wood, so laminate-top guitars make great travel guitars.

What Body Style?

Most guitars by Jasmine are made in the dreadnought body style, which is the most common shape for acoustic guitars. Dreadnoughts tend to have a balanced sound with a full low end, but they can be too overtone-heavy for some players' tastes. Some Jasmine models use the Takamine NEX shape, which is essentially a smaller jumbo that's similar to an orchestra body. Both the Takamine NEX and the orchestra body offer a punchy, more focused sound that does well with flatpicking.

What Other Features?

When evaluating guitar choices to see which is right for you, think about other important factors. Do you hate dealing with bridge pins and prefer a guitar with a Pinless bridge? Do you want a guitar that's a little flashy? If so, you might want to look for Pearloid or abalone inlays. It's also good to see if the guitars you're considering come with a case. At the price of most Jasmine guitar options, you might expect most to come with a gig bag, but that isn't always the case. However, some Jasmine models do come with a hardshell guitar case.

In Conclusion

When it comes to guitars for beginners, Jasmine is an excellent brand to check out. And while we think any guitar on this list is a good option, we think the best is the JD37. This guitar has a solid top for superior tone that only improves over time, and the slim neck profile is extraordinarily comfortable to play.

Subtle abalone touches make it beautiful to look at, too. If you have a bit more to spend, we think the GN20NS NEX is a good runner-up. This one's solid cedar top is ideal if you like a mellower tone, and the Pinless bridge is certainly an advantage for beginners or those who dislike changing strings. Be sure to consider your budget and your needs as a player, and you'll be well on your way to finding the right Jasmine guitar for you!

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