If you’re looking for a quality acoustic guitar on a budget, you might be tempted to seek out more well-known brands. There are other options, however, that can offer you a quality instrument at a price that won’t break the bank. The Jasmine guitar range is a good example.
The Jasmine guitar company was founded in 1962 as a subsidiary of the highly-respected Japanese guitar maker Takamine. Although being associated with Takamine initially helped Jasmine to attract attention from the guitar-buying public, they have since established a dedicated customer base of their own. They have done this by producing high-quality guitars at a price that is much lower than you would expect to pay for the same quality in a more well-known brand.
Following is a review of two of their entry-level acoustic options: the Jasmine S34C and the Jasmine S35. The features of each will be discussed and then an examination of the pros and cons of the Jasmine S34C vs S35 to help you make a decision about which guitar is best for your needs.
Jasmine S34C Acoustic Guitar
The Jasmine S34C acoustic guitar is has a large body and is presented in the grand orchestra style guitar which looks extremely attractive. It sports a lovely cutaway in its body (this is what the ‘C’ means in the name) and a slim, twenty-five and a half-inch Nato wood neck that has a fretboard made from rosewood. The latter contributes to the guitar’s playability and while it is a budget guitar it looks like one you might pay several times its price for.
Its solid top is constructed from laminated Spruce while its back and sides are made from Sapele which is a type of mahogany that originates from Africa and which is being used in favor of genuine mahogany wood since the trees it comes from are becoming endangered.
The underlying hardware of the Jasmine S34C acoustic guitar consists of a synthetic bone nut and saddle (while it is not made from real bone it is better than the plastic alternative), chrome-covered machine heads, and a lovely gloss finish.
The guitar comes with an Allen key and a truss rod assembly (you should never buy a guitar without a truss rod assembly). While this makes it easy to adjust the guitar to your preferences, you should only adjust the truss rod if you know what you are doing, otherwise, take it to a local guitar tech.
The Jasmine S34C also incorporates an ‘Advanced X Bracing system’. This consists of an X intersect located behind the soundhole. This adds two or three additional transverse braces (called ‘tone bars’) behind the bridge which gives a tonally balanced voice and unrivaled playing stability. This is an outstanding extra feature that is rarely seen in guitars of this price.
Overall this is a well-rounded budget guitar, that produces a wonderfully balanced tone and a warm, yet lively sound. If you’re looking for a big cutaway acoustic guitar the Jasmine S34C is a great option.
The Jasmine S35 acoustic guitar is a classic, dreadnought style guitar. The dreadnought style was introduced by the Martin guitar company in 1916. Today it is the most recognizable and popular shape for acoustic guitars. This is because the shape produces a bold, penetrating sound that has deep lows and crisp highs that have made them a favorite for guitar players. The Jasmine S35 is one of the cheapest dreadnought style acoustics on the market.
When playing the Jasmine S35, the chords ring out super crisp and clean, which is what dreadnoughts are known for, while still producing an excellent tone with no dead spots or buzzes.
Like the S34C, it has a 25-½ inch Nato wood neck combined with a Rosewood fretboard, as well as Jasmine’s patented X bracing system, chrome-covered sealed tuners, and a laminate spruce top. The back and sides are also made from Nato, and the whole assembly is finished with a gorgeous satin coat.
You get all of these features in what is still one of the most inexpensive guitars in the Jasmine range but still one of the highest quality instruments tested at this price point. It is a quality instrument for a beginner or to use as a travel guitar.
Jasmine S34C vs S35
Both guitars are made from similar materials and feature similar construction so the choice between them comes down to the style of guitar that the buyer prefers playing. The X bracing feature found in both guitars can turn the sound quality from merely good to fantastic.
One of the best features of the Jasmine S35 is its full-size neck which is comfortable and offers excellent playability. The classic dreadnought style, satin finish, and overall quality construction leave little to criticize except that it does require some setting up when received and the strings delivered with the guitar are relatively poor quality – these negatives are easily enough overcome, however.
The Jasmine S34C arguably has the best sound quality in this price range. The classic ‘C’ cutaway gives the player easier access to the frets and it is an excellent looking guitar in the ‘grand orchestra’ style. Unlike the dreadnought style used for the S35, this guitar is somewhat thinner at the waist and produces a clear, bell-like tone that is characteristic of the grand orchestra layout. It is an excellent guitar for fingerpicking (or strumming or pounding for that matter) because of the easy accessibility of strings and frets as a result of its shape.
This guitar features a long, slim neck and a grand orchestra shape. It features a sturdy, quality construction and is made from sustainable tonewoods. The only issue we found was that it might be a little large for some players. Otherwise, the Jasmine S34C is a quality guitar that sounds great and is difficult to beat at this price point.
When it comes to choosing between the Jasmine S34C vs S35 it will come down to what the buyer is looking for in sound and playability. In terms of the features, hardware, and construction, the guitars are very similar offering quality components and design features at a budget price. It comes down to whether the buyer is looking for an orchestral-style guitar or prefers the popular dreadnought style.