The Jasmine S35 dreadnought acoustic guitar reviewed – do you need a well-known name if you can find a guitar that does what you need for less?
The Jasmine S35 is a dreadnought-style acoustic guitar pitched at the entry level of the market. It is an affordable and basic model for beginners, but it still looks and sounds good. The manufacturer is able to keep costs low because it uses cheaper materials in the guitar’s construction. After all, if you’re just starting out learning guitar, there’s no real need for a top-of-the-range model.
At the time of writing, the Jasmine S35 is one of the best-selling steel-string acoustic guitars on Amazon that guitar players are opting for, and there are several other recent reviews singing its praises. In this Jasmine S35 review, we will dive a lot deeper than this. Let’s get going!
Takamine Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar Review (At A Glance)
- Well balanced tone with durable and sleek playability
- Great look and comfortable to play
- A huge number of positive customer feedback
- Spruce top with a slim neck which is excellent for beginners
- Budget-friendly and great value for its price
- Chrome tuners enable the stability of tuning
- Laminated Nato back and sides offer a pleasing resonance
- Available as natural, matte sunburst, and black also
- There’s our favorite – a Rosewood fingerboard
- Sound is not for professional players
- Might not be suitable for the smaller player as it’s large and has no cutaway
- Though the resonance here is good, it’s not as high quality as if it were a solid spruce top
- Entry-level tuners, fragile
History And Origin
Many of the budget guitars are made in the Far East, where designers and manufacturers have employed a number of tricks to keep costs low. However, Jasmine is now owned by KMC Music Company, based in Bloomfield, CT, which acquired the brand from the Japanese company Takamine in around 2005. The S35 is an affordable, entry-level model with prices around $129 and seemingly no difference in quality, no matter who owns the brand.
Body And Neck
This jasmine guitar is a dreadnought-style acoustic. The top is made of select spruce laminate, so two pieces of wood are chosen and joined by a seam. The back and the sides are Agathis, which is also known as Kauri pine (confusingly, it is not a species of pine). Like spruce, this is plentiful wood that helps to keep costs low. The Jasmine Advanced X bracing system holds the whole thing in shape, providing stability and strength.
The slim 1¾-inch wide neck is made of Nato wood. It has 20 frets with Pearloid inlays and a 25½-inch scale length. The guitar has a satin finish to make it smooth and maximize resonance, and it is finished with black binding.
A slim neck is easier for beginners to practice their fingering on and also suits electric guitarists who are more used to that profile but want to play an acoustic once in a while. Overall, the slim neck profile makes this a great beginner guitar.
Fretboard And Bridge
The Jasmine S35 has a rosewood fretboard and bridge, which is pretty much standard for acoustic guitars, as it is hardwearing and stiff. The fretboard has a 12-inch radius, which suits a strumming technique. The saddle and nut are synthetic bones; the bridge pins are black plastic. The guitar comes with Phosphor Bronze Light Gauge strings.
Hardware And Finish
The S35 has chrome-covered machine head tuners. These are closed, which helps keep them clean. The headstock is satin-finished wood. It also features a synthetic bone-compensated saddle.
The dreadnought body style of acoustic is often used to play bluegrass and country music. The Jasmine S35 has a bright, rich tone and bold sound with good sustain and resonance.
Some players have reported issues with keeping the guitar in tune and also find a buzzing sound potentially related to a faulty bridge, but generally, it seems to provide acceptable sound quality.
Despite the tricks used to keep costs down, the build quality is surprisingly good for an entry-level guitar. The use of two separate select spruce pieces for the top may impact the tone slightly, but this is unlikely to be recognized by anyone new to playing guitar.
If you do have any problems with your purchase, Jasmine instruments have a limited lifetime warranty. You should inspect your purchase closely as soon as you receive it, and if you have any questions, the company advises you to contact the instrument’s seller, give them the details on your sales receipt and ask for a warranty service evaluation.
The S35 has a big sound, efficient sound projection, and a high volume. The guitar is specifically targeted at new players, so it is easy to play. The slim neck is also good for beginners as it makes it easier to reach the frets and form chords.
As a full-size model, the S35 would be suitable for a teenager or young person as it features nice guitar feels and excellent playability to start their musical journey but may be too big for a child. Overall, you should find playing the Jasmine joyful for an affordable price as a starter guitar.
Often, big-bodied dreadnoughts are used for bluegrass, country, rock, and blues. The Jasmine S35 could be used in a venue, as it has a good sound projection that is great for any player as one of their first guitars.
A full-size guitar like this is often better suited to adults than children, simply on size grounds.
Design And Looks
The design of the S35 is all about cost savings, but it still looks good. It is available in natural and sunburst and comes in a smooth satin finish.
The guitar was originally designed by Takamine, and KMC Music Company has stayed pretty close to that design since acquiring the brand.
At the time of writing, the S35 is only available in natural and sunburst designs with a right-hand orientation. This is not a flashy guitar, and it does the job required of it for the price. It has been a very popular purchase, and all other colors are currently unavailable.
There are a number of options for starter kits – you could choose to get a stand, a tuner, or some picks with your instrument. There is often no case option, but some stockists do appear to have a bundle package available. This consists of a guidebook, a DVD of lessons, picks, a strap, and a case. It is purely up to you how much you want to spend, where you want to buy your guitar from and how many extras you think might be good.
The guitar comes with a strap button on the bottom, but the other end of the strap will have to be tied around the base of the neck. New players are advised not to fit a second strap button on the neck themselves due to the risk of cracking the wood. If you want a second button, it is best to take your guitar to a professional guitar customizer for safety.
Value For Money
This Japanese guitar is quite banged for your buck. It is well made for the affordable guitar price and will easily stand up to the rigors of guitar lessons. It is also a perfectly acceptable cheap guitar for your needs if you’re after a dreadnought with a great sound.
Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar Review Insight
What Sets Jasmine S35 Apart From Its Competitors?
The Jasmine S35 is a well-made budget model which doesn’t let its cost-saving tweaks get in the way of delivering a suitably impressive sound.
Unlike some budget acoustic guitars, it uses the select technique for the top, where two pieces of the same wood are fixed together rather than using one bigger single piece.
Choose Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar If
- Need a full-size guitar for a teenager or adult beginner to take lessons from guitar teachers
- You are looking for a budget acoustic that has the qualities of expensive guitars
- Do not want to spend too much on a guitar that you will be using as a backup or maybe traveling with
- Want a guitar that will last (one review is from someone who has owned theirs for over 20 years)
- Need a guitar with good action that is comfortable to play
- Need a guitar for jamming, practicing, or use in small venues
Don’t Choose Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar If
- Are buying a guitar for a child to learn on. You should perhaps consider a half-size model instead
- Would prefer a solid wood top
- You want to go for high-end guitar brands
- You want to go for a higher price range
- Dreadnaught, Non-cutaway, Solid Spruce Top
- Nato/okume back and sides, Bracing pattern: Scalloped
- Body finish: Gloss Orientation: Right-handed, Nut width: 1.69" (43mm)
- Fingerboard: Rosewood, Neck wood: Nato, Scale length: 25"
- Other features include black and white body binding, die-cast tuners, and a tortoise pickguard
- Classic go-to Dreadnought Shape
- Select Spruce top
- Mahogany Body & Neck
- SlimTaper C-profile neck
- Epiphone Sloped Dovewing headstock
- Premium Die-Cast tuners
- Fender SA-150 Full Review
- The slim easy to play neck shape is perfect for beginners
- Steel-string acoustic guitars are traditional in folk, country, and blues
- Designed by Fender one of the most trusted and recognizable names in the musical instrument industry
- The traditional dreadnought body shape provides excellent tonal balance and projection
Q. Is Jasmine S35 a full-size acoustic guitar?
Yes, it is a full-size model.
Q. Is a Jasmine acoustic guitar good for beginners?
Yes, the Jasmine S35 is specifically designed for guitar students.
Q. Is Jasmine owned by Takamine?
Jasmine was formerly owned by Takamine. However, KMC Music Company acquired the brand in around 2005.
Q. Does the Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar come Pre-tuned?
Typically, guitars are not tuned before being shipped to a buyer. Strings are left slacker than usual in order to prevent damage to the neck of the instrument in transit.
Q. How is Jasmine S35 Packaged for Shipping?
There have been some issues with the packaging of this guitar being inadequate, and several reviewers have stated that they have had to request replacements due to their instrument arriving damaged. The cardboard box is often cited as not being thick enough to provide adequate protection, and the guitar is in a foam bag inside the box, not bubble-wrapped. Buyers who purchase directly from the company seem to find that their purchases arrive intact, whereas buyers who use other sellers appear to be more critical of the packaging, receiving their guitar in a box that is obviously damaged or only partially sealed on receipt.
The Jasmine S35 acoustic guitar is a good entry-level affordable acoustic guitar if you’re looking to learn as a young person or adult. It would likely be too big for a child, even with all the design tweaks which have been made to make it affordable and durable.
It has a big sound and a well-balanced tone, plus it is strongly built to withstand knocks and bangs. This means you could use it when traveling or take it on a road trip, as well as use it for practicing or playing at home. However, if you want to play in a small venue, it has the ability to handle that too. It’s not as striking looks-wise as some guitars, but looks aren’t everything. Affordability and playability are often important to new players, and some of the lesser-known brands, including Jasmine, have these two requirements down to a fine art.
The packing quality seems to let this popular guitar down, however, and this may put some potential buyers off. It may be, of course, that KMC Music Company is working with other stockists of their range to improve the packaging options for their instruments.
Thanks for reading, and if you like the article, consider subscribing to our most futuristic weekly newsletter, Instrument Insight Insider, below (where we sum up the most exciting and trending topics from the industry every week to spice it up) and Get Premium Materials as follows:
- Home Studio On A Budget – A Complete Beginner Video Course for amateur musicians, music instructors, podcast artists, and more – Worth $49
- Professional Music Track Package – 100+ Tracks with every human emotion for personal or client project usage – Worth $29
- How To Sell Music – Complete eBook that includes reasons why people buy music, types of music to sell, phrases/graphics/stories that sell music, backend products to sell with music, content ideas, keywords to target for selling, and special perks to offer – Worth $19
– A Total Worth of $97 – Absolutely Free! And if you’re lucky, who knows, you might get a special signing-up bonus too!?
James B. Laskowski was born and raised in Fresno, CA. He has been working as an acoustic and classical guitar expert at Instrument Insight for over 5 years. In this time, he has gained a great understanding of acoustic and classical guitars and gears, their materials, build quality, playability, and versatility. James also has an in-depth knowledge of the history and origins of many acoustic and classical guitar brands.