When you’re looking for a quality guitar, whether it be budget or higher range, you wouldn’t be blamed for only considering certain brands. Names like Yamaha, Fender or Squire (Fender’s budget range), Gibson or Epiphone (Gibson’s budget range) probably come to mind.
But did you know that there is another contender worth considering?
The Jasmine guitar company was originally founded in 1962 as an offshoot of the highly respected Japanese guitar brand Takamine. Although being associated with such a reputable brand would surely have helped Jasmine’s branding early on, they quickly gained their own cult following for producing extremely high-quality guitars at a fraction of the price consumers were used to paying.
In 2005 Takamine sold its controlling share of the company to KMC, leading to speculation that the quality might decline, but we are happy to report that it is not the case! So, let’s explore what we consider to be their best acoustic offerings, so you can be sure to make a perfect choice!
Top 5 Best Jasmine Guitars of 2023
1 Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar
First up, let’s take a look at the Jasmine S34C NEX acoustic guitar. This large-bodied, grand orchestra style guitar is a real looker. Sporting a lovely cutaway (which is what the ‘C’ in the name is referring to) and a slim, 25-½” Nato wood neck with a rosewood fretboard, which only adds to playability, this budget guitar certainly feels anything but cheap.
We have a solid laminate Spruce top and Sapele back and sides. Sapele, which is commonly known as Sapele Mahogany, has gained popularity in recent years due to genuine mahogany becoming a CITES Appendix II listed species (CITES is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals). This combination of tonewoods produces a warm but still lively sound.
Looking more closely at the hardware on the Jasmine S34C NEX acoustic guitar, we see a synthetic bone nut and saddle (better than plastic and at these prices you cannot expect real bone), chrome-covered machine heads and lovely gloss finish.
While unboxing an Allen key appeared and looking inside, we can see a truss rod assembly. Never, we repeat, never ever buy a guitar without a truss rod assembly. We decided to lower the action a quarter turn and were impressed with the ease of movement and with the results produced. But only adjust the truss rod if you know what you are doing, if not take it to a local guitar tech.
The Jasmine S34C incorporates there very own “Advanced X Bracing system.” X bracing is a system that forms an X intersect just behind the soundhole and adds either two or three additional transverse braces (sometimes referred to as “tone bars”) behind the bridge to allow for a more tonally balanced voice and unrivaled stability at this price point.
Overall a really well-rounded budget guitar, which produces a magnificently balanced tone. If big cutaway acoustic guitars get your heart pumping, then this just well might be the Jasmine acoustic guitar for you!
- Long slim neck.
- Great shape for that orchestral sound.
- Quality sustainable tonewood.
- Sturdy construction.
- Maybe slightly too large for some players.
2 Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar
The Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar is a classic dreadnought style acoustic guitar. The dreadnought style was originally manufactured by Martin guitars in 1916, quickly becoming the most popular and recognizable shape for acoustic guitars. And for good reason!
Dreadnoughts are known for their bolder, penetrating sound with deep lows and crisp highs and are a favorite across playing styles and generations. And this may be one of the cheapest on the market.
Well, to begin with, we found that chords rang out super crisp and clean. Not overly surprising as that is what dreadnoughts are known for but still an excellent tone. There were no dead spots or buzzes that we could find.
Again there is a 25-½” Nato wood neck paired with a Rosewood fretboard, Jasmine’s patented X bracing system, a set of chrome-covered sealed tuners and a laminate spruce top. The back and sides are Nato, and the whole assembly has a gorgeous satin coat.
All of this is on one of the cheapest guitars in the Jasmine range, and one of the cheapest but still quality instruments we have ever tested. In our opinion the perfect beginner or travel guitar.
- Full-size neck provides a comfortable feel and awesome playability.
- Classic dreadnought style.
- Satin finish.
- Quality construction.
- Needs setting up out of the box.
- Strings were low quality, but that’s an easy and affordable thing to change.
3 Jasmine JO36CE-NAT J-Series Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The Jasmine JO36CE-NAT J-Series Acoustic-Electric Guitar is the first in our review to include a pickup system, and this one packs a punch! The Fishman® Isys III preamp (with inbuilt tuner and three-band EQ) is a critically acclaimed industry-standard pickup system. And it integrates superbly with this full size, cutaway design to produce a concert quality guitar.
Mirroring the tonewood and orchestral body shape of the S34C, with the exception of a solid Spruce top instead of laminate, we have a Nato neck with a Rosewood fretboard and Sapele back and sides. Also featured are the stunning abalone rosette, pearl inlays, and full gloss Natural finish.
Nato is the name for a collection of trees known as Mora trees. It has similar characteristics to mahogany, which lends itself perfectly to instrument construction but is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly wood than traditional mahogany.
After a slight truss rod adjustment and a fresh set of strings, this budget guitar honestly blew us away with its performance. In fact, we would have zero reservations using this one on stage.
- Fantastic pickup system.
- Slightly smaller neck and body suited for smaller players.
- Quality hardware all around.
- Needed adjustment out of the box, though to be fair, we would expect that from all guitars in this price range.
4 Jasmine JD37CE-NAT J-Series Acoustic-Electric Guitar
On to our second (and final) electro-acoustic on our list and this time, we have the Jasmine JD37CE-NAT J-Series Acoustic-Electric Guitar. This one is a little less punchy, producing warmer, richer tones. Again it shares the tonewood combo of a Nato neck with a Rosewood fretboard, a solid Spruce top, and Sapele back and sides.
The hardware is identical and just as well suited to this guitar. Both guitars incorporate the X bracing system and the Fishman® Isys III preamp (with inbuilt tuner and three-band EQ). We found this system worked really well when plugged into the awesome Fender Champion 100 guitar amp.
This differs in a few major ways from the JO37CE-NAT, the most obvious of those differences being the full-size dreadnought with cutaway body shape. This allows for a more rich and vibrant tonal quality, at the expense of the ease and comfort of a slightly smaller guitar.
When testing this one, we loved the sound we were getting from this extremely responsive guitar, although for a dreadnought, we found it slightly too lightweight for our liking.
- Big dreadnought sound coupled with a great pickup system.
- Genuine solid spruce top.
- Extremely high playability.
- A little light, but that’s just our personal opinion.
5 Jasmine 6 String Acoustic Guitar, Right Handed
Last but certainly not least, we have the Jasmine 6 String Acoustic Guitar, Right Handed, Natural (JO36-NAT). What a brilliant little guitar this one is, cramming a heap of value and fun into one durable, budget offering.
In a very similar style to our first offering, except this time, we have no cutaway. This change in itself produces a noticeable difference, resulting in a slightly warmer tone while keeping the crispness expected from an orchestral shaped body.
Although being a totally acoustic affair, packed in are all the quality pieces of hardware and design features, we have come to expect from Jasmine Guitars. It features a laminate top, as well as the tonewoods you would expect to see on a much more expensive instrument. All this while still being one of the cheapest guitars on the market!
We really can’t think of another guitar company producing this sort of quality at these prices. A bit of a shorter neck, while keeping the slimness of other designs, will have beginners developing quickly and more advanced players loving the feel.
This is the sort of guitar you can buy knowing that you can take it anywhere without having to worry too much about how the baggage handlers are treating it, and that’s a blessing in itself!
- Long slim neck.
- Amazingly affordable.
- Quality sustainable tonewood.
- Sturdy construction.
- A laminate top, although it sounds great still.
- Strings provided low quality.
- Set up definitely required.
Not convinced that a Jasmine is the right guitar for you? No problem, check out our reviews of the Best Acoustic Guitars for Kids, the Best Acoustic Guitars under 500 Dollars, the Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars under 200 Dollars, the Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners, the Best Acoustic Travel Guitars, the Best 12 String Guitars, and the Best Guitars for Small Hands currently available.
And you’ll need some quality strings, especially if like a few of these lower-priced Jasmines, the guitar is supplied with lower quality ones. So take a look at our in-depth review of the Best Acoustic Guitar Strings on the market.
So Which One Should You Buy?
Well, well, well. Decision time. After testing all six of these guitars, we have two clear winners in mind depending on your budget and needs.
So if your looking for a guitar on a micro-budget that you can take anywhere, treat worse than you should and not be punished for it? Its got to be the…
And if you have a little bit more money to invest? Well, let’s be honest, none of these guitars are going to break the bank! But our pick out of the electro-acoustics is the…
Thanks so much for going through our rundown, we hope its helped with your quest to acoustic guitar fame and glory! And as always happy strumming!