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Takamine - Please school me.

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by tele-jack, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. tele-jack

    tele-jack Tele-Meister

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    I am interested in buying a used Takamine, but am lost by all the models to choose from. What is worth looking at and what is not. I don't want an entry level guitar.
     
  2. Lazerface

    Lazerface Tele-Holic

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    Look for the CT4B preamp if acoustic electric, also I would recommend anything from the E series (model will start with E) instead of the G series.

    Also, look for all wood models with solid tops and body binding.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. Edwin

    Edwin Banned

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    G series are good guitars and sound great but have plywood bodies, The new pro series or older Natural or Super Natural have solid bodies and better electronics. Takamine has the best acoustic electronic's and better than most manufacturers. I would suggest that they are the best designed stage acoustics.

    My not so humble opinion and experience

    PS a CT4B won't work with anything but a Takamine pathaletic piezo pickup. Most solid top G series come with a TK-40 pre amp.
     
  4. aunchaki

    aunchaki Friend of Leo's

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    Many of the older "F" models are wonderful copies of beloved acoustic icons and form the backbone of the "Lawsuit Era" Taks, when Martin threatened suit unless Takamine changed their designs. I don't have a master list, but many of the F series guitars copy specific Martin and Gibson models. The F-360, for example, is Tak's take on the venerable Martin D-28. There's a Gibson J-200 copy.

    In this era (late 70s to late 80s?), an "S" denotes a solid top, a "C" denotes a cutaway, an "E" denotes electronics. So a F-360S is a solid-topped D-28 clone.

    There was a time when these guitars could be had for decent prices, but the world has caught on and knows they're awesome guitars. Still, if you're patient... I saw a minty F-360SCE at GC a few years ago for $1500. I think it was a steal. I've never said that about a guitar that cost more than $300.

    I have a F-389 mahogany 12-string. It's a post-lawsuit guitar (so it doesn't have the Martin look-a-like headstock). I don't know the model it clones (maybe it's a Tak original, but it's likely a D-15 clone).

    In the current Tak line-up, you can let price be your guide. They're groups into series marked with letters (there's a "G" series, I think). I don't know much about them because I'm stuck on the older "F" models. Still, new ones are good!

    Taks are great guitars!! Good hunting!
     
  5. krisls

    krisls Tele-Holic

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    What's your primary criteria? Acoustic sound or a live player?

    My stage guitar is a G series Tak, lovely guitar but did need a few tweaks to get it there. Nothing drastic but nec. Solid top and lam B/S fyi. The current line up is grouped and you can get an idea of how they work things by looking through them.

    A good G series used can be a great live guitar. As you go up the line the Pro series E's and F's etc are better quality woods mostly and lovely acoustically as well as live.

    Depends what you want, body style etc and for what use, plus of course how much.

    Kristina
     
  6. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I watched this sale on e-Bay just to see what happened with it, and somebody got a great deal. In my opinion, the F-360S and the F-340S (rosewood and mahogany, respectively) are extremely good values, in the models just after the "lawsuit" era, the ones with the new-style headstocks, but without electronics (this one had a Fishman system added on). The lawsuit guitars are fine, too, but the prices often seem to elevate past what they should.
     
  7. aunchaki

    aunchaki Friend of Leo's

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    That's a fabulous deal. You may have restored my hope in eBay!
     
  8. motwang

    motwang Tele-Afflicted

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    Got the f390s which is a Guild copy Lawsuit guitar. Had it since it was new in 1983. I will never sell this one, it's made to the same spec as the guild with the same wood, and she sounds great. Love this guitar! Somebody else on here had one a while back. They have the abalone pearl neck and headstock.
     
  9. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just my 2 cents, but if you're looking for an acoustic to play plugged in, the laminated tops do a fine job and can save you some money. The real magic is in the Takamine electronics. I've also played a few that sound fine acoustically.

    One thing I came across is that if you find a cheap one with a belly and plan to put a bridge truss in it to stabilize it, you can't because of where the pickup is mounted.
     
  10. Ron C

    Ron C Tele-Holic

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    If the plugged in sound is important to you, consider getting a used Japanese made Takamine. They can be found any day for $400-$800 on Guitar Center's used site, sometimes less. Look for anything with a model # that starts with EF, EAN, or ETN. There are some others that fit the bill but these are the easiest to spot. The G series models may be nice instruments but don't have the same pickups.

    These EF, EAN, ETN (and the other MIJ models) use a fundamentally different type of under saddle pickup than other guitars. It looks like 6 pistons set into a metal casing (google "palathetic pickup") and is paired with excellent preamps that produce great results without a lot of fuss and fiddling. Those electronics plus excellent build quality are why Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Eagles, and about a zillion country artists show up on stage with Japanese made Taks.

    I'm stunned how often I hear bad sounding plugged in acoustics from both top acts and weekend warriors, but never from someone performing with a Tak.

    If you're not looking to plug in much and just want a great pure acoustic tone, it may take more hunting. Some of these Taks can be dead sounding when unplugged while others have an excellent acoustic tone. All are fantastic gigging guitars.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  11. ab2012

    ab2012 Tele-Holic

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    Also check Craigslist. I picked up a 1986 f341 model in perfect shape for $250.00. A great sounding and playing guitar. I always see Takamines listed.
     
  12. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    One other thing. When you locate a used Tak, you might check Takamine's guitar archives page, for its specifications. To me a solid top is critical, a solid back is important, and solid sides are nice, but not a deal-breaker. Nut width--I prefer 1 3/4"--is important to me, too. Also, if all you have is a Craigslist listing, it is nice to know what kind of wood, whether there's a cutaway. . . .

    If it's a straight acoustic, all the better--check out the AN16, and then tear up the place looking for one--that gives you the opportunity to add a K & K pickup, which will hide invisibly until you need it, and then sound great plugged in.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  13. Edwin

    Edwin Banned

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    I have a G series 12 string with a solid top and an E series 6 string. Both sound excellent plugged in and the action is as great as the electronics. It's almost like they are made for musicians that play live.
     
  14. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Get one that is made in Japan.
    They are the best, IMO.
     
  15. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    Just out of curiosity , since you don't seem to have any particular model in mind, why just Takamine?
     
  16. gtrguru

    gtrguru Friend of Leo's

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    I have a cheaper G series that I think is a piece of junk. I also have a NP-15C cedar top that is remarkable. Just like everything, price can help lead your way but don't be afraid of a good deal either. Happy hunting!
     
  17. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The annual Limited Edition models pop up now and then, too, and they're beautiful things, most with fancy inlays, often with the wide nuts I like so much, and usually with all-solid woods, though sometimes the sides are laminated. I regret not buying one of these, the 2005 offering, when it was for sale--$800 I think it was--within driving distance from my house, a couple years ago.

    Again, get the exact model number and check the specs on the Takamine website. The Limited editions in the past few years have sometimes come in a G-series version. Not the same animal, not at all.
     
  18. Warm Gums

    Warm Gums Friend of Leo's

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    The G's are all over the map. I have had three; two of which were meh, a black A/E that looked nice, played awful and sounded worse, to be fair It had been ridden hard and put away wet, as a stage guitar for a local S/SW. And a well made dred with a cedar top that was just dull and life less. I now have a Taiwanese made G332s that is very nice, solid spruce top, bound finger board, wonderful neck, good hardware. Sounds sweet, projects well, the only thing that lets it down in comparison to a 1K+ Martin/Guild etc. is the bass response. It is much nicer than the Mexican made Martins and Taylors I have played, and stomps all over those 700 series Yamahas that sell for @ $150 used (where you usually find these) More so than any other maker (perhaps Guild..) I find it pays to play as many as you can, there are some real sleepers out there for short $. Mine was $70:eek:
     
  19. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    Some late 80's to early 90's models to look for have serial number prefix that start with FP. Mid 90's models it changed to FD. Mine is a MIJ, 1991, model FP360SC. That translates to; solid maple top, ply rosewood back and sides, parametric(?) EQ, and a cutaway.
    Bought it lightly used in '93 and still playing it out. I'm sure it could use a fret dress and leveling at this point, but never any issues with the guitar itself. These guitars have earned their reputation as being workhorses.
     
  20. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    +1 on the old "F" models- I have an '84 EF371 with a blue flame maple top that is a killer acoustic - neck and sound.
    Find an old one like that and you'll have something. Good hunting!
     
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