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Think Acoustic - Live Electric

Takamine   Not so long ago, top musicians wouldn't have been caught dead on stage with anything less than one of the "prestige" brands of acoustic guitars. But then an incredible thing happened: Artists the caliber of Pete Townsend showed up both on stage and in their videos sporting acoustics with the name Takamine on them. Today, Takamine has become one of the most respected acoustic guitars in the entire industry, with diverse players such as Bruce Springsteen, Garth Brooks, Nils Lofgren, Steve Wariner and Dave Stewart using them both for recording and stage work. Their quality and durability has made them the guitar of choice for touring bands the world over: David Gilmour used Takamine 6 and 12 strings with Pink Floyd during the "Delicate Sound Of Thunder" and "Pulse" tours!

   Now you might think this company is relatively new, but in fact, Takamine was founded over 30 years ago by Mass Hirade, who designed and built the very first Takamine guitars. There are many factors that separate the best guitars in the world from pedestrian instruments. Though famous artists from every musical discipline - from country to jazz to pop to classical - agree that Takamine guitars possess the desired acoustic properties and playability, it's the painstaking detail found in each and every one that truly distinguish these instruments from those offered by other top guitar makers. These stringed instruments can only be described as stunning. The designs of these guitars are rich in history, having evolved from smaller bodied instruments that gained popularity and prominence in the early twentieth century.

   Within the walls of Takamine, a small group of master luthiers still lovingly craft these guitars by hand, at their own pace (you just can't hurry a good thing), using Mr. Hirade's original drawings. It's almost amazing that such a tradition continues in a world that forces most manufacturers to adopt assembly-line techniques. Takamine artisans have faithfully combined old-world craftsmanship with modern technology. Nowhere is this more readily visible than in

Takamine artisans: faithfully combining craftsmanship with new technology
Takamine artisans: faithfully combining craftsmanship with new technology

Takamine's precise laser cut ornamentation. Incredibly unique rosette and fingerboard inlay motifs blend premium woods such as maple, paduk, and walnut along with natural stone, abalone shell, and rich turquoise. Of course, magnificent woods are not only found in the inlay. Solid cedar and solid spruce form the tops, while hand-selected rosewood, mahogany and rare koa form the backs and sides. As for the finishes, all would make any skilled lu-thier envious: Whether stained or natural, the hand-rubbed gloss or satin finishes are both beautiful and extremely durable.

   But you can't talk about Takamine guitars without mentioning their electronics, and the company's acoustic/electrics feature the most responsive palathetic pickups, as well as the exceptional Accuracoustic, Graph EX or 4-Band Exciter preamps. These elec-tronics are at the very heart of the company's "Think Acoustic-Live Electric" philosophy, with natural, transparent acoustic sound at any volume level.

   Undoubtedly, the combination of feel, sound, detail, and electronics is the reason why many industry publications consider these Takamines to be among the most exquisitely made, collectible guitars. Let's take a very brief look at some of the various models in the Takamine line - and there are many of them, certainly more than we could include in this one article.

   Takamine craftsmen are especially proud of the Santa Fe series. Takamine is the first guitar maker to apply Southwestern American Indian designs to an acoustic guitar. These are truly special instruments. Most not only feature laser cut inlays with the aforementioned woods and abalone shell, but choice turquoise styled into majestic eagles, black crows and setting suns. The absolutely gorgeous PSF65C ($1699.50 list) is a solid spruce topped nylon string instrument with Accuracoustic electronics and palathetic pickup. It is a small-bodied guitar with fine rosewood back and sides featuring an intriguing Black Crow rosette. Also in stock is the LTD-97 ($1799.50 list), a limited edition Santa Fe model with unique Gecko design rosette, solid spruce top, absolutely gorgeous koa back and sides and those great Accuracoustic electronics.

   Owning a Takamine Natural guitar is just like having your own custom made guitar built to your dream specifications. These guitars are entirely handmade in the finest tradition of European and North American luthiery. There are no pick guards and no overly ornate fingerboard inlays; the beauty of these guitars is found in

Only the choicest woods are used in the Natural Series instruments
Only the choicest woods are used in the Natural Series instruments

the simplicity and integrity of design. The N10 ($1359 list) is of dreadnought design with solid cedar top, mahogany back and sides and a rosewood fingerboard. The EN40C ($1409 list) has a cutaway body style, cedar top, mahogany back and sides, 4-Band/Exciter electronics and an Ivoroid rosette inlay.

   The Takamine G Series guitars are made with the same precision and care as other Takamine guitars, but are aimed at being more affordable. These guitars do compare favorably with the upper line models of other popular guitar makers. Whether it's the construction, the woods chosen, or the playability, nothing in the G Series has been sacrificed. Fact is, the Takamine G Series even comes with a limited lifetime warranty. The G-335 ($758.45 list) is a grand 12-string dreadnought with spruce top and nato back and sides with a lustrous gloss finish. This guitar sings with superb clarity and colorful contrast. The EG334RC ($919.50 list) is a spruce topped cutaway dreadnought in a red stain finish with abalone inlay and versatile Tak Graphic electronics.

   Over thirty years ago, Mass Hirade had a concept for the ultimate classical guitar. His thinking was obviously far ahead of his time. Today, that very concept is recognized as one of the most significant advancements in the development of the instrument. The Hirade Series of concert classical guitars are the height of refined elegance. Expressed in the finest seasoned spruce, cedar, rosewood, ebony, and mahogany, all woods are hand picked by master luthiers. Three color mosaic wood marquetry surrounds the soundhole; the tuning heads are dressed in fine gold and pearl; the neck is handcrafted to exacting tolerances. A rich cashew color varnish only compares to a prized Stradivarius. The CP132SC ($1369 list) is Takamine's best selling nylon string acoustic/electric with a spruce top on rosewood back and sides. The cutaway body style allows easier upper fret access.

   We think these superb guitars deserve - maybe even demand - your serious consideration if you're in the market for a great looking, great sounding acoustic or acoustic/electric guitar. We have many of Takamine's most popular models in stock right now, and we'd like to suggest that you call your Sales Engineer to get detailed information and your special low Sweetwater pricing on any of these marvelous instruments.

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