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This article was originally published in issue #53
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The guitar is constructed with a solid spruce top and solid Indian rosewood back and sides. A mahogany neck (with the ebony fingerboard) spanning up to a single cut body design.
Comfortable neck profile
All round great sounding instrument
Only limited to 2017
Takamine is well known in the guitar world for their top end acoustic guitars that feature fantastic craftsmanship, aesthetics, and all-out sound experience. Originating in Japan, Takamine takes pride in its history of guitar building and their own art of creating high-quality acoustic guitars. In this issue, Sam Bell takes a look at their limited edition for 2017 ‘Magome’ acoustic guitar.
Crafted in commemoration of Japan’s Edo period which went down in history for its development in arts and culture. The story of this particular guitars inspiration goes something like this... There was a highway called Nakasendo that connected Edo (now Tokyo) to Kyoto, on this long 300-mile long road over 400 years ago the highway hosted a popular stop off for travelers in a place called Magome. The area uniquely featured watermills that lined the road, these mills helped create buckwheat soba noodles that were popular with the travelers coming through to rest. The Takamine LTD-2017 Magome guitar is a raised glass to the craftsmanship of this region, the same region that Takamine guitars are built to this day.
So as we can see, this is a special guitar for Takamine, and the online video campaign to promote this guitar has been artfully done with scenes of the road and the watermills cut in with clips of the guitars been handmade in a workshop. The guitars main feature being the abalone ‘Legend of the Road’ inlay which features an intricate design of the legendary road and water mills spanning the ebony fingerboard.
The guitar is constructed with a solid spruce top and solid Indian rosewood back and sides. A mahogany neck (with the ebony fingerboard) spanning up to a single cut body design. The guitar has tons of quality features and hardware, but perhaps the most stand out item for me was the CTP3 CoolTube pre-amp. This guitar has all the pre-amp options you would expect from a high end acoustic guitar, such as 3 band EQ (with the options of honing in on particular frequencies in each band), an in-built tuner, even an aux input inside the guitar to connect a second pick up to and blend with the guitars main pickup. But this guitar has one more trick up its sleeve, a tube! (a valve, depending on where you are, I don’t even know anymore!) Putting the ‘Tube’ in CoolTube, this small and discrete 12AU7 dual-triode vacuum tube that runs cool to the touch is inside of the guitar body. This tube can be controlled with a standby switch (so you don’t have to have it activated to use the pre-amp as regular) and a knob which controls the amount that the tube is working at a low voltage.
Now keep in mind this guitar plugged in without CT activated sounds rich and full, most would be very happy with how it sounds. Acoustically as well this guitar is resonant, full and very satisfying to play sonically. However when we activate the tube, we are treated to an enhanced, harmonically rich and full sound. The tone somehow warms up and becomes a lot more resonant, harmonics leap out of the guitar. I am not sure how this would work at high volumes with stage monitoring, I could imagine that feedback might become an issue? However, if you are performing at low volumes or doing some home recording, I would imagine this cool tube technology would be super valuable for creating some really rich and warm sounds! Combine the CT technology with the original versatility and tone of this guitar and then remember we can add as second pick up very easily via the Aux option. This can be controlled with its own Mix and Gain volume, the tonal possibilities direct out of this guitar are almost endless.
I am very impressed with this acoustic guitar, it looks amazing, sounds great, plays wonderfully. It’s got the whole bag! (Actually, it does come with its own high-quality case!) The build feels so solid while also feeling very natural and welcoming. Quality is oozing out of this guitar. I would personally love to have one in my arsenal of sonic tools! I would highly recommend this to any serious guitarist looking for a versatile and stunning acoustic instrument!
Solid spruce top
Solid rosewood back and sides