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Founded in Sakashita, Japan, in 1959, the family-run guitar manufacturer adopted the name Takamine in 1962, after nearby Mount Takamine (pronounced “tah-kah-MEEN-ay”). Now part of the massive Fender Musical Instrument Company and managed by Kaman Music, a Fender subsidiary, Takamine is a highly-respected manufacturer of acoustic and electro-acoustic guitars.
Introduction of the Piezo Electric
In the late 1970’s the company pioneered the development of acoustic guitars with Piezo-electric, under-saddle pickups and on-board solid-state preamps, forever changing the way acoustic guitars are used on stage by eliminating the need for the guitar to be played close to a traditional acoustic microphone. In 1988 Takamine added parametric equalization to its on-board preamps, allowing musicians to vary the tone their guitars’ output to power amplifiers. Since 2004, the company has also offered the CTP-1 Cool Tube® on-board tube preamp.
Not Just Acoustic
So highly regarded are the acoustic guitars of Takamine that the Grand Ole Opry commissioned the company to produce a commemorative guitar for its 80th anniversary in 2005. In addition to classical guitars and mandolins, Takamine produced excellent solid body electric guitars in the 1980s. Dual-neck 6-and-12 string acoustics were produced around that time, too, and today Takamine is known for its great acoustic bass guitars.
Serious attention is given to the Takamine soundboards, which are voiced by hand, as well as the laser-guided fret system that levels each fret to within one-ten-thousandth of an inch for precision intonation and the minimizing of fret buzz. Many guitar players rave about the Takamine neck, an asymmetrical C-shape that is thinner at the bass strings and fits the shape of the human hand so well.
Guitarists on Takamine
Starting around $200 and soaring into the thousands of dollars, every Takamine guitar is a testament to integrity that explains why so many musicians, from Bruce Springsteen and David Linley to John Scofield and David Crosby, love them.