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Takamine "The 60th" Anniversary Model - 60 Pieces Limited Production World Wide.
A Message from President Hayami Tahte (Takamine Gakki Co.,ltd.)
In the year 2022, the 60th anniversary of Takamine Guitars, the unpredictable and deadly COVID-19 pandemic still casts its shadow of anxiety and separation. Yet we look with optimism to our future. Everyone in Takamine is deeply grateful to the many guitar fans worldwide who have continued to purchase Takamine guitars. We believe you understand that in spite of current logistical challenges, your new Takamine guitar reflects the exacting standards and superior hand-crafted quality to which we are dedicated.
Looking back through the 60 years of Takamine history, we are reminded of the greatly expanded world of the acoustic guitar in performance art. A development in which we are proud to have played a key role. It is this idea of musical communication and our deep appreciation for the power of the acoustic guitar that has driven our developments and contributions in the field of acoustic guitar design and amplification.
It is in this spirit that we present this special, celebratory model as testament to the heartfelt respect for the instrument that Takamine has poured into our creations from the beginning. We sincerely wish to continue this journey with you for at least 60 more years.
Journey to the Beginning of Acoustic-Electric
Before 1978, the year Takamine first commercialized the acoustic-electric guitar, the most common method of amplifying an acoustic guitar was by way of an open microphone. This system greatly compromised on-stage performances and many popular American musicians of the era whose music relied heavily on acoustic guitar were feeling the stress. Yet the idea of any modification to the guitar’s body, such as drilling the hole to install an endpin jack, was unacceptable to many. Yet, when a relatively new acoustic guitar company introduced an innovative, bridge-mounted pickup system with brown colored control panel that allowed true acoustic tone to be amplified throughout stadium-sized venues, the solution was largely accepted.
At a time when the standard design for acoustic guitars involved spruce tops combined with rosewood or mahogany, the early Takamine acoustic-electric guitar lineup included unique creations such as an all Hawaiian Koa model and a classical guitar-shaped steel-string. It is in honor of these now validated features and characteristics from Takamine’s early days, that we have designed and hand-crafted the THE 60TH..
It is our wish that the story of Takamine’s remarkable journey, from our inspired beginnings to present-day, be seen, felt and heard when experiencing this very special instrument.
Aside from being among the first Takamine models to feature the new Palathetic Pickup system, the circa 1969 PT-05E also gained attention for its creative combination of classical body shape and steel strings. This breakthrough model also triggered the initial widespread distribution of Takamine guitars in Japan. The 60TH model brings a graceful cutaway to the silhouette and distinctive concept of Takamine’s ground-breaking PT-05E.
Grain Direction of the Top Board
"THE 60TH" is made entirely of solid Hawaiian Koa, top back and sides. The high-grade figured grain of solid Hawaiian Koa, a beautiful natural wood, has a different direction of rigidity from that of ordinary spruce tops due to its repeated coarse and dense grain, which while sonically desirable, can be less adapted to withstand typical string tension.
In order to improve the rigidity without compromising the resonance, a three-piece bracing made of ebony sandwiched by spruce was adopted. Precise hand-shaping is also applied to reduce weight.
The bottom of the bracing is shaved to match the curve of the body top, then glued to the solid Hawaiian Koa top and again finished by hand-shaping with a chisel.
The unique three-layered bracing not only increases rigidity, but also decrease typical brace mass that would otherwise interfere with top vibration. The ebony core of the tone bar allows proper height at the center while allowing much thinner shaping from both sides creating a triangular prism to further reduce weight while maintaining rigidity.
In fact, if you compare this ebony-centered tone bar to typical top bracing, its weight is reduced by more than 20% promoting significantly more top vibration sensitivity.
This exquisite hand processing is done one-by-one by the highly skilled factory manager, Noriharu Sakurai, and the master builder, Toru Hirokawa who, from Takamine’s craft shop, have participated in the production of many high-end and custom guitars for some of our biggest artists.
The premier model "THE 60TH", limited to 60 pieces worldwide, has an authenticated genuine diamond embedding as an inlay on the headstock.
Since this process will be done after all the paint has been applied, an extra careful method of creating a hole for the diamond inlay was needed in the paint coat to avoiding any damages. As the result of various trials, we finally decided to establish the diamond setting by way of programmed NC router instead of a standard drilling machine with a drill bit.
This remarkably tense final inlay process is carried out by our factory manager Noriharu Sakurai with the utmost care for each piece.
To celebrate THE 60TH anniversary of the diamond wedding, a diamond image position-marker sits on the 12th fret. This is precisely cut by laser cutting machine inspired by the design of the traditional diamond "excellent cut". These small facets of select acrylic materials of various reflective qualities are precisely cut by laser and carefully crafted by hand.
To befit Limited Edition status, the body is trimmed with gorgeous abalone inlay. As the premiere model, THE 60TH abalone inlays along the top, back, sides and headstock, combined with the complimentary color tones of beautiful natural maple binding and solid Hawaiian Koa body speak to well-conceived design and handcrafting technique.
Shell Trimming Work
The design of THE 60TH has several places where courses of the abalone trim intersect. The highly intricate finishing process of cleanly intersecting the two pieces, “tome” is a technique only a highly skilled Japanese craftsman can produce.
For example, with abalone trim lines that connect at 90 degrees, the chisel blade is used like a mirror to view the intersection and help facilitate the perfectly straight drop of the chisel and precise 45 degree cut. This extremely intricate process is accomplished by two skilled craftsmen specifically experienced with the crafting of abalone inlay for high-end models.
The "Brownie" CTF-2N Preamp System
"Brownie" is the affectionate nickname guitarists worldwide gave long ago to the very first series of FET (field effect transistor) preamps designed by Takamine engineers to complement their revolutionary Palathetic bridge-mounted pickup. It was the warm and natural saturation effect of the FET preamp, resembling that of a vacuum tube that first attracted the support of American artists such as Ry Cooder, David Lindley, the Eagles, James Taylor, Jackson Brown, Bruce Springsteen and many others. It was this initial acceptance by so many high profile artists that effectively put Takamine on the map as a world-class acoustic guitar brand to be reckoned with. And so it remains to this day.
For THE 60TH anniversary, we designed the CTF-2N FET pre-amp which retains the taste of the original “brownie” but updated with new features such as a notch filter and chromatic tuner.
The hard case for THE 60TH is made by a reliable Japanese manufacturer that specializes in small volume custom-made projects. From the fitting tests to the construction of the case pocket lid, every small detail of this custom case has been carefully studied and developed.
|Series||Takamine Limited Series|
|Body Shape||Classical with Cutaway|
|Body Top||Solid Hawaiian Koa|
|Body Back||Solid Hawaiian Koa|
|Body Sides||Solid Hawaiian Koa|
|Scale Length||644 mm|
|Nut||Width - 1.675" (42.5mm)|
|Machine Heads||Gold Diecast|
|Bridge||Ebony with Split Bone Saddle|
|Electronics||CTF-2N Preamp System with 3 band EQ, Onboard Tuner & Palathetic Pickup|
|Unique Features||3-Piece Ebony/Spruce Bracing, Made in Japan, Includes Hard Case|
|Special Features||Genuine Diamond inlaid in Headstock, Abalone Body Trim, Maple Binding & Diamond Image 12th Fret Inlay|
Pick-up from Gold Coast Music, 53 Nerang St, Southport, QLD during opening hours.
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