Vintage Takamine, anyone?

powermrk
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Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by powermrk » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:56 pm

Has anyone here played or owned vintage Takamine classical guitars?
Can you share your first hand experience and what have you known about those Takamine's?
Is it fair to compare vintage Takamine to those '60s and '70s made Kohno guitars?
Did Takamine use two labeling systems on its exported and domestic guitars? (old models such as C132, C136s .... can be seen in overseas, but not in Japan)

:merci:

Dave Stott
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by Dave Stott » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:29 pm

I've owned a few Takamine guitars from the 70's era. They're nice guitars & sounded good, but the necks were too fat and wide for my left hand to comfortably play for any period of time.

With respect to your last question;

Takamine did indeed sell guitars that were not intended for export & those guitars made their way to the US via serviceman returning home. Some of those early guitars did have different labels than those which were exported & their labeling system for those can be different.

There's a great Takamine guitar facebook group with tons of knowledge about Takamine guitars.
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powermrk
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by powermrk » Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:37 pm

Dave Stott wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:29 pm
There's a great Takamine guitar facebook group with tons of knowledge about Takamine guitars.
When searching Takamine guitars, usually find out the info regarding the acoustic/electric guitars since they are the main products of Takamine.

GuitarsWeB
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:18 pm

Some of the older 132’s -134’s with the 660mm scale are quite good. 1976-1980. They all have the Ramirez headstock. I re-fretted a 132 with the Dunlop 6105 higher wire and It played really nicely.

Dave Stott
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by Dave Stott » Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:25 pm

true, but there are several members of that group that are quite knowledgeable in history of Takamine's classical guitars & the labeling variations.
powermrk wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:37 pm
Dave Stott wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:29 pm
There's a great Takamine guitar facebook group with tons of knowledge about Takamine guitars.
When searching Takamine guitars, usually find out the info regarding the acoustic/electric guitars since they are the main products of Takamine.
2015 Cordoba GK Pro Negra
2017 Cordoba C-10 Cedar
2003 Froggy Bottom H-12 Deluxe

powermrk
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by powermrk » Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:43 am

GuitarsWeB wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:18 pm
Some of the older 132’s -134’s with the 660mm scale are quite good. 1976-1980. They all have the Ramirez headstock. I re-fretted a 132 with the Dunlop 6105 higher wire and It played really nicely.
Any reasons make those 132’s -134’s made in 1976-1980 particularly good?
Have you had any experience on 136's, even 140's and 150's?
Thanks!

GuitarsWeB
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:00 am

powermrk wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:43 am
GuitarsWeB wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:18 pm
Some of the older 132’s -134’s with the 660mm scale are quite good. 1976-1980. They all have the Ramirez headstock. I re-fretted a 132 with the Dunlop 6105 higher wire and It played really nicely.
Any reasons make those 132’s -134’s made in 1976-1980 particularly good?
Have you had any experience on 136's, even 140's and 150's?
Thanks!

The older ones are make differently, the bracing, necks, etc. They all seem to have a 660mm scales, but that’s not a problem for many. Yeah, 134 and 136 are nice also, just over priced nowadays.

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eno
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by eno » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:46 pm

powermrk wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:43 am
Any reasons make those 132’s -134’s made in 1976-1980 particularly good?
Have you had any experience on 136's, even 140's and 150's?
Well, the reason is that Hirade, the student of Kohno, the ex. Takamine president, the designer and the production supervisor of those CG models left Takamine in late 80s I believe. At some point later the 134-150 models were discontinued. Takamine lost the expertise needed to maintain that product line of fine high-end CGs.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Takamine C136S 1976
Masaru Kohno No.6 1967

SteveL123
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by SteveL123 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:20 pm

Here are 2 (77 & 82) Takamine C132S in the sold archives with pictures and talks about differences between them.

My 77 is a 660 viewtopic.php?f=76&t=119429&p=1283473&h ... 8#p1271624

This 82 is a 650 viewtopic.php?f=76&t=117390&p=1248481&h ... 8#p1248481

Mine sounded and played great. I sold it because It was much more difficult to do 5 fret stretches in the first 3 positions. The person who bought it has 2 other well known Luthier built guitars that cost at least 10 times more but prefers playing the Takamine. That says something about this particular Takamine.

Trev
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by Trev » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:18 pm

eno wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:46 pm
powermrk wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:43 am
Any reasons make those 132’s -134’s made in 1976-1980 particularly good?
Have you had any experience on 136's, even 140's and 150's?
Well, the reason is that Hirade, the student of Kohno, the ex. Takamine president, the designer and the production supervisor of those CG models left Takamine in late 80s I believe. At some point later the 134-150 models were discontinued. Takamine lost the expertise needed to maintain that product line of fine high-end CGs.
I'm sure it was a blow for Takamine whenever Mass Hirade did leave the company but is it a fact that there was no one to carry on at that level or just an asumption on your part? The Takamine brand has a big following, granted it's mainly acoustic but the classical Hirade Master series, H20/H25 would match up against most top end guitars both in materials quality/ craftmanship and sound.
Trev
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eno
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by eno » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:58 pm

Trev wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:18 pm
I'm sure it was a blow for Takamine whenever Mass Hirade did leave the company but is it a fact that there was no one to carry on at that level or just an asumption on your part? The Takamine brand has a big following, granted it's mainly acoustic but the classical Hirade Master series, H20/H25 would match up against most top end guitars both in materials quality/ craftmanship and sound.
Trev
Yes, that was my assumption, so I should have made a disclaimer :D
But the fact is, both H-series and C134+ series were discontinued not long after Hirade left. We don't know whether there were economic reasons for that or the fact hat they could not maintain those lines without him. It could be both.

But I agree, even after he left they still maintained well their both acoustic and CG lines with a very good quality. I played C128 2000 for many years and loved it.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Takamine C136S 1976
Masaru Kohno No.6 1967

powermrk
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by powermrk » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:00 am

C132s, 1636s............labeling numbers seem to be used only for overseas.
Did Takamine used No.5, 10.......... in Japan instead?

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souldier
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by souldier » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:43 pm

Been enjoying my 70's C132S I purchased from Tavi Jinariu (you can easily see a video of tavi playing it on youtube). It has an alluring "blooming" tone rather than having a really fast attack and I can easily get a beautiful sound out of it effortlessly. A musically pleasing guitar. Great balance across the neck/strings with a very comfortable action. I do wonder how much it's age plays into the quality of sound. Not the loudest guitar, but has more than enough power for playing at home. I amplify when playing in public. Other guitars I've owned or played over the years are more sensitive to temperature/humidity and and require better nail condition and technique to get a better sound.

The bracing inside I believe is an early Kohno bracing consisting of 6 parallel braces (when I have time I'll post a video of the inside so someone can confirm this). But I believe the tone is attributed to other factors other than the bracing alone.
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lawcch
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by lawcch » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:02 pm

hi guys
I also one of the vintage Takamine classical guitars lover. I just bought a mint condition but it was used Takamine No. 8 presumably made in early 1980 from Hokkaido guitar shop.

I read Takamine history from a guy called "Victor Kowalczyk" as Reverb.com seller & e - b a y seller as Victor's Guitar Gallery, or e - b a y seller's ID "victork1962 whom claimed himself as very knowledgeable about Japanese handcrafted guitars & its history and here was what he had wrote on Takamine hand crafted guitar history.
here was the link to the original listing of Takamine No. 8 classical guitar:

(Mod edit .. commercial link removed)

Search for 1983 Takamine Hirade No8 in mint condition on the Reverb site

This guitar was made for Japanese domestic market. Models distributed in USA and other western countries are not sold and almost unheard of in Japan. Specifications for exported models are provided by importers and priced accordingly by Takamine Co. Models made for the Westerners had to look great and have name Hirade printed on the label in order to emphasize the fact they were made in Japan and make them more “mystique”.

Models sold in Japan never had Hirade name on their labels and they were never signed by anybody. Everyone in Japan knows that Mass Hirade, a pupil of Masaru Kohno, became a Master luthier at Takamine Co. in 1968 and lead this company to the position of a leading guitar maker in the world. It is very likely that Masaru Kohno invested in Takamine Co and became either its owner or co-owner. Masaru Kohno was very actively engaged in production of Takamine classical models until late 1970s. All higher models had simplified Kohno bracing and Kohno style rosette. The very top models had Kohno style purflings and decorated bridge.

Currently top Takamine classical models are:
#39 (Solid Spruce, solid Latin America Rosewood, all Kohno style decorations) with MSRP 360 000 yen (which translates to at least $4500 in US distribution)
#37 (Solid Spruce, Solid Indian Rosewood, with Kohno style rosette) with MSRP 160 000 yen (which translates to at least $2500 in US distribution)
#32 (Solid Cedar, Solid Indian Rosewood Back, Laminated Indian Rosewood sides, Rosewood fingerboard) with MSRP 75 000 yen

This guitar was made in early/mid 1980s, before Takamine started to install truss rods in the neck of classical guitars. This kind of label was used in guitars sold in Japan and several other countries, where there is no need to emphasize the name HIRADE for marketing purposes. Since early 1990s Takamine guitars produced for domestic market, had different design, much smaller labels installed on the right side of the center brace.

These "domestic" guitars have different serial number system than the one used on exported guitars. On this particular guitar it begins with digits 91 which in theory mean year 1991. This is however only a pure coincidence.
This guitar is similar model to the one distributed earlier in US with the label Hirade H8. It’s definitely higher grade instrument than H8SS model distributed in recent years. It is built from higher grade woods and its top is finished with lacquer, instead of polyurethane. Eaxctly the same guitar made in 1990s would be labelled as No10. If it was made today it would be labelled as No 15.
This guitar was most likely stored for over 20 years and remains in absolutely mint condition. Although not played much (if at all) it has impressive volume and quite mature sound. It is very responsive and easy to play.
The greatness of this guitar is so well known, that I will stop my advertising endeavors right here.

Specification:
Top: High Grade AAAA Solid Spruce Back & Sides: Solid Rosewood
Neck: Mahogany Fingerboard: Ebony
Scale: 650 mm Nut width: 51 mm
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Trev
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Re: Vintage Takamine, anyone?

Post by Trev » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:29 pm

I wouldn't take a lot of notice of Victor, it appears he gathers information from the internet about Takamine , puts it together and uses it for advertising purposes. He tries to purport the myth that guitars made for the Japanese home market are superior to those made for export.
just on one point, if the serial number on the heel inside the guitar starts with 91 it is certain that was the year it was made, follow the number left to right and it should give you date/month and number the guitar made. I can understand Japanese manufacturer having different labels but they would have a reliable system of traceability and that serial number on the heel is it I'm sure.
I read your other post and I'm sure you're guitar will be good but check out the serial number.
Trev
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