Japanese instrument maker Takamine had a mountain to climb when it set out to challenge the dominance of American acoustic makers in the 1960s - but the company soon became master of the electro-acoustic format, relied upon by everyone from Bruce Springsteen to the Eagles and justly earning the title of the ‘hardest-working guitars in music’.
Takamine has made a huge success in carving out a niche as a brand that makes incredibly dependable stage guitars used by everyone from Pete Townshend to Garth Brookes. But while this is testament to the road-worthy quality of the guitars Takamine makes, it is also a kind of typecasting that somehow implies that the guitars are workhorses rather than thoroughbreds, built on a production line rather than crafted by hand.
But back in the 70s & 80s this was certainly not the case. By the late 1970s Takamine was turning out fabulous copies of classic Martin and Gibson models, all meticulously curated by the company’s fastidious luthiers.
However, by the early 80s the company was creating on their own designs and meeting with great success. Perhaps more than any other modern luthier, the Japanese firm blazed a trail for the electro-acoustic artform, while luring a starburst of disparate performers ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Dave Stewart of Eurythmics.
But perhaps the era’s most pivotal development was the 1988 arrival of Makoto Terasaki - the master luthier and creative whirlwind who swept through Takamine with opinions that tweaked the nose of conventional industry wisdom.
“Some users want all-solid wood acoustic guitars,” he said with regard to his refreshing stance on timbers, “especially on high-value instruments, but Jimmy D’Aquisto wrote that laminate is better than solid wood for sides and I agree with his opinion. We can make laminate sides harder than a solid side, and thinner. When I design guitars for the professional musician, in most cases I use laminate sides.”
That is the case with this classic EF 360 SC Taka from 1988. This guitar presents the classic tone of a spruce and rosewood dreadnought guitar. The top is solid spruce, the back is solid Indian Rosewood, and the sides are Indian Rosewood laminate. Acoustically its voice is strong and punchy and cuts well through the densest mix.
But possibly more importantly, this guitar was one of the first widely available models to incorporate Takamine’s then new bridge-mounted Palathetic pickup system.
Using six large sized ceramic elements that captured the signal of each string, and bringing all the harmonic richness of the resonating soundboard into play, the result was a feedback-free, plug-and-play guitar whose amplified tone sounded unplugged.
Body Shape - Dreadnought
Body Type - Hollowbody
Body Construction - Acoustic
Body Construction - Single cutaway
Body Top Wood – Solid Spruce
Back Wood – Rosewood
Sides – Laminated Rosewood
Neck - Mahogany
Fingerboard Material – Rosewood
Nut Width - 1.675"
Number of Frets - 20
Bridge - Rosewood
Number of Pickups - 1
Bridge Pickup Type - Piezo
Controls – Volume Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble
Neck Joint - Dovetail
Pickguard - Yes
Finish - Gloss
This guitar was bought new by its one owner in 1988, and it has been cared for very well. A few marks here and there as expected in a 33 year old instrument, but nothing more than some light player wear, and nothing offensive.
No structural issues, neck is straight, truss rod works perfectly, original Takamine tuners are strong and precise. Original frets show a little wear in the lower regions, but nothing affecting the instrument’s playability.
In 1988 John from PREMIER GUITARS bought the twin of this guitar from Farrell Music in Brookvale - just down the road from our current showroom. That guitar has played hundreds of gigs since then and is still in exactly the same condition as when new. It has been a solid workdog for over 30 years and will never be moved on.
John has owned a number of nice acoustics over the years, but when an onstage acoustic guitar is required, that is the one that gets the gig. Totally reliable, great sound, a delight play – just like this one.
Comes in its original hard shell case in good condition.