Takamine pioneered the production of acoustic guitars with electronic pickup, preamp and EQ systems – they essentially started the acoustic-electric guitar category – a category of guitars that majority of guitar builders now offer. Because of this, Takamine is mostly known for modern acoustic designs, but don’t count them out when it comes to vintage style guitars because they do have a collection of parlor style acoustic-electric guitars, of which the TF87-PT is included.
This particular parlor guitar looks closer to an old parlor guitar than a modern acoustic-electric instrument, but it still carries Takamine’s characteristic clean look and preamp placement. The tonewoods used on this guitar is anything but conventional, from its solid cedar top, which is more commonly used on nylon string guitars, to its solid Hawaiian Koa back and sides. So it is to be expected that this parlor guitar looks different and sounds different than your typical parlor guitar, with a warmer tone that emphasizes the lower mids better, an articulate sound that fingerstyle players will appreciate.
The guitar’s neck is crafted from mahogany, and topped by a bound ebony fingerboard. The official page of the guitar does not mention the specs, but since it is part of Takamine’s New Yorker line, then the scale length will most probably be around 25.3″, the nut width however is specifically mentioned to be 1.6875″. Other features of the fingerboard include Palm Tree inlays, nickel silver frets, and white dot side inlays.
The neck joins the body at the 14th fret following more modern acoustic builds, the headstock however takes the opposite route with its old school square tapered slotted headstock design.
With its branding, we can expect this parlor guitar to come with modern electronics to make it stage ready, and Takamine did not disappoint. They equipped the TF87-PT with their proprietary design Palathetic pickup, which features six individually shielded piezo-electric elements, one for each string. These piezo electric elements are embedded in the bridge plate, soundboard and the bridge itself for better contact with the string, giving you 12x the piezo mass for capturing the sound when compared to conventional designs. This improved mass allows for better articulation and clarity even in higher volume levels.
The pickup is wired to Takamine’s Cool Tube (CTP-2) preamp system, an acoustic preamp that comes equipped with an actual tube, to be specific a 12AU7 dual triode vacuum tube. This is a premium preamp with advanced EQ control, blend control in case you want to add in a magnetic pickup, and it comes with a built-in tuner.
For an in depth look at Takamine’s CTP-2 preamp system, check out the video below:
The Takamine TF87-PT has a retail price of $1259.99, and because of its use of exotic tonewoods, it is no longer as widely available as their other models. For further details, you can head over to Takamine.