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 Post subject: Takamine 50th Anniversary T50TH
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:39 am 
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Location: UK
So my T50TH dread finally arrived. W-O-W what an absolute stunner in every possible way.

The case alone with its black crocodile effect outer covering, gold fastenings and brushed gold 50th Anniversary badge mounted on a cocobolo back-plate shouts quality.

Lifting the lid reveals the T50TH in all its glory cushioned in the plush, burgundy red velvet case lining. A superb, master grade solid sitka spruce top is bordered by gold leaf purfling within black and white edging strips. This edging combination also accompanies the fretboard down to the sound hole to form the rosette which is augmented by further concentric black and white strips. The rosewood bridge is sculptured to create an elevated platform for the split saddle. The black pickguard is decorated with real gold inlays featuring a growing vine motif which has been chosen to symbolize the “long and vital life of the Takamine Guitar Company” over the decades.

The back and sides are solid cocobolo with incredibly rich grain figuring. The book-matched back halves are bordered and joined with similar gold leaf purfling as used on the top. The sides are fully trimmed in figured maple binding including the joins to the single-piece heel and through to the end-pin. The same binding encases the fretboard and headstock.

The single-piece mahogany neck echoes the shaping of the EF75 around the heel and uses a similar figured maple heel cap. The silky smooth satin finished neck with a 1¾” nut feels great in the hand and has a profile very similar to the EF75.

The dense, jet black ebony used in the fretboard appears homogenous with little sign of visible grain to distract from the inlays. The frets are perfectly levelled and finished, consistently terminating mid-way into the binding down the entire fretboard and crossing black and white edging strips that are carried through into the headstock.

The exquisite fretboard inlays are a work of art. Starting at the 18th fret, a vine emerges from green earth and grows up the fretboard, ‘through’ the nut and seamlessly into the headstock where it terminates at the 3rd string tuner. Along the way, the vine (abalone) sprouts side shoots with leaves and berries - depicted in superb detail using real gold leaf and iridescent inlay materials. At the second, seventh and fifteenth frets the vine crosses inlay sections that have the appearance of ‘cosmic swirls’. The positioning of these three sections gives the impression that the vine is intersecting a wave motion, representing the passing of time (see earlier ‘vine of life’ motif explanation) and in particular the changing of seasons from summer with the green painted earth, through autumn with gold leaves, winter with orange leaves and then spring with new green leaves further symbolizing the continuity of the Takamine brand. These seasonal sections are alternately crossed by the vine and leaves in an over then under fashion, which cleverly creates a three-dimensional effect.

The black-faced headstock echoes several themes from elsewhere on the guitar: the termination of the growing vine; the gold leaf purfling border encased in black and white edging strips; and the figured maple binding leading to the mahogany rear of the headstock. Gotoh 510 antique gold tuners are used with custom, hand lacquered tuning buttons featuring the motif found on the pickguard. An inlaid golden Takamine logo, sitting proudly above the vine and leaf inlays, completes the headstock.

The guitar label identifies the guitar number (out of the fifty 50th Anniversary models made) and has the Takamine logo in gold leaf. The guitar comes with a 50th Anniversary certificate, cloth and tags.

Visually the guitar is stunning and the quality of the craftsmanship is exceptional.

Straight out of the box the setup is perfect: 1st fret clearances of 0.014”, 0.023”, 0.024”, 0.026”, 0.029”, 0.0023” (1st string to 6th string); an action of 0.065”, 0.078”, 0.086”, 0.089”, 0.093”, 0.087” at the 12th fret; and with 003” neck relief across the 7th fret (with 1st and 14th fingered).

Sonically it has a balanced, full tone which is loud without being boomy. Amplified sound is provided by the TLD (Takamine Line Driver) preamp which sits discreetly inside the guitar. Having the TLD in my EF75 I was expecting a natural, full acoustic sound and there were no surprises or disappointments here.

The designers and luthiers at Takamine should be congratulated for creating an absolutely superb guitar that completely befits the 50th anniversary commemorative model.

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2006 TNV460SC; T50TH #21


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine 50th Anniversary T50TH
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:03 pm
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Location: 6 String Ranch
Yeah, what he said!
What number is yours?
I played mine out last night and it worked great.
This is a different line driver than I've seen before, it's all in the endpin. The ones I've had before are screwed to the neck block.

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Can't substitute gear for talent but I keep trying.

Adi/Madi BG; EF75#71; a couple others


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine 50th Anniversary T50TH
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:58 am
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Location: UK
#21. Yeah I noticed it's just a battery holder up by the neck block.

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2006 TNV460SC; T50TH #21


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine 50th Anniversary T50TH
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:44 pm
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Congrats on your purchases gents and thanks for the review TakTic.

Any chance of either of you recording a video review sometime to show the guitar off to those of us that will probably never see one?

Cheers

Tony


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine 50th Anniversary T50TH
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:58 am
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Location: UK
Thanks Tony

I'm afraid I don't have access to the required technology! There are these which give a good heads-up (at least visually): http://www.takamineforum.com/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5107

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2006 TNV460SC; T50TH #21


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine 50th Anniversary T50TH
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:35 am 
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I've just run two separate 'blind' tests on my son (excellent saxophonist) and wife (non-musician). Playing the T50TH, EF75 and TNV460SC unplugged both strumming and picking with each guitar having new strings.

The results weren't a surprise and I suppose they confirm that you get what you pay for. Anyway after round one both dropped the TNV460SC as not having the same tonal quality and richness of sound. After round two they both picked out the T50TH as being the more complete sound - in my wife's words it had a "3-dimensional, fuller, richer, more resonant sound"

For what it's worth, I agree, but then I'm likely to be biased.

Of course the different body styles will be playing a part but it seems that the Tak guys have built the anniversary model to sound every bit as good as it looks.

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2006 TNV460SC; T50TH #21


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine 50th Anniversary T50TH
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:20 pm 
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Sounds like an AMAZING guitar !!!


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 Post subject: Re: Takamine 50th Anniversary T50TH
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:45 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:08 am
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Location: Colorado Rocky Mountains
Great review, TT.

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