This post is the second episode in the short series about my acoustic guitars.
You can find the previous one here: About my nylon string acoustic guitar: Takamine TC132SC.
I’ve been playing Gypsy Jazz (GJ) rhythm guitar for about five years. To make a long story short, I liked GJ style, but I loved fingerstyle more. It was hard for me to find enough time for both styles, and I wanted to focus on one. My Saga Gitane D500 was an excellent guitar for Gypsy Jazz, but … I wanted to play fingerstyle, so I sold D500 to a good guy from Portland, OR. (Thanks Jesse!)
Not so long before that, I went to the shopping tour around the local music shops and played 20-30 different guitars. I found a Walnut Taylor 416CE-LTD, 2011 Spring Edition and I liked it. People at Bellevue American Music were so friendly and helpful, but … price was too high for me and I dropped that idea.
Being a satisfied Takamine TC132SC owner, I looked at Takamine too. I found some very good (but rare) reviews of Takamine TF740FS acoustic-electric guitar. With 1 7/8” (47.5mm) neck width at nut, 12th fret neck-to-body connection, short scale, solid cedar top and mahogany back and sides, it was positioned as an acoustic guitar for fingerstyle. As with TC132SC a year ago, I didn’t find any TF740FS locally, but I talked to people on the TakamineForum.com and Acoustic Guitar Forum, watched videos on YouTube and read everything about this guitar.
I liked what I found. One of the TF740FS owners told me that his guitar not just sounded well, but had a good setup and low action right out from the factory. Another player was excited by guitar’s high accuracy in intonation, but wasn’t very excited by how it looked. Ok, it’s fair, but I don’t like too bright inlays or too advanced ornaments, bells and whistles on my guitar. I prefer plain wood on the top and side dots on the side of neck.
Finally, I noticed a used 1-year old Tak TF740FS on eBay, sent a few questions to the top-rated seller, was satisfied with the answers and bought it.
It arrived a week later and was in “like new” shape. Thanks Phil! My first impression was “Wow! That’s THE sustain!” The sound was endless! The body was deeper than a standard OM model, so it sounded much fuller than a typical OM-sized guitar. It had Elixir Polyweb light strings on it. Very warm mellow tone with a deep sounded bass. Wow!
I thought that the guitar was already PLEK-ed (or, at least, half-PLEK-ed) at the factory. The action was right, and the intonation was very good. My only wish was to have frets polished a bit better. But it was a used guitar, and it’s a good reason to visit a guitar tech. It sounded great, I felt it very well and it was MY guitar! I put a TC132SC aside and played TF740FS only for a couple of weeks. I put on new extra-light phosphor-bronze strings, but didn’t like them and will replace them with something “heavier” soon.
These days I play TF740FS just for a few hours a week, and play TC132SC much more. I am working on a few nice Russian romances and found that they sound better on a nylon string guitar. When I finish that, I’ll switch back to the steel strings. I’ve got the impression that a good steel string acoustic guitar is faster and easier to play. It’s very subjective and it all depends on who, what and how one plays it. My fingers feel much less resistance on steel strings and fly all over the fretboard much easier. It’s hard for me to explain all the details of that feeling, but I hope that my fellow guitarists understand me. D500 was such a guitar for me (I invested into D500′s playability A LOT), and I want to brush up TF740FS a little bit more too. Anyways, I want to record Moon River, Tenderly and some other beautiful melodies on TF740FS. Keep tuned
P.S. TF740FS has a Takamine Palathetic pickup and a CoolTube CTP2 preamp installed. I am not a big fan of the electric piezo sound, even softened by a tube preamp. I play plugged in from time to time and I found how to deal with it. It’s a different (and expensive) topic and eventually I’ll write an individual story about that too.
P.P.S. Now I have two brown Takamine guitar cases staying side by side. TF740’s case, though, is muuuuch thicker than TC132SC’s one.
P.P.P.S. I’d be glad to see your comments about what I did wrong! Please use “Comments” link or box below!