NAMM 2022: Takamine has announced the arrival of The 60th, a premium, hand-crafted acoustic-electric guitar that will be limited to a run of just 60 instruments, in celebration of the Japanese firm’s diamond anniversary.
As with the Takamine LTD2022 that we reported on in January, it recalls one of the firm’s earliest builds – one which saw a classical design repurposed into a steel string, single cutaway model supported by X-bracing.
Indeed, the design and specifications of The 60th share many characteristics with the LTD2022 – including figured Hawaiian Koa for the back and sides, alongside a mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard, with abalone trim and a diamond-pattern mother of pearl 12th inlay.
The top is where things most noticeably start to differ: switching-out the LTD2022’s solid sitka spruce for even more figured Hawaiian Koa, creating a thoroughly-striking appearance. In addition, there’s a genuine diamond embedded in the headstock – a luxurious acknowledgement of its anniversary status.
However, if you’re more impressed by carpentry than jewellery, The 60th is further distinguished by its bracing. The three-piece bracing required for The 60th’s Koa top uses an interesting combination of ebony sandwiched with spruce, which the firm says creates “the perfect combination of rigidity and resonance."
The bracing has reportedly been hand shaped by Takamine master luthiers Noriharu Sakurai and Toru Hirokawa, and is around 20 percent lighter as a result. The sculpted bracing also reaps rewards in terms of resonance and Takamine promises “a rich vibrant tone that surpasses all expectations on a koa-topped guitar."
Finally, electronic duties are handled by the firm’s CTF-2N preamplifier, which aims to bottle the sound of its early FET preamp, while adding modern functions like a tuner and notch filter.
“Since its start in 1962, Takamine has grown to become one of the most respected and most played acoustic guitar brands around the world,” says Takamine’s Tom Watters. “The 60th will be a coveted guitar for serious Takamine collectors, or anyone who appreciates a very rare, finely-crafted instrument.”
There’s no word on price yet, but its sister instrument, the LTD2022 – which had a larger production run and, notably, did not feature a real diamond in the headstock – carried a tag of $2,999.99, so expect The 60th to be in the region of ‘a lot’…
Head to Takamine’s official site for more information.