Up until the year 2005 I had of course been aware of Takamine as a manufacturer of guitars and probably seen a few magazine advertisements but to be quite honest, other than the name I actually knew nothing about the brand. In my own limited bandwidth of (very) amateur musicianship and (wanna-be) guitar collecting I just wasn’t interested. That is, until that fateful day that I was contacted by a good friend of mine in the industry and told in no uncertain terms to “go buy a Takamine EF75. Don’t ask questions. Don’t over-think it. Just go buy one, because it will absolutely blow your socks off”.
I’m normally not quite that impulsive, but I respect this gentleman’s opinion too much to not do as he advised. So thus began my relationship in 2005 with the EF75, and perhaps more importantly my journey down the Takamine path of many other outstanding models and a true appreciation for what I now unabashedly consider one of the true premier guitar builders in the world.
The story of the Takamine EF75 …
Dave playing EF75 #72
In 2005 Takamine set out to build a very special limited edition guitar. The company had been sitting on a stock of coveted Brazilian rosewood, sufficient quantity for the back and sides of about 100 guitars. Sorting the wood and discarding those that did not meet stringent standards for tonewood, the yield was about 85 sets. The decision was made to design the guitar as an OM size. Overall dimensions are very similar to OM models from other makers. The nutwidth would be a wide 1-3/4 inch to appeal to fingerpickers as well as strummers. And the guitar would have sufficient cosmetic treatment, such as inlaid abalone and maple trim, to compliment the rare Brazilian wood.
The EF-75 was built in the Takamine factory located in Sakashita, Japan. A point of clarification regarding the model number. You may see this guitar listed as either EF-75J or EF-75S. There is no difference. The J and S are different designations between Takamine and it's U.S. distributor, Kaman Music Corp.
The heart of any guitar is the soundboard. As one of the worlds largest manufacturers of acoustic guitars, Takamine has an extensive inventory of select tonewoods. From its very conception the EF-75 was targeted to be a very special and elite instrument, hence only the finest AAA grade spruce tops were chosen. The 15+ year old stock of rare Brazilian Rosewood was perfectly sized for OM body back and sides. Joined together with figured maple binding and the soundboard trimmed in detailed abalone. Bracing is a scalloped X design. The neck is choice mahogany, supporting an ebony fretboard bound in maple with mother Of pearl and abalone inlays. The beautiful headstock is also faced in Brazilian rosewood and trimmed in figured maple with a Takamine logo inlay of Koa. Tuning is handled by vintage style Gotoh open gear tuners.
Visually, the EF-75 appears to be an acoustic-only guitar. But deep inside is a Class A-G line driver preamp coupled to the undersaddle pickup and feeding out through the end pin jack. The plugged in tone rivals anything you can buy. Excellence in simplicity. But acoustically is where this guitar really shines. Bright and crisp, but with wonderful mellow woody overtones. To say it rivals other Brazilian Rosewood guitars costing three times as much is almost an insult. In so many ways the EF-75 is in a class by itself. If you are an owner of an EF75, consider yourself lucky. These rare guitars will certainly turn into highly coveted collectors instruments.
For a complete product line tour please visit the official website of Takamine Guitars.
EF-75 Image Gallery
EF-75 Detailed Specifications
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