Takamine Guitars are Back at Gryphon!
As Gryphon celebrates 50 years in business we’re excited to renew our connection with Takamine Guitars, the first new line we ever carried. Back in the early 1970s, before we were Martin and Taylor dealers we had an account with Coast Wholesale, the distributor of Takamine guitars on the West Coast. Back then, Takamine built great sounding, inexpensive steel string and classical guitars that were perfect for beginning and intermediate musicians. Over the years we sold hundreds of Takamines but when they changed distributor in the 1990s, we had to stop carrying them.
Happily, we are able to stock them again. These days, the basic models are now made in China rather than Japan but they still play and sound great and are still modestly priced. What really sold us on returning to the Takamine brand is the quality of models like the GD30-NAT, which features a solid spruce top and at $330 compares very favorably with the F-340S models Gryphon was selling 40 years ago.
One of Takamine’s improvements, and one we heartily endorse, is the split bridge saddle you’ll find on all their steel-string models. Rather than heavy compensation of a single angled saddle (to get accurate intonation on all six strings) Takamine uses one saddle for the two unwound treble strings with a second longer saddle for the four wound strings. You’ll see this same approach to intonation issues on Lowden guitars, which speaks for itself.
Takamine was one of the first acoustic guitar brands to offer stock acoustic-electric models with pickups based on an under-saddle design and Takamine’s Palathetic pickup, introduced in 1978, and the accompanying on-board electronics on those early models are still in use today on vintage examples. Of course there have been huge improvements since those early versions, and the current on-board controls include a tuner. But the continuing evolution of Takamine’s acoustic-electric models is indicative of how they approach guitarmaking in general: they don’t claim they’ve re-invented the wheel and call everything from previous years obsolete and useless (which is often an excuse for not continuing to support earlier versions). Instead, Takamine continually fine-tunes and improves what they’re doing.
We hope you’ll come in and play the latest Takamine models as they have a lot to offer at very affordable prices, and Takamine guitars have proven their ability to go the distance. We’ve seen a lot of guitar brands come and go in the last 50 years, Takamine’s “long haul” approach is something we understand.