Takamine recording level

Hi everybody,
I have an old classic Takamine CP132-SC and I’m afraid it’s got some problems regarding piezo mic or preamp because when I record it in Cubase input levels appear to be lower than they were: if I strum very strong I can get an input meter level about -6/7 dB and if I play with my fingers I can’t go over -13/12 dB. (Takamine volume is set to maximum level, battery is new, MOTU mic input fader set to max and bot input and channel fader set to 0; no input pregain).
Any suggestion about this?
Thank you,

Hi. What are you using for an audio interface? Sounds like you need to run your guitar output through a pre-amp. That way the signal is boosted before it reaches Cubase.

Hi SF_Green,
thank you for answering.
I have a MOTU 828mkII FW so in both the mic inputs I have a preamp, and I set it to maximum (completely clockwise);I’ve been using using this soundcard for at least fifteen years and the Takamine too and I had higher input levels with these settings so I’m asking if something isn’t wirking as it should…

Probably something going wrong with the piezo/electronic part. FWIW, I also have a Takamine with a piezo mic (even if not a classic one - it’s a TAN16C with a CTP-2 preamp) and have to be careful about how I set the output level of it : it can easily saturate any Hi-Z input and is often much stronger than any electric guitar I have at disposal, used with an amp (OK, they are mostly single coils pickups, beside an Epiphone with P-90 ones, but still…).

Seems like there are replacement parts available here and there for your guitar, including more recent Takamine preamps.

Did this happen following a string change or other work on the guitar? I’m not sure about your particular model of guitar but some of the piezos in Takamines are integrated under -saddle types with 6 individual elements that mate with a notched saddle base so if there’s been any movement of the saddle this can potentially alter the response of the pickup.

I own a Takamine with preamp and had some volume issues. In my case the guitar has a mini jack that goes in the preamp. Cleaning the connector and the jack solved the issue. Don’t know about your guitar but if it has the same connector you can’t go wrong by cleaning… :blush:

Hi Cubic, Tim and Blademan,
I actually gave my Takamine to a luthier, and I got it back last week, because of some tuning problems and because the mic/preamp had completely stopped working.
The luthier replaced the main jack and spoke me about some issue with an internal ‘rca’ jack (maybe the one that Blademan refers to) and with a condenser (if I don’t go wrong, but I don’t understand quite anything about electronics) but also told me this was a try before definitely substitute the whole mic/preamp system.
Now I can hear the guitar but It seems to me that the level was way higher (but I can’t quantify), before the issue, and I also have to wait for a while before the sound is amplified, like something had to ‘warm up’.
So, if I only want to amplify the guitar at home, I can even wait some minute until it reaches the right level but If should play live this would be a problem; speaking about recording, however, I can use Cubase input channel pregain but it adds background noise…
I’m afraid I’ll definitely have to substitute mic or preamp or both…
@cubic13 do you know some particular store where I could ask for replacement parts?
Thank you all very much,

Here, the CTP-2 preamp behaves the same way, but it’s because there is a 12AU7 tube in it which needs to get at a nominal temp before being able to act. Just tested the time between pluging in the jack and sound availability : 10 seconds.

Not really, and I’m in France, so… But there is this : it seems that this one can be a replacement for an Accuracoustic preamp, according to the first comment about it. Overall, the problem is that your preamp is more or less lagacy stuff (I think that even the CTP-2 also is…). So, what I would do is trying to contact Takamine, asking them what could be an eventual replacement for the Accuracoustic preamp, before purchasing anything in the hope that it’ll fit…

Hi Cubic, in my case time for warm up is more ten minutes than ten seconds and it’s really too much…

Good advice, thank you! I’ll try to contact Takamine support, in case the can give me some help, who knows…
Thank you for helping me :slight_smile: