My next guitar will probably be a Takamine TH5C. It is an electric-acoustic classical guitar with a cutaway. It is very similar to my Takamine TC-132SC except that the TH5C has an ebony fret board and solid rosewood back and sides. Again, I will add a Takamine soundboard transducer and plug it into the on-board CTP-3 pre-amp.
The workhorse of my classical guitars is a 2007 Takamine TC132SC. It has a traditional Torres design, but with a sweet cutaway. It is an electric-classical guitar sporting Takamine’s CoolTube CTP-2 pre-amp and the under-the-bridge Palathetic piezo pickup. I have installed a Takamine soundboard transducer on this guitar and it sounds great. It is mounted inside the guitar on the bass side of the brace that runs under the saddle and it plugs directly into the auxiliary port on the pre-amp. This allows me to control the overall sound of the guitar through the pre-amp.
My latest guitar acquisition is a 1988 Ovation 1713 Classic guitar. Like my other classical guitars, it has a cedar top (soundboard) and a 2-inch nut, but this one has a plastic body and an ebony fretboard rather than the typical rosewood fretboards. It takes a little adjustment to play, due to the deep rounded body shape. However, it is by far the easiest classical guitar to play while standing up, which can sometimes be convenient when you are hosting a gig. It sports the original OP-24 pre-amp and I did have to re-glue the plastic rosette back into place. I installed an additional strap nut on the lower side of the neck heal. This allows me to play while standing with a lot more control over the position of the guitar. I have also suggested this modification to all my friends that play steel-string Ovation guitars.
My current working bass is a 1976 Fender American Standard Precision with an aftermarket Mighty Mite fretted neck and rosewood fretboard. It also has a great Badass bridge. This bass has been in my family a long time, as it once belonged to my younger brother Robin. It is simple, built like a rock, and sounds great. Also, it weighs a ton or is that a tonne?
My project bass, soon to be my latest working bass, is a 1999 Fender American Standard Jazz Bass with a clear finish and a rosewood fretboard. This bass has been recently refretted by Dave Pellow with stainless steel frets and he also tuned the neck and replaced the nut to make it very playable. I didn’t like the twin volume knobs, as it is difficult to maintain the desired tone when increasing the volume. Of course, I could use a volume pedal but that is one more thing to trip on while on the stage. So, I replaced the control panel and all the associated hardware with a new control panel fitted with a pickup blender circuit. One knob for tone, another for overall volume and a third for blending the output from the two pickups. I will document the project and post it to this website.
My main amplifier for years was a late 1970’s Polytone Minibrute III. I used it with electric guitars, like Joe Pass did, and I used it with my electric basses. Because it sports about 90 watts RMS of solid state power, it can really handle the bass tones well. Maybe not well enough for gigging, but good enough that it is my regular practice amp over where Analog practices. At one time, I managed to blow the JRC4558DB op-amps in the pre-amp section and since they are not made anymore, I modified the 14-sockets so that I can run 8-pin op-amps. I am presently running LM358 op-amps but I will soon be switching them out for NJM4558D op-amps.