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Old 03-25-2018, 09:34 PM
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noledog noledog is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Florida's First Coast
Posts: 7,270

Originally Posted by jparis51 View Post
+1 on Pro Series Taks, however I replaced the CTP-3 Cool Tube on my P5JC jumbo cutaway with Tak's CT4-DX preamp and I haven't looked back. The CT4-DX is an 18 volt preamp, and while YMMV I'm convinced the added headroom from 18 volts does more to eliminate quack than the Cool Tube does. It drops right in to the same mounting frame and accepts a second source just like the CTP-3. Bonus: way longer battery life.

18 volts does wonders for any piezo pickup, see the threads on DTARs elsewhere here. I've also found the CT4-DX is amazing on Tak 12-strings, again YMMV but to my ears Cool Tubes kind of blur the sound of a 12.
* I posted on this when this thread originally came about (post #5) and still agree on MIJ Taks and their 3 interchangeable preamps all of which I've had; the CT4BII, Cooltube & CT4DX...while I still prefer the warmth of the Cooltube, (and I prefer the CTP-2), JPARIS is exactly right about the CT4DX.

** I've interchanged them and keep a backup CT4BII, which I actually like very much as well, and it's the simplest of the 3 to use and the battery last longest with one 9v. HOWEVER, the CT4DX DOES have incredible headroom and versatility and is designed to add a dual source as the Cooltube does as well...I used my M80 in one of mine.

*** Since the initial date of this thread I've added a Martin 000-18e Retro with the F1 Aura Plus. I know this system inside and out and have been toying with it for 3 years till I finally bought one from Maury when I found out they were being discontinued. Comparing it with the Tak system, it is not as user friendly nor as quick to dial in a good stage sound for what I do as a full-time solo artist playing trop-rock/reggae at loud outside venues here on the coast. The Cooltube's warmth for a six-string and midrange freq cut/boost is a huge on-stage feature. HOWEVER, I have tweaked my Retro's ribbon mic image and found it to be more of a "my guitar only louder" tone vs the oomph, warmth and sustain I get from the Tak. So I like them both but I must say that the "my guitar only louder" isn't always the "best" sound that works for some of the things I play.

**** As a working musician who needs good, consistent & reliable tools, I've come to appreciate and use both systems effectively. After years tho of using my MIJ rodie Taks, they are wonderfully reliable beasts. I've only had the Retro 4 months so I can not attest to the longevity of it's reliability yet.

***** May add that I also use a D18 with an M80, yet another useful tone and tool. While I don't prefer it as much for the loud hammerin' stuff, it really shines when I play smaller venues and softer material aka my fingerstyle, percussive, and folk music. It dials in so beautiful for that and is so easy.

****** All my guitar's amplified tone is plug n play, no external preamp etc...they plug direct into a Loudbox and sound great imo as well as feedback I get from other musicians and audience. That is a testimony to these 3 systems I use. They are all very good, high quality systems offering very usable and pleasing sounds. Learning how to use them and gaining an ear for it over many years of experience is valuable in being able to dial in on stage quickly for many different type venues and their varying acoustic properties. Some good stuff in this thread for up and coming artists who need info on this topic. I enjoy reading different artist's needs and perspective as to what works for them and how they achieve it...glad this thread was revived.


#1 MIJ Takamine Signature Series KC70 (I've owned several MIJ Taks & this is still my all-time fav!) Palathetic system:

#2 Martin 000-18e Retro F1 Aura Plus using ribbon mic image:

#3 Martin D-18 with M80:

NOLE TUNES & Coastal Acoustic Music one love jam!
3 lil' birdz: Martin D18, Takamine KC70 & P3NC

Last edited by noledog; 03-25-2018 at 10:27 PM.
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