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  #1  
Old 05-31-2019, 08:36 AM
Aaron1061 Aaron1061 is offline
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Default Takamine Cooltube 3

Currently have the CTP-3 in my P4DC and it just doesnt sound as good as an older CT4B-2 i had in an older guitar. How do i get it to sound better? auxillary pickup? EQ DI? replace it with the older preamp? Tips appreciated!
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:44 AM
cmac cmac is offline
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You should be able to swap the preamps and then check if things improve. Obviously there are a bunch of other things that contribute to the amplified tone, so it may not be a preamp issue.
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:10 AM
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* I've used the CT4BII, Cooltube 2, CT4DX & Cooltube 3... as a full-time working musician using MIJ Taks for years, I always come back to the CT4II. It's simple, has long battery life and is stage friendly, but mostly it dials in a great tone easily.

** I still keep the Cooltube 2 because it is a great recording preamp and imo the best sounding of the Cooltube variations. The CT4DX has the most headroom and tone shaping, however, it is not as stage friendly for quick adjustments with it's multitude of dials.

*** I think the CT4BII matches up well with the warm sounding, satin finished cedar topped models like the Pro 3 series. Whereas the Cooltube 2 matches up well with the brighter, spruce topped models that have a gloss finish.

**** It is one of the variables (along with attack/plectrum, string choice etc...) in achieving the tone that works best for you and your style. As noted, you can easily swap out any of the mentioned preamps for the MIJ models excluding the thin series and TLD models. I've done this many times to arrive at the best tone that works for me. You can purchase a CT4BII from AGF sponsor Pacific Guitar Sales. Call Jerry the owner and he will help you, great service, prices and return policy. https://www.pacificguitarsales.com/

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Old 03-04-2021, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by noledog View Post
* I've used the CT4BII, Cooltube 2, CT4DX & Cooltube 3... as a full-time working musician using MIJ Taks for years, I always come back to the CT4II. It's simple, has long battery life and is stage friendly, but mostly it dials in a great tone easily.

** I still keep the Cooltube 2 because it is a great recording preamp and imo the best sounding of the Cooltube variations. The CT4DX has the most headroom and tone shaping, however, it is not as stage friendly for quick adjustments with it's multitude of dials.

*** I think the CT4BII matches up well with the warm sounding, satin finished cedar topped models like the Pro 3 series. Whereas the Cooltube 2 matches up well with the brighter, spruce topped models that have a gloss finish.

**** It is one of the variables (along with attack/plectrum, string choice etc...) in achieving the tone that works best for you and your style. As noted, you can easily swap out any of the mentioned preamps for the MIJ models excluding the thin series and TLD models. I've done this many times to arrive at the best tone that works for me. You can purchase a CT4BII from AGF sponsor Pacific Guitar Sales. Call Jerry the owner and he will help you, great service, prices and return policy. https://www.pacificguitarsales.com/

eric
Yes totally agree with Eric here and thought I would contribute to the forum as its been a great resource for me in helping me making a decision.

My CTP2 died in my Tak P7DC, the 2 is no longer available so it left the option of replacing with a 3 or a DX. Reading information from a professional musician is obviously valuable information and taking into consideration like size and weight as well I decided just to get the CT4B.

But it was a number of reasons really and not only the much lower price. Basically the CT4B is half the price of the others. But its also has quite a bit more longevity of the battery, especially compared to the cooltube. The cooltube battery life is dreadful but as long as you have a few sets of good rechargeables it doesn't really matter apart from having to do the frequent battery changes of course.

Anyway the downgrade has saved me a little bit of weigh, gained battery life. I also feel is a much simpler and neater preamp than the CTP2. The CTP2 did really suit the guitar and the cooltube is a nice effect I'm not disputing that. Plugged in though playing a live gig the audience wouldn't know which is a cooltube and which is not, especially going through a rusty house PA or whatever, which is usually eq'd quite a bit to suit anyway. The cooltube used to add juiciness to the sound but nothing that can't be done other ways, I would say perhaps it would show the best in recording.

I am sorry to see the cooltube go but I didn't want to pay double for its 3 replacement, which apparently doesn't sound as good as the 2 anyway, although it does improve in some ways like the design. But looses the dedicated battery light and warm-up light.

So as for the lost effect of the cooltube which was nice, I have plenty of real valve units and pedals here that can give the guitar a similar or perhaps better effect than the cooltube anyway so I don't feel I've really lost that much, and actually gained a nice neat lightweight replacement.

As we briefly discussed on the youtube communication Eric and the video of your fine performance, thanks very much for being a part of helping me make the decision to replace with the CT4B, the lesser but not so much lesser pre amp. I can see why it costs a lot less as it feels like a cheaper replacement but still sounds great and it does its job perfectly and its simple which is also nice, sometimes less can be more.

Last edited by eddie1; 03-04-2021 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:10 AM
eddie1 eddie1 is offline
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And I will add my guitar is a gloss top as well and yes I agree the cooltube maybe a slightly better match for that but the CT4B doesn't sound sterile in anyway when plugged in. Yes the cooltube dialled in might have had the edge but overall I'm far from disappointed with it, and as I said I have gained in other ways plus there are other ways to add nice harmonics or things of that effect to the signal chain and better than the cooltube would do as well, tubes are probably better when run hot anyway.
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:21 AM
YamahaGuy YamahaGuy is offline
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I have the P5DC and immediately bought the auxiliary transducer pickup. Everyone is in awe and wonder as to what magical elements make the guitar sound so good plugged in.
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:04 AM
eddie1 eddie1 is offline
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That is the thing with the higher range pick-ups from Tak they do have the aux input which can be useful if you like using those. I actually tried a few with the CTP2, I added a small inside body condenser mic (obviously not always great for live but nice for a blend) and also tried a sound hole pickup although not a takmine one. Those Tak ones are great but quite expensive as well, I tried a few much cheaper ones that I feel do the job just as well though. But for me personally the aux pickup wasn't something I really wanted or used so the simpler CT4B kind of made more sense in that respect again.

At the end of the day all pickups are a compromise on a good acoustics unplugged sound, the best that can be done is with a mic'd guitar and a good mic at that, the trouble is that is usually just not possible if you a live performer on a loud stage. Some of the sounds that you can get from pick-ups though is as you say great and can sound awesome.
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:01 AM
Steve36 Steve36 is offline
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I have a P7DC with the cooltube 3 and will second what Yamaha guy says about the transducer. Blending a little bit of this in really fattens up the bottom end. I
have the CT4bII in an Ef341 sc and my wife has one in a P1DC. It's a good, simple system. I will try it in my 7 series one day to see if I like it as much. The other guitars plugged in though, are not even close.

Steve
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:18 AM
eddie1 eddie1 is offline
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I didn't really change to the CT-4BII out of choice as I said it was more just because the CTP2 failed, another common thing which seems to happen quite a bit it seems with the cooltube. I weighed up a few things and thought well I'll try the 4. The CTP2 though sounded great in all fairness and I really liked the tube thing, I am a fan of tubes in general anyway, however they are used. I will say though the CT4B is perhaps more of a practical working musicians alternative though (which I am not by the way) but I still appreciate practicality. The CT3 seems to be a bit of a mix between the CT2 and the DX it seems perhaps the best of both worlds, yet some still prefer the CT2 overall sound and function. Its all just preference at the end of the day. But for the money, lightness, easy of use great battery life the CT4 is a great amp in its own right and sounds great, although you can't use an aux pick up with it that plugs in easily, although there are ways around that if you really wanted an additional pick-up, but it would take a bit of tinkering and perhaps use of a soldering iron. In all fairness Im sure they are all great amps in their own right. For simple, good and no frills and good value for money option though the CT4BII is really a great option. I'm sorry my CT2 failed I loved it but already I like the CT4B for its benefits as well.
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Old 03-08-2021, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie1 View Post
Yes totally agree with Eric here and thought I would contribute to the forum as its been a great resource for me in helping me making a decision.

My CTP2 died in my Tak P7DC, the 2 is no longer available so it left the option of replacing with a 3 or a DX. Reading information from a professional musician is obviously valuable information and taking into consideration like size and weight as well I decided just to get the CT4B.

But it was a number of reasons really and not only the much lower price. Basically the CT4B is half the price of the others. But its also has quite a bit more longevity of the battery, especially compared to the cooltube. The cooltube battery life is dreadful but as long as you have a few sets of good rechargeables it doesn't really matter apart from having to do the frequent battery changes of course.

Anyway the downgrade has saved me a little bit of weigh, gained battery life. I also feel is a much simpler and neater preamp than the CTP2. The CTP2 did really suit the guitar and the cooltube is a nice effect I'm not disputing that. Plugged in though playing a live gig the audience wouldn't know which is a cooltube and which is not, especially going through a rusty house PA or whatever, which is usually eq'd quite a bit to suit anyway. The cooltube used to add juiciness to the sound but nothing that can't be done other ways, I would say perhaps it would show the best in recording.

I am sorry to see the cooltube go but I didn't want to pay double for its 3 replacement, which apparently doesn't sound as good as the 2 anyway, although it does improve in some ways like the design. But looses the dedicated battery light and warm-up light.

So as for the lost effect of the cooltube which was nice, I have plenty of real valve units and pedals here that can give the guitar a similar or perhaps better effect than the cooltube anyway so I don't feel I've really lost that much, and actually gained a nice neat lightweight replacement.

As we briefly discussed on the youtube communication Eric and the video of your fine performance, thanks very much for being a part of helping me make the decision to replace with the CT4B, the lesser but not so much lesser pre amp. I can see why it costs a lot less as it feels like a cheaper replacement but still sounds great and it does its job perfectly and its simple which is also nice, sometimes less can be more.
Hey Eddie just had the chance to sit down and read through all these posts concerning these Tak preamps... thank you for all the kind words too!

For me it just comes down to the simplest and most direct, uncluttered tone signal to amp. I do close to 200 shows a year and I'm in and out as a soloist setup in 15-20 min. I still like my Cooltube-2 for recording, but on stage I'm most comfortable with the CT4BII. I run via wireless direct to my Loudbox Performers and it sounds great. I've had different amps, pedals, pickups, preamps etc... and some sounded great too. But I play very dynamically with medium strings, heavy picks, high action and really like to extract the tone by feel and touch rather then signal coloration. So my setup gives that transparency. It may not work for others so that's why I tend to tell others that they have to find the signal path that brings out the best in how they approach playing. Here's a recent vid I recorded at a venue I frequent on Fernandina Beach. I was testing out my new iPhone's camera and that's all I used with no sound editing or anything; just running my vocals and guitar direct to the Loudbox Performer with a touch the amp's built in delay on both and that's it:
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Old 03-08-2021, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by noledog View Post
Hey Eddie just had the chance to sit down and read through all these posts concerning these Tak preamps... thank you for all the kind words too!

For me it just comes down to the simplest and most direct, uncluttered tone signal to amp. I do close to 200 shows a year and I'm in and out as a soloist setup in 15-20 min. I still like my Cooltube-2 for recording, but on stage I'm most comfortable with the CT4BII. I run via wireless direct to my Loudbox Performers and it sounds great. I've had different amps, pedals, pickups, preamps etc... and some sounded great too. But I play very dynamically with medium strings, heavy picks, high action and really like to extract the tone by feel and touch rather then signal coloration. So my setup gives that transparency. It may not work for others so that's why I tend to tell others that they have to find the signal path that brings out the best in how they approach playing. Here's a recent vid I recorded at a venue I frequent on Fernandina Beach. I was testing out my new iPhone's camera and that's all I used with no sound editing or anything; just running my vocals and guitar direct to the Loudbox Performer with a touch the amp's built in delay on both and that's it:
Wow, sounds superb! And iphones are such a great capture tool as you demonstrate here they seem to do a great job with sound, they make life easy, most of the time there's no need for fancy equipment, a phone like this does a great job. And I loved the cooltube but the more I use the CT4B I am really liking it also, they are different but both excellent. You are a great performer Eric, and thanks for sharing some of your knowledge with us. All the very best with everything, and good fortune to you..And that Tak you have is one of the finest guitars. They are such gorgeous instruments, world class! For me probably the best guitars that money can buy.
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Old 03-09-2021, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie1 View Post
Wow, sounds superb! And iphones are such a great capture tool as you demonstrate here they seem to do a great job with sound, they make life easy, most of the time there's no need for fancy equipment, a phone like this does a great job. And I loved the cooltube but the more I use the CT4B I am really liking it also, they are different but both excellent. You are a great performer Eric, and thanks for sharing some of your knowledge with us. All the very best with everything, and good fortune to you..And that Tak you have is one of the finest guitars. They are such gorgeous instruments, world class! For me probably the best guitars that money can buy.
They sure my job easier! ...thanks again for all the kind comments buddy!!
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Old 03-10-2021, 06:50 AM
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I'll chime in here as I'm a long time Takamine Pro user for gigging. I've had every preamp I think they've ever brought out that fits the pro series guitars.

In a nutshell I'm a big fan of the CTP-2 and I personally think they ruined the Cool Tube series when they went with the CTP-3 design. Yes it's somewhat quieter than the 2's or the early 1's but to my ear they sucked all the life out of the tone. Very compressed sounding to me and about 1/2 of the output of the 2's. All those gadgets might help with with feedback control but at the cost of just simple great tone.

I would go back to using the CT4B-II preamps which are simple and great sounding as well before I would deal with using a CTP-3. You are correct the audience is never going to hear the difference but we all know that we mostly do this for our ears first & foremost.
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Old 03-10-2021, 11:56 AM
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Thanks for posting that, Eric. Always enjoy your stuff.
Good to see you posting here again.
Cheers, _Rogert
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Old 03-10-2021, 01:22 PM
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Thanks for posting that, Eric. Always enjoy your stuff.
Good to see you posting here again.
Cheers, _Rogert
Your welcome Roger and thank you for the kind comment!
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