An inside look at Takamine's proprietary and highly-acclaimed Palathetic pickup system, with six individual piezo crystals.
Takamine’s acoustic-electric guitars have a not-so-secret advantage over the competition.
It's well known around the musical world that Takamine is the acoustic-electric guitar to take to the stage. While other guitars allow you to “plug in”, the rich and full sound of our guitars' electronics provide a pleasant surprise to musicians and audiences who aren't used to the fantastic sound of Takamine's proprietary Palathetic pickup system. You can find the Palathetic pickup, which Takamine has used since 1978, in guitars made in our Japan-based Pro Series facility. Here's what makes them different than typical acoustic pickup systems.
Most piezo systems use a foil-wrapped strip of six piezo crystals that sits in the base of the bridge under the saddle. These crystals are typically very small, and are taxed to produce the dynamics of hard strumming. Takamine employs a much more advanced system, with six individual crystals in separate shielding capsules that are typically more than ten times the size of the average pickup system’s piezo crystal. As a result, the dynamics increase dramatically, allowing the guitarist to strum softly or loudly while still retaining a natural sound, low noise, and full output. While the system still fits under the saddle, the capsules are uniquely pre-tensioned into the top of the guitar, allowing a good amount of natural top sound, as well as the shimmering string sound. Because the pickups are always experiencing the guitar’s natural resonance (and not just the string’s), even alternate tunings are not a problem — string-to-string balance is always even. You can find the Palathetic pickup in acoustic-electric guitars from our Limited Edition, Signature Series, Legacy Series, Pro Series, and select other models.
This superlative signal is then routed to one of Takamine’s versatile preamps, which can provide stealthy operation (TLD-2 Line Driver), simplicity with an onboard tuner (CT4B II), tube electronics and dual-sourcing, with tuner (CTP3), or full dual-source blending, with tuner (CT4-DX). No wonder so many top artists rely on Takamine and the Palathetic pickup system on stages all over the world.