#1
I am looking at a Takamine that I found on CL.

Sounds great when unplugged.

But when plugging it into my amp, the high e is WAY louder than the other strings.  The D and A strings can hardly be heard.
Also tapping on the saddle give pretty loud noise.  I have the EQ's all even.

And plugging my other acoustic electric in, I do not have this problem.

Any ideas of what can be causing this?  I really like the sound on this guitar, but don't really want big issues.  Replacing a piezo or saddle, not an issue.
But looks like the TP4T Preamp is pretty costly on the web.

Thanks!
Fender Lefty Stratocaster
Ernie Ball Super Slinky Purple Strings
Vox AC15
Misc. Pedals
#2
Uneven output is often caused by uneven pressure of the saddle on the piezo. It can be due to the bottom of the saddle slot, or the saddle itself, not being flat. Another possible contributory factor is insufficient break angle of the string over the saddle, so there is not enough downward pressure. I've used a few different fixes:

Level the bottom of the slot.
Level the bottom of the saddle
Use shims between the saddle and the piezo on the weak strings
Cut vertical slots in the bottom of the saddle, ala Fishman Fishbone to make it slightly flexible
Cut ramps between the bridge holes and the saddle to increase the string break angle. I'm guessing yours is a pinless bridge though.
Put some kind of wedge, eg a bit of metal rod, between the pin hole and the saddle to decrease the break angle on the "hot" strings.

However, it is also possible that some of the individual piezo elements are weak, I've also had that happen, it can be tested roughly be tapping the exposed piezo gently at each string location.
#4
Quote by agentguerry
....[ ]...But when plugging it into my amp, the high e is WAY louder than the other strings.  The D and A strings can hardly be heard.
Also tapping on the saddle give pretty loud noise.  I have the EQ's all even.
Actually, you should get a pretty loud "thud" if you tap directly on the saddle. Just like tapping directly on the top, but on steroids.

Quote by agentguerry
Any ideas of what can be causing this?  I really like the sound on this guitar, but don't really want big issues.  Replacing a piezo or saddle, not an issue.
But looks like the TP4T Preamp is pretty costly on the web.
I don't want to go too far out on a limb here, but I would only start to suspect the preamp itself if the EQ sliders weren't tracking, or you were getting distortion, or there were extraneous whines, clicks, hums, or any odd electrical noises,which were out of context with the sound of the guitar.Any preamp could be coerced into doing strange things, where it to be turned up to the stop, or running on a dead battery..

What I'm not getting is whether you've already bought this guitar, or if not, how much access will you have to it to check it over, or even try to fix it, before you fork over the cash?
#5
So I actually pulled the strings off the guitar last night.  I decided to take a look at the saddle.  The G Series Takamine has a weird integrated saddle. I read up on it online, and on teh Takamine forums it was stated to never sand it down on the bottom to lower the action.  Either take the shims out, or sand from teh top.

Its a special fitting saddle.  I did hand over the cash because it sounds great when not plugged in.  I plugged it in about 30 minutes after buying, and send the owner a video of how it was acting.  He's agreed to refund/return.  

Anyway, the saddle was sanded by someone, and its not at all flat to the bridge/piezo.  So no wonder the high E is so loud and the others non existent....

http://file.bossadmin.com/16618/product/2015618_40303.jpg

I think i'm gonna either see if the guy wants to refund me back 50$ to get the correct takamine saddle/pickup combo, or he can just take it back.

Finding it may be tricky though b/c I am a lefty.  So add another layer to it. lol
Fender Lefty Stratocaster
Ernie Ball Super Slinky Purple Strings
Vox AC15
Misc. Pedals
#6
You can use the "Mexican Clay" trick - also know as self-hardening clay. It is readily available in craft shops. Just roll out a small piece of the clay into a thin sausage shape, roll it flat so that it's about 1/16" thick, cut out a strip the same size as the saddle base (use the saddle as a guide), put the strip on top of the piezo UST in the saddle slot, fit the saddle, press down firmly, restring and tune up, leave overnight for the clay to harden. 
#7
Quote by agentguerry
...[ ]...Finding it may be tricky though b/c I am a lefty.  So add another layer to it. lol
TBH, I'd price the left handed part directly from Takamine before I made my decision. You could have a long wait for it trying to buy one used.

You could try calling Dennis at http://www.adirondackguitar.com/ He's heavy into left handed stock., including Takamine. Maybe he could help you. No tool free # on that store though, sorry.
#9
Quote by Tony Done
Captaincranky 

I wondered that. I wouldn't expect so much problem with the split saddle.
Even with a split saddle, the individual string points would be intonated backwards for a lefty.

One thing which isn't an unknown variable, is the fact a new part isn't going to be a drop in and play, since the old one has already been lowered.

After posting some really stupid shit about split saddles BEFORE I looked at the diagram, I doubt you'd be able to grind the B string offset into a right handed part.

This is the classic trouble with shopping for a used acoustic. If you don't know how high the saddle is stock, or how much the neck has rotated upwards, you're at the seller's mercy..
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 27, 2017,
#10
To close the loop I got my money back from the seller. Called Adirondack and they did not have the part and didn't deal Takamine anymore.
Local shop could get the part for 65.

So, yeah got my $ back.  
Fender Lefty Stratocaster
Ernie Ball Super Slinky Purple Strings
Vox AC15
Misc. Pedals
#11
agentguerry Well, I am truly sorry to hear that. I've been "left handed all my life" as well, and I full well know the difficulties involved with getting those damned "backward guitars". However, it certainly isn't anywhere near as difficult today, as it once was.

I'm always hesitant to recommend a purchasing strategy, since I have no idea what your financial status might be, and don't want to offend you. In this case, that reluctance is somewhat offset by my concern, for what seems to be insufficient experience and knowledge of acoustic guitars on your part, to be out wandering around alone, trying to come up with a decent used one. When you consider that perhaps only one in 10 acoustics is left hand oriented, the ramp up of difficulty isn't a linear one, it's exponential.

Anyway Dennis up at Adirondack is a decent, and he caters heavily to left handed players. AFAIK, he still offers free shipping & no tax, on anything no sold in his home state.

Taylor's (what I call "Mexi-Taylors) 1xx & 2xx lines, are not the cheapest around, but many models in the lines are available left handed at no extra charge. I'm going to recommend the cheaper 100 line as the best value, and some even claim they sound better than the pricier 200's.Those can be grabbed online from all of the larger dealers such as GC, Musician's Friend, and Sweetwater. M's F & Sweetwater are my two goto etailers for anything musical.. I've never bought from Guitar Center, although they and M'sF are essentially the same company. For me, M'sF is the easier site to negotiate.

I'm going to suggest you study this setup guide for acoustics very carefully, so at least you'll have a fighting of getting a decent acoustic on your 1st (?) try. http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html

Let us know if you need any further assistance, and once again, sorry for your loss (sincerely and honestly).

And thanks for not letting the thread hang open, it's always nice to know what the heck happened, for better or worse.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 30, 2017,
#12
I second Captaincranky on the 114 vs 214. For me the tone difference when I had the chance to play them wasn't that big. Very marginal, not worth the extra cash. Go for the 114 and ask for it to be converted to a leftie, at no extra charge. Otherwise, try scouting the second hand market for lefties, might be tough but where I live I've spotted (so far) 2 leftie Guilds at a reasonable price. You might luck out!
#13
Luckily also for the owner, he took the guitar back to guitar center, where they lowered the action, and even two months later they are going to fix it free of charge.

Does that mean they have an exact replacement saddle, or just putting in a standard piezo/saddle.  who knows.

Think i'm just going to save up a bit more and get a seagull S6 lefty.
Fender Lefty Stratocaster
Ernie Ball Super Slinky Purple Strings
Vox AC15
Misc. Pedals
#14
agentguerryOK look, those grooves on the bottom are most likely done by a machine with multiple router tyupe bits. That's the way to get the cleanest cuts. Since we're talking about mass production, you'd of course, want to make all the cuts at once.

You could, should you choose to do so, cut those grooves back into the bottom of the saddle with some sort of Dremel tool. OK they might not have perfectly square inside corners, but I'm sure you could make them clear, whatever need be. With a new saddle, you wouldn't have to do the bottom, but you would have to do the top.

OK, it's a done deal, or rather an undone deal.

The Seagull is a fine choice, but so is the Taylor, and the Taylor has a bolt on neck, a big plus.

I'm not trying to force any decision on you, just suggesting, if possible, you give them both a listen, and make up your mind from there.

The S-6 has a cedar top, or at least the "S-6 Original" does. They can be quite mellow, which is a big plus, if that's what you're looking for.

The used acoustic market is shark infested waters, which can be a problem if the shopper, is going to be the player, and can't separate their emotions from the realities of guitar top & neck geometry. Jus' sayin'.
#15
I think that the stuff cranky and tony are talking about are the most likely causes.  One more potential cause is that the material used to make the saddle has hard spots and softer spots.  The softer spots would dampen the vibrations to the pickup causing less volume.  It's a common problem in bone and even tho it's rare, it can also happen with manmade materials. 
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