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1978 Takamine F400S 12 String


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Don't usually post on the AG forum, but figured you guys might now a little more about this guitar I got the other day. From craigslist I picked up a 1978 Takamine F400S 12 String in awesome condition for a 34 year old guitar. The guitar sounds great, solid top, action is ok (a little high but nothing too crazy), no cracks or structural damage of any kind. Would anyone here know what the value of this particular guitar? I ended up trading a Gibson Faded SG (probably has a resale of $400-500 if that). Since I did this without research, just kind of wondering if it was a decent deal.

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I would say $400 or so with a perfect neck angle, tight bridge, good frets, no structural issues and reasonable cosmetics. 200 if it needs a reset. If you know some of the past history (like how the PO strung and tuned it) that can help you decide how much its been stressed. For perspective, I paid $700 for an 80 Martin D12-28, put another 6 into the reset, fretwork and regluing the bridge.

 

How about some pics and clips? How do you plan to tune and play it.

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Frets are good, bridge is tight (not coming up at all), cosmetically it is in good-very good condition. The guy I got it from didn't really know too much about it....I don't think he owned it too long. I have it strung with light strings tuned a whole step down. Action, like I said, is slightly high but nothing that require a neck reset at this point. Perhaps a small tweek of the truss rod would correct some of that.

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Frets are good, bridge is tight (not coming up at all), cosmetically it is in good-very good condition. The guy I got it from didn't really know too much about it....I don't think he owned it too long. I have it strung with light strings tuned a whole step down. Action, like I said, is slightly high but nothing that require a neck reset at this point. Perhaps a small tweek of the truss rod would correct some of that.

 

Sounds like a good one! As you know, the truss rod's function is not to adjust the action - it might affect it, but it only adjusts relief. When setting action, always make the relief adjustments first, then lower/raise as necessary.

 

I think that lights (10's) at D is the perfect tuning for a 12 string - that is the normal state of my old Martin (I have two other 12's that reside in other tunings, but that is whole different subject). The bottom of this has some information about 12 string gauges and tensions

 

http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/topic/5339/String-Tension

 

and even tho this is at the Martin forum, it is probably one of the best 12 string forums that I've found.

 

http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/forums/7/The-12-String-Cafe

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That's a beauty. I miss playing my old "lawsuit*" Takamine F-360. Not quite Martinesque in tone but nice nonetheless. I bettet yours just rings like a bell.

 

Hey, fellas, didn't somebody else here have one of these at one time? Wasn't it Sammye IIRC?

 

 

 

* Per the article in this month's AG magazine, there was indeed no lawsuit. There was just a "cease and desist" letter from Martin after over a decade of Takamine mimicking their headstock shape and logo.

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Not 100% sure I will keep it. My intention when I traded the SG was to get a jumbo or parlor body acoustic. But the 12 string looked and played so nice I figured I would give it a shot. I have had a life long love/hate relationship with 12 strings (as I have owned three now). I play them for a few weeks and then they sit. On the other hand my six strings always see action. I kind of don't see this guitar being any different. But at least I will play it more than the SG.

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  • 1 month later...
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I was doing a quick search online for this model and came across this thread. I recently obtained a 1977 F400S (serial 77080193) that was in an estate sale. The guitar case was filthy and the guitar was likely untouched for years as it too was pretty dirty. Upon inspection, I took the strings off and gave her a very thorough cleaning and adjusting. Neck and body were in perfect condition which was a surprise considering the years of dormancy. Tis guitar has an andpin jack and built in piezio (I was unable to determine if these were made this way........my guess is the jack and piezio were put in after market but I could be wrong)

 

She plays beautifully adn the spruce and rosewood have mellowed with 35 years and the guitar has a wonderful warmth and the action is terrific. I won't tell you what I paid for it because it will make some sick cause it was a steal!

 

I am trying to post a photo so not sure if it worked as I have no clue how to do so as it is a jpeg on my pc.

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One of my bandmates had one of those and I always was impressed with the tone. His had great low action too. As far as the value that obviously depends on condition. It looks great and if you like it, keep it and don't worry about the value.

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Exactly! I didn't buy it to flip or refurb and then sell. this was bought for my own use and enjoyment, in fact truthfully when I play out acoustically (I also play out as part of a band) I often bring several guitars so one of my 12's is tuned down to Eb along with another 6 string to help me with vocals especially if I am tired.

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  • 7 years later...
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On 6/29/2012 at 11:55 AM, Buddy Lembeck said:

Don't usually post on the AG forum, but figured you guys might now a little more about this guitar I got the other day. From craigslist I picked up a 1978 Takamine F400S 12 String in awesome condition for a 34 year old guitar. The guitar sounds great, solid top, action is ok (a little high but nothing too crazy), no cracks or structural damage of any kind. Would anyone here know what the value of this particular guitar? I ended up trading a Gibson Faded SG (probably has a resale of $400-500 if that). Since I did this without research, just kind of wondering if it was a decent deal.

Hi Buddy. I own one of these guitars. I bought it brand new in 78 from The Music Gallery in Highland Park, for $460.00. I was looking at a Martin I couldn't afford and Frabk said.."try this one, they're new".  Well, they sound FANTASTIC cause Takamine COPIED the Martin design, Criss X bracing and all AND copied the Headstock AND. Script signature. As a result they were SUED by MARTIN....AND WHAT YOU AND I HAVE ARE "LAWSUIT" Guitars. They then had to Change some if those features.

I was known as The Guy at the Beach With The Guitar. And EVERYONE asked how i got SO MUCH SOUND out of that guitar. It is worth in good condition around. $1,500

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well, SB, Buddy hasn't been around here for quite some time, so I'm not sure what benefit he'll get from your post, but IIRC, Martin didn't actually 'sue' Takamine, they had a 'cease and desist' order issued, which made it 'difficult' to import them into the USA. So it isn't a 'lawsuit' guitar...per se...:wave:

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13 hours ago, SmilinBob said:

Hi Buddy. I own one of these guitars. I bought it brand new in 78 from The Music Gallery in Highland Park, for $460.00. I was looking at a Martin I couldn't afford and Frabk said.."try this one, they're new".  Well, they sound FANTASTIC cause Takamine COPIED the Martin design, Criss X bracing and all AND copied the Headstock AND. Script signature. As a result they were SUED by MARTIN....AND WHAT YOU AND I HAVE ARE "LAWSUIT" Guitars. They then had to Change some if those features.

I was known as The Guy at the Beach With The Guitar. And EVERYONE asked how i got SO MUCH SOUND out of that guitar. It is worth in good condition around. $1,500

I have to agree with Daddymack here - they are NOTHING like Martins. I have the remains of a F360 (laminated top) and research has shown that they only go for $400 in mint conditon - which mine clearly is NOT! When I diagnosed a cracked X brace I decided to order materials directly from Martin to replace the entire top using 1/4" bracing. When I routed off the top I found that the bracing was CLUNKY in comparison with a SPRUCE bridge plate. That's a soft wood, not a hard wood like maple or rosewood. The neck joint was also a butt joint with 5 wooden dowels for alignment; again - NOTHING like a Martin with a dovetail or even MT joint.

49374533051_6ddc5f6713_c_d.jpg

I'd also dispute the quoted value of a 12 string with any laminated construction - especially one that's over 30 years old. Even a used Taylor 150e goes for less than that.

 

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On 4/28/2020 at 9:18 PM, SmilinBob said:

Hi Buddy. I own one of these guitars. I bought it brand new in 78 from The Music Gallery in Highland Park, for $460.00. I was looking at a Martin I couldn't afford and Frabk said.."try this one, they're new".  Well, they sound FANTASTIC cause Takamine COPIED the Martin design, Criss X bracing and all AND copied the Headstock AND. Script signature. As a result they were SUED by MARTIN....AND WHAT YOU AND I HAVE ARE "LAWSUIT" Guitars. They then had to Change some if those features.

I was known as The Guy at the Beach With The Guitar. And EVERYONE asked how i got SO MUCH SOUND out of that guitar. It is worth in good condition around. $1,500

Ah, SmilinBob, good to have you here and all, but some of these guys...well, even I know better!  😝

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