The "Cool Tube" preamp was introduced at the
January 2004 NAMM show in Anaheim, California and is
the most significant development in "on-board"
acoustic signal processing since Takamine
presented the Acoustic DSP, the industry's first
on-board "digital" acoustic guitar preamplifier
The Takamine "Cool Tube" preamp
is an on-board acoustic-electric preamp that
utilizes a 12AU7 dual triode vacuum tube. The
CTP series packs a huge amount of features and
amazing tone into a compact package that slides
into Takamine's "SoundChoice" docking
port. The "Cool Tube" preamp joins a range
of three distinctly different preamps that are
all interchangeable, giving the Takamine player
great options to fit their personal
style and taste.
CTP-2 "Cool Tube" preamp gets its name from
Takamine's unique and new technology that runs
the Tube at very low voltages, therefore the
tube does not glow or produce high levels of
heat. The tube actually runs at only two or
three degrees above ambient, so there is no
concern over the delicate tone woods being
affected by radiant heat. With the Takamine
CTP-2 "Cool Tube" preamp, the playing will be
hot, the tone will be warm, but the tube always
CoolTube Tone: Hirade TH-90
Frary's "Eleventh Hour" played on a Hirade TH-90 Classical Guitar. CoolTube pickup jacked into a Trace Acoustic Cube and recorded with a Shure condenser mic and Tascam audio recorder.
and Hirade players will find a useful array of
features to enhance their recording or live
chromatic tuner available at your fingertips
keeps the guitar in tune. The tuner is
capable of being calibrated from A438, to
A445. An LED display reveals the note being
played and directs the player with
illuminated arrows that show sharp and
EQ section utilizes a shelving, graphic EQ,
which can cut or boost bass and treble
frequencies. The mid range is shaped using a
semi-parametric EQ section comprised of a
rotary knob used to choose the mid point of
the midrange frequency. The midrange
frequency can be cut or boosted with the mid
slider. The range of frequency covered by the
rotary knob is 200hz to 8.5Khz.
tonality of the preamp is further enhanced by
the use of the rotary knob labeled "Cool
Tube" With this control, the player chooses
the depth of effect the tube places on the
signal generated by the proven Takamine
"Palathetic" pickup. With this knob the
player can choose from a high degree of "CUT"
for aggressive strumming; expanded
"sweetness" and harmonic density with fatter
lows and rounder highs; or levels of
rewarding richness for finger style
auxiliary input jack and volume knob, which
can control an additional add-on pickup of
your choice. This facility can accept a
magnetic sound hole pickup, or a soundboard
transducer. The AUX control knob is used to
blend the add-on signal with the Takamine
pickup. A small switch in the back of the
preamp can be used to match the varying
outputs of different pickups with the preamp.
The output volume slider can then control the
blended signal. The CTP-2 is powered by 4 AA
batteries, which will deliver approximately
24 hours of playing time.
The CTP-2 is available as original
equipment in select Takamine models. However, it may be purchased separately for
upgrading older guitars.
Finally, inspect preamp batteries for signs of leakage at least monthly. Remove batteries when storing your instrument for an extended length of time. Why? The most common cause of preamp failure is leaking batteries. Sadly, we saw dozens of our customers ruin preamps due to leaving batteries in for a year or more (they only used the tuner). My recommendation is to spring for rechargeable Panasonic Eneloop AA batteries: a single charge lets you gig for two or three months, they're less prone to leaking than alkaline batteries and you can recharge them a couple thousand times.
Note: The12AU7 dual triode vacuum tube is widely available user replaceable: remove preamp and simply pull the tube straight out of the socket.
Note: the original CTP-1 preamp is discontinued, replaced by the CTP-2, and no longer available. The preamps are very similar but the CTP-2 has a textured face (rather than polished), a modified battery case (contacts on bottom rather than side) and a warm-up indicator light.
Takamine CTP-3 Cool Tube Preamp
Note: In 2015, pro Takamine and Hirade began shipping with the CTP-3, a tweaked CTP-2 with notch filter and additional controls for an optional second pickup. It is distinguished from the CTP-2 by additional controls, lack of a visible battery cage and two topside pinch tabs.