Classical: Takumi TC-118

I inherited this guitar from my father who passed away in ’92. He had harboured, I think, an aspiration to learn some classical guitar for a few years, already, and so bought in a store when he came to visit us in London one year. I think he viewed me as a guide with respect to the buying side.  In truth, I was all-at-sea with classical instruments, but at least I could judge its playability and make a rudimentary judgement about its sound. But an expert guide? Nah!

My father had a keen ear for music – particularly for the symphonies of Sibelius. I remember as a child hearing most of the great romantic symphonies and concertos – he had a penchant for conducting the radiogram during the climaxes of these works. I was very proud when I introduced him Mahler’s symphonies because he he took to them immediately with great enthusiasm. His reaction to his first hearing of the finale of the Resurrection Symphony was a joy to behold. I was amazed at the time that he hadn’t come across them before, but I understand now that Mahler has only become really well known relatively recently and, incredibly, was hardly known except to champions of his work when my father would have been building his record collection in the ’50s.

Anyway, all that aside, on the guitar he made a none too shabby stab at Cavatina (aka the theme from The Deer Hunter) which he learned from the notation with John William’s recording of the piece as a guide. If his playing was a little stiff, that was soley due to his taking up the instrument late in life – late sixties, as a matter of fact. He was a very musical guy and I miss him.

Interestingly, the guitar was “specially” made for Ivor Mairants Music Centre, London – which is where it was purchased. I don’t it much, if at all. I experimented with it some time ago using it as a second guitar on some of my recordings and while the sound was not unpleasing, it got discarded when I realised that I was a solo singer/songwriter. So the guitar is in danger of becoming an heirloom unless I decide to play it as an alternative guitar for some songs, or write some songs specifically for it. Outside of that, it does take jazz fingerstyle particularly well. I have never had any affinity for classical guitar music, and have no desire whatever to play any of its repertoire. So there it is. We’ll see…

9 thoughts on “Classical: Takumi TC-118

  1. Hello Dave
    I have spent ages trying to find out about Takumi guitars.
    Your fathers guitar is the only reference on the Net’
    I have a Brazilian rosewood solid model TC125S. Many people suggest this is exactly the same as the Yamaha Grand Concert Model GC41.I contacted Ivor Mairants but received no reply.
    Do you know anything at all about this maker?
    Kind regards

  2. Hi Dave,

    I did a Google search once on the maker but got very few results. I kind of lost interest and the guitar is still in its case.

    Nice to have a solid Brazilian rosewood guitar, though. Congratulations!


  3. Hallo Dave!
    I find it very interisting to read about your takumi-guitar.
    I myself have the Takumi TC 130s.
    I bought it about 35 years ago bei the Music-Shop Oechsner in
    Nuremberg (Germany) for 1.500 DM
    Regards Jochem

  4. I am looking to buy a classical guitar and I see a Takumi for sale, I thought best to research it and came across your lovely recount of your father and his Takumi, this Dave is quite amazing. My father introduced me to Sibelius, and Mahler and believe it or not worked with John Williams many years ago in a recording for a Southern Television production (my father was a sound technician) And the coincidence that just delighted me is, my Father is called Keir!

    Thankyou Katherine NZ

  5. Hello Katherine,
    Fancy meeting you here like that!
    Ah, those were the days – I remember them well.

  6. Hello Dad, you found marvellous is this! Thank you Dave.

  7. Hi Katherine and Keir!

    Forgive my late reply to your comments. I’m thrilled that you bumped into each other here! As far as the Takamui is concerned, send me a private note, Katherine, if you are still looking for one.

    The name “Keir” in Danish (I was told) means something like “cabbage”. I haven’t checked.

    Very interested, Katherine, with your dad’s work with John Williams. Ha! it’s a connection, however apparently humble.

    Mahler and Sibelius? What can you say..?

    Thanks again for stopping by.

  8. i have a Takumi TC 1285 acquired many years ago. it is in apparently perfect condition and has lain unused in its beautiful case. I am not a classical guitarist, but as an adolescent i adored Segovia and later John Wiliams, Julian Bream and so on. Does anyone have any idea of its value today? My son wants to take up guitar but wants a steel string with cutaway! if i had an idea of value i could try and find a swop. Thanks everyone!

  9. Hi guitar friends
    I bought my Takumi TC 135 S in 1977 serial N° starts with 77……
    rarely played – brand new – well stored. it’ for sale – pls revert

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