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#214542 - 09/10/13 04:56 PM [Off-Topic] My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice
Sundance Offline
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I have a Takamine electric acoustic guitar - EF349. (Built on Sunday 10/10/82. 23rd guitar made that day. LOL!) It's mahagony and is still beautiful after all these years. I bought it new. It's been a great feeling and sounding guitar. It has the plastic brown three sliders - treble, bass, gain on the top. I used to play and record with it a lot but I have rarely played it in years. Today I decided to plug it in the Emu interface with the signal going to Realband and no sound.

The problem is that the preamp which is battery powered has stopped working. You loosen the strings to get your hand through the hole and there's a little brown box that snaps out which holds the battery. Changed batteries, tried different cords, cleaned contacts with contact cleaner - dead as a door nail.

I'll keep it regardless, sentimental value...

Any ideas what's wrong? Is this an expensive repair? Should I even bother trying to get it repaired? Are there other options besides the built in preamp?

Sorry for all the questions and thank you for your advice and help.
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#214545 - 09/10/13 05:32 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Josie,

Have you plugged the guitar into an amp to verify that it isn't working?
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#214547 - 09/10/13 05:58 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
Sundance Offline
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Bob,

I don't have a guitar amp to test it on, I plugged it into my Emu interface which I know works.

Thanks.
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#214551 - 09/10/13 06:19 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
ROG Offline
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Hi Josie.

Bob's right. Even if the Emu works with the mic input, there could still be a problem with the guitar input. Two ways to check it -

1) Try another guitar into the Emu.

2) Plug one end of a guitar lead into the Emu, give it a bit of gain and stick your thumb over the tip of the jack plug on the other end. If it buzzes you've got a connection. (I'm not sure that Mac is going to like this method!)

Let us know how you get on.

ROG.

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#214554 - 09/10/13 06:49 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
silvertones Offline
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1. does it have a tuner?Does it work?
2. did you put the battery in the right way
3. did it work when you put it away last?
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#214555 - 09/10/13 06:50 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
silvertones Offline
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A replacement, if it it the pre, should not cost to much and you can probably DIY. Most likely a Fishman
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#214558 - 09/10/13 08:36 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
rockstar_not Offline
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When my Fishman died on my Larrivée, I took out the barn door electronics and now I have one of those fancy sound holes on the side of the guitar. Replaced it with a K+K and it sounds much better. Also check out the easy tI install LR baggs stuff.

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#214561 - 09/10/13 08:55 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
Mac Offline
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Originally Posted By: Sundance
Today I decided to plug it in the Emu interface with the signal going to Realband and no sound.


Did you have another known good guitar cable to try? Cables are the thing that stops the show more than anything else, always suspect a bad cable first when there is no sound.

Quote:
The problem is that the preamp which is battery powered has stopped working.


I haven't heard enough evidence yet to support that conclusion.

Unless and until you've tried another cable -- and another input source, such as an amp, this problem could be due to either the cable being broken, or the EMU, which may be broken, not set correctly for the input, or, since it is a software driven soundcard, there could be corrupted software, drivers, whatever.

Quote:
Any ideas what's wrong? Is this an expensive repair? Should I even bother trying to get it repaired? Are there other options besides the built in preamp?


Your best option might be to take the guitar AND the cable to a local guitar shop. There, you can try your preamp with other cables, other amps and find out what's going on first.

Preamp can be repaired, can even be replaced. But first find out if that is what is broken.


--Mac
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#214563 - 09/10/13 09:01 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: ROG]
Mac Offline
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Originally Posted By: ROG
Hi Josie.

2) Plug one end of a guitar lead into the Emu, give it a bit of gain and stick your thumb over the tip of the jack plug on the other end. If it buzzes you've got a connection. (I'm not sure that Mac is going to like this method!)


And why not? Buzzin' the cable is the fastest way to find out what's happenin' - or not.

I might add that after getting a buzz from the center contact at the TIP, I then cover both tip and sleeve with the one hand, effectively shorting the input out with the resistance of my hand, and see if the buzz quiets a bit then. That checks the shield connection as well.

Buzzin' the input of an audio amp is a time-honored method of signal injection.

Just don't be a noob and turn the Volume up all the way because you don't hear anything when the Volume is in its normal position. That's asking for damage somewhere and is a useless thing to do when the sound stops altogether. Like flooring the gas in the broken automobile, it won't fix anything and can likely hurt things worse.

--Mac
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#214575 - 09/10/13 11:05 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
Sundance Offline
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The cable passed the buzz check.

I'll take it to the music store sometime this week and see what they say.
I would like to know what's wrong. If it's expensive to fix. Maybe, I'll play it as is and mic it if need be.

I had to stop playing guitar because of joint pain and carpel tunnel problems. From time to time the spirit gets willing but in past attempts the body has tended to revolt so I don't want to spend much money on it without knowing I can hang with it.

It's a shame it quit working right. It's one of the real lawsuit guitars made in Japan that's somewhat of a collector's item now. I always loved it's sound.

Thank each of you very much for your help. Much appreciated.
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#214576 - 09/10/13 11:16 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Quote:
I'll take it to the music store sometime this week and see what they say.
I would like to know what's wrong. If it's expensive to fix. Maybe, I'll play it as is and mic it if need be.


Taking it to the music store is a good idea, but before I’d “see what they say”, I’d just take the guitar in and ask to try out an amp and they’ll supply the guitar cord automatically. If it doesn’t work, they’ll start trying to figure out why! wink

Then take it from there. I’d suspect the EMU before the preamp.
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#214580 - 09/10/13 11:22 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
Mac Offline
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And, treat whatever they tell you exactly like we should treat a medical opinion.

Get a second opinion before making any decisions regarding repair.

Often is the case that the ones I get in are something very simple, like the battery connects get broken or corroded from sitting, an easy repair for the competent tech and should not cost very much either.

If they start talking about more expensive possibilities, be polite, tell them you have to wait to afford that, and take the guitar to that second opinion place. If both tell you the exact same thing after troubleshooting, at least you will have confirmed the situation and can make a better decision about what to do from there.


--Mac
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#214582 - 09/10/13 11:37 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
Sundance Offline
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Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4134
Good idea Bob, I will try but I am the worst poker face in the world - I hope they won't see me coming a mile off. LOL!
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#214583 - 09/10/13 11:41 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
Sundance Offline
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Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4134
Mac, I'll for sure get a second opinion there's another music store that carries Takamine in a town not too far from here.
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#214623 - 09/11/13 10:12 AM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
MarioD Online   content
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FWIW, an acoustic player I jam with had his Ovation preamp die. A guitar tech indicated the cost to be around $300 as it was a proprietary device. I showed him my $12 Signal Flex SF-20

This is the same pickup I mentioned to Eddie in this thread, http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=211338#Post211338

A few other members showed interest in this. I have had great success with mine. I hope the other members also have good success.

Good luck.
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#214662 - 09/11/13 02:17 PM [Off-Topic] Re: My Guitar Preamp Died....need advice [Re: Sundance]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
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If you're even close to being handy with some hand tools, a replacement can possibly be found on Amazon or Ebay for a few bucks.

As someone said above... it might even sound better.

I shop Amazon all the time.
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