How to Remove a Takamine Preamp

I’m following last week’s post on Taylor preamp removal with another; this time on Takamine preamp removal. Why two emails on how to remove preamps? A couple of reasons. First, it’s a common question and concern (maybe surprisingly for anyone who hasn’t had to do it, but it’s not always obvious). Second, I’ve meant to do this Takamine tip for ages but haven't remembered to actually take photos to illustrate it.

Since I’ve been working on a Tak preamp installation (and since I remembered the photos), I can show this better than I can after the preamp’s installed.

How to remove a Takamine preamp from a guitar

How to remove a Takamine preamp

This preamp is a CT-4BII but this is similar for most of Takamine’s modern preamps. Older models are different, though.

These tabs on the bezel hold the preamp in place

The bezel (at the bottom in the photo above) is the mounting ring for the preamp. The bezel fits in the hole cut in the side of the guitar and then the preamp slots into the bezel. When you’re taking these things out, you need to slide the preamp out of the bezel (and then remove the bezel if that's necessary – more in a minute)

The bezel has two clips, or tabs, that snap into corresponding recesses on the installed preamp to hold it in place. The clips are indicated with arrows above. Notice that the bottom clip is centred in the bezel frame but the top clip is offset to the left. That’s important.

Access hole for the bottom tab/clip

Getting back to our ‘installed’ preamp, it looks like the image above. On the bottom edge of the preamp face, right in the centre, you’ll see a small hole. This is the access for the first clip.

To remove the preamp you need something like a very narrow screwdriver or – as I’m using – a small hex wrench/Allen key. Insert your ‘releasing tool’ and gently press to release the bottom clip.

Use a small allen key or screwdriver to press the tab out carefully

You don’t need a lot of pressure here — it’s just a plastic snap-clip. You’ll feel it release.

Now to the top.

Access to the top takamine preamp clip/tab is through the battery compartment

There’s no access hole along the top edge and this is what causes most confusion. Here's where that offset clip comes into play. Access for the top retaining clip is through the battery compartment. Remove the battery and you should be able to get access relatively easily. Good light helps but, now you know where it is, you’ll get it.

Another view of the top clip release

To make the clip more obvious, I’ve flipped the preamp around for the image above so you’re looking at it from the top edge.

With both clips released, you should be able to slide out the preamp. It’s probably best to slacken off the strings and poke one hand through the sound hole to help guide it out. You can also free any cabling like this.

Incidentally, the cabling for these preamps just plugs in the back so it’s easy to unplug. Preamp reinstallation is just a matter of sliding it in until it clips again.

Removing the bezel

Getting at the preamp will be enough for most but, if there’s any reason to remove the bezel from the guitar body, that’s secured with clips too.

If you need to remove the Takamine preamp bezel, there are four small (separate) clips that hold it in place

The four arrows show the locations of four small clips. These are four separate, discrete parts – not permanently attached to the bezel – so take care not to lose them.

Each can be prised out gently with a small screwdriver. They keep the bezel in place mainly by ‘wedging’ action against the guitar side but there’s probably a little adhesive foam strip inside the guitar that helps secure them.

And that’s it. File this under I-don’t-need-to-know-this-I’ll-never-have-to-remove-Takamine-preamps-oh-wait-I-know-how-to-do-that. 😉

This article written by Gerry Hayes and first published at