Kohno Maestro 1984 question

Bodhi
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:18 pm
Location: London England

Kohno Maestro 1984 question

Post by Bodhi » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:12 am

Hi everybody I am spending the bulk of the next 3-4 months in Seattle and didnt want to be guitar-free, so i had the chance to visit Rosewood guitars to see if I could rent a workaday guitar but with good sound quality. The answer was no so we focussed on guitars that would essily sell with a net cost similar to renting for that amount of time. We ended up homing in on Alhambra 9P (never played them before) and I tried two spruces which were vastly different. One I couldnt get along with and the other instantly fit like a glove with a setup somehow that was perfect for me with strong projection and rich sound. I have gotten that as my Seattle sound machine but that is not what this post is about:

Whilst i was trying different guitars I was struck by a Kohno Maestro 1984 that stopped me in my tracks. She was just gorgeous to behold and play. It had a luthier- repaired crack on the front from the bridge to the edge horizontally but it didnt affect the sound as far as I could tell. It was selling for $7000. What blew me away was, as I played it and remarked how playable it was, the sales manager Matt mentioned casually that it was a 660mm length guitar. Now I have always found 660 a stretch too much and never got on with Ramirez 660 mm guitars (The centenario 650mm is the only Ramirez that sat well wth me), so I was shocked at this. What a guitar to feel so playable but have the depth of sound that a 660mm gives.

I have the Hauser on order so no chance of buying it but it raised two questions:

1) Is $7000 a reasonable price for such a guitar ? It is positined as a collector's guitar but something like this just demands to be played. Do folks out there play their "collectible" guitars or just keep them for display?
2) Being of Brazilian Rosewood with no certificate will it be a problem to get it to europe from the US or is the issue only the other way round?

Btw I really enjoyed Rosewood guitars. They have some amazing instruments (3 Robert Rucks and more) and Matt was super helpful. My head ruled to just get a practical workaday guitar for my time here but a bit of my heart is with the Kohno. I may keep running back to the shop to play it whilst here...
Thoughts please!
Juan De La Mancha Allegro 1980 Cedar
Loriente "Clarita" 2004 Spruce
Frederico Sheppard Barrios "Morant" 2010 Spruce
Hermanos Camps Primera Negra-A 2016 Spruce
Yulong Guo "Philharmonic" Double Top 2016 #01 Cedar French Polish

User avatar
rinneby
Posts: 648
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:52 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Kohno Maestro 1984 question

Post by rinneby » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:43 am

Bodhi wrote:Is $7000 a reasonable price for such a guitar ? It is positined as a collector's guitar but something like this just demands to be played. Do folks out there play their "collectible" guitars or just keep them for display?
A Kohno from 1984 is not a collector's dream per se, but it's a really nice guitar. $7000 seems a little steep though. I sold my Kohno No.30 from 1975 (not in the best of shape but totally acceptable, refretting was needed among other small things) - This is a much more sought after guitar. I sold it for 3000 Euro, that was too cheap though. I would say that $5000 is a fair price for a Maestro 1984.

/Jon
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1973 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.80
1976 - Kazuo Yairi YC-250
2007 - Lorenzo Frignani

You are the instrument, not the guitar

astro64
Posts: 571
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:43 pm
Location: American Southwest

Re: Kohno Maestro 1984 question

Post by astro64 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:57 am

"The market" tends to set the price for a guitar almost exclusively based on the brandname and materials and not the actual sound quality. That is a bit sad. It says we are more eager to pay for what we see than what we hear and that we really don't seem to know all that well what good sound is (at least not enough of us to pay for sound quality more than brand name). $7000 is high for a Kohno but your report explains why Rosewood is trying to get that price. Kohno's instruments were played by the likes of Bream and Isbin at some point (I think Oscar Ghiglia might still be playing one). I have heard that the model 50 in particular has a reputation. The Maestro was its next incarnation. If the sound keeps calling you back, it is worth the money. But you might not easily get that price when you try to sell it.

User avatar
Guitar-ded
Posts: 1768
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:32 pm
Location: BC Canada

Re: Kohno Maestro 1984 question

Post by Guitar-ded » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:10 am

rinneby wrote: ... I would say that $5000 is a fair price for a Maestro 1984.

/Jon
I would agree with you there, but as it's pitched at the 'collector' market, he may well end up getting closer to his price for it.
Time will tell.
Getting better bit by bit, day by day.

Marcus Dominelli
Luthier
Posts: 2763
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:52 pm
Location: Victoria, B.C. Canada

Re: Kohno Maestro 1984 question

Post by Marcus Dominelli » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:05 am

astro64 wrote:"The market" tends to set the price for a guitar almost exclusively based on the brandname and materials and not the actual sound quality. That is a bit sad. It says we are more eager to pay for what we see than what we hear and that we really don't seem to know all that well what good sound is (at least not enough of us to pay for sound quality more than brand name).
I agree, but how else does one determine value? Sound quality is a real thing, but it is in large part subjective. A dealer cannot just ask 10k from a maker who has build 3 guitars, because his number three happens to sound amazing, even though it might have a low grade set of Indian rosewood and an LMI rosette in it.
Dealers have to base their prices on more substantial factors, like the maker's experience and reputation. Presumably the makers with the better reps will have more guitars in the hands of better players. Presumably better players will (or should be) better judges of sound quality.....at least this is how the logic is supposed to work...
Complicating matters with subjectivity as far as sound is concerned - amateur players tend to like sweeter, mellower instruments, whereas the professionals are after power, projection, definition, and clarity.

It's always a shock to people when they discover that "sound quality" comes in third or fourth when appraising an instrument's value, but there's really no other practical way to do it, from what I can see.

There are exceptions. I once saw a dealer selling a Brazilian rosewood/ cedar guitar by a famous Madrid school luthier. The guitar looked great and he sold it for $2000, even though these guitars were going for about 6k in most places.It was a dud, just a horrible sounding guitar, really. It had no volume. I guess this dealer could not get any more money for it based on it's sound. Probably could have got 6k for it on e - b a y, but not to the local market, where people are going to come in the shop and compare it to other guitars......where's that collector when you need him!!?

Grooveman JS
Posts: 195
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:56 am

Re: Kohno Maestro 1984 question

Post by Grooveman JS » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:04 am

Marcus Dominelli wrote:
astro64 wrote:"The market" tends to set the price for a guitar almost exclusively based on the brandname and materials and not the actual sound quality. That is a bit sad. It says we are more eager to pay for what we see than what we hear and that we really don't seem to know all that well what good sound is (at least not enough of us to pay for sound quality more than brand name).
I agree, but how else does one determine value? Sound quality is a real thing, but it is in large part subjective. A dealer cannot just ask 10k from a maker who has build 3 guitars, because his number three happens to sound amazing, even though it might have a low grade set of Indian rosewood and an LMI rosette in it.
Dealers have to base their prices on more substantial factors, like the maker's experience and reputation. Presumably the makers with the better reps will have more guitars in the hands of better players. Presumably better players will (or should be) better judges of sound quality.....at least this is how the logic is supposed to work...
Complicating matters with subjectivity as far as sound is concerned - amateur players tend to like sweeter, mellower instruments, whereas the professionals are after power, projection, definition, and clarity.

It's always a shock to people when they discover that "sound quality" comes in third or fourth when appraising an instrument's value, but there's really no other practical way to do it, from what I can see.

There are exceptions. I once saw a dealer selling a Brazilian rosewood/ cedar guitar by a famous Madrid school luthier. The guitar looked great and he sold it for $2000, even though these guitars were going for about 6k in most places.It was a dud, just a horrible sounding guitar, really. It had no volume. I guess this dealer could not get any more money for it based on it's sound. Probably could have got 6k for it on e - b a y, but not to the local market, where people are going to come in the shop and compare it to other guitars......where's that collector when you need him!!?
I totally agree.......I just returned from my guitar tour in Japan. Was at 2 classical guitar shops; tried numerous guitars. I'll just highlight the case for a top German maker. I played 4 of his guitars......the 48th one was better than the rest of the newer ones; they were all good guitars but sounded different..... there was 1 particular piece that wasn't so good; it was listed at 1/2 the usual market price for his guitars (which btw is still very costly). I was shocked & naturally I enquired about the reason with the attendant if there was damage or any repairs carried out on the instrument but he was sure that the guitar was crack or repair free & wouldn't say more. It looks every bit the same as the others.....I tried it & spent some time with the guitar & realise that it was not half as loud, resonant as the other pieces; I still won't call it a complete dud but it just didn't measure up to the other 3 (was kind of far off actually).

I've decided that buying a guitar at this level requires 1 to take time to play, feel & hear the instrument for themselves in person & compare with other instruments.....that's the best way. I'd never want to buy on e - b a y or order online for the instrument to be shipped; don't want to take the risk of ending up with a so-so instrument after paying that money. I'll make trips there to different locations to try if i have to before i make the decision to purchase the instrument
Masaki Sakurai MA-RF
Antonio Picado Concierto DT

Return to “Advice on buying, selling or valuing a guitar”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], CommonCrawl [Bot], nmshu1, Ramon Amira and 11 guests