1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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HNLim
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1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by HNLim » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:46 pm

Someone that I have never met before but we have corresponded several times via WeChat and email came and paid me a visit all the way from China. He was working on a Cruise ship which docks about once a week at the Singapore Cruise Center. We met several times for lunch and he brought his 1990 Yamaha GC30 with him. He wanted to compare his GC30 with my 1978 Yamaha GC30A. As some of you might have known the GC30A was succeeded by the GC70 in 1984. Both guitars has similar headstock design. This same headstock design appears on the current Yamaha GC82C.

This was how his guitar looks like.
1.jpg
It came with a fiberglass hard case.
2.jpg
3.jpg
The back, sides and neck are so badly "frosted" that it was very unsightly.
5.jpg
The fingerboard and frets were worn out
6.jpg
The bridge was also very badly "frosted".

On his last day in Singapore, at the airport when we were unloading his baggage and guitar, he asked if I could do him a favour. He would like me to give his guitar a "MAKE-OVER".

What? I asked. He said yes, a make-over. What would you do?
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Philosopherguy
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Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by Philosopherguy » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:38 pm

From those pictures, it definitely needs a makeover! That guitar looks like it has been beat up a little. Did he leave it out in the sun quite a bit or something?

It might make a good project. I guess it depends on how much time you have on your hands! I think you are looking at a complete refinishing there.
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petermc61
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Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by petermc61 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:56 am

Is he asking as a favour or does he intend to meet your costs? Looks like a lot of work to me.
Last edited by petermc61 on Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bear
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Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by bear » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:10 am

looks like fun
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HNLim
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Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by HNLim » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:36 am

Apart from the refinishing, the owner has requested for a 20th fret and Yamaha GC top of the line headstock with the iconic Yamaha headstock carving.
DS00923250_3.jpg
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petermc61
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Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by petermc61 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:40 am

HNLim wrote:Apart from the refinishing, the owner has requested for a 20th fret and Yamaha GC top of the line headstock with the iconic Yamaha headstock carving.
DS00923250_3.jpg
Nothing else? I am assuming you are doing a whole new fingerboard, a refret, reset the neck and will make it sound like a cross between the best Kohno and Tacchi as well? :shock:

Enjoy the challenge!!! :D

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HNLim
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Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by HNLim » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:01 pm

Oh dear!!!!!!!! The lacquer on this Yamaha's back must have been at least 2mm thick. Removing the polyurethane lacquer proves much harder than I thought. Yamaha put on a clear layer of lacquer followed by another layer of brownish red lacquer.

Initially I tried removing, hopefully till the "frosted" layers are gone but not utill I reach the bare wood. Unfortunately, I had to strip it till the bare wood. It looks like the wood filler is also affected by the "frost".

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bacsidoan
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Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by bacsidoan » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:49 pm

More power to you Mr. Lim. This will keep you busy for a while :)

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HNLim
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Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by HNLim » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:54 am

Oh dear!!!! Disaster has struck. The rosette pattern near the fingerboard has been lifted off. Yamaha didn't properly remove the channel for the rosette near the fingerboard. As a result it got sanded off.

abianna

Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by abianna » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:04 am

Hi mr Lim. How's the project getting on?

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Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by MessyTendon » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:36 am

Maybe re-finish the guitar in an oil varnish on the back and sides and shellac the top. The fingerboard is worn, why toss it out? Scallop that fingerboard and re-fret it...If he's used to playing such a worn fingerboard the scallop feature will feel right at home.

Poly finishes are the worst, they just never end...

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HNLim
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Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by HNLim » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:50 am

I have completed the project and it has been returned to the owner in China. Tremendous improvement especially the bass. Removing the lacquer alone gives significant improvement to the sound. With the help of my good friend, the guitar was given a new voice which enrich the sound by quite a big leap. I added a turnavoz and the bass got very punchy. A 20th fret was added and the ionic Yamaha GC Headstock carving was added.

I removed all the frets and refinish the fingerboard, give it an ebony effect and a new set of EVO fret. Setup the nut and saddle and "walla" the playing is extremely comfortable.

The owner is very pleased with the guitar and it sounds quite close to my GC30A but not as loud.
Last edited by HNLim on Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Big bird
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Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by Big bird » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:40 pm

Pictures?
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HNLim
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Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by HNLim » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:07 pm

Big bird wrote:Pictures?
Give me some time. I need to locate it from my portable hard disk. I cannot post pictures with my mobile phone due to the size.

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Guitar-ded
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Re: 1990 Yamaha GC30 Make-over

Post by Guitar-ded » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:12 pm

Sounds like you had fun there Mr Lim.
Be careful or you'll be starting a whole new business supplying carved Yamaha headstock plates.
Getting better bit by bit, day by day.

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