We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Aaron Powell
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Aaron Powell » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:24 am

Hello Jon, that soundboard looks so much better without the colouring. The rosette and marquetry really stands out now.

Does bleach remove those 'scars' or would you need to pick it out ever so carefully? Looks great as is though, natural part of the history of the instrument. Those wide spaced Gotoh tuners looks very fitting for the head stock design. Good for you Jon! Cheers Aaron
rinneby wrote:
Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:00 pm
Here's my "new" Matsuoka No.80 - Before and after the French polish + Nitrocellulose.

When I got the guitar the top was badly "lacquer cracked" (thick red/orange layer!) - What you see is actual leftovers from the dirt of those cracks, nothing is through the woods though. I didn't want to bleach or try to hide the battle scars, as it adds to the character and history of the guitar. At least I tried to convince my self that ;) Pretty vintage eh?

Before:
After:
/Jon

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Guitar Slim Jr.
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Guitar Slim Jr. » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:53 am

Hope responses to the OP are still desired here.

Sitting on the stand at my right hand is my 1976 Kohno 10 cedar top. It remains, to this day, one of my favorite guitars.

I purchased this guitar as a student in 1985 for $250. The top below the strings had been horribly scrached up, I presume because the previous owner had played flamenco or used a pick on it. But, from the day I put my hands on it, I felt I had come into my own as a guitarist. I used it for the rest of my college career, and for many years after. Although full-sized, it is still the easiest-playing guitar I've owned, with no buzz or slap when you push it. It's tone is sweet and mellow and smooth -- which is just how I like it. One of the things I like about it is that the tonal palette is easy to control. I've played amazingly good guitars, both cedar and spruce, that were almost too responsive, and required more control than I have to produce even, consistent tone. The Kohno's response just seems smoother, more consistent and easier for me to control.

I recently played a brand new Sakurai Kohno, and it had some of the same characteristics as the old K10. After 30 years of experience, I've decided that a Sakurai or an S. Kohno are definitely in my future. I may even get rid of my No.1 to get it...

Also, my old Kohno replaced a mid-priced Aria spruce top. It was quite nice, if I remember. It originally belonged to my father. I would recommend a mid-priced Yamaha or an Aria factory-built guitar to anyone looking for a quality entry-level instrument.

Finally, I was at the NAAM a couple of years ago and saw that Aria is heavily into small-body "romantic" and "salon" guitars. They're kind of funny looking, because they look like regular sized modern headstocks and necks stuck onto a little tiny body. It was hard to really hear at the show, but I wasn't impressed. But then, I don't really like any of the small-body acoustic guitars flooding the market these days, so I'm not qualified to judge. Interesting, though. ..

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rinneby
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Location: Sweden

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:22 am

Guitar Slim Jr. wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:53 am
Hope responses to the OP are still desired here.

Sitting on the stand at my right hand is my 1976 Kohno 10 cedar top. It remains, to this day, one of my favorite guitars.

I purchased this guitar as a student in 1985 for $250. The top below the strings had been horribly scrached up, I presume because the previous owner had played flamenco or used a pick on it. But, from the day I put my hands on it, I felt I had come into my own as a guitarist. I used it for the rest of my college career, and for many years after. Although full-sized, it is still the easiest-playing guitar I've owned, with no buzz or slap when you push it. It's tone is sweet and mellow and smooth -- which is just how I like it. One of the things I like about it is that the tonal palette is easy to control. I've played amazingly good guitars, both cedar and spruce, that were almost too responsive, and required more control than I have to produce even, consistent tone. The Kohno's response just seems smoother, more consistent and easier for me to control.

I recently played a brand new Sakurai Kohno, and it had some of the same characteristics as the old K10. After 30 years of experience, I've decided that a Sakurai or an S. Kohno are definitely in my future. I may even get rid of my No.1 to get it...

Also, my old Kohno replaced a mid-priced Aria spruce top. It was quite nice, if I remember. It originally belonged to my father. I would recommend a mid-priced Yamaha or an Aria factory-built guitar to anyone looking for a quality entry-level instrument.

Finally, I was at the NAAM a couple of years ago and saw that Aria is heavily into small-body "romantic" and "salon" guitars. They're kind of funny looking, because they look like regular sized modern headstocks and necks stuck onto a little tiny body. It was hard to really hear at the show, but I wasn't impressed. But then, I don't really like any of the small-body acoustic guitars flooding the market these days, so I'm not qualified to judge. Interesting, though. ..
Responses to the original post is what we all are here for!

That was a very good price for a Kohno in the 80s I must say, a steal really. Are you sure it's cedar? That is very unusual. Anyway, I've played many guitars from Kohno and Sakurai, some of them I liked more than others. But what stands out to me is the consistency, they always deliver in one way or another. Before buying a new Kohno/Sakurai you must try to get your hands on a Kohno/Kono from the mid 60s, they are very sweet sounding and easy on the hands. Also be sure to check out the Kohno/Sakurai thread here on the forum for more info.

Regarding Aria I have only nice things to say about those guitars from the 70s/80s, when they were made in Japan. Great craftsmanship and sound, at least the higher end models.

Nice to hear from you, and welcome to the club!

All the best from Sweden

/Jon
Last edited by rinneby on Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:28 am

Aaron Powell wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:24 am
Hello Jon, that soundboard looks so much better without the colouring. The rosette and marquetry really stands out now.

Does bleach remove those 'scars' or would you need to pick it out ever so carefully? Looks great as is though, natural part of the history of the instrument. Those wide spaced Gotoh tuners looks very fitting for the head stock design. Good for you Jon! Cheers Aaron
Thank you very much Aaron! I agree that the aged look benefits this particular guitar. The funny thing is that it feels like new when you touch and play it. Regarding the bleaching, I honestly don't now, never tried it :)

/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

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rinneby
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Location: Sweden

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:35 am

eno wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:45 am
I'm wondering why some Japanese guitars have lables in Japanese and some in English or Spanish? Were the latter made for export? There is still a lot of English/Spanish-labeled guitars that stayed in Japan.
I've been thinking about this myself. To my understanding, Japanese labels were made for the Japanese market, mostly during the 50/60s. From the early 70s (when the export really began) and onward most labels was in English.

/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

musguitar
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 6:39 am

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by musguitar » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:32 am

rinneby wrote:
Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:32 pm
andreas777 wrote:
rinneby wrote:This is my latest find. A Ryoji Matsuoka No.60 S with high quality solid spruce top and back...
Do you know why it has two labels inside, the first one stamped?
That is very interesting and I actually didn't notice it until now. The label behind looks like the old original "yellow label" -
Another point of interest is that the double ebony reinforcement guitars from Matsuoka was produced only during 1972-75. And the "white label" that is now present on my guitar was made from 1976 and forward. I could of course be wrong here.
Image

/Jon
Hi Jon, here is another mysterious Matsuoka 60S. Although it has the double ebony neck reinforcement, the label is pasted inverted. The serial number is etched to the wood. Another thing is the headstock-- it i different from all the matsuokas headstock I have seen online.

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:03 am

musguitar wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:32 am
rinneby wrote:
Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:32 pm
andreas777 wrote: Do you know why it has two labels inside, the first one stamped?
That is very interesting and I actually didn't notice it until now. The label behind looks like the old original "yellow label" -
Another point of interest is that the double ebony reinforcement guitars from Matsuoka was produced only during 1972-75. And the "white label" that is now present on my guitar was made from 1976 and forward. I could of course be wrong here.
Image

/Jon
Hi Jon, here is another mysterious Matsuoka 60S. Although it has the double ebony neck reinforcement, the label is pasted inverted. The serial number is etched to the wood. Another thing is the headstock-- it i different from all the matsuokas headstock I have seen online.

Image
Image
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Interesting headstock, can't quite place it... Regarding the "S" I'm pretty sure it stands for "Special" and guitars made different (by accident, or intended) got this label. This one probably due to the headstock. Looking att the bridge I can't see any decorations, but it might be the low-res picture. My bridge was also slanted (V-shape) like Kohno's. My 60 S had laminated Brazilian back and sides. Regarding the serial, it's usually beneath the label, but its there on my No.80 for example.

Looks like its in good condition though. Are you gonna buy it or not? :)

/Jon
Last edited by rinneby on Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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

musguitar
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 6:39 am

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by musguitar » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:18 am

do you think it is authentic matsuoka? Anybody could have placed the label there-- and inverted. Different headstock design yet the two ebonies is matsuoka.

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:19 am

musguitar wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:18 am
do you think it is authentic matsuoka? Anybody could have placed the label there-- and inverted. Different headstock design yet the two ebonies is matsuoka.
Indeed... We need more and better close up pictures. But the double reinforcement is a pretty safe "sign".

/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

musguitar
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 6:39 am

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by musguitar » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:28 am

Image

Is the image of bridge V-shaped from this photo?

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:31 am

musguitar wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:28 am
Image

Is the image of bridge V-shaped from this photo?
Mine looked like this:

Image

/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

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rinneby
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Location: Sweden

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:48 am

I'm pretty sure your No.60 S is genuine though, just a little bit different.

/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

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eno
Posts: 274
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Location: Boston, USA

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by eno » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:42 pm

Jon, how is the sound of those old Matsuokas compared for example with your favourite Kono? I tried once a modern Matsuoka (model 250, 2013) and was not impressed.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Rokutaru Nakade 1967
Masaru Kohno 1967
Sakazo Nakade 1973
Mitsuru Tamura 1969
Takamine C136S and C128S
Yamaha SLG200S silent

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:45 pm

eno wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:42 pm
Jon, how is the sound of those old Matsuokas compared for example with your favourite Kono? I tried once a modern Matsuoka (model 250, 2013) and was not impressed.
Some are good, some are not. The ones I liked are: No.80 (1973), No 60 S (1974) and M50 (1983). They are not as good as the Kohno's/Sakurai I've tried, but still very nice guitars. I cannot comment on the newer models.

/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

musguitar
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 6:39 am

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by musguitar » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:40 pm

rinneby wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 2:41 pm
Got my Seizo Shinano No.83 today and it's mixed feelings. To begin with the guitar is very nice looking. I like the headstock, bridge design, rosette and the woods are beautiful. It's lightly built. ... The sound is well defined with great midrange and not harsh at all, but still with a clear high end. It's pretty loud too. A somewhat romantic sound I suppose. The scale is 660mm but it feels easy to play, feels like 650.

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My SHINANO SC-30. 650mm, thick solid top, lightweight, clear treble and not bassy. Jon, your description of your No. 83 captures my Shinano as well. And my other basis of comparison is my 1962 Masaru Kono [the 1st full pic]
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