We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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rinneby
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Location: Sweden

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:08 am

andreas777 wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:58 pm
rinneby wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:15 pm
andreas777 wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:14 pm

Thank you for the description. The 50mm nut would already be show-stopper for my fat finger tips, independent on the crack.
How do you feel about a Ramirez 1A - 54/664 for example? I quite like mine, you need to work the guitar in a good way.

/Jon
I'm a tall and skinny person but my fingers are shorter than average and my finger tips larger than average. Some months ago I posted a picture of my hand:
http://classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewt ... 82&start=3
I'm not sure if 53mm or 54mm is better for me, for my finger tips probably 54 but for my finger lengths 52-53. Philipp will use a nut width of 54mm for my guitar but the string spacing at the saddle will not be increased accordingly so I think there is only one additional mm at the 12th fret. The scale length will be 63cm what should fit the best for my fingers. I have serious problems with a scale length of 664mm. Two of my Yamahas (GC6D, GC10D) have such long scales but I consider them a collectible items anyway. My Hermanos Sanchis Lopez 1F extra has a scale length of 660 what is already too long for me. Independent on these metrics, I'm not a big fan of Ramirez guitars. But maybe it's a subconscious aversion against all brands that use a big name even for the lowest estudio models or brands that have a confusing model policy.
I see. 630/54 sounds like a good fit for you then. I've seen pictures of your guitar to come, very promising so far! Even though its not Japanese ;)

/Jon
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1987 - Curt Claus Voigt
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

SteveL123
Posts: 365
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:05 pm

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by SteveL123 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:05 pm

rinneby wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:45 pm
SteveL123 wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:13 pm
Hi Jon,

What's the original finish? It is much lighter with it removed! Is the French Polish done? How's it look and sound? Pics?
The original finish was a thick layer of orange colored nitrocellulose. You can see the result on page 13 of this thread. The sound became a little softer/rounder after the new finish. The Matsuoka No.80 is pretty heavy built and haven't been played very much, for this reason I feel the sound is a little "boxed in" so to speak. Like the sounds stays inside the guitar. I think it needs to be played for a few month or so to really come alive. Great potential though, I just have too many other guitars to play at the moment. Do I recommend getting a No.80? Well, it's a Ramirez type guitar, big bodied, slightly bigger body than an original 1A actually, but with "weaker" sound overall and 650 scale neck. My Yairi YC-250 challenge my Ramirez 1A way better, but the Yairi is a little brighter with more midrange and less "fat sound". Both guitars are very loud and powerful. But who knows what the Matsuoka can deliver with some play time? Right now I keep it just because it looks so damn cool.
:guitare:
All the best from Sweden.

/Jon
Wow came out nice! Much lighter with the French polish. Did you do the work yourself?

SteveL123
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Takemine C132S fret dimensions

Post by SteveL123 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:09 pm

I was looking my the frets on the 1977 Takemine C132S compared to my 1984 J Alvarez (made in Spain) and the Takemine has much lower frets.

Takemine
height 0.8 mm
width 2.0 mm

Alvarez
height 1.35 mm
width 2.2 mm

What are normal fret heights on a classical?

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rinneby
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Location: Sweden

Re: Takemine C132S fret dimensions

Post by rinneby » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:45 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:09 pm
I was looking my the frets on the 1977 Takemine C132S compared to my 1984 J Alvarez (made in Spain) and the Takemine has much lower frets.

Takemine
height 0.8 mm
width 2.0 mm

Alvarez
height 1.35 mm
width 2.2 mm

What are normal fret heights on a classical?
Something like 1.1-1.4mm comes to mind. Width about 2mm.

/Jon
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1987 - Curt Claus Voigt
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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eno
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Location: Boston, USA

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by eno » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:40 pm

I'm really enjoying my Mitsuru Tamura, this is really amazing guitar, it has a delicate cedar-like tone, a little dark and silky, that deeply resonates with me. It's the only one of my Japanese guitars that does not sound boxy. It's also the most easy, forgiving and comfortable to play among all my guitars. Very surprised. I definitely like it more than Kohno 1967. It's now on the second place after Bernabe, I would say on the same grade as Rokutaro, although their tones are very different so hard to compare. I've heard that Tamura is considered to be the best Japanese guitar maker by some people, I now understand why.

And I'm selling my Sakazo Nakade, it's a great guitar, very strong charismatic flamenco-like sound, great for Spanish music, but not of my tonal preference.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Masaru Kohno No.6 1967
Rokutaro Nakade 1967
Mitsuru Tamura No.800 1969

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:50 pm

eno wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:40 pm
I'm really enjoying my Mitsuru Tamura, this is really amazing guitar, it has a delicate cedar-like tone, a little dark and silky, that deeply resonates with me. It's also the most easy, forgiving and comfortable to play among all my guitars. Very surprised. I definitely like it more than Kohno 1967. It's now on the second place after Bernabe, I would say on the same grade as Rokutaro, although their tones are very different so hard to compare. I've heard that Tamura is considered to be the best Japanese guitar maker by some people, I now understand why.
The Tamura I once had was great, but no match for my Kono -65 for example. On the other hand my Ramirez blows the Kono out of the water in some aspects. They both touch me in different ways. I guess each guitar has it's own purpose. Isn't that great? :) With that said I have many classical guitars, but I'm trying to only use three of them as my main guitars (It's more fun to buy than sell). Too many options is never good, I think.

/Jon
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1987 - Curt Claus Voigt
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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eno
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Location: Boston, USA

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by eno » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:56 pm

Guitars even from the same maker differ quite a lot from each other, and peoples' tonal preferences are also very different.
I prefer not to keep too many guitars and get rid of those that I don't enjoy playing and don't resonate with.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Masaru Kohno No.6 1967
Rokutaro Nakade 1967
Mitsuru Tamura No.800 1969

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rinneby
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Location: Sweden

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:57 pm

eno wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:56 pm
Guitars even from the same maker differ quite a lot from each other, and peoples' tonal preferences are also very different.
I prefer not to keep too many guitars and get rid of those that I don't enjoy playing and don't resonate with.
Agreed, well said.

/Jon
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1987 - Curt Claus Voigt
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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rinneby
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:52 am
Location: Sweden

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:04 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:05 pm
Wow came out nice! Much lighter with the French polish. Did you do the work yourself?
No, a friend of mine :)

/Jon
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1987 - Curt Claus Voigt
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

dandan
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Location: newcastle-under-lyme, staffs, England

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by dandan » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:47 am

Its been really interesting comparing my '62 Kono with my Rokutaro Nakade. The Kono has such a strong voice, it makes some very nice traditionally-braced guitars sound thin in comparison. The Nakade is soft and sweet, in contrast. Playing the same pieces of music on both is really interesting because the Kono rewards quite strong confident playing and the Nakade a more gentle approach, so the same piece naturally sounds very different musically.
1969 Rokutaro Nakade A9
1966 Sakazo Nakade model D
1988 Hiroumi Yamaguchi SS
1977 Aria AG80

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eno
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by eno » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:36 pm

dandan wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:47 am
Its been really interesting comparing my '62 Kono with my Rokutaro Nakade. The Kono has such a strong voice, it makes some very nice traditionally-braced guitars sound thin in comparison. The Nakade is soft and sweet, in contrast. Playing the same pieces of music on both is really interesting because the Kono rewards quite strong confident playing and the Nakade a more gentle approach, so the same piece naturally sounds very different musically.
Agreed, my Kohno 1967 is a bomb, has very strong voice, almost overwhelming, and honestly it's too much for me as I prefer more delicate sounded guitars.

Another update: I refinished my Takamine C136S with FP and the difference in sound is just amazing. Originally it sounded OK with even, a little dark and piano-like but overall pretty dull sound. After refinish the sound opened dramatically and became noticeably louder, more rich, colourful, resonant and very pleasant. And it looks freaking awesome! Also the high action problem is fully solved after bridge shaving and reset so it's easily playable. I'm definitely keeping it.
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Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Masaru Kohno No.6 1967
Rokutaro Nakade 1967
Mitsuru Tamura No.800 1969

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James A. Showalter
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by James A. Showalter » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:52 am

This is a wonderful thread. I've loved Japanese classical guitars since my youth and currently own a Masaki Sakurai Pro-J and a Takamine C132S. I'm constantly on the prowl for a new lead on a great guitar but I'm easily satisfied by reading about the wonderful finds and loving owners here on the site where I go to learn more classical guitar. Thanks for all the pictures, stories and lore about these great instruments.
1990 Takamine C132S
2014 Sakurai Kohno Pro-J
Martin Guitars (D28, MC28, D12-28, J-40)
National Resonator Guitar
Les Paul

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souldier
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by souldier » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:53 pm

Had a chance to play a few vintage Japanese guitars side by side recently. An Ecole 1000, 72 Rokutaro Nakade, Sakazo Nakade, 82 Hakusui Imai, Cervantes 800, Osama Tomita. Wanted to share my thoughts for those interested:

Ecole 1000 - Cedar - Was really impressed with this guitar on the first pluck. Big bold Spanish Ramirez type sound that can be really driven. Deep and big basses, warm and fat trebles.

Osama Tomita - Spruce- This guitar is on the opposite end of the spectrum in comparison to the Ecole 1000. It is very articulate and piano like similar to a Kohno while having the complexity you'd expect from a spruce top.

Hakusui Imai - Spruce - This had a delicate, intimate, sweet and romantic sound. Great tonal palette.

Cervantes Class 800 (Hiroshi Yamaguchi) - Cedar- Ramirez type Spanish sound with deep and powerful basses and warm, romantic trebles. Good balance, volume and sustain. Probably my favorite of the bunch.

Rokutaro and Sakazo Nakade - Spruce - I put these two together because I felt they sounded quite similar to each other. Balanced, clear, mature and colorful.

Overall they were all great guitars in their own right.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:22 pm

souldier wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:53 pm
Had a chance to play a few vintage Japanese guitars side by side recently. An Ecole 1000, 72 Rokutaro Nakade, Sakazo Nakade, 82 Hakusui Imai, Cervantes 800, Osama Tomita. Wanted to share my thoughts for those interested:

Ecole 1000 - Cedar - Was really impressed with this guitar on the first pluck. Big bold Spanish Ramirez type sound that can be really driven. Deep and big basses, warm and fat trebles.

Osama Tomita - Spruce- This guitar is on the opposite end of the spectrum in comparison to the Ecole 1000. It is very articulate and piano like similar to a Kohno while having the complexity you'd expect from a spruce top.

Hakusui Imai - Spruce - This had a delicate, intimate, sweet and romantic sound. Great tonal palette.

Cervantes Class 800 (Hiroshi Yamaguchi) - Cedar- Ramirez type Spanish sound with deep and powerful basses and warm, romantic trebles. Good balance, volume and sustain. Probably my favorite of the bunch.

Rokutaro and Sakazo Nakade - Spruce - I put these two together because I felt they sounded quite similar to each other. Balanced, clear, mature and colorful.

Overall they were all great guitars in their own right.
Wonderful reading, much appreciated. I'm a little surprised about the Cervantes and Ecole though, as the other makers are highly regarded. But then again, Japanese classical guitars never seem to stop impress :) Both Imai and Tomita is on my shortlist in a near future. Where did you try all these gems?

/Jon
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1987 - Curt Claus Voigt
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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souldier
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by souldier » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:02 pm

rinneby wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:22 pm
souldier wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:53 pm
Had a chance to play a few vintage Japanese guitars side by side recently. An Ecole 1000, 72 Rokutaro Nakade, Sakazo Nakade, 82 Hakusui Imai, Cervantes 800, Osama Tomita. Wanted to share my thoughts for those interested:

Ecole 1000 - Cedar - Was really impressed with this guitar on the first pluck. Big bold Spanish Ramirez type sound that can be really driven. Deep and big basses, warm and fat trebles.

Osama Tomita - Spruce- This guitar is on the opposite end of the spectrum in comparison to the Ecole 1000. It is very articulate and piano like similar to a Kohno while having the complexity you'd expect from a spruce top.

Hakusui Imai - Spruce - This had a delicate, intimate, sweet and romantic sound. Great tonal palette.

Cervantes Class 800 (Hiroshi Yamaguchi) - Cedar- Ramirez type Spanish sound with deep and powerful basses and warm, romantic trebles. Good balance, volume and sustain. Probably my favorite of the bunch.

Rokutaro and Sakazo Nakade - Spruce - I put these two together because I felt they sounded quite similar to each other. Balanced, clear, mature and colorful.

Overall they were all great guitars in their own right.
Wonderful reading, much appreciated. I'm a little surprised about the Cervantes and Ecole though, as the other makers are highly regarded. But then again, Japanese classical guitars never seem to stop impress :) Both Imai and Tomita is on my shortlist in a near future. Where did you try all these gems?

/Jon
Jon not too long ago you gave me a link to second life guitars. I tried all these guitars while I was in California at second life guitars. His website is not up to date, but you can find some of his current listings on craigslist or reverb. When I was trying the guitars, I told the guy not to tell me the maker or the price so that I could judge each instrument without bias. I am not sure which guitars are more highly regarded, but I just judged each guitar based on sound and playability. My personal favorites were the Cervantes, Imai, and Ecole, but they were all great guitars. I suspect personal preferences and refined discernment plays a large role in what others might prefer.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

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