We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Carter53
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Carter53 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:17 pm

souldier wrote:
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.
I just purchased a very clean looking Hiroshi Yamaguchi on Buyee. I can't wait to receive it and give it a try!
1964 Sakazo Nakade "D"
1980 Kuniyoshi Matsui M-10
1975 Fernandes GC-30
1980 Cervantes MC800
2015 Viktor K. " El Vito MRC"

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:36 pm

Carter53 wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:17 pm
I just purchased a very clean looking Hiroshi Yamaguchi on Buyee. I can't wait to receive it and give it a try!
Nice to hear! That luthier is easy to confuse with Hiroumi Yamaguchi :)

/Jon
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1997 - Dragan Musulin
2004 - Alain Raifort Grand Concert
2006 - Casimiro Lozano XXV Aniversario

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

Carter53
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:36 pm

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Carter53 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:17 pm

Yes. I was confused too at first, since I own a "Hiroumi." And, it appears they both made Cervantes guitars so my guess is they're relatives.
1964 Sakazo Nakade "D"
1980 Kuniyoshi Matsui M-10
1975 Fernandes GC-30
1980 Cervantes MC800
2015 Viktor K. " El Vito MRC"

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:22 pm

Carter53 wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:17 pm
Yes. I was confused too at first, since I own a "Hiroumi." And, it appears they both made Cervantes guitars so my guess is they're relatives.
Might as well be brothers, not uncommon among luthiers.

Looking forward to the review!

/Jon
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1997 - Dragan Musulin
2004 - Alain Raifort Grand Concert
2006 - Casimiro Lozano XXV Aniversario

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

Carter53
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:36 pm

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Carter53 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:02 pm

I made an assumption that may not be true. The guitar I have presently is signed "H. Yamaguchi." I assumed it was Hiroumi but may in fact be Hiroshi. In ether case, I'm sure it will be a concert level instrument.
1964 Sakazo Nakade "D"
1980 Kuniyoshi Matsui M-10
1975 Fernandes GC-30
1980 Cervantes MC800
2015 Viktor K. " El Vito MRC"

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rinneby
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Location: Sweden

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:03 pm

Carter53 wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:02 pm
I made an assumption that may not be true. The guitar I have presently is signed "H. Yamaguchi." I assumed it was Hiroumi but may in fact be Hiroshi. In ether case, I'm sure it will be a concert level instrument.
I'm sure it is :)

/Jon
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1997 - Dragan Musulin
2004 - Alain Raifort Grand Concert
2006 - Casimiro Lozano XXV Aniversario

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:07 am

UPDATE: I have now played my Hiroumi Yamaguchi some more and while I like it very much I feel that my Kohno Maestro has a thicker/softer/warmer sound to it. I also find the Maestro a little bit easier to play, even though its not quite as loud and bright as the Yamaguchi.

All the best from Sweden.
/Jon
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1997 - Dragan Musulin
2004 - Alain Raifort Grand Concert
2006 - Casimiro Lozano XXV Aniversario

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

Carter53
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:36 pm

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Carter53 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:35 pm

I played my Yamaguchi (Cervantes Clase 500) for the first time in a while and it is a different creature than every guitar I own, and that includes three other Cervantes/Asturias guitars. When I play softly it's as loud as several guitars that I am deliberately driving. Basses are deep and trebles ring clear with great separation. It's scale is 658mm and set up like a traditional 1a so the action on the low E is just over 4mm at the 12th fret. When I got it, I wasn't accustomed playing with action that high, but I have sampled so many different guitars since then and my skill level has improved so it's not as much of an issue now.
However, because of the action it's been on e - b a y for most of the summer. I'm going to wait and see if the H. Yamaguchi I just bought is as good. If not, I think I'll keep it. High action and all - I think it's special.
1964 Sakazo Nakade "D"
1980 Kuniyoshi Matsui M-10
1975 Fernandes GC-30
1980 Cervantes MC800
2015 Viktor K. " El Vito MRC"

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:35 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:21 pm
I've noticed, since getting my Takemine C132S, that all Japanese made guitars only use Phillips head screws on the tuning machines, Spanish made always use slotted heads. Is that true in general?
My latest Japanese guitar have slotted heads, looks to be original too.

/Jon
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1997 - Dragan Musulin
2004 - Alain Raifort Grand Concert
2006 - Casimiro Lozano XXV Aniversario

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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andreas777
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by andreas777 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:34 am

I bought a cheap Japanese guitar from the late 70ies in very good condition this week, and I will either use it as my new 'beater' or as a collectible item:
guitar_top.jpg
guitar_back.jpg
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Happiness is when what you think what you say and what you do are in harmony.

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:59 am

andreas777 wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:34 am
I bought a cheap Japanese guitar from the late 70ies in very good condition this week, and I will either use it as my new 'beater' or as a collectible item:
guitar_top.jpgguitar_back.jpg
Looks nice very, hard to see the label though. What maker? Looks almost like a Yamaha from Taiwan, but I guess its not :)

/Jon
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1997 - Dragan Musulin
2004 - Alain Raifort Grand Concert
2006 - Casimiro Lozano XXV Aniversario

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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andreas777
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by andreas777 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:18 am

rinneby wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:59 am
Looks nice very, hard to see the label though. What maker? Looks almost like a Yamaha from Taiwan, but I guess its not :)

/Jon
I've tried to hide the label as good as I can to make it more difficult for you to guess the maker ;-)
It's a Yamaha G255s, the top model of this G-series from 77-81 with spruce top and ebony fretboard. I also have a G260s, the top model from 81-85. Both are in almost mint condition, and I still wonder why they are sold so cheap in Germany (with a lower price than in the US for example).
The quality is quite good even if you can see that it's not a luthier made guitar, but the sound is better than expected :-)
Happiness is when what you think what you say and what you do are in harmony.

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:21 am

andreas777 wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:18 am
rinneby wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:59 am
Looks nice very, hard to see the label though. What maker? Looks almost like a Yamaha from Taiwan, but I guess its not :)

/Jon
I've tried to hide the label as good as I can to make it more difficult for you to guess the maker ;-)
It's a Yamaha G255s, the top model of this G-series from 77-81 with spruce top and ebony fretboard. I also have a G260s, the top model from 81-85. Both are in almost mint condition, and I still wonder why they are sold so cheap in Germany (with a lower price than in the US for example).
The quality is quite good even if you can see that it's not a luthier made guitar, but the sound is better than expected :-)
Great find, and + to me for that educated guess ;)

/Jon
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1997 - Dragan Musulin
2004 - Alain Raifort Grand Concert
2006 - Casimiro Lozano XXV Aniversario

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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andreas777
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Location: Germany

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by andreas777 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:16 pm

rinneby wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:21 am
Great find, and + to me for that educated guess ;)
/Jon
For me it's interesting to see that this guitar is quite heavy with its 1750g, heavier than most of my other classical guitars that fall in the range 1630g-1730g. One reason could be the Yamaha-typical neck that is slightly thicker than the necks of other brands or luthiers. Jon, with all the Japanese guitars you own or have owned, what are your experiences with neck shapes and weights? Is this a criteria for you when you buy a guitar?
Happiness is when what you think what you say and what you do are in harmony.

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:46 pm

andreas777 wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:16 pm
rinneby wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:21 am
Great find, and + to me for that educated guess ;)
/Jon
For me it's interesting to see that this guitar is quite heavy with its 1750g, heavier than most of my other classical guitars that fall in the range 1630g-1730g. One reason could be the Yamaha-typical neck that is slightly thicker than the necks of other brands or luthiers. Jon, with all the Japanese guitars you own or have owned, what are your experiences with neck shapes and weights? Is this a criteria for you when you buy a guitar?
I tend to like guitars that falls in the category of normal to lightweight, as heavy builds (often) makes the sound stay inside the guitar, often in combination with a thick layer of lacquer. Regarding necks, it differs from guitar to guitar, but if I could choose I'm not a fan of too thick necks, that is fairly common on Japanese guitars, like Yamaha's or 70s Kohno/Sakurai, for example. Then again, many of the Japanese guitars that I own and owned feels really good despite these things, my Matsuoka No.80 for example is quite heavy with a fairly thick neck, still its play easy and feel great.

So to answer your question: No, this is not a criteria when I buy my guitars, as most of the time I cannot even try before I buy.

/Jon
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1997 - Dragan Musulin
2004 - Alain Raifort Grand Concert
2006 - Casimiro Lozano XXV Aniversario

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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