Kohntarkosz wrote: ↑
Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:41 pm
Here is my recent Japanese guitar story. I'm American but I have lived in Japan for the last 4 years.
Last week, I wanted to buy a good student-level guitar, to replace my Antonio Arpacio which caught a cell phone hurled by an angry ex...but that's a different story. Most of the bigger guitar shops here carry the Juan Hernandez and Antonio Sanchez lines. I did some research and thought the Hernandez Profesor or Concierto would be a good choice within my budget ($2-3k). I played about 8 of these guitars in various shops and I thought they all sounded bad. Just no volume, poor tone, like there was a blanket over the instrument. I know some people like these instruments but I just couldn't see buying one.
Out of frustration I walked over to the used guitar shop in Ochanomizu and they had a Ramirez 5P, I think it was about 5 years old. This guitar had a repaired crack on the cedar top and was only about $1,100. It sounded amazing...loud, brash, aggressive. Unfortunately it seemed like the neck was warped and the action was really high, so I passed.
I was out of places to shop so I did some internet searching and found the Aura shop in Ueno. It looked like they only sold high-end instruments, but I took a drive over to check it out. It's in a residential area and kind of unexpected. The guys there didn't speak English very well but were very friendly and welcoming. They took me into a room full of Hausers, Fletas, Romanillos...the real deal, all in glass cases and very expensive. I asked if they had any student guitars. I was led to another room, with new Japanese luthier guitars, also in glass cases, which were around $5k.
I asked the salesperson if he had any guitars in my budget, and that used was fine. He took me into a third room full of used guitars in cases. I tried several Japanese and Spanish guitars of varying conditions, classicals, flemenca negras, a Conde Hermanos blanca.
Anyway, I left with a 2015 Yoshinori Morii classical, spruce and rosewood, in excellent condition with a really cool case, and I paid less than $2k. It's handmade and appears to be French Polish or really thin nitro. It sounds amazing, it's loud and lightweight, and I couldn't be happier!