We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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joelmalit
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Location: Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by joelmalit » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:22 am

rinneby wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:41 pm
joelmalit wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:32 pm
Hi Jon,
May I ask what is your loudest Japanese cg so far.
Thanks
Hi joelmalit. I'm not 100% sure. But I think it's my Hiroumi Yamaguchi No.SS or maybe my Kazuo Yairi YC-250. Sometimes one can confuse loudness with brightness, so that needs to be taken into account too. My Masaru Matano Clase 600 has a pretty strong/bright voice too. However, I tend to like guitars that are more on the warm side, than bright/loud.

Why are you looking for a loud guitar?

/Jon
I am taking your comments or reviews of your collected Japanese guitars as good reference. Not so many members here share their experiences with their Japanese guitars as detailed as yours. I have a couple of loud Japanese guitars and I like them all. I find a loud sounding guitar more advantageous than the sound of a normal high-end guitar, longer sustain sound is just secondary to me, followed by beautiful sound and easy playability, and so on..... cosmetics is the least and I don't really care if the guitar is full of scratches as long as it is still works fine and durable.

In my experiences when I was still active in guitar playing some decades ago, playing onstage, or on a normal party crowds, or having gigs with some fellow guitarists... a beautiful normal sounding guitar is almost useless or worthless on those occasions unless there is an amplification equipment. People or audiences tend to ignore the guitarist because they simply cannot hear the music. Those who wants to hear often yelled at me that they cannot hear what I was playing, and one from the audience got up on stage holding the mic closer to my guitar until I finished playing. The first Japanese guitar I encounter was a Suzuki guitar, I was so surprised that its sound is so loud that it can fill the big hall of a church even without amplification. I was sitting at the back side near the wall then and people were looking around to see where the sound is coming from.

On some gigs with friends, its my normal habit to check the strings if they are all in tune, plucked the bass E ... and my friends were shocked in amazement and when we compared it to the sound of two other guitars, I've noticed that one of my friends became unhappy with his guitar, and his guitar is roughly six times more expensive than mine.

In doing some recordings at home, a loud sounding guitar is more of an advantage. I can put the mic a little farther away from the soundhole so there is less fingernail sound that can be picked up by the mic.

A loud sounding guitar still sounds like a guitar. If its sound is horrible or bad, I still can improve it or make it beautiful
somehow by experimenting with strings, nut, and most of the times with different saddles (bone, plastic, tusq, putting a strip of fabric or paper under the saddle, adjusting the saddle height, etc) until I'm satisfied. If those experiments didn't work or of less benefits, I may need to adapt with some right hand techniques to make the sound beautiful. On some of my beautiful sounding guitars which are typically not having the volume that I want, there is simply nothing I can do to improve the volume of their sound. They are just good enough for me to use inside a quiet room for practicing.
1995 Carl Hellweg-Dieter Hopf CS38, Yusuke Kyo N-12, Ryoji Matsuoka M80R, Kodaira AST-40, Meiko 1967 by Masaru Matano, Yamaha G120A, Yamaha CG131S, Tokai L-50, Fernades GC-15, 1966 Kasuga 80, Terada 700, Craftman C35S, other japanese vintage guitars

Kohntarkosz
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Kohntarkosz » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:28 am

rinneby wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:43 am
Kohntarkosz wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:41 am
rinneby wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:38 am

No, not really. I've just seen that guitar on their page. Looked like a nice one! Maybe a new/younger luthier perhaps?

/Jon
In his Facebook picture he looks like an older gentleman. Most of his friends there seem to be Japanese classical guitarists and luthiers.
Thank you for the info. Maybe you can contact him, ask a little of his history? Maybe he has been building for a long time?

Also a picture or two of the guitar would be nice!

/Jon
Yes Jon...I sent him a message on Facebook a few days ago but I haven't heard back.
He is from Marugame in Shikoku.
I am out at sea right now so it's difficult to get a picture uploaded. I will try though.

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:09 pm

New guitar, soon on it's way from Japan to Sweden: A rare Saburo Nogami 野上三郎 from 1968, made by the man himself. Mr Nogami was the first apprentice at the Masaru Kohno workshop, where he worked from 1959 to the beginning of the 70s. He then joined the Zen-On factory where he was overseeing the guitar production. He also continued to use his own name as a brand during the 70s and possibly the 80s, but I suspect he didn't actually build these guitars, maybe some of the really high-end models. Of this I'm not sure. Mr Nogami was also a good friend of Kazuo Yairi and he supervised Yairi's factory in Gifu for many years. However, this particular guitar was entirely built by Saburo Nogami at the Kohno workshop and it's easy to see the resemblance to the early Kono-models from the 60s:

Image
Image
Image

All he best from Sweden
/Jon
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

Kohntarkosz
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Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:58 am

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Kohntarkosz » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:19 am

Very nice Jon!

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andreas777
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by andreas777 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:40 am

rinneby wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:09 pm
New guitar, soon on it's way from Japan to Sweden: A rare Saburo Nogami 野上三郎 from 1968...
Congratulation! That looks like a very interesting collectible item.
I already can see a Japanese guitar museum in Sweden in the far future. Have you thought about display cabinets for each of your guitars?
21 classical guitars, soon 22 :-D, 1 digital piano - no TV, no radio

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:36 am

Kohntarkosz wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:19 am
Very nice Jon!
Let's hope so ;) We will know for sure in two weeks or so. I'll get back with a little review as usual.

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

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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rinneby
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Location: Sweden

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:54 am

andreas777 wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:40 am
rinneby wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:09 pm
New guitar, soon on it's way from Japan to Sweden: A rare Saburo Nogami 野上三郎 from 1968...
Congratulation! That looks like a very interesting collectible item.
I already can see a Japanese guitar museum in Sweden in the far future. Have you thought about display cabinets for each of your guitars?
The thing is I cannot keep every guitar for obvious reasons, I simply don't have the space either. I actually have no interest in "collecting" Japanese guitars per se, just to have them stored somewhere or for display. What I want is to try out as many as possible, just because of pure interest. Then I keep the ones that I really fall in love with.

However, I have plans on writing a book about all important Japanese luthiers from the 50s and onward. But that is another story.

All the best from Sweden
/Jon
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

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 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:58 pm

rinneby wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:54 am
However, I have plans on writing a book about all important Japanese luthiers from the 50s and onward. But that is another story.
Then I will be one of the first readers of your book :-)
You could make some 'standardized' pictures of your guitars (especially before selling them) and add them to your book to the corresponding luthier.
21 classical guitars, soon 22 :-D, 1 digital piano - no TV, no radio

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:16 pm

andreas777 wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:58 pm
rinneby wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:54 am
However, I have plans on writing a book about all important Japanese luthiers from the 50s and onward. But that is another story.
Then I will be one of the first readers of your book :-)
You could make some 'standardized' pictures of your guitars (especially before selling them) and add them to your book to the corresponding luthier.
Yes, something like that comes to mind. Too bad I sold so many already :) However, I still have pictures of many of the important ones.

Fingers crossed for the book then ;)

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

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

Carter53
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Carter53 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:09 pm

Congratulations on your acquisition Jon.
The Nogami that I recently purchased has great volume across all strings and long sustains. It may have a slight edge on my Yamaguchi. The sustains let me linger on notes for dramatic effect, especially dark, mysterious pieces such as "el testement d'amelia." It has overtones that, for lack of a better term, "shimmer" - especially the mid-tones. Very responsive with slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs, and the open harmonics are very strong, even on the 5th fret.
Because of its laminated sides and back I would not have guessed at how good it sounds. I guess I supposed most of those were at the sub-concert level.I've been wrong about that before, and this Nogami completely destroys that notion.
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 12, 2017 1:14 pm

It doesn't always have to be something "new"... Don't you just love when you pick up a guitar that you haven't played in a long time, and just feel it?

This happened to me today with my Sakazo Nakade 600 E. This guitar has great sustain and clarity, but still feels "old" and played in. Very easy on the hands. I also installed new Gotoh tuners and new strings, La Bella 2001 Medium. Sakazo is definitely one of my (quite many) favorite Japanese luthiers:

Image
Image

All the best from Sweden
/Jon
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

Carter53
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:36 pm

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Carter53 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:02 pm

The Sakazo is a beautiful guitar indeed!
1964 Sakazo Nakade "D"
1980 Kuniyoshi Matsui M-10
1975 Fernandes GC-30
1980 Cervantes MC800
2015 Viktor K. " El Vito MRC"

Carter53
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:36 pm

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Carter53 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:30 pm

I just got a "new" vintage guitar from Japan yesterday. The seller described it as a Hiroshi Yamaguchi. The pictures never displayed it out of its shabby little case so no one else bid on it when I decided to at the last moment for about $34 USD.
It was pretty dirty with old strings but I cleaned it a bit and replaced the strings with new D'addario EJ45s.

It's not like any cg I've ever owned before. It appears to be solid wood and it has an X-bracing system under its spruce top.
Can anyone translate the label for me and tell me about this bracing pattern?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
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 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:55 pm

Carter53 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:30 pm
I just got a "new" vintage guitar from Japan yesterday. The seller described it as a Hiroshi Yamaguchi. The pictures never displayed it out of its shabby little case so no one else bid on it when I decided to at the last moment for about $34 USD.
It was pretty dirty with old strings but I cleaned it a bit and replaced the strings with new D'addario EJ45s.

It's not like any cg I've ever owned before. It appears to be solid wood and it has an X-bracing system under its spruce top.
Can anyone translate the label for me and tell me about this bracing pattern?
First of all: Wow :) That is quite some catch, haha. It sure looks like a higher end model, not a student guitar. Probably from the 60s, of this I'm not sure obviously. However, the rosette reminds me of guitars from Kazuo Hashimoto. Sadly I cannot translate the label :( at least Hiroumi Yamaguchi is spelled: 山口広海. Do you like the sound? Action and frets ok?

Good work!
/Jon
Last edited by rinneby on Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1965 - Masaru Kono No.5
1975 - Atushi Nakamura No.15
1977 - Kuniharu Nobe No.15
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

Carter53
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:36 pm

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Carter53 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:06 pm

Thanks Jon. It has a very nice sound with big volume, very responsive and sharp attacks, especially in the lower registers. Fret wear is minimal. Low action, 3mm on the 6 string 12th fret. I'm actually thinking about installing a taller saddle. I want to get better tuners. It has cheap plastic buttons.
I tend to agree with you as far as the 1960's. I'm not sure where it ranks on the performance scale yet

Here's another inside view from the lower right bout.
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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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