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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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:59 pm

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:57 pm
630mm wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:26 pm
I didn't mean to alarm you. I was pointing out a gap in my knowledge...there are probably many.
Don't worry, 630mm, everything is clarified now. Just today I received an e-mail from Buyee saying that the guitar has arrived to their warehouse. They are now packaging it in preparation for its flight to Lisbon. I shall have it within a couple of weeks, I hope :D.

Concerning you Matsuoka No.30/1973, did you check if is is made of solid rosewood in the back and sides?
The only vintage Matsuoka that I've seen with solid woods is the No.80 from 1973. And even that one I'm not 100% sure about. Double plate was common practice at the Matsuoka factory back then. The tops are always solid though.

/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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Jorge Oliveira
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:06 pm

rinneby wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:59 pm
Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:57 pm
630mm wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:26 pm
I didn't mean to alarm you. I was pointing out a gap in my knowledge...there are probably many.
Don't worry, 630mm, everything is clarified now. Just today I received an e-mail from Buyee saying that the guitar has arrived to their warehouse. They are now packaging it in preparation for its flight to Lisbon. I shall have it within a couple of weeks, I hope :D.

Concerning you Matsuoka No.30/1973, did you check if is is made of solid rosewood in the back and sides?
The only vintage Matsuoka that I've seen with solid woods is the No.80 from 1973. And even that one I'm not 100% sure about. Double plate was common practice at the Matsuoka factory back then. The tops are always solid though.

/Jon
Thanks, Jon. But what you mean by double plate? A thin foil of rosewood glued to some other non-precious wood?

Regards,

Jorge
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/51, Spr, RW B&S, Tokio, JPN (under repair)
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40
1987 - Aria A558, 650/51, Ced, lam RW B&S, Nagoya, JPN
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CAN Ced, MDG RW B&S, Banyoles, ESP

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rinneby
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by rinneby » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:07 pm

double post.
Last edited by rinneby on Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:08 pm

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:06 pm
rinneby wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:59 pm
Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:57 pm


Don't worry, 630mm, everything is clarified now. Just today I received an e-mail from Buyee saying that the guitar has arrived to their warehouse. They are now packaging it in preparation for its flight to Lisbon. I shall have it within a couple of weeks, I hope :D.

Concerning you Matsuoka No.30/1973, did you check if is is made of solid rosewood in the back and sides?
The only vintage Matsuoka that I've seen with solid woods is the No.80 from 1973. And even that one I'm not 100% sure about. Double plate was common practice at the Matsuoka factory back then. The tops are always solid though.

/Jon
Thanks, Jon. But what you mean by double plate? A thin foil of rosewood glued to some other non-precious wood?

Regards,

Jorge
No just two solid pieces of wood glued together for better durability, often from the same species.

/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.

Geordie
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Location: Newcastle on Tyne. England.

Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Geordie » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:43 am

Jon
I've read about CG's being either single or double skinned for the back and sides and wondered how one decides visually, which is used. In my own guitar, looking at the internal appearance of both b & s, the grain of the rosewood appears to match the external grain pattern leading me to believe it is "solid" or single skin, wood. I read that the Japanese luthiers made double skin b & s for local sales to strengthen their products because of the humidity in Japan. If they made CG's for export, would they necessarily make them with double skin, or to bring in another often used term, laminated b & s? The term laminated brings in mental pictures of furniture and other thick skinned products, which is possibly why the term "double plate" was coined. Can you or anyone else give a definite way of determining the construction from visual evidence?

dandan
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by dandan » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:28 pm

Geordie wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:43 am
Can you or anyone else give a definite way of determining the construction from visual evidence?
The short answer is no. There is no definitive way of determining whether back and sides are single or double plate from visual evidence, as double plate can be constructed in such a way as to have matching grain inside and out. Where Japanese guitars are concerned you can use other information such as price point. For instance where the Matsuoka Jon mentioned is concerned, it is reasonable to assume it is double plate as no other luthiers were building with solid Jacaranda at that time and price point.
1969 Rokutaro Nakade A9
1966 Sakazo Nakade model D
1977 Aria AG80 (Masaru Takeiri)
1988 Hiroumi Yamaguchi SS

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Jorge Oliveira
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:16 pm

dandan wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:28 pm
Geordie wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:43 am
Can you or anyone else give a definite way of determining the construction from visual evidence?
The short answer is no. There is no definitive way of determining whether back and sides are single or double plate from visual evidence, as double plate can be constructed in such a way as to have matching grain inside and out. Where Japanese guitars are concerned you can use other information such as price point. For instance where the Matsuoka Jon mentioned is concerned, it is reasonable to assume it is double plate as no other luthiers were building with solid Jacaranda at that time and price point.
I don't get it... :(. Assuming the thickness of the back and sides of the guitar is the same in solid or in double plate wood, if the two plates are of the same matching grain wood, the amount (weight) of wood used would be the same, therefore, the bill of materials used would also be the same, no? Why then a difference in price from solid wood versus double plate? Am I missing something :)?
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/51, Spr, RW B&S, Tokio, JPN (under repair)
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40
1987 - Aria A558, 650/51, Ced, lam RW B&S, Nagoya, JPN
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CAN Ced, MDG RW B&S, Banyoles, ESP

Geordie
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Geordie » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:41 pm

Dandan & Jorge
I don't get it either. I wrote a piece on my guitar's history (p. 34 on this site) and I have yet to find out more. I contacted the Japanese distributor but they have now closed their export department and all catalogues and/or details of my instrument have been destroyed. So, I am unable to ascertain the price it sold for or find any construction details at all and successive web searches have failed to find another sample of this guitar. George Lowden says very few of the classical guitars he designed were made and now almost forty years later, they seem extra rare. So how can I, or for that matter, anyone else, say it is or it isn't solid or laminated back and sides? I'd love to know but what matters most is how it plays and how it sounds which, to me, is exceptional.

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eno
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by eno » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:40 am

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:16 pm
I don't get it... :(. Assuming the thickness of the back and sides of the guitar is the same in solid or in double plate wood, if the two plates are of the same matching grain wood, the amount (weight) of wood used would be the same, therefore, the bill of materials used would also be the same, no? Why then a difference in price from solid wood versus double plate? Am I missing something :)?
I don't know much about guitar construction but I've read that it's much harder to do and takes more time, therefore more expensive, to bend and shape a thick plate of wood then to bend and shape two half-thick pieces. I also read some claims that there is no audible difference in tone between laminated and solid back and side guitars that are otherwise the same. I have never done such comparison myself so I don't know if it's true or not.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Masaru Kohno No.6 1967
Rokutaro Nakade 1967, 1962

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Jorge Oliveira
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:25 pm

eno wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:40 am
Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:16 pm
I don't get it... :(. Assuming the thickness of the back and sides of the guitar is the same in solid or in double plate wood, if the two plates are of the same matching grain wood, the amount (weight) of wood used would be the same, therefore, the bill of materials used would also be the same, no? Why then a difference in price from solid wood versus double plate? Am I missing something :)?
I don't know much about guitar construction but I've read that it's much harder to do and takes more time, therefore more expensive, to bend and shape a thick plate of wood then to bend and shape two half-thick pieces. I also read some claims that there is no audible difference in tone between laminated and solid back and side guitars that are otherwise the same. I have never done such comparison myself so I don't know if it's true or not.
I also don't know much about guitar construction. I'll forward, then, these questions to my good friend and luthier Christian Schwengeler... :)
ChristianSchwengeler wrote: Hi Christian, that's me, Jorge. Please read this...
I apologise for quoting you, it is not proper nor polite :oops:, but that's the expedite way to bring you and your expertise into this discussion. The question is how to distinguish between laminated rosewood in the back and sides of a guitar, double plate rosewood and solid rosewood (or any other wood, for that matter).

Laminated rosewood, I believe, is a thin foil (2 or 3 mm) of rosewood glued to some other, thicker, non-precious type of wood. So the rosewood foil would just be there for aesthetic purposes. That would be the case of my Aria A558.

Then we have the double plate rosewood, in which two thinner plates of rosewood would be glued and bent together to form the sides and back of the guitar. The luthier could even go to the extreme of matching the grain of these two plates, so that, at the naked eye, it could not be distinguished it from a single plate, solid, rosewood. Apparently, the factory of Ryoji Matsuoka did use this technique so as to make the instruments more resistant to the high humidity of Japan.

Finally, we have the well known solid plate rosewood used in the sides and back of the guitar.

The question is, then, how can we distinguish between these three instances without "invading" the instrument. Moreover, why is a solid rosewood guitar more expensive than a double plate if, in the end, the amount of wood employed is the same (assuming, like many say, that the quality of the sound produced by both is indistinguishable)? Again, Christian, are we missing something?
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/51, Spr, RW B&S, Tokio, JPN (under repair)
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40
1987 - Aria A558, 650/51, Ced, lam RW B&S, Nagoya, JPN
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CAN Ced, MDG RW B&S, Banyoles, ESP

madrilla
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by madrilla » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:02 pm

There are also the doble tapa guitars where the back is laminated with a different wood like cypress or a soundboard wood. Contreras and Burguet use this in their more expensive guitars as they are said to produce more volume. I'm interested to know if any japanese guitar makers that use this method.

dandan
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by dandan » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:32 pm

madrilla wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:02 pm
There are also the doble tapa guitars where the back is laminated with a different wood like cypress or a soundboard wood. Contreras and Burguet use this in their more expensive guitars as they are said to produce more volume. I'm interested to know if any japanese guitar makers that use this method.
I know of no Japanese luthiers that have copied the Contreras "doble tapa", with a layer of spruce or cedar inside the back, but several have copied the Ramirez technique of lining the sides with Cypress.
1969 Rokutaro Nakade A9
1966 Sakazo Nakade model D
1977 Aria AG80 (Masaru Takeiri)
1988 Hiroumi Yamaguchi SS

Geordie
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Geordie » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:09 pm

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:25 pm
eno wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:40 am
Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:16 pm
I don't get it... :(. Assuming the thickness of the back and sides of the guitar is the same in solid or in double plate wood, if the two plates are of the same matching grain wood, the amount (weight) of wood used would be the same, therefore, the bill of materials used would also be the same, no? Why then a difference in price from solid wood versus double plate? Am I missing something :)?
I don't know much about guitar construction but I've read that it's much harder to do and takes more time, therefore more expensive, to bend and shape a thick plate of wood then to bend and shape two half-thick pieces. I also read some claims that there is no audible difference in tone between laminated and solid back and side guitars that are otherwise the same. I have never done such comparison myself so I don't know if it's true or not.
I also don't know much about guitar construction. I'll forward, then, these questions to my good friend and luthier Christian Schwengeler... :)
ChristianSchwengeler wrote: Hi Christian, that's me, Jorge. Please read this...
I apologise for quoting you, it is not proper nor polite :oops:, but that's the expedite way to bring you and your expertise into this discussion. The question is how to distinguish between laminated rosewood in the back and sides of a guitar, double plate rosewood and solid rosewood (or any other wood, for that matter).

Laminated rosewood, I believe, is a thin foil (2 or 3 mm) of rosewood glued to some other, thicker, non-precious type of wood. So the rosewood foil would just be there for aesthetic purposes. That would be the case of my Aria A558.

Then we have the double plate rosewood, in which two thinner plates of rosewood would be glued and bent together to form the sides and back of the guitar. The luthier could even go to the extreme of matching the grain of these two plates, so that, at the naked eye, it could not be distinguished it from a single plate, solid, rosewood. Apparently, the factory of Ryoji Matsuoka did use this technique so as to make the instruments more resistant to the high humidity of Japan.

Finally, we have the well known solid plate rosewood used in the sides and back of the guitar.

The question is, then, how can we distinguish between these three instances without "invading" the instrument. Moreover, why is a solid rosewood guitar more expensive than a double plate if, in the end, the amount of wood employed is the same (assuming, like many say, that the quality of the sound produced by both is indistinguishable)? Again, Christian, are we missing something?
That's great, Jorge and I look forward to Christian's reply.
Geordie

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mordent
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by mordent » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:34 pm

Most of the Ramirez A1 models had laminated or if you prefer the term "double skin" back and also,I believe sides, purely for the stability that such construction offers to large humidify changes. I suspect that the myth of the solid back and sides and consequent price differential has more to do with justifying a higher price tag than any increase in volume or sound quality.. In any case I thought that this argument had been laid to rest by Torres with his Papier mache experiment.
Chopin used to sleep with wooden wedges between his fingers to increase their span--now there's a thought !

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Beowulf
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Re: We who love Japanese classical guitars - Delcamp

Post by Beowulf » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:31 pm

I'm not sure that the solid plate is necessarily less resistant to high humidity than the double plate. Although perhaps an indication of what constitutes high humidity is necessary? My Japanese guitar (Yamaha 1971 GC-10) has solid plate Brazilian rosewood back and sides. Over the last 46 years it has been through humidity swings from 25%-30% (yes, during many Canadian winters I neglected to humidify the instrument) to 80%-100% (during very humid summers) and there is no indication of any problem in the joints, braces, wood, etc.

Mind you, I did notice a soft sound in the guitar interior...something light moving around inside as I tilted the guitar...a few weeks ago. I checked with a flashlight and a small piece of green painter's tape had found its way inside. It was rolling around due to having collected a large amount of dust, animal hair, etc. I guess this is a way to clean out your instrument's interior and reduce any fuzziness in the sound... :lol:
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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