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Author Topic: new member / Japanese acoustics  (Read 728 times)

Offline gaffers

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new member / Japanese acoustics
« on: October 04, 2017, 12:20:21 PM »
Hi,
I'm new here and I've been trying to research a guitar I've recently bought.
It is a early D30S (version 1) with rosewood sides solid top herringbone edging "v" profile neck and a FLAT martin style head stock with a 4 digit serial number, hard to read could be 1101 or 7101?? the wasburn site says 4 digit serial is late 70's to early 80's
From various posts I've read and even the wikki pedia the early washburns were made by S Yari & son and yet, some posts here seem to suggest that these guitars were built by yamaki which confuses me somewhat .
I own a S YAIRI and aYamaki branded guitar.
 There are similarities with the construction of the bracing and manufacturing idiosyncrasies of the Yari and the washburn D30s  BUT the yamaki has nothing in common with the washburn. I realise that this is not an accurate indication of manufacture but does anyone know for certain who made the D30s  (version 1) interviews with a mr smith and the wiki artical all seem to suggest that the early acoustics from 1978 to mid 80's were YARI sourced guitars.
I played some Washburn guitars that were all brand new in the mid 80's and they all had the slight cutaway in the headstock in the washburn style
In an interview with Rudy Schacher he says that in the beginning Yari made virtually the whole product line of acoustics.I also read an artical with Jim Smith the washburn collector and he also states guitars from the late 70's to mid 80's were YARI made.
Could anyone out there help me to get to the bottom of this japanese puzzle?
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 01:37:53 PM by gaffers »

Offline YerDugliness

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2017, 05:20:41 PM »
If you've talked with Jim Smith, Sr. you've spoken with one of the most knowledgeable parties regarding Washburn history...perhaps Ship of Fools will chime in, as he is also very knowledgeable about Washburn's early production and history.

Cheers!

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Offline gaffers

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2017, 05:44:41 PM »
I have not been fortunate enough to speak to Mr smith,
 I was referring to an article I came across in my attempts to find an answer.
I can find no posts concerning S.Yairi Washburns but clearly they exist !
 I wonder how many people think they have a Yamaki guitar(great guitars in there own right I have one) when in fact they have a HAND MADE  Yairi guitar! one of the best luthiers in japan who made seemingly many washburn guitars also made some morris top end models as well as most of the lowden guitars between 1980/85

Offline YerDugliness

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 05:34:44 PM »
Have you done a forum search? I just did and got a LOT of hits on Yairi.

The search tab is on the grey function bar at top

...home...help...search...profile...

My search was for "Washburn Yairi"

There will be 100 times the orange "Washburn" hits than there will by orange "Yairi" hits, but there are quite a few. Try it, you'll like it!!

Cheers!!

Dugly 8)
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 05:49:54 PM by YerDugliness »
YerDugliness,Esq./Post No Bills
Guitar Playin' FOOL, attempting to age disgracefully!
Washburns:WD32SW,D61SW,C124SWK,
WMJ21S(2),WGO26SCE,WSJ60SKELITE,WG26S.
Other fine acoustics:Breedlove custom shop 000,Hippner #506 Hauser,Takamini 2005 LTD,Epi Masterbilt AJ500RC

Offline gaffers

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2017, 10:50:02 AM »
Hi
Ive been researching my D30S and have found the catalog with the Yamaki built electric guitars pictured with my guitar and I understand why People believe these acoustics were made by yamaki but I still have my doubts, the catalogue was for washburn guitars and there is nothing to show that they were all made in the same factory only that they were available to buy in the same year.(fender catalogs show japanese and korean models available in the same year)
I still have been unable to find a yamaki which has similar construction methods, the perfiling etc were pretty standard everywhere but the bracing differed from one manufacturer to another and the bracing on my guitar does not match any yamaki examples i have found so far. This and the four digit serial and the goth rather than the washburn machine heads and the lack of the washburn"w" on the heel of the guitar coupled with the comments on this site from knowledgeable people, concerning early post 1974 made washburns being sourced from YARI & Son Still has me feeling that the version 1 D30S guitars were Yairi not Yamaki, does anybody out there have one of these guitars or any info that could answer the Question 

Offline Tony Raven

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2017, 02:52:31 PM »
I wonder how many people think they have a Yamaki guitar(great guitars in there own right I have one) when in fact they have a HAND MADE  Yairi guitar!
FWIW, there is no such thing as a "machine-made" guitar. And even a small luthiery may use assembly-line techniques, with a dozen or more people working on a given guitar as it proceeds.
Quote
one of the best luthiers in japan who made seemingly many washburn guitars
Actually, "Yairi" was THREE top luthiers. Washburn obtained instruments from Sadao Yairi, assisted by son Hiroshi. Meanwhile, Alvarez imported guitars built by Kazuo Yairi, Sadao's nephew.

The "Yamaki thing" has become blown far out of proportion. To date, the best credible research says the original Beckmen dreadnoughts (1974-1976) were mostly Washburn-branded standard-run Yamaki. It's unclear that Schlacher maintained that particular relationship, but the better Wing models (1978-1984) were likely Yamaki (in part considering similarities to their Daion brand).
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Offline gaffers

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2017, 06:34:38 PM »
Hi Tony and thanks for the feedback,!
 I don't want to be too misunderstood the D30s version one is a really good guitar with a soft "v" neck and a rich deep tone with excelent workmanship all round, I am lucky enough to own several japanese guitars a Yamaki YW30 a Tahara made Nashville N30D a Yairi made morris W39M and a couple of Suzuki's, and I just get the feeling that the washburn D30S (version 1) is a Yairi made model I am not in any way trying to criticize the Yamaki guitars they are really good in there own right but I dont think that my D30S(v1) is one of them somehow .
Also I thought that the washburn history says that TERADA made the original  Beckmen dreadnoughts (1974-1976)
 
 "Tom Beckmen and his wife Judy Fink Beckmen in 1972 left careers as music salesman and teacher (respectively) to launch a wholesale music business in Los Angeles, Beckmen Musical Instruments. It was Beckmen Music that resurrected the Washburn name, and beginning in 1974 applied it to a series of quality imported acoustic guitars, made in Japan by Terada, as well as a selection of mandolins and banjos."
 
  some of the photo's Ive seen clearly have all the hallmarks of Terada guitars especially the models with truss rod cover at the head of the neck which have the distinctive TERADA design. Unless of course terada was owned by yamaki at some time but I ve not seen anything that suggests this.

Offline gaffers

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2017, 06:55:44 PM »
HI please note I am probably wrong about all of the above MY info comes from the net and I am in no way an expert on washburn or japanese manufacturers tho I have been palying and buying guitars for 45 years

Offline ship of fools

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2017, 10:29:45 AM »
I have it on very reliable source that yours is a Yamaki made/ as for Rudy maintaining the relationship with Yamaki  well we all know that didnt last forever from what I remember from one of the other employee's from US Music was that it was the early 80's when other Japanese makers were given the opportunity to come up with proto types for Washburn as for any other productions is unknown by me.you have some very nice made Japanese made guitars
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Offline gaffers

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2017, 06:43:18 PM »
Hi
Thanks for the info !
So it's a Yamaki after all; it's very similar to the Yamaki Y40D except for the internal bracing'
 I am still a little confused as to why Yamaki would change the internal bracing, to something thinner sculpted and more expensive and technicaly difficult when almost everything else on the guitar was left the same
 Thanks for the complement on my Japanese selection,the rarest is probably the nashville N30D its a guild replica ,and of amazing quality. I have been very lucky with my Japanese acoustics, I have over 30 guitars and a very understanding wife. who accepts my incurable GAS (guitar acquisition syndrome) with remarkable patience and understanding I suppose i was just born lucky!

Offline Pike

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2017, 05:24:01 PM »
Yamaki built the Japanese Washburn acoustics but not the Beckmen Imports. I've owned both and still have an early Prairie Song custom. The Yamaki's were superior guitars, the Beckmen's just OK, not sure what factory they came out of but not Yairi. The Yairi's, like the Daion's and Yamaki's were of better quality. Matsumoku built the wing series electrics.
 

Offline gaffers

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2017, 06:45:38 PM »
HI Pike,
 I realise that i am corresponding with senior members ,But if Yamaki made all of the early guitars D30S,Prairie Song custom, then which models was Jim smith referring to in the article i saw on the net some of which is quoted on this site.
Per the inarguable Jim Smith Sr -
QUOTE"Where did their imports come from?
It started in Japan in 1974 with the Yairis, [Sadao and Hiroshi] who were a father and son team in that started making guitars for Washburn in ’74. I think they did most of the product line through the mid-1980s until their factory burned down. And then after that Washburn was looking for the cheapest vendor with the best quality. After that it was probably Korea, starting around 2000."

IF as the owner of the company and one of the most knowledgeable washburn collectors both say YAIRI made the early guitars which models were they!??

Of the two manufacturers Yari Probably had the edge on yamaki, but they would have been very close vis a vis quality,I wonder if the D30s and the prairie song etc could have been made by both factories?? washburn would not be the first guitar company to have the same models made in two different factories.
 my research into Japanese guitars suggests that Yamaki and Daion merged into one company with Daion making almost exclusively electrics whilst yamaki made the acoustics.
Trying to find out which Japanese manufacturer made which guitars is like trying to find your way in the worlds craziest maze  logic wont help it's mostly informed guesswork. but the beckman guitars do look like TERADA models .
 I Have a couple of guitars made by matsumoko "westone thunder " bass and a "westone thunder" guitar the wing series do look like matsumoku models but there is also a great deal of debate on that subject, although I have read that SUZUKI bought some unfinished bodies from DAION that looked just like the wing series bodies, It's all becoming as clear as mud you might say

Offline gaffers

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2017, 10:31:15 AM »
HI bigcity2
 This certainly debunks that article but does this mean that all other references to Yari are false:
This is from a post by Tony Raven a senior member who also seems to have collated much of the info on the wikkipedia site. "re serial numbers for bigginners"

quote
" Jim Smith Sr. is (was?) a legendary Washburn collector, with "over 500" guitars stashed in two warehouses, so I take him at his word. Among other things, he says the better acoustics 1974 to about 1982 were built by Sadao & Hiroshi Yairi. Smith rates most import Washburn acoustics 1974-1996 as "of very good to excellent quality".
Smith also says that "probably 60%" of Washburn models had a single production run of 200 units, & were never reordered if sales were slow. So, there's some quality Washies out there that are MUCH rarer than most "limited edition"models."

He also says in the same post .

"mostly, we have no idea where most models were built. Sometimes we get lucky & the s/n has a factory-code prefix or an old press release says where it was built or someone's got one with the "made in" paper tag still attached.

However you seem to be saying that Yamaki had the contract to export Washburn branded guitars and that could have been made by  Yamaki or by any number of Japanese manufacturers,including Yari  and that no one at washburn could know who built what ?.
 IF the Yari connection is a myth what is it's source??.
OR was this misquoted article the source for the whole misconception concerning Washburn manufacturers from 1974 /1980's.
Can anyone out there give us a definitive answer???

Offline Pike

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2017, 10:50:43 AM »
There are no other Japanese or Korean built Washburns that have come up to the quality of the Yamaki builds. I've owned most all of them, and most of the Beckmen's. The Beckmen's were not high quality and were probably not built by Yairi and I haven't seen anything Japanese built other than the Yamaki's that were built to such high standards. I doubt seriously Yairi built any Washburns but nobody really knows for sure exactly who built what back then. Here is a Washburn Prairie Song Custom in Yamaki garb. http://www.ebay.com/itm/YAMAKI-Y60D-Japan-Vintage-Acoustic-Guitar-Used-Rare-/142533026448?hash=item212fa16290:g:LC0AAOSwHERZzc6k Same exact guitar. Cleared over wood pick guard and all. And here is a guitar, except for the pick guard, identical to the Washburn W600, three piece back version built by Suzuki. http://www.ebay.com/itm/ThreeS-W-300-Natural-1980s-Rare-VINTAGE-Acoustic-Guitar-Good-Condition-JAPAN/263106430140?rt=nc&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D41451%26meid%3D11ae8dea817d4f86b9500b7dadb30ba3%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D263219255798&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851  I owned one of the two piece back versions. Just average.

« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 11:32:30 AM by Pike »
 

Offline Tony Raven

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Re: new member / Japanese acoustics
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2017, 02:56:19 AM »
{Ugh -- the stuff that happens when my browser locks up during a reply... :-[ Let's go again:}

the Yairi connection to Washburn was likely a quote from the inaccurate article that was published in Premier Guitar.
Yah, though I don't have my notes handy, that is likely where I got the notion. Corrections will be made.

That photo is highly instructive!! I never would have thought that a factory would install the frets in a neck that's already been bound. :o (As much as I like the look & the feel of a bound neck, they are sometimes a total PITA to refret.)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 08:55:30 AM by Tony Raven »
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