LBrandt wrote:I was under the impression that the GC41 was their top of the line guitar.
The GC71 was the top of the line. The GC41 was the top of the line for those with poly finishes. They've apparently been replaced by the GC82 and the GC42.
I think the 70 and 60 series are French-polished (obviously the 80 series as well). The 50 series uses a lacquer finish The 40, 30 and 20 series use poly. That's my best understanding of the Japanese Yamaha site's specs.
The 70 series costs 1,680,000 Yen or $20,274. Its real street price might be in the range of $15,000. But that's still a huge premium compared to most luthier-built instruments that you could get.
I don't know who would buy a GC71 or GC82 at a price like that. Maybe Yamaha gives them to some performers for PR. They gave John Denver their top-of-the line custom L53 steel string and he loved it so much that he performed with it for several years and endorsed their guitars. That supposedly gave Yamaha a substantial boost in sales for their lower-end steel strings. Past recipients of Yamaha's high-end classicals supposedly included Narciso Yepes (10-string, Yamaha claims that he endorsed it over the Spanish-made 10-strings), Segovia (but he didn't endorse it), Paco de Lucia (he got a flamenco guitar but I don't know if he ever performed with it), Leo Brouwer (performed with it), Baden Powell (performed with it), Shin-ichi Fukuda (performed with it), Baden Powell (performed with it) and Liona Boyd (performed with it and endorsed it).
"The hardest time for most guitar players is the beginning stage, because it is all investment and no return." - Charlotte Adams
"It's not your guitar or lute that matters but what you can do with it." - Moi