Japanese Luthiers

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments

Japanese Luthiers

Postby jungjaesung » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:13 am

Hi everyone! I'd just like to ask for advice on Japanese guitars. I know Kohno and Sakurai are the best but what about the other guitars? does anyone have any experience with Masaji Nobe guitars, Shunpei Nishino, Osamu Tomita, Tatsuhiko Hirose, etc. Im planning to buy a Masaji Nobe no. 20 with Brazilian Rosewood Back and sides, about to check the guitar at Hong Kong next month. Advice please?
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby jungjaesung » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:15 am

Correction. 1980 Masaji Nobe No. 30. Spruce/BRW
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby petermc61 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:36 am

The first thing I would suggest is not to tell everyone on the Internet your purchasing intentions. Anybody who now searches that name of guitar will bring up your post in their search engine...

I was looking with interest at exactly the same guitar. Looks to be in very nice condition for its age. It sold for ¥300,000 in 1980, so (given Japan's hyperinflation in the mid to late seventies) it was probably pitched in the market alongside say a mid 70's Kohno 20 quality wise. The reason I mention this is there are some good condition mid 70's Kohno 20 guitars floating around for around $3.5k. Given the Kohno is better known and hence will have better resale value I would have thought you would want to negotiate the price down a bit from the asking price.

The Nobe guitars are meant to be very refined and elegant sounding, but I have not played one myself.

If you do purchase it I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Regards
Peter
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby jungjaesung » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:03 pm

There was one Masaru Kohno a few days ago that was auctioned to about $3700. this was a no. 30 with brazilian rosewood. i thought that was a good price.
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby petermc61 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:18 pm

I agree, depending on the year and condition. I guess my point was that if people know less about Nobe it won't be as easy to resell if you have to, do you might want to negotiate that as a discount up front. I know I would!!! :-)
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby RPhang » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:44 am

In japan, you can find quite a number of good luthiers that are pretty well known locally.

However, you can hardly find them or their products outside of Japan. I believe it could be due to the market demand locally. The names were mentioned are some pretty popular names in Japenese luthiery in my opinion apart from Kohno and Sakurai. The list is very long. You may be interested to know that Swedish guitarist Goran Sollscher has a kohno and a guitar by a Japanese luthier Hosino too.

There is a guy, Komori, who used to work at the Kohno factory but now he is on his own. He makes guitars that are pretty similar to Kohno.

The works of some of these luthiers are really impressive!!
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby hyz » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:59 pm

jungjaesung wrote:Correction. 1980 Masaji Nobe No. 30. Spruce/BRW


I have seen that guitar. It is over priced. The same guitar can be bought in Japan for only 50%.

As the economy becomes bad in Japan, many collectors are disposing their collection for cash.

hyz
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby jungjaesung » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:31 pm

hyz wrote:
jungjaesung wrote:Correction. 1980 Masaji Nobe No. 30. Spruce/BRW


I have seen that guitar. It is over priced. The same guitar can be bought in Japan for only 50%.

As the economy becomes bad in Japan, many collectors are disposing their collection for cash.

hyz


I already made an offer for $2500 and was accepted. Is $2500 still overpriced? Is the Masaji Nobe guitar worth the money?
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby petermc61 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:49 pm

jungjaesung wrote:
hyz wrote:
jungjaesung wrote:Correction. 1980 Masaji Nobe No. 30. Spruce/BRW


I have seen that guitar. It is over priced. The same guitar can be bought in Japan for only 50%.

As the economy becomes bad in Japan, many collectors are disposing their collection for cash.

hyz


I already made an offer for $2500 and was accepted. Is $2500 still overpriced? Is the Masaji Nobe guitar worth the money?


What a dilemma. I hope hyz comes back to this thread to respond quickly as the comments above look very generic and may be causing unnecessary angst to jungjaesung. The real question for hyz is whether he actually played the guitar and thought it a very poor sample or closely inspected it and found some serious structural problem.

If indeed there are guitars in Japan, in excellent condition, being sold for half the rest of world market price then let me know which dealers (with some basic English at least) and I'll clean them out. I'd love a mid seventies or sixties Kohno 15-30 (or two) for under $2k!!

In the absence of more definitive information from hyz could I just offer the following observations. The guitar sold for $3900 in 1980 (with today's exchange rate admittedly) plus you have 30+ years inflation. The cheapest new guitar from Nobe now is $6700, and his model with better tuners and Brazilian is $10,800. Over recent years I can only find a couple of Nobe listed for sale on the net with asking prices of $3500 to $4500, but I am uncertain of their condition. The seller asked $3800. Given all the above, and assuming it is in the very good condition the seller describes it, a negotiated price of $2500 seems pretty good to me and probably already reflects the discount hyz refers to due to the depressed Jananese economy etc

Just my views sitting on the outside looking in to this discussion.

Jungjaesung, the real test is to go and look at her and play her and then ask yourself the question - can I get a better guitar from what I want elsewhere for $2500? The answer to that question tells you whether you should proceed.

Cheers
Peter
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby jungjaesung » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:33 pm

The guitar looks pretty mint to me. The seller is also kind hearted guy, offering to let me try out the guitar first before buying it. That is why I am going to Hong Kong next month. Have you played a Nobe yourself? How do they stand up against mid seventie Kohno's? I also have a question about comparison between Masaru Kohno's and Sakurai Kohnos. How do the Kohno 15-30 guitars stand up to Sakurai Kohno's Maestro model?
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby hyz » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:42 pm

jungjaesung wrote:
hyz wrote:
jungjaesung wrote:Correction. 1980 Masaji Nobe No. 30. Spruce/BRW


I have seen that guitar. It is over priced. The same guitar can be bought in Japan for only 50%.

As the economy becomes bad in Japan, many collectors are disposing their collection for cash.

hyz


I already made an offer for $2500 and was accepted. Is $2500 still overpriced? Is the Masaji Nobe guitar worth the money?


Nobe is not the top tier maker in Japan. A guitar of that age in Japan will not command that price. I am not saying the guitar is no good, I am just saying the price is on the high side. For me, I would only pay between 1500-1800 for this guitar.

Bear this in mind, there is always good bargain for Japan guitars in Japan than anywhere else in the world. There are few shops in Japan I know of can offer tremendous bargain for that seller to make handsome margin out of it.

hyz
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby RPhang » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:32 am

In my opinion $2500 seems pretty Ok if the guitar is in very good condition and well taken care off...

of course it would be even better if one can try the guitar before buying.
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby jungjaesung » Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:16 am

yes, i will try the guitar before buying it. the seller agreed to this. kinda excited actually
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby petermc61 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:14 am

jungjaesung wrote:yes, i will try the guitar before buying it. the seller agreed to this. kinda excited actually


You might also go home with one of his Kohno's instead!!! :-)
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Re: Japanese Luthiers

Postby RPhang » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:55 am

I live in HK. It is interesting to know who the seller might be ...
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