Kohnosan sings again!

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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freestroke
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Kohnosan sings again!

Post by freestroke » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:26 am

Bear in mind, Kohnosan. my 1974 Masaru Kohno No. 20 spruce top, sat alone in his case for many years, with only the occasional look at the outside world. And I think he went to bed sick, too. :cry:

I quit playing in 1981, mainly because I had become frustrated with my left pinky, but that's another matter entirely. But even before then, my guitar wasn't sounding as good as it should. Just wasn't. But, I wasn't playing any more.

When I pulled it out of darkness again last year, it did sound okay. But, being a fairly primo instrument, I just thought maybe it had old age problems, and would never be right again. Guitars don't last forever. Sigh.

But I got to noticing the frets, and there were some pretty deep grooves. I'm sure that with a little more dedictation than I had, merely mastering the 120 Giuliani studies would carve some pretty hefty notches in those lower frets, eh? And I'd actually played this guitar rather a lot from '74 to '81. So I thought -- maybe something could be done. And I got in touch with:

fingerlakesguitarrepair.com

And Nate Smith saved me from sorrow! Khonosan can really make some noise! And it's on pitch now! And those bass notes actually sustain like a -- like a -- dare I say? -- a REAL GUITAR!!! It's just amazing. I am awestruck by the sounds I can produce on this guitar now-- Kohnosan was just sick, that's all. :cry:

I can't say enough about what a great job Nate did on this guitar. Unbelieveable, really.

He replaced the frets, and in the process discovered "a little ski-jump warp at the 12th fret". So he fixed that. And he brought the action down a millimeter. So, it's not just the tone quality he fixed -- I just discovered that Recuerdos de la Alhambra actually stays IN TUNE all the way through! I thought it was just me...

It's not just easier to play now. No. Not just that. It's the tone quality of this guitar. I can't even believe what I'm playing, now. Profound.

The other thing he discovered, is that the saddle bone was loose. It wasn't tranmitting all those nice vibes to the soundboard at all, even damping the strings I would assume! So he replace the saddle, so it works now, and there you have it!

What a great job, Nate! :merci:
Hell is full of amateur musicians -- GB Shaw

Azalais

Post by Azalais » Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:34 am

:mp3svp: :mp3svp: :mp3svp: and pictures???

That's great news! Congratulations on your happy reunion... (I'm sure that Masaru Kohno would be happy hear that one of his children has been let out of the closet... you are no doubt forgiven for the neglect)

Derry

Post by Derry » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:40 pm

welcome back and join all of us players who left the flock for a long time but have returned,,

to enjoy the Kohno is why it was built,,

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freestroke
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Post by freestroke » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:43 pm

Azalais wrote::mp3svp: :mp3svp: :mp3svp: and pictures???

That's great news! Congratulations on your happy reunion... (I'm sure that Masaru Kohno would be happy hear that one of his children has been let out of the closet... you are no doubt forgiven for the neglect)
Maybe a picture in a little while. And Ii'm trying to get something in order, maybe the Sor-Segovia XIII. Didn't see any of the good players do that one yet, so it won't be so ridiculously embarrassing. :oops:
Hell is full of amateur musicians -- GB Shaw

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freestroke
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Post by freestroke » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:45 pm

Derry wrote:welcome back and join all of us players who left the flock for a long time but have returned,,

to enjoy the Kohno is why it was built,,
Thanks, Derry! I feel really bad I left it like that so long, but I honestly thought either me or the guitar was just getting too old. With any luck, it's neither! :lol:
Hell is full of amateur musicians -- GB Shaw

Guitar Slim

Post by Guitar Slim » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:38 pm

Freestroke,

Your enthusiasm is infectious! But it makes me sad, too. See, I also have an old Kohno (10) that I still have a warm spot for in my heart. But I'm afraid she hasn't weathered the years nearly so well as yours.

If you want to see somthing that will make you sick, check out this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=5844&highlight=kohno

The damage to the soundboard was there when I bought it (paid $500 for it), but the Grand-Canyon-sized crack in the back developed when I moved from Florida to Colorado and let it sit in a case unhumidified for a couple years. Tragic!

But it still sounds great, and I'm still considering having it repaired. At least try to close the crack in the back and replace the saddle (it's shimmed, but apparently it was done by a pro, it's a nice ebony shim).

Anyway take a look if you have the stomach for it. You can read the whole sad story there, too.

I'm really glad your story had a happy ending!

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Vesuvio
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Post by Vesuvio » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:47 pm

Reading your post was a delight, Freestroke. It is a story with a very happy ending and I am very pleased it has worked out for you and your wonderful instrument. Best wishes, V.

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freestroke
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Post by freestroke » Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:26 pm

Guitar Slim wrote:Freestroke,

Your enthusiasm is infectious! But it makes me sad, too. See, I also have an old Kohno (10) that I still have a warm spot for in my heart. But I'm afraid she hasn't weathered the years nearly so well as yours.
...
I'm really glad your story had a happy ending!
Bummer, Chris! :cry: Looks like somebody was playing with a plectrum and their finger on the face before you got it, huh? :evil:
I would guess the face could be refinished, but I wonder if that would add or detract from the real value. Might be like antique furniture or something on Antiques Roadshow: "Well, Chris, with the original finish, this piece would seel for $30000 at auction, but it's been stripped and sanded, so I think for insurance purposes, it would probably be easily covered on your current household policy."

I had couple of small cracks on the upper bout that he fixed. Not much you can do to actually make the crack go away, I don't think, but a luthier could shim and glue it so it doesn't get worse, at least, like Nate did with mine.

At least it still sounds good, which is the main thing!
Hell is full of amateur musicians -- GB Shaw

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freestroke
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Post by freestroke » Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:12 pm

Vesuvio wrote:Reading your post was a delight, Freestroke. It is a story with a very happy ending and I am very pleased it has worked out for you and your wonderful instrument. Best wishes, V.
Thanks, Vesuvio! :D
Hell is full of amateur musicians -- GB Shaw

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freestroke
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Post by freestroke » Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:37 pm

This is really interesting! Nate has put up pictures of his repair of my saddle on his website:

http://fingerlakesguitarrepair.com/page ... saddle.php

At the bottom, that's Nate with my guitar. :D

There's a picture of the back at:

http://fingerlakesguitarrepair.com/page ... allery.php

The second photo down -- the "fine example of Brazilian rosewood..." :D

I took a bazillion photos myself, but I've got to do a better job. :oops:

I would like to add that Nate brought this project in a week ahead of schedule and way under budget! How's that for service!!
:bravo:
Hell is full of amateur musicians -- GB Shaw

Pragueguy

Post by Pragueguy » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:25 pm

Can you enlighten me at all on what the various numbers mean that all cited with the year, in your case "20"?

thanks

Mike

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freestroke
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Post by freestroke » Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:20 pm

Pragueguy wrote:Can you enlighten me at all on what the various numbers mean that all cited with the year, in your case "20"?

thanks

Mike
Kohno's model numbers corresponded to the price in thousands of yen that the guitar cost new. I think that was about $1100 in 1974 dollars. There were 10,000 yen models (No. 10), 20,000 yen (No. 20), 30,000 (No. 30) and 40000 (No. 40). Not sure if there was a 50.
Hell is full of amateur musicians -- GB Shaw

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