I bought this guitar a S.Yairi 950 last year through Craigslist in the US. To cut a long story short, my initial impression when I first got it was the sound was tight and subdued. Some thing amazing happened two weeks later after I got this guitar. The sound changes to become the best sounding guitar that I have heard so far. It is better sounding than all the guitars I owned. It has become my favourite.
The guitar was almost scratchless when I got it except for 2 "whip lash" mark just below the 1st & 2nd string at the sound board. This I assumed was sustained when the 1st & 2nd strings slip-off the tie block. I learned from the seller that this guitar used to belong to his father who have passed-on and that he found the guitar under his bed when he went to clear out the belongings when he was making plans to sell off his father's house.
The other thing is that this guitar was too plain for my liking. I have always love classical guitars with beautiful headstock carving. So, I have finally made the decision to give this guitar a new lease of life by giving it several upgrades. The first is to add carvings to the headstock.
This is the original headstock with a 2mm thick headplate which is too thin for carving.
First I removed the new Gotoh tuning machine which I replaced when I got the guitar because of cracked rollers.
I began to strip-off the existine headplate with a mini-plane and sand paper. Now you can see the bald headstock.
This is the new 6mm thick Indian rosewood headplate. It should be thick enough for the carving.
Notice that the S.Yairi has a super long headstock and it uses 39mm antique spacing tuning machine instead of the usual 35mm spacing. Notice the two twin peaks pointing extra long. This causes 2 problems for me. The first is to find a hardcase that will fit this guitar as the twin peaks will be pocking into the guitar case padding. The second is to find a headplate that is long enough. I have decided to trim the twin peaks to shorten it.
Work-In-Progress – 1 . The carving was tougher than expected as I do not have all the tools necessary and second, my hands have not been holding a chisel for more than 30 years.
Work-In-Progress – 2. After about 5 hours of carving, this is what I have progress to. Take a break, recuperate and continue another day.