Throwing this out for any luthiers out there. I spotted an Alvarez DY58 9 string that really caught my eye. The guitar is about 45 years old and was hand built in Japan by lutheir K Yairi.
I love '70s and '80s Japanese stuff. To me those were the zenith years as they were competting witht he world to prove they made the best quality anything.
I was sooo close to pulling the trigger but I noticed there was a split in the head stock. This did not concern me too much.
But when I noticed the bridge was lifting off the body I came to a full stop.
Just looking for reassurance that I should let this one pass me by.
That would depend on the price and where you live. To fix the headstoch would be very inexpensive to fix but depending on why the bridge is lifing could cost as much as $500. So if the price with the cost of the fixed bridge is what you are willing to pay then don’t let that stop you from buying it.
I agree with you Japanese guitars from the 70’s and 80’s are kick assa and Yairi made guitar are top notch
Thanks, good info. I’ll keep my eye on it. I really like this guitar! I strummed it for a bit and it has such a nice sound and feel.
At the price they have it at now it will never sell unless someone walks in and doesn’t know what to look for.
I learned a long time ago you don’t make money when you sell something. You make money when you buy it.
This one is signed by Yairi, definitely a unique guitar and would be much easier to play than a 12 string.
Have a close look at the guitar, the bridge is not such a big job for a decent luthier. Plus K Yairi is a craftsman and makes excellent guitars.
I will go back and start negotiating for this guitar. After playing it I see why Jerry Garcia liked Yairi guitars.
Interesting thing I found out. This guitar was built in 1980. I could not find a build date but come to find out the old Yairi’s use the Japanese Emperor dating system. This particular one has the date of 55.6.23 which is the 55th year of Emperor Showa.
The guitar is sitting in the corner of a pawn shop where I have had very good luck in the past finding some real good guitars. It has a lot of dust on it which tells me not many people have looked at it.
I will keep you posted. Wish me luck!
BTW, the neck is straight as an arrow and the action is set perfect.
How does the top look? Does it have a slight arch or is it caving in? If the top is arched a little that is a good sign the bridge just needs reglueing with is an easy fix. If the top is caving in it could be very dry or have a broken brace. Are the frets poking out or are the nice and flush? How is the neck angle. Put a straight edge on the fret board to the bridge, they should be close to lining up. If the straight is more than a 1/4 inch below the top of the bridge a neck reset could be needed. (depending on the condition of the top)
Hopefully everthing is good and you have found a real gem.
The top has a slight arch to it. The body and the neck have quite a few dings and some scratches. This guitar was obviously played. But that doesn’t bother me. It just adds to the character.
I’m taking my Saturday morning bike ride and going over there now. Thanks for the information. It gives me some ammunition when I go and talk to the folks. I will keep you posted.
OK, here’s the latest. They wanted US$1,000 for it. I left we were down to $750. That would put me at US$1,250 if I make the repairs. They wouldn’t go any lower.
I figure they own it for about $500. The frets are in good shape but the straight is more than 1/4 inch below the top of the bridge, but not by much.
I read that the DY58 had an angled set up on the bridge because of the 9 string.
Just an update on this previous post.
I’ve been doing the dance with the pawn shop for the past two months on this K Yairi Alvarez 9 string. I went in yesterday ready to pull the trigger when I noticed another K Yairi Alvarez on the wall that crept in since the last time I was there.
It’s a DY45N and in very good condition, much better than the 9 string I was prepared to purchase.
The more I researched K Yairi the more I had to have one (I don’t have a problem and can quit anytime :)). They are incredible instruments. All hand made of solid Mohaganny and Canadian Spruce.
I just watched a video that they found palets of Mohaganny Yairi san bought 50 years ago and the family just released a special edition guitar in his honor.
The good news is I picked this one up for a little more than half the price of the 9 string. It’s a beautiful piece!
Thanks to all on this thread for your advice and guidance. Much appreciated!
Congratulations! You now are the proud keeper of an heirloom instrument.
A Yairi is a rare and special beastie, one that I hope to own someday.
Yairi Guitar Factory Tour - YouTube
Richard, thank you. You are right, this is an heirloom instrument. I have a Taylor Builders Edition guitar that costs 5X the price paid for this Alvarez and this K Yairi is every bit and more than the Taylor. It’s a dream to play.
I cleaned it up and put new strings on it and I am in awe. It’s amazing.
I attached an interesting video I found about Mr. Yairi I thought you might be interested in.
That’s really nice, I know that good examples of the Yairi Japanese made acoustics are like gold dust and they usually play really well. You’ve done well there, enjoy it and play it, it’s too good to be left on the shelf!
I am playing it now. Thinking about getting rid of my other guitars, I think I found The One.
Ok, I’m not one for naming my guitars but this K YAiri is special.
She’s 40 years old so she probably had a name. When I rescue animals I keep the name and would do so for this guitar if I knew her name.
She’s and aphrodite but I don’t want to call her Aphrodites but maybe I will. I say she’s and aphrodite because she keeps calling me to her and I can’t put her down or stop touching her.
When I caress her and play her gently she sings soft, clear and crisp. When I pound on her she obliges me willingly and without hesitation.
When I’m through with her I put her down and she doesn’t say a word because she knows I’ll be back soon.
Sounds crazy but WOW! I found the perfect partner.