When Kazuo Yairi began designing and hand-crafting these guitars in the 1960’s, he was deliberately competing with Martin, Gibson, and Guild for the higher end guitar market in the U.S. This DY-38 “Wood Ridge” model is an example of the quality and sound which he was able to produce using the highest quality materials, the best Japanese craftsmen, and his own modifications of the best American designs. Today, the prices of the Alvarez-Yairi acoustic guitars range from $1200 to $5000 and beyond, and grateful owners will tell you they’re worth every penny.

I guess I should say a word or two about the model number and year of this guitar, since there is some confusion judging from The Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars. The label clearly says that the date of manufacture is 1988 and that it is a Model DY-38, which in the book makes it a “Wood Ridge;” however, the book also says that the DY-38 “Wood Ridge” was made from 1991-2004, while it lists a DY-45 “Wood Ridge” manufactured from 1975-1998. Neither set of specs quite matches this guitar, and presumably that makes it kind of a transitional model which included some non-standard specs, whatever that means to you. I’m gonna go with the ol’ label and call it a 1988 DY-38 “Wood Ridge.” Okay?

This guitar (serial # 36355) has a dreadnought style body with a solid spruce top and mahogany back, sides and neck. There is full black binding on both top and back, a multi-stripe inlaid rosette, a black tear drop pick guard, a rosewood bridge with black white-dot pins, a 14/20-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot/fleur-de-lis inlay and a 25.5” scale, and a black headstock inlay set off by the inlaid pearl Yairi logo and the steel-buttoned A-Y chrome tuners (note: there is one Grover replacement). This is one impressive-looking guitar for the money.

Even more impressive is its playability and its huge sound. The frets have relatively little wear on them, and the neck is surprisingly comfortable for my kind of small hands, measuring 1 11/16” at the nut. The more than twenty-five years of seasoning of the quality solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides make this about as resonant and dominant-sounding a guitar as you will find for anywhere near this price, with great big bass and clear ringing trebles. Since this guitar has been retro-fitted with a Dean Markley Promag Plus sound hole pickup, whole new vistas of sound and volume are open to you.

Like most 28-year-old guitars that have been played, there are a few dings in the top and elsewhere, especially visible in picture 3 around the jack installation [which is kinda homely itself], and a repaired crack in the top lower bout. Other than that, there are no structural issues with this guitar: the neck’s straight, the top’s flat, the tuners are tight, and there is plenty of wear left in the frets. The action is currently set up fast and low at under 3/32” at the 12th fret low E.

The vintage original hard shell case is structurally perfect, with the Alvarez logo displayed on the top. The hardware all works, and the plush interior is clean and naturally fits this guitar like the proverbial glove. While it does have a few external dings, they certainly don’t detract from the outstanding protection the case provides for this valuable instrument.

Buyer pays a flat rate of $55 for insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. Payment by Paypal is preferred; cashiers and personal checks are acceptable, but checks must clear before the guitar will be shipped.

I have tried to be perfectly clear and accurate in describing this instrument, so its return will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please ask any questions you might have before bidding.

Good luck!



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Payments by Paypal, cashier’s checks, money orders, or personal checks are acceptable, but all payments must clear my bank before the guitar will be shipped. I will CONSIDER reasonable offers, even including installment payments and trade-ins, but generally since I already attempt to price my guitars very competitively, unusual deals must be unusually sweet.

From henceforth [that's how retired English teachers talk], insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states is $55 due to constantly rising shipping costs unless a specific listing says otherwise; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. I have sold guitars to Russia, Japan, Australia, and over 50 other countries, as well as almost every state in the USA. Since some of my guitars travel thousands of miles, I take care to use lots of packing materials, protect the neck inside the case, and of course de-tune the strings.

I make every effort to describe and illustrate each guitar and case with scrupulous accuracy. However, many of my instruments are well-played vintage items which are many years old, and I am not a luthier. One should assume that any guitar will require some set-up to satisfy your personal requirements, and that not every flaw or ding will be seen/recognized/described in the listing. Thus the return of an instrument will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please read the listing carefully, check out the pictures, and ask any questions you might have before offering to buy.