When Kazuo Yairi began designing and hand-crafting guitars in the 1960’s, he was not trying to create a “mid-range” alternative to the best American guitars; he was consciously competing with Martin, Gibson, Guild, and the “boutiques” for the higher end guitar market in the U.S. This DY-68 “Rambling Twelve” model—designated 5068 until 1976, I believe--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 most effective American designs. Today, the prices of the Alvarez-Yairi acoustic guitars range from $1200 to $5000 and beyond, and as A-Y players will tell you, they are well worth the money.
This guitar (serial # 5389) was made in 1974, the 49th year of the reign of Emperor Showa of Japan, according to the number code stamped on the neck block (no, I’m not kidding) and the date stamped on the label. It has a dreadnought style body with a solid Canadian spruce top, and mahogany back, sides and neck. There is ivoroid binding or purfling on the body and rosette in a multi-stripe pattern, a tortoise tear drop pick guard, an ebony bridge with white black-dot pins, a 14/20-fret (not counting the unusual zero fret) ebony fingerboard with pearl dot inlay and a 25.5” scale, six-per-side enclosed chrome tuners, abalone back stripes and end stripes, and a mahogany headstock set off by the inlaid abalone Alvarez-Yairi logo. This is still one impressive-looking guitar.
Even more impressive is its playability and its huge sound. The frets have relatively little wear on them, the neck is surprisingly comfortable for my kind of small hands, measuring 1 11/16” at the nut. The forty-three years of seasoning of the quality solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides make this about as resonant a guitar as you’ll find, with great big bass and clear ringing trebles. Like many 12-strings, the action is a touch higher than 4/32” at the 12th fret low E, allowing for a kinda heavy pick hand if you’re so inclined.
Like most 43-year-old guitars that have been played, there are a couple of issues (which have been solidly dealt with). There is a glued and cleated crack in the top upper bout, and a ½” x ¾” patch in the bass side visible in the pictures, both of which my luthier says are absolutely stable. Also, somewhere along the line, the bridge has been thoroughly re-set, leaving two glue drips below the bridge. Other than these repairs, I see no structural issues with this guitar: the neck’s straight, the top’s flat, and there are no other cracks in the beautiful mahogany back or sides. Cosmetically, it has some dings and bruises, but on the whole it looks better than most guitars less than a third its age.
The included hard shell case is probably not original, just because it looks too good to be 43 years old. It is structurally perfect: the hardware all works, the handle is solid, the pocket is intact, and the silver plush interior is suitably fuzzy. It looks great and certainly offers outstanding protection 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 check out the pictures and ask any questions you might have before bidding.
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.