Please read my 3 days return policy at the bottom of the page. 1974 HIROSHI TAMURA P50 This guitar was made in 1974 by Hiroshi Tamura, one of the best luthiers in Japanese history. Its sound matches the fame of its maker.Just like many other famous Japanese luthiers of that era, Hiroshi and Mitsuru Tamura have learned their craft during their stay in Spain in late 1950s/early 1960s. After their return from Spain Tamura brothers were making superb quality flamenco guitars that easily challenged guitars made by the most famous Spanish luthiers. Their flamenco guitars have earned them international recognition and were played by many professional players. Although these are very hard to find, their oldest flamenco guitars were made in 1962. Strangely enough, their oldest classical guitars available on Japanese second hand market were made in 1966.It is quite possible that, during 1960s, both brothers shared the same workshop located in Kochi, Japan. Although both brothers were equally skilled, it was Hiroshi who has gathered more international and domestic rewards. Because his guitars often sounded much better that those made Jose Ramirez, Hiroshi has earned a nickname “Tamirez” As the matter of fact, Hiroshi’s rewards outnumbered those collected by Masaru Kohno.In 1972 Hiroshi was financially rewarded by Japanese Ministry of Technology. Soon after, he moved to another shop, but not far from his brother’s, hired several associates and started to make his P and C models in greater numbers, successfully exporting many them outside Japan. Only the very top models Hiroshi was making by himself.Mitsuru Tamura has continued to work as individual luthier, and with just couple of apprentices, was making about 15-20 guitars a month. As the result Mitsuru’s guitars are harder to find on Japanese second hand market and they often reach higher prices than guitars made by Hiroshi.Sometime in 1976, after his “factory” started to produce financial losses, Hiroshi had to declare bankruptcy and moved back to smaller workshop, making fewer number of guitar with just couple of helpers.Tamura brothers passed away in mid 1980s. Because I have seen one Hiroshi’s guitar made in 1986. I assume it was the last year of his “Earthly Journey”. Just like in case of their superb flamenco guitars, classical guitars made by Tamura brothers are equally regarded in Japan.This guitar was priced 50 000 yen in 1974, while starting yearly salary of a Japanese college graduate was close to 70 000 yen. Just a year later the same construction guitar would be labelled as P60 and priced 60 000 yen. Although it was a mid-range model in Hiroshi’s lineup of that era it is certainly concert grade guitar, that easily beats most $5000+ “hand made in Spain” guitars sold on US market. It was made based on Jose Ramirez blueprint, it has Ramirez style bracing, 660mm scale and 52mm nut. This guitar however shouldn’t be considered as the copy of Ramirez guitars. The way it sounds qualifies it for a title of “greatly improved Ramirez guitar”. It produces very characteristic to all Hiroshi Tamura guitars, very Spanish, warm, sweet and ultra-lyrical sound combined with very high level of note clarity and separation, and very impressive sustain. You will have a hard time to put it down.Most Hiroshi Tamura P series guitars distributed in US in 1970’s have developed a network of internal wrinkles within the finish. They often break at the very top and create a network of hair-like fissures. It must have been caused by light induced chemical degradation of at least one of the ingredients of the original lacquer. This guitar has only few of such wrinkles on its top. The most conspicuous cosmetic flaws on its body are couple of small dents located on the top (the right upper bout) and minor abrasion on the very tip of its headstock. Other than that, guitar remains in really excellent for its age condition. With its current action it is very easy to play. Specifications:Top: High Grade Solid Cedar Top / finish Cashew LacquerBack: Solid Indian Rosewood / finish Cashew LacquerDouble sides: 2 layers of “laminated” Indian Rosewood not glued togetherNeck: MahoganyFingerboard: Ebonized RosewoodNut and Saddle: BoneNut Width: 52 mmScale: 660 mmAction is set to 3.50 mm under E6 and 3.00 mm under E1, with no extra room on the saddleThis guitar will be shipped in used Hard Shell Case. Real Value of Japanese Vintage Guitars The key to understand value of vintage Japanese guitars is to acknowledge galloping devaluation of Japanese yen in 1960s & 1970s. This devaluation was somewhat slower in 1980s. The best measure of this devaluation is Starting Yearly Salary of Japanese College Graduate (SYSJCG). SYSJCG in 1965 was 19 600 yen, in 1969 – 34 600 yen, in 1970 39 200 yen, in 1972 – 62 300 yen, in 1975 79 200 yen, in 1977 86 200 and in 1980 – 100 000 yen. During 1960s and most of 1970s model numbers of Japanese guitars were strictly interconnected with their prices in Japanese yen. In late 1970s and during following decades model numbers were no longer strictly associated with their prices. Many Japanese guitar makers introduced model names instead of model numbers. Others were still using model numbers with addition of letter abbreviations or other symbols. The best and only logical approach while evaluating real value (real grade) of vintage Japanese guitar is to compare its price in Japanese yen with SYSJCG during the year guitar was made. Any guitar priced 100 000 in 1970 (labelled usually as No10) would be priced 200 000 yen in 1975 (relabeled to No20 or 2000), 300 000 yen in 1977 (labelled as No3, No30 or 3000). Starting in 1977 Masaru Kohno introduced his new models No40 priced 400 000 yen and No50 priced 500 000 yen. By 1984 Kohno started using model names instead numbers and was raising their prices as he was pleased. Model 50 became model “Maestro”, model 40 became model “Special”, model 30 became model “Professional-J”. Naturally other Master luthiers were doing the same name/price changes. Knowing all of that, you can bet on that Masaru Kohno No50 made in 1982 is practically the same grade instrument as Kohno No20 made in 1972, or Kohno no 30 made in 1976. Kohno No40 made in 1982 is exactly the same grade instruments as Kohno No15 made in 1972 or Kohno No20 made in 1975. It is very important to mention that if modern era luthiers are using 40 years old woods to make a classical guitar, its price is at least $8000. ReturnsIf you are not happy with your purchase you may return the guitar for a full refund of original payment less any shipping charges. All you need to do is:1. Notify me within 48 hours after receiving the guitar. 2. Pack guitar the same way I do it, using the same box and materials and ship it back to me within 24 hours after “return notification”. Naturally if you expect to receive a full refund, guitar has to be returned in the same condition as I ship it to you. P.s. If you’d like to check my “modest” playing skills click on the links below: