Please read my 3 days return policy at the bottom of the page. Made in 1981 Takeo Koba No.15This guitar was hand made in 1981 by Takeo Koba, a great Japanese luthier, highly regarded in Japan, but little known in the West. He was making great Ramirez style guitars and was selling them at very moderate prices. I won’t call them “copies” since they are “of at least equal grade” to all Ramirez guitars sold in US at $8000+ prices. Most of his guitars had Cedar tops with Ramirez style bracing and Brazilian Rosewood b/s. Model 8 was made with “laminated” BR b/s. Model 10 was made in 2 versions: with solid BR b/s or with double-back BR (2 book-matched “laminated” BR plates not glued together). Both versions were sold at the same price. Model 15 was also made in different versions. The first in my seller’s career T. Koba 15 guitar (sold over a year ago) had solid BR back and sides. The one you are looking at doesn’t have solid back or sides. It has double (2 layers of “laminated” wood plates not glued together) back and perhaps double sides too. In fact, it sounds better than the “all solid woods” one.This double-back construction leads to the sound that is far richer than the sound produced by guitar made with single solid plate back. Double back greatly reduces sound damping effect caused by the body of the player. As the result such guitars offer very high volume & super response combined with ultra-high level of note clarity and separation, ultra-high level of overtones and super extended sustain. Latin America Rosewoods add super sweetness and tonal colors unmatched by any guitar made solid Indian Rosewood b/s. Starting in 1960s, the same construction guitars made by Jose Ramirez were sold at prices equal to today’s $10000.Takeo Koba 15 was priced 150 000 yen in 1981, while starting yearly salary of Japanese college graduate was equal to 100 000 yen. Masaru Kohno model 15 (later renamed to “Concert”), Yamaha GC15, Asturias MJ15, Takamine 15 from that era were all “all solid woods” construction and all priced the same 150 000 yen. I hope you can imagine that younger and/or less known luthier in order to sell a guitar for the same price as his far more prominent peers, had to deliver rather more than less for that price. Takeo has certainly delivered much more than one could expect. His guitars are very precious to their owners, hence very few are available on Japanese second-hand market. This guitar cosmetically remains in at least “very good for its age” condition. It does have few small dents and scratches on its top, few small abrasions along its edges and the very tip of the headstock, and little bit of cloudiness within its finishes. Perhaps the most “serious damage” is tiny crack within the finish located right over its rosette, right below the fingerboard (E1 string side) between 18th and 19th frets. Despite all these cosmetic flaws, this nearly 40 years old guitar remains in excellent structural and functional condition. With its current action it plays super easy. Specifications: Top: High Grade Solid Cedar/urethane Double Back: 2 separate “laminated” plates of Latin America Rosewood urethane Sides: Latin America Rosewood “Laminates”/urethane It is possible that these sides are double as well. Neck: Mahogany Fingerboard: Ebony Scale: 658 mm Nut width: 52 mm The action on this guitar is set to 3.5 mm under E6 and 3.00 mm under E1, with plenty of extra room on the saddle. Guitar will be shipped in used original (Takabe) 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: