Please read my 3 days return policy at the bottom of the page. Nibori Alto Guitar NAA-30H 530mm scale This guitar was ordered by Nibori Music Academy and made in late 1990s by legendary Japanese luthier Saburo Nogami. Most likely it was made at his workshop later known as Oshima Village workshop. Red stamp on the label bears Saburo Nogami’s name. Saburo Nogami’s long time cooperation with Nibori School of Guitar Ensamble (later renamed to Nibori Music Academy) started in mid1970s.Saburo Nogami was the first ever apprentice at Masaru Kohno workshop. He joined Kohno in 1959 and left his workshop in early 1970s. Saburo Nogami’s level of craftsmanship was at least equal to Kohno’s and he became a luthier legend on his own. During his long career besides making regular classical guitars he was also making alto, bass & contrabass guitars, lutes, vihuelas, and many traditional Japanese string instruments. Many of these “exotic” instruments were greatly decorated with carvings and paintings and made as “only one of the kind”. Saburo Nogami’s guitars and other instruments were and still are highly priced not only in Japan. Saburo Nogami however was deeply engaged in making guitars for average “boy and girl”. In mid 1970s Saburo supervised production of several guitar models at Zen-On factory. Many of these instruments were made and labelled for Nibori School of Guitar Ensemble, some labelled for Nishin Kogyo co.(trading company),while other sold with Zen-on labels. Great majority of these guitars were made with “laminated” b/s. Laminated is quite “unfortunate” term with regard to Japanese made guitars. These “laminates” were made from 2 layers of solid wood glued together with natural resins. They were made so well that they performed as good as solid woods while being far less expensive in guitar production. Since late 1970s through late 1990s Saburo Nogami was closely cooperating with Kazuo Yairi, supervising production of many Kazuo Yairi’s models at Yairi’s Gifu factory. Yet again most of these absolutely wonderful instruments were made with “laminated” b/s. This guitar remains in “practically mint” cosmetic and structural condition. This guitar produces truly wonderful notes, very clear, glassy, yet very colorful trebles, somewhat metallic basses, all very well separated, and all with very impressive sustain. Despite its smaller (alto) body guitar, its volume is quite impressive too. Being priced 300 000 yen in 1990s it was quite expensive instrument. The same grade brand new alto guitars made by Japanese elite luthiers are priced at least $5000. Alto model made by Asturias if available on US market, would be priced at least $3000. Brand new alto guitar with solid Brazilian Rosewood would certainly be priced much higher than $5000. Regarding the sound alone, this guitar is very competitive to much more expensive altos currently made by European or American guitar makers. Specifications:Total length: 860mmBody length: 415 mmBody depth: 98-102 mmUpper bout width: 245 mmLower bout width: 325 mmWaist width: 210 mm Top: AAA Grade Solid Spruce/lacquerBack & Sides: Solid Latin America Rosewood/lacquerNeck: Spanish CedarFingerboard: Ebony Scale: 530 mmNut width: 50 mmString spacing at the nut: 41 mmString spacing at the bridge: 56 mmIts current action is set to 3.50 mm under E6 and 3.00 mm under E1, with plenty of extra room on the saddle.Guitar is currently strung with D’Addario EJ52 ProArte Alto Strings designed for alto tuning. If you’d like to play it with regular tuning, you need regular classical guitar strings.This guitar will be shipped in used original hard polyfoam case in still excellent condition. Guitar ensemble and guitar orchestra music has been developed and promoted by Hiroki Nibori since 1957 and is gaining popularity among guitar players throughout the world. Playing in a group is great fun. It is an excellent opportunity to make new friends and learn from the more advanced players. One of the most valuable aspects of playing in a guitar ensemble is that it gives students the exposure of playing on a stage in front of an audience. When you combine the sounds of alto, bass, and contra bass guitars with standard (prime) guitars, a whole new world of sound comes alive. Even the beginner will find it easy to pick up any of these guitars and enjoy a variety of new and exciting musical styles.An ALTO GUITAR is usually tuned a 5th higher than a standard (prime) guitar. Its open tuning notes sound the same as a standard guitar played on the 7th fret position: B,E,A,D,F#,B.BASS GUITAR is tuned 4th lower than standard guitar, one octave lower than Alto guitar: B,E,A,D,F#,BCONTRA BASS GUITAR is tuned one octave lower than standard guitar: E,A,D,G,B,E 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:http://youtu.be/ExVwfhLy1gQhttp://youtu.be/XNdeSWxb2nUhttp://youtu.be/mecVgriaKJ0http://youtu.be/O9ErnhZhDxwhttp://youtu.be/ceVTybPnq7chttp://youtu.be/Zyz8eZeTSRQhttp://youtu.be/T8bkPi4jhsshttp://youtu.be/W1FaCjodgZM