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Alvarez Yairi Guitars: Old World Craftsmanship With Luxury Appointments

Updated on December 28, 2014

Alvarez Yairi Guitars

Today I am reviewing my Alvarez Yairi JY-84 acoustic guitar. This particular guitar is an acoustic although as you will see in the video portion of this hub I installed an L.R. Baggs M-1An active sound hole pickup in it. I wish I would have bought the M-1 instead because the fact that it is active has become a feedback nightmare. All that aside, this guitar is fantastic. It was hand-made by Master Luthier Kazuo Yairi in Kani, Gifu, Japan. These finely crafted instruments are cherished and played by some of the world's most accomplished acoustic artists. Joe Bonamassa, Bob Weir, Jerry Garcia, Ani Defranco, Monte Montgomery, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Cheryl Crow headline the list of Yairi fans. My guitar, the JY-84 is what I consider a work of art. It features a Sitka spruce top, matched solid coral rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck, ebony bridge and finger board with cat's eye and snowflake inlays, ivory binding, Grover tuners, abalone rosette with two abalone slashes on the head stock. These guitars are made of the the finest hardwoods stockpiled by Yairi during the 60's & 70's. The wood is naturally air dried & hand selected. The guitars are made by hand using hand molded bracing and dovetail neck joints. They stay in tune and resonate beautifully. The only thing I regret is the 1-11/16" nut spacing. I wish it were 1- 3/4 like my Breedlove. My hands resemble baseball mitts and my fingers are like sausages. It's still my go to guitar.




JY-84 Front
JY-84 Front
JY-84 Sound Hole
JY-84 Sound Hole
Head stock
Head stock
Back
Back

Angelina on a Alvarez-Yairi JY-84 with L.R. Baggs M-1 A

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    • GuitarGear profile image
      Author

      Walter Holokai 5 years ago from Youngstown, Ohio

      WTS,

      Sorry I haven't gotten back to you since I haven't had much time lately due to my insane work schedule. I just wrote another hub about finger picking. At the bottom is a video of a tune by Masaaki Kishibe. Unfortunately I often flub notes on my videos. Ha, ha. I don't care. I've realized since I entered my 50's that I'm lucky to even still be here. You said you're kind of nuts well...you're in good company with me. Thanks for your comments and I'll keep checking your hubs. You're a great writer.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I'm more a flatpicker guy.

      I have seen Tommy Emmanuel live before....actually, I've seen him perform at least a dozen shows....all in just a few days time at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas....probably ten or so years ago.

      No - no videos of me playing yet. I don't have the equipment to make a good vid....and I'm kinda nuts - if I flub one note, I'd be too shy to upload anything.

      I do plan to do some Youtube vids of me flatpicking some old tunes....I just gotta get equipment, and satisfy myself with whatever I want to play/record :)

    • GuitarGear profile image
      Author

      Walter Holokai 5 years ago from Youngstown, Ohio

      WTS,

      Thanks for your comment. Believe it or not I paid a mere $650 for it on E-bay from a guy that worked for St. Louis Music. They are the company that imports these Yairi guitars from Japan for Alvarez. It retailed for $2800 new. He wanted to buy a baritone of the same make so he sold me this one. I probably wouldn't have got it at that price except for the fact that I was the only bidder. It's the best deal I've ever come across on E-bay. This guitar serves me well and I love it. As a matter of fact it's sitting right here next to me and I just put it down. Are you a finger picker? I just learned a new tune by Tommy Emmanuel called Cowboy's Dream. I haven't got it down quite yet but I'm working on it. Any of your hubs have videos? Let me know and I'll check them out. I'll check out your hubs anyway. You have a lot of great material and not just about guitar. Thanks again & Happy Holidays!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Beautiful guitar!

      If you don't mind my asking - what did you pay for it?

      Somewhere...I think on InfoBarrel - I published something about falling in love with an old Alvarez dreadnought in a Guitar Center.....I'd visit the store pretty frequently...and of all the beautiful and more expensive guitars they had....I kept going back to the old scratched up Alvarez...it was a D-18 copy...and if I'd had the six hundred dollars they wanted for it, I'd have bought that thing!

    working

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