My Suzuki Classical......nearly 40 years old!!

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by dan79, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. dan79

    dan79 Tele-Holic

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    Hey Folks,

    Never posted about this particular guitar before but today I had her out and took a couple of pics.

    Here's the story; back in 1973 my father had aspirations to learn the guitar, so whilst at college in Newcastle, England he bought this little classical guitar from a small shop. Well, he gave up trying to learn pretty quickly and at first gave it to a friend to borrow. He installed a pickup for some reason, hence the small hole in the top where the input jack was. (I still have the pickup in a box)

    Well the guitar eventually made it's way back to my father and it was put in the corner.....then I came along in '79!

    As a little toddler I used to love this guitar. I'd drag it all around the garden, bite it, use it as a drum - there's even old photos of me playing it all dressed up like a rock star!

    When I reached about 10 I decided I finally wanted to learn how to play it. I figured how to tune it and learned a couple of chords from an old book. I played this guitar until I was fairly competent and when I was 13 my father bought me my first electric.

    However, this guitar has always remained with me and I still enjoy playing it to this day. It's got a lovely mellow sound and the relic job is a combination of age, genuine play and the abuse it sustained when I was a child!

    Sorry for the long post, but thought I'd share the story and history of this guitar!:cool:

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  2. dan79

    dan79 Tele-Holic

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    More -

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  3. LeftyAl

    LeftyAl Friend of Leo's

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    Whats the story with the pick guard? Not Original ,most classical guitars didn't have one at all I like it though
     
  4. dan79

    dan79 Tele-Holic

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    Ahhh, interesting! That's a part of the story I don't know. Maybe it was put on by the shop or my father's friend when he borrowed the guitar. It is an odd colour, sort of pinkish.
     
  5. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Is the pickguard hiding a hole? A stick on flamenco pg might look better, but it part of your guitar's history now.

    I notice one of the tuner posts has been changed for the wrong type, and the saddle needs a little attention. Ball-end nylon strings? The patina on the body can be cleaned up but the fingerboard appears clean and well maintained.
     
  6. dan79

    dan79 Tele-Holic

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    Yeah it's possible the pickguard could be hiding something. I've actually thought about taking it off before but as you say, it's always been on the guitar so I'm quite attached to it!

    Forgot about the tuner posts and saddle. I remember now at one point a couple of the tuners broke so were replaced with a couple of spares found at a car boot sale. The white saddle also fractured under the E and A strings so I bodged a quick repair.

    I keep meaning to do some work on it - there's some room for improvement to get it playing more smoothly!
     
  7. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    No reason to apologize for that story. It wasn't long (by my standards, anyway) and I enjoyed reading it, and seeing the pics.

    Can't help but think of Willie Nelson's "Trigger." Which, BTW, is strung with ball end nylon strings on at least the bass side. If it's good enough for Willie...

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  8. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Cool guitar, cool story.
     
  9. sneakyjapan

    sneakyjapan Poster Extraordinaire

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    What does the label look like? I have a few Suzukis, oldest is dated 1948, it`s a nylon string. Some others have the diamond cut bracing...look to be at least solid tops. I also found one high end Suzuki...wife says it has special on the hand written label....and it it better made than the others. I have seen them with lots of different labels so I am wondering what your looks like. Not all Suzukis were created equal...evidently some were much better quality than others...and more than one Suzuki was making guitars.
    Just feel through the sound hole....you be able to tell what damage, if any, is hidden by the pick guard. You should be able to tell if it is a solid top or not too, if not, use a watchmaker`s loupe...thats what I do with those that are more difficult to see with the naked eye.
     
  10. sneakyjapan

    sneakyjapan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here`s my `48 to compare to...


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  11. sneakyjapan

    sneakyjapan Poster Extraordinaire

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  12. sneakyjapan

    sneakyjapan Poster Extraordinaire

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    There`s no plastic on the guitar...binding is wood, all metal parts are brass, including tuning buttons.
    That one metal tuning rod on yours looks a lot like the ones that were used a lot of many MIJ acoustics of a certain age...my old Yamaha Dynamics all have metal tuning rods. Later Yamahas came with the plastic ones.


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  13. sneakyjapan

    sneakyjapan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Found this 1950 Kiso Suzuki in a local antique shop...also dated on the label. Many I see do not have a date though, including the other Suzukis I have.



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  14. sneakyjapan

    sneakyjapan Poster Extraordinaire

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    A lot of old saddles I see here are simple cylindrical rods, not all the same thickness either, with no intonation at all on them, they just sit on top of the slot cut into the bridge...they don`t fit inside the slot.
     
  15. wood&steel

    wood&steel TDPRI Member

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    Awesome. I bet it's a joy to play and reminisce(sp)

    Sent from my iPhone using TDPRI
     
  16. dan79

    dan79 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for all the comments guys!

    Really love the look of that '48 sneakyjapan - seems in great condition!

    I'll take a pic of the label for you too. I've always wondered if it was a solid top. How would I tell exactly if it is indeed a solid top?
     
  17. dan79

    dan79 Tele-Holic

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    Hey sneakyjapan,

    Here's a pic of the label. It's hard to tell what the No. is because some of it has wore off but it definately starts off with 16***

    As I said, my father bought it in '73 so I know it's at least that old!:D

    Oh, and after feeling under the 'guard there doesn't seem to be any damage or such so I guess it was added at some point for cosmetic reasons.

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  18. sneakyjapan

    sneakyjapan Poster Extraordinaire

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    OK...I see the yellow label here in Japan, some sellers list theirs from the `60s on....hard to say for sure. But you have a date to start with so that helps lot. In this pic above I can`t see a center seam so could be a laminate back...I use a watch makers loupe to check tops on guitars I see that are more difficult to identify with the naked eye. That doesn`t mean much though, I have an all laminate nylon string that sounds good to me plus there are some advantages to laminated tops...they handle temp and humidity changes better than solids in general.
     
  19. AutoReverse

    AutoReverse Tele-Meister

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    Glad to see I'm not the only one with an old Suzuki classical in the closet. I got mine years ago used at a hole in the wall music shop for $50 - has holes all over it and a broken brace inside - ugly as sin. But it plays well and I learned to play classical on it. And it sounds great too.

    Here's my sticker:
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  20. dan79

    dan79 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks alot for the info, sneakyjapan - much appreciated and very interesting!

    AutoReverse, I love mine too! Something about the general vibe of it makes it very nice to play!

    Thanks again for all the comments, guys.:cool:
     
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