1. #1

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    Only a month or two ago, on my 'Hofner President Florentine' post - I said "no more guitars"...……..but...…once in a while you see something up for sale and...……...well, I couldn't resist this one - (sorry about the sideways pics)

    'Jumbo' MIJ Tahara archtop !-20191212_223220-jpg
    'Jumbo' MIJ Tahara archtop !-20191212_223540-jpg

    It turns out to be - possibly - (having seen a 'Jumbo' catalogue extract online) a 'Jumbo' model JP-48 archtop by Japanese luthier Ryohei Tahara ("Tahara-san"), whose Tahara company was apparently in existence from 1969 until at least 1975, making archtops, dreadnoughts and mandolins.

    I've looked high and low on the Internet, but while there are Tahara dreadnoughts and mandolins to be seen - I can't find a single photo of - or reference to - Tahara archtops (aside from that catalogue extract) - so they must be very rare indeed - or maybe only the catalogue specimens were made ? (any info. from Forum readers who know more than I do would be appreciated!)

    'Jumbo' MIJ Tahara archtop !-20191212_223507-jpg

    What strikes me most is the obvious Gibson influence on style, colour, carved top, etc. - this was surely an early MIJ attempt to out-do Gibson at making a high quality archtop at a far-eastern price. The guitar has aged well and wasn't expensive, given its quality and rarity ($750-00). It was of course a 'risky' purchase 'unseen' - the photos led me to believe it was actually an L4C copy - but instead - it's a full 25&1/2" scale, with an 'almost' L5C body (20&3/4" x 16&3/4" x 3&1/2" deep).

    'Jumbo' MIJ Tahara archtop !-20191212_223611-jpg

    Gruhn's website says there were a few 60's 'Gibson florentine L5C's with these slightly smaller dimensions made (Joe Cohn plays one I think) - so maybe Tahara-san got hold of one of these and used it for his dimensions 'blueprint' ?

    'Jumbo' MIJ Tahara archtop !-jumbo-catalog-1970s-japanese-made-jpg

    Anyway, here's another guitar 'project' for me to divert my pension towards over the next 12 months. If you find another 'Jumbo' Tahara archtop up for sale anywhere - investigate! This one really does look and feel more like a budget-priced substantial L7C than a typical lightweight MIJ copy archtop (oh - and, just in case you thought sound was unimportant to me - it sounds great - 100% authentic !) I've a repro L5 pickguard, 70's Framus AZ-10 tailpiece and a Kent Armstrong pickup to go on it - should be a terrific instrument when all's done, courtesy of my hugely talented luthier.

    'Jumbo' MIJ Tahara archtop !-gumbo-archtop-es-175-style-jpg
    Last edited by QsDuesBlues; 12-12-2019 at 07:25 PM. Reason: title overlong


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  3. #2

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    1) 2) Nice axe! Congratulations, and play it in good health!
    Last edited by citizenk74; 12-17-2019 at 10:09 AM. Reason: Punktuation

  4. #3

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    I'd bet a DeArmond Rhythm Chief or FHC would sound great on that guitar.

  5. #4

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    Looks great. Good catch.

  6. #5

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