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  1. #1

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    Good evening all,
    I've just bought a Kimbara 106 for $20. It was made on behalf of a UK wholesaler called FCN as I understand it. Meaning it was a fairly cheap Japanese-made classical in the 1970s.
    I bought it unseen because my mother and sister were out thrifting and sent me pictures of all the guitars there - this one looked like a 70s Japanese guitar and had really striking wood, so I said go for it.
    Once I got it in hand, the wood was a lot prettier than I expected, and I am positive that it is from the very same factory as my mid-70s Ibanez classical. Identical headstock and bridge, as well as similar inlay work and general finishing. It's been abused so I oiled the fretboard and cleaned it, and it's laying in a hardcase with a humidifier right now.




    For the life of me, I can't figure out what wood the back and sides are. My first thought was perhaps ovangkol, but THIS figured in a cheap, wholesale guitar in the 70s?

    Anyway, if it's anything like its suspected sibling, this will be a fantastic player!

    Edit: After posting, I'm not sure the colour was photographed right. It's a little more yellowish in the flesh.

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  3. #2

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    Classical guitars from Japan in those days used Jacaranda.

  4. #3

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    Jacaranda can refer to some 40 trees and shrubs, mostly planted for decorative purposes. The word is also used as a synonym for palisander, which again is synonymous with Brazilian rosewood (latifolia nigra). That wood was used in quantities by premium Scandinavian furniture makers from the 1950s until it went out of fashion - and supply. Such precious wood was hardly used for nothing but top-end Japanese builds. Indian rosewood (dalbergia latifolia) is more likely. I have to admit that the photos show some beautiful wood indeed, yet my long gone, laminated-top Aria classical from the same period also looked gorgeous.

  5. #4

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    I would think that is almost certainly laminated Indian rosewood. Possibly with grain matching on the interior laminate... the Japanese makers were really good at that.

  6. #5

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    In this case everyone is right it’s probably laminated jacaranda and the Japanese were masters how buildings lovely loud instruments that were durable also
    nice piece !!!

  7. #6

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    Thats not rosewood. Ovangkol is a pretty good guess. It's really well quartered with high ray content.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarcarver
    Thats not rosewood. Ovangkol is a pretty good guess. It's really well quartered with high ray content.
    Good call.

  9. #8

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    Well whatever type of wood it is it’s very likely a laminate

    but their lemonades were super thin and as another poster said they were masters at matching the grain so you would look inside and outside and think yeah this is a solid
    when actually it wasn’t

    they were remarkably durable Guitars and great performers especially for the money
    Japan was kicking Americas ass up and down the street in the 70s

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crm114
    Well whatever type of wood it is it’s very likely a laminate

    but their lemonades were super thin and as another poster said they were masters at matching the grain so you would look inside and outside and think yeah this is a solid
    when actually it wasn’t
    I'll admit I know *very* little about how lam's are made and why, but if your going to go through the trouble of matching the slices, the why not use the solid piece?

  11. #10

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    Much of that species has little holes
    and the match wasnt letter perfect

    Wish I had a nickel for every time some kid with a Yairi was sure his guitar was a solid though the model number was always a laminate

    lots of wishful thinking

    the upper model Yairis used solid jacaranda, the guitars were lighter and clearly rang sweeter
    but they’re delicate

    thr lams are stage worthy and can take a bit of banging about

  12. #11

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    Not rosewood and I'll go with a mahogany variant.