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Thread: NMD: Shiro ca. 1965

  1. #1
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default NMD: Shiro ca. 1965

    After a long transit, the Shiro has arrived. I'm impressed. The new '74s are settling in as we speak.

    The volume doesn't rival my Eastman 515. Otherwise, this instrument has a sweet voice. It is likely but yet unconfirmed the back and sides are mahogany, which was a regular combo for these instruments. I imagine that it will only get better with playing time to wake up the wood.

    The build, fit, and finish on this instrument is superb. I have strong suspicions that it is from the Matsumoku factory. The wood is beautiful all the way around. I am still trying to discern if there is actually a seam on the back or not. It's really that hard to tell. What is quite easy to tell is how well the neck was crafted into the body. The finish is even fully completed on the end/underside of the neck underneath the florida. I can't claim that for the 515. Again, attention to detail is superb. The scroll is especially gorgeous. I compared it to a 1963 Gibby F-5 pic I could find online; it was embarrassing how much nicer the Shiro looks.

    I know that there are mixed reports for the brand from later years. This sweet little instrument is already in a new Travelite case when not being played. It's ready for a little jaunt to the islands next week. ;-) All I can say is that the sleepers in the vintage mando world are the Matsumoku MIJ's (Washburn later joined Aria the parent company for Shiro), at least through the early 70's. The early Washburn Jethro Burns models, produced late 70's early 80's, command $1k+. I'm glad I got this one when I could!


    Here's the link to the pics from the seller site.
    Axes: Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods, Andrew Jerman Irwin-style 5 string electric "Stealie", Eastman 515, Shiro F-5, Crafter M85E, Dillion 335 style, Grandmom's solid-mahogany teens bent-top, Baglamas 002
    Boards: Acoustic Electric
    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Rivera Clubster Royale Recording Head; Laney Cub 10 & Cab, Peavey Studio Pro

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  3. #2
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
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    Default Re: NMD: Shiro ca. 1965

    I owned a Shiro exactly like yours for a number of years. It was my first "good" mandolin. Shiro is an alternative name for Aria. The founder of Aria was a man named Shiro Arai. He switched the last two letters of his surname to make Aria. I have seen guitars with the Shiro name on them that look just like the 70's Aria guitars. Nice instruments.
    Jammin' south of the river
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    My albums: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?u=7616

  4. #3
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Leesburg, VA
    Posts
    847
    Axes: Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods, Andrew Jerman Irwin-style 5 string electric "Stealie", Eastman 515, Shiro F-5, Crafter M85E, Dillion 335 style, Grandmom's solid-mahogany teens bent-top, Baglamas 002
    Boards: Acoustic Electric
    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Rivera Clubster Royale Recording Head; Laney Cub 10 & Cab, Peavey Studio Pro

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