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Thread: yamaha mandolins

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    Default yamaha mandolins

    didnt know they made mandolins as well. some guy I spoke to the other day said he had a yamaha mandolin.

    how are they, quality-wise? I mean, since yamaha make both very good music instruments, and very cheap instruments.

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Never seen/heard of them but, for that matter, not everybody knows that Martin once built banjos!

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    Smile Re: yamaha mandolins

    I've been looking extensively at mandolins for 50 years but never seen a Yamaha. I always thought they should have brought them out but they know more than me. I have a friend who tells me he has seen a Takemine prototpe which was made years ago. F5 and given to a Fender Rep as a gift by the Japanese Factory after he had admired it hanging on the wall. I've never seen it and won't be convinced until I ever do but the person concerned (a guitar shop owner) says he saw it and it was a beauty.

    Wouldn't mind betting it was another make unless anyone has any info on Takemine ever planning mandolins.

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by mislykketmusikant View Post
    didnt know they made mandolins as well. some guy I spoke to the other day said he had a yamaha mandolin.

    how are they, quality-wise? I mean, since yamaha make both very good music instruments, and very cheap instruments.
    Do you know if it's a bowlback mandolin? Any chance you could get pictures? The last mention of a Yamaha mandolin we had turned out to be a Suzuki and the member just had the wrong name on their mind.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    That explains the exorbitant shipping costs on the Sumi-Era Kawasaki K-1000 I ordered..
    "I play BG so that's what I can talk intelligently about." A line I loved and pirated from Mandoplumb

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Back in the day, I (we) sold dozens of Yamaha guitars never saw a mandolin. The guitars (FG-160’s) were so amazingly consistent, stable, needed minimal set up. Playable right out of the box!i would have loved to have seen what they did with mandolins.
    Timothy F. Lewis
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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Do you know if it's a bowlback mandolin? Any chance you could get pictures? The last mention of a Yamaha mandolin we had turned out to be a Suzuki and the member just had the wrong name on their mind.
    sadly, no. I want to say a-style, but I am not sure. just met the guy at a local music store. they have a couch and a couple of chairs there, and a coffee machine, so lots of times, musicians who dont know eachother, start talking. great idea, but I have never seen the guy before. all I know, is that his main instrument is the hardanger fiddle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardanger_fiddle), but that he also play mandolin extensively.
    the guy is a professional musician, and he seemed to be very knowledgeable about instruments. and he distinctly said yamaha. he was in his early 60`s, I would guess.

    I can ask the guys at the music store, if I remember. they seemed to know him well. but my abillity to remember, isnt known to be of a legendary caliber.

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Well, get pictures and you'll have the only known example of a Yamaha mandolin. We haven't seen one.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Never seen/heard of them but, for that matter, not everybody knows that Martin once built banjos!
    I think the Martin people wanted to keep that a secret

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Fact that OP's from Norway may be relevant; mandolins could have been sold in Europe under the "Yamaha" label, not in the US.

    Google search reveals a "Black Classic" mandolin labeled "Yamaha" on the IndiaMart website. Gibson-esque oval-hole body, with a "scrolled" headstock. So there may be such instruments around, in different countries.
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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    From memory (you might like to check Mike Longworth’s book) Martin made 96 banjos. Unfortunately my memory doesn’t extend to ever remembering a Yamaha mandolin even though I do live in Europe. For info, I bought my firsy Yamaha guitar (a red labled FG180) in about 1970.

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Just for giggles I just went and looked at my first decent guitar. It was a Yamaha Red Label FG-110. I still own it. I can't explain how or why I still own it. I bought it in 1968. I guess it's possible Yamaha marketed a product to Europe that they never sent to the US. I'd still like to see the pictures.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    I also saw a reference to ones for sale in India. It is possible but I think unlikely they would have made them only for the Indian market. More likely someone putting a Yamaha decal on a cheap Pac Rim instrument.

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    I was a Yamaha Guitar dealer for 40 years. Never once heard of them making a mandolin, at least for the US market. Unlike a lot of fretted instrument companies, they pretty much make theirs from the factories they own.
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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post

    Google search reveals a "Black Classic" mandolin labeled "Yamaha" on the IndiaMart website. Gibson-esque oval-hole body, with a "scrolled" headstock. So there may be such instruments around, in different countries.
    If you look at the mandolin pictured in the above link, you will see that it has a "Washburn" logo on the head. Despite the advertiser's description, it is not a Yamaha at all.

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Eschliman View Post
    I was a Yamaha Guitar dealer for 40 years. Never once heard of them making a mandolin, at least for the US market. Unlike a lot of fretted instrument companies, they pretty much make theirs from the factories they own.
    I was not a dealer that long but, I think you may have the right idea Ted, other markets got other products, the FG-110’s and 160’s were great entry level instruments easy to sell, well made and cheap!
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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    I havent been able to talk to the people yet, but I will try. by the way the guy talked about the mandolin, it was clear that it was not a new mandolin. it seemed to be an old one.

    just a little sidenote: some of you have said you have been yamaha dealers for many years. does that mean you have tried the high-end nylon string guitars from yamaha? and if so; how do they stack up against the best spanish ones, like ramirez?

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Obviously, I can't comment on a Yamaha mandolin, but I think Yamaha instruments don't get the proper respect that they deserve among many musicians. My personal experience has been that a pretty fair number of Yamaha instruments that I have played over the years have been a very good value for the money and are very serviceable instruments for both stage and recording. As a kid growing up in the 70's, I was told that any instrument made outside of the U.S. was garbage - but I had to question that a bit when I saw Paul McCartney playing a Yamaha bass. Some years later, the best bass player I ever saw played a Fender P'Bass, then switched over to a Musicman Stingray - and finally settled on Yamaha. Once I saw that, I REALLY had to re-think the whole situation. Today - I play a Yamaha bass, too.

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeZito View Post
    Today - I play a Yamaha bass, too.
    I still play my 80's Yamaha bass:



    Easy to play, sounds great, and stays in tune for months at a time.

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Just for giggles I just went and looked at my first decent guitar. It was a Yamaha Red Label FG-110. I still own it. I can't explain how or why I still own it. I bought it in 1968. I guess it's possible Yamaha marketed a product to Europe that they never sent to the US. I'd still like to see the pictures.
    Hah - mine was a Yamaha FG-180, ca 1971. Solid guitar, excellent value, I learned to play on it but after 3 or 4 years was seduced by a red Guild with a crappy neck and perpetually high action. Regretted selling the Yamaha almost immediately . . . but I did learn from that mistake. I still have the SG Special that I bought brand spanking new in 1973, and I learned not to impulse buy based on looks alone. I also learned to shop with extreme prejudice in pawn shops.
    Clark Beavans

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    David: Is it just the picture, or is there an unusual shape to that bass?

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    I grew up in the Philippines and Yamaha was THE luxury instrument that was relatively available (they had a store in Manila and when we went to Manila, I tried to stop by and look in the window. We NEVER were there when the store was open, but there was a heavily gold blinged blonde acoustic cutaway that was something like 5000 pesos (about $800) sitting in the window, and 5000 pesos seemed impossibly expensive to a high school kid in the Philippines at that time). Nobody carried real Gibson, Fender, etc. Lots of COPIES of (Gibson, Fender, etc., along with copied logo, lol). Anyway, I dreamed of owning a Yamaha. When I got back to the States, through college, and got a job (1985), one of my first musical purchases was a used Yamaha acoustic steel string guitar. It was the worst guitar I had ever owned, lol. Looked nice and shiny, but played and sounded bad (all laminate). In hindsight, it probably needed some neck work, but wouldn’t have been worth spending the money on it.
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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeZito View Post
    David: Is it just the picture, or is there an unusual shape to that bass?
    No, that's the BX-1 bass that was Yamaha's short-lived answer to the Steinberger headless bass. Frankly it's a killer bass, but it never caught on.

    https://reverb.com/item/2589638-yama...ible-condition

    https://www.talkbass.com/threads/yam...-info.1040405/


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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Most Yamaha stuff is OK but I remember turning up early at a guitar show 10 or 15 years ago, just as the man on the Yamaha stand was setting up, so we helped him tune his stock. Amongst this were two hand built guitars, one with a single figure serial number and the other with the serial number “1”. They sounded awful!

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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by tree View Post
    Hah - mine was a Yamaha FG-180, ca 1971. Solid guitar, excellent value, I learned to play on it but after 3 or 4 years was seduced by a red Guild with a crappy neck and perpetually high action. Regretted selling the Yamaha almost immediately . . . but I did learn from that mistake. I still have the SG Special that I bought brand spanking new in 1973, and I learned not to impulse buy based on looks alone. I also learned to shop with extreme prejudice in pawn shops.
    Is it a D-25? Thee shop I worked in sold Guild (and Martin eventually) and we found that almost without exception the tops would “rotate” at the bridge making for miserable action! The solution we employed was the plane the bridge and reset the action that way, it worked quite well. We did that to my D-25 and it settled in pretty well. You just jogged my memory on that.
    Be safe.
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