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Thread: yamaha mandolins

  1. #51
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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by tntb View Post
    What I find strange is Yamaha only used that particular label and logo with a Piano from 1934 to 1936.
    That begs the question of what they used the label on back in the 30s? Presumably it wasn’t on their pianos. Finding an earlier label on something later doesn’t bother me as much as finding a later lable on something which is clearly earlier. What does bother me though is the fact that the label isn’t straight and every other Yamaha I’ve ever come across has either had Yamaha or the crossed tuning forks on the headstock. I don’t remember another of their instruments with a model name there.

    Thanks for getting back; we can be an impatient lot when something interesting crops up!

  2. #52
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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    I think I have seen that script on early Yamaha classical guitars from the 50s and early 60s.
    1/2/89 Gibson A5-L

  3. #53
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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Is the country of origin (Made in Japan) listed on the bottom of the label? I can't quite make out what is there.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  4. #54
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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Although Yamaha was originally founded in 1887 to produce pianos and organs, the company did not start building guitars until the early Forties, eventually opening a factory dedicated exclusively to guitar construction in Hamamatsu in the late Forties. Yamaha’s first guitars were nylon-string classical models, and these guitars were sold only by retailers within Japan through the Fifties and early Sixties.
    https://www.guitarworld.com/gear/loo...yamaha-guitars

    The fact that they are writing the company name in the Latin alphabet suggests it was built for export, I'm surprised they would call it the Californian but at least they didn't brand it Kentucky.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #55
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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    I have only seen labels of that type on instruments that were built before the early '70's instruments with orange labels.
    I do not recall seeing a crooked label in a Yamaha instrument, at least not an old one. It makes me wonder if the label was added later.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jul-19-2020 at 7:05pm.

  6. #56

    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    FWIW, and working at a vintage guitar shop we rarely saw Yamaha acoustic guitars that predated the FG red label Nippon Gakki series of the late 60's. Most will date to early 70's unless they were purchased by servicemen and brought back prior to that date. One guitar I distinctly remember was an early D size Yamaha from mid-60's or earlier. The peghead said Yamaha and had an Native American face in profile also on the peghead, similar to what is on a Nickel. Very cool looking, but the quality of the guitar, both in hardware, overall build and finish was several notches below the well-regarded FG red label guitars. I wanted to like it, but it just wasn't a very good guitar and even with a bunch of money spent toward a setup, it still wouldn't be a very good guitar, IMHO. But, a cool wall-hanger, for sure! Wish I had a picture, but I don't. Sorry.

  7. #57

    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    I do not recall seeing a crooked label in a Yamaha instrument, at least not an old one. It makes me wonder if the label was added later.
    So if that were the case what is the label from? Size wise it is correct for the instrument and there is no indication of any other label that was there prior.

  8. #58
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    This is a 50's to 60's Yamaha Dynamic Guitar (classical guitar) label and they are using the piano. Interestingly enough they were already finishing the insides of the guitar to keep it stable during the ocean voyage. That continued through the red labels, I have no idea if it went beyond. I would guess the mandolin label was pre the red label guitars.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  9. #59
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: yamaha mandolins

    From circa 1900 on the American music scene had a whole lot of people building "for the trade" to be labeled or not labeled with someone else's brand. Other industries did this as well. It wasn't limited to the US, it was common in some European countries as well. I suspect that Yamaha didn't one off a mandolin but may have shipped one to their early distributors to see if they could sell them. This is really similar to the Suzuki products and I suspect that it was built by Suzuki for Yamaha and labeled by Yamaha and the person installing the label didn't bother removing the strings. Thus the label is crooked.

    You could actually contact Yamaha with pictures from their website and ask if they can give you any history. Don't expect them to offer up that they bought it from someone else but they might be able to tell you how it got here.

    I'm sure it was labeled by Yamaha. There would be no money in faking this instrument. It may have been a salesman's sample.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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