scale: 658 mm
weight: 1575 g
body length: 488 mm
nut: 52 mm
upper bout: 282 mm
waist: 239 mm
lower bout: 373 mm
depth: 99 mm
top thickness: 2.77 mm

action - 5th fret: 2.8 mm
action - 12th fret: 4.3 mm
neck size - 1st fret: 80 mm
neck size - 5th fret: 85 mm
natural resonance note: G#/A
strings: D’Addario Pro Arté normal tension,
silverplated wound clear nylon, EJ45

top material: spruce
sides/back material: maple
neck material: nato (aka eastern mahogany)
fretboard material: bubinga (aka African rosewood)
bridge material: bubinga (aka African rosewood)

builder: Yamaha (Nippon Gakki) made in Japan
model: G-60A
serial no: 1587470
years built: 1969-1973
original msrp: $79.50 ($396 in 2011 dollars)

download picture pack (4.4M)
info on specs

A Nippon Gakki. Built in the era when men were men, women were women (has this changed?) and the Japanese were beginning to storm the US shores with high-quality products. This was the time when US-built cars were 2-ton behemoths and the Japanese dared to export the little Toyotas...that eventually ran quality-control rings around the Detroit-built iron. At the same time, the Japanese figured out how to build guitars. And build them well.

Despite a decent build provenance, this little puppy suffered in its earlier life. Or maybe it was just well-loved. It may not have fallen out of the back window of a ‘63 Chevrolet Impala station wagon and bounced down the road for a few hundred feet but when we got it, it looked like it had thought of making that leap.

Dinged, dented and roughed up, it, like the tough guitars that Nippon Gakki’s are, survived. Once it arrived at Vintage Classicals, we cleaned it and polished it and polished it and polished it. And it still looks a little rough. But this is the guitar I’ve played the most over the past six months. Why? Maybe because it’s a little rough around the edges, I’m not afraid of it getting another nick or two. The action? A wee bit high at 4.3 mm at the 12th fret. It could be tweaked with some saddle or nut work - but the playability and sound are still, somehow, pretty good. I’ve bonded with this 'lil darlin' and I’m pretty sure you will too. And if that’s not enough - it’s got that spiffy pagoda roof-shaped head of the early Yamahas and what I assume are the original tuners - very unique.

For collectors, this IS a Nippon Gakki with a seven-digit serial number (the ones that even Yamaha can't figure out). It's a little rough version but it's still beautiful. Note the scale of 658 - this was the era when Yamahas were all built to the larger scale (when men were men?).

Dings, dents, bumps, scrapes - the pictures show a lot of the "character." The biggest divot is on the top on the lower end where there's a slight separation at the binding - it's in the last photo. It looks like injury due to an impact rather than a separation due to faulty binding, and it hasn't changed (gotten worse, or better for that matter) since arriving at Vintage Classicals. The tuners are stiff - after the initial cleaning they were very stiff but graphite on the rollers has helped and now they are just stiff - functional and funky looking, but stiff. The neck looks pretty straight, the heel/body joint appears solid and the bridge doesn't show any lifting. Frets and fretboard look decent, certainly not new, but decent.

How it sounds