(SOLD) Guitarra Tamura Jupiter 35 Classical Acoustic 1968
Guitarra Tamura Jupiter 35, made in Japan 1968. Hiroshi Tamura and his younger brother Mitsuru made classical and flamenco style acoustics from the 1950s to the 1980s. They were extremely well regarded, having trained under Spanish masters and gone on to win several international awards for their work. On a quirky note, Hiroshi named the 60s era lines after celestial bodies, so this one was named after Jupiter. Now it's a '35' model, which many MIJ enthusiasts will correctly assume pertains to an original list price of ¥35000. But, this was made in 1968, which is noteworthy on that front. Guess how much an average university graduate annual salary was in 1969: ¥35000... so this guitar was worth a whole year's average wage when it was new. That average salary rose astronomically in the following few years and was in the region of ¥170000 by 1980, so this is comparably high end to late 70s guitars that would have sold for ¥120-160k, if that makes sense. What does that mean in terms of quality: heck, you've got to play this this thing to really understand. First, it's all solid woods, and good ones at that. The top is a gorgeous piece of very old cedar, some of the growth rings on show are under 0.5mm wide... it's a premium piece. The back and sides are Japanese cypress, which is a gorgeous honey amber colour with an intriguing bookmatched pattern of it's own. At 1.2kg its extremely light, even for a guitar in this genre. One strum and it's all out there: singing, vibrant high end, punchy percussive bass, gooey rich mids... it's positively brimming with clarity and zing. The little details like the neck heel, rosette, headstock join, carved headstock end and ebony board all radiate class; this is a beautiful instrument.
Model: Guitarra Tamura Jupiter 35
Made: Japan, 1968 (no serial, label has the date)
Finish: natural gloss, thin lacquer
Body: solid cedar top, solid Japanese cypress back and sides
Neck: mahogany, ebony fingerboard, D-shape, 52mm nut
Case: basic non-original vintage hard case
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. The headstock has a few minor dimples on the end. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, minor dimples and some rub wear on the back only. The back has some minor scuffs on the top shoulder, elbow area and back edge and a few dimples on the bottom bout. The sides have minor dimples on the top horn, elbow area and bottom bout. The front has some dimples on the bottom edge down from and behind the bridge and in the elbow area, as well as some scuffs in the elbow area and around the soundhole and some play wear on the shoulders. Overall: very good condition (8/10).
Playing condition notes: action is moderately, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. Frets look great, 8/10 for fret life left. Wearing fresh Rotosound normal tension strings.