(SOLD) Headway HD-105 Dreadnought Acoustic 1980
Headway HD-105, made in Japan around 1980, natural finish. This is the first Headway guitar we've had through the store, and holy guacamole, it's an absolute delight. Headway launched in 1977 under the guide of legendary master luthier Yasuo Momose, the same mind behind the Deviser group that later spawned Bacchus and Momose guitars. I heard a story that in 1977, Momose and his business partner spent ¥1m on a vintage Martin D-28 dreadnought. That kind of cash equates to well over $10k in AUD in 2021, but in 1977, that would've come pretty close to buying you a basic house in Hobart town. Yasuo spent over a year completely deconstructing the Martin to figure out exactly how it was made... making note of every single minute detail. These first era Headway guitars were made between 1977 and 1981, all by hand with no router machines, a small team headed and trained by Yasuo Momose himself. This one is a pretty trad take on the Martin D-28, so it's got a soft-V shaped mahogany neck with a dovetail joint and a superbly rich, dark rosewood board. The body is a square shoulder dreadnought shape made from a gorgeous piece of solid spruce and two (possibly three) plies of rosewood on the back and sides. The top features some gorgeous tight grain, it's mesmerising to look at up close. I expected this to sound good, but... oh boy, it sounds amazing. First up, it's very, very loud. The natural volume and thick, sonorous low end is quite remarkable. There's plenty of snap and shimmer on the top end, which comes increasingly as you dig in harder... it's responsive, warm, full and lets every little nuance come out clear as day. There's a width and complexity through the midrange too, which lends chords a certain clarity and zing. It feels remarkably alive in the hands too, plus the neck is a comfy little number. So, if you can't tell, yes, I like it very much.
Model: Headway HD-105
Made: Japan, 1980 approx (serial 005443)
Finish: natural, gloss poly
Body: square shoulder dreadnought style; solid spruce top, laminate rosewood back and sides
Neck: mahogany, rosewood fingerboard, dovetail joint, 25.5" scale, 15" radius
Case: non-original wood hard case, good quality and condition
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. The headstock has some minor scuffs on the end. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, there's minor dimples and some glossing from play on the back only. The back has widespread light scuffs but no major marks. The sides a couple of light dimples in the elbow area as well as some light scuffs along the bottom edge. The front has a couple of dimples in the elbow area and near the edge on the bottom bout, as well as some light play scuffs on the guard and shoulders. Overall: very good condition (8/10).
Playing condition notes: action is moderately low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. The frets look pretty even and in good shape, 7/10 for fret life left. Wearing fresh 12/54 John Pearse strings.