10/10/2015

1960s Yamaha G-50 Dianne Finch "Bird-art" Classical Guitar




There's nothing fancy about the guitar itself -- it's an all-laminate Japan-made Yamaha classical from the late 60s -- we can tell that the artwork is the main attraction. It was apparently painted by a "Dianne Finch" in 2002. Who is she? I don't know. She's a good painter, though -- at first I thought these birds and butterflies were decals at a glance. Nope! It's all paint and has a sealer coat sprayed over it.

Work included a heavy-duty fret level/dress (to get rid of apparent warp in the neck, for the most part) and a bit of bridge-modding to get the intonation better and the action right. It plays with "standard classical" (for my specs) height at 3/32" 12th fret height. It's got a full 26" scale length and while I wouldn't suggest this guitar for the avid classical musician, it does make a perfectly-decent folk and singing guitar.


Nice, huh?


The fretboard is a hunk of rosewood.



Bindings, purflings, and rosette are all "real" rather than decals or the like.


The painted-black rosewood bridge needed its saddle lowered a bunch. It was also glued in the wrong place and so rather than recut the slot and make a new (low) saddle, I simply recut the bridge itself to make an "integrated saddle" like on many ukes. It's worked-out just fine.

Because of the low height of the saddle, however, this should be strung "uke style" or "Willie Nelson" style with balled-up ends an the back of the bridge/string retension bar area. This gives sufficient back-angle on the saddle for a clean sound.





While the top is laminate spruce, the back and sides are laminate maple.


One bank of tuners is original and the other isn't. I like the mismatched buttons, though, hee hee...



So, in conclusion: while this could've just ended-up a pretty wallhanger, I think it was worth the extra miles to put it back into playing shape.

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