9/08/2017

1995 Alvarez-Yairi JY-10BK Jumbo Flattop Guitar





After years of servicing random Alvarez-Yairis for walk-in setups, I've grown used to them being pretty fantastic-sounding guitars in their price brackets. This one was made in Japan in 1995 and it looks, maybe, like it's a few years old. It's been well cared-for, has no cracks, and the black finish has no clouding or other funk to take away from it.

A consignor brought this in (he has too many jumbos) and all I had to do to get it up to snuff was set it up and adjust the saddle compensation. It's playing right-on with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret, strung with 54w-12 strings, and with a straight neck and well-functioning truss-rod. The frets have only the tiniest amount of wear, so I left them as-is rather than doing a level/dress job. This guitar looks like it's been in a retail shop for half a year, rather than owned and played now and then for the last 22 years.


The top is solid spruce while the back and sides are ply maple. There's black finish on all of it and the binding has pretty-looking faux (I believe) pearl purfling. The body is 17 1/8" on the lower bout and 4 5/8" deep at the endpin -- making it a true "jumbo."


It has a rosewood board and bridge and bound edges on the board.


The nut is 1 11/16" and the neck is slim and fast with a C-shaped profile -- a bit like a concurrently-built electric.




During setup I added light string-ramps behind the saddle for better back-angle on it.












There's an undersaddle pickup installed with a battery-powered preamp onboard. It sounds pretty natural, in fact, for an undersaddle pup.



I've since moved this battery-box/preamp unit to below the soundhole and on the back. That way the wires are tidier and it isn't obvious. I also needed to yank it off of the neckblock to double-check the manufacturing year (Alvarez-Yairis stamp it there -- the serial numbers on the labels apparently mean little to nothing).


An original, arched, hard case comes with it. This has Alvarez branding and an interesting, cream-brown edging and black/blue marbled appearance to the exterior. Nice case!

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