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Old 09-27-2012, 10:13 AM
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rwskaggs rwskaggs is offline
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Thumbs up Yamamoto OMY - What is this guitar's history?

I just received a 2005 Yamamoto OMY in Engelmann / Ziricote from a member on the forum. This guitar has had...."several"....owners, and I'm curious about its history. Anything you might be able and willing to share about it would be very much appreciated. I respect folks' privacy and if you'd prefer to email or PM me rather than posting in this thread, I understand and will keep your information very secure.

It has acquired a few scrapes and bumps along the way, but it is an AMAZING fingerstyle instrument! I'm blown away by it, & every time I play it I get lost in the sounds it produces for me. Seems to ring forever and is quite balanced across the strings to me with its throaty, subtle tones.

It's also not quite as deep at the endblock as the ads said - it measures precisely 4-3/8" instead of 4-3/4" - a very comfortable size for me to hold and play.

Over the past couple of years, I've played and wanted to own a few custom builds (McKnight guitars in particular and a few luthier-built beauties that others brought to the McJams), but have never been able to afford one.

I may never be totally happy with a stock guitar again after drinking this Kool-Aid.





Do any of you AGFers know who ordered the original upgraded top and back/side wood? Was the inlay work done before purchase or added later?





NOTE: I borrowed photos some of the previous owners had used in their ads, and hope it is OK to link them here. If not, PM me and I'll remove them immediately!

This guitar is going to take quite a bit of time for me to 'explore' - I don't anticipate getting bored with it very soon. It's on its way to my luthier to replace the bone saddle (original is chipped) and install a brand new B-Band A2.2 multi-source pickup that their Texas USA headquarters sent "gratis" after I had trouble with an earlier one.

The rest of the photos can be seen at PhotoBucket at http://s1233.photobucket.com/albums/...amamoto%20OMY/
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RW Skaggs, the tinman :

Acorn House Custom by Chris Kenney:Tinman "Heart Guitar" SJ
Godin Multiac Nylon SA; Roland Synth
McKnight Mini-Mac V; Madagascar RW, Italian/Carpathian top; exquisite!
John Helton Custom OM; Honduran Mahogany Burl "the Growler"
Rainsong H-DR1100N2
Seagull Parlor in Nashville high tuning

"The music lives in the musician; not the instrument."
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:24 AM
alma_shortscale alma_shortscale is offline
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That's a pretty guitar!

Have you tried to contact the builder?
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:26 AM
sevenpalms sevenpalms is online now
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Ok.... I want it back now please!!!!
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:31 AM
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Funny...on the sticker, the top wood and body wood are reversed. You'd think somebody would know better, not that it matters. I think ziricote is an under-appreciated body wood.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:47 AM
Jimbolaya Jimbolaya is offline
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nice find.
I own yamamoto talus #99. He makes great instruments.
here's the website:
http://yamamotoguitar.com

I guess his story is that he was an engineer (electrical or mechanical) for a long time. Now he's making guitars in retirement. He brings a scientific mind to the guitar making art. He is experimenting with a lot of different body shapes, multi-scales and that sort of thing. The talus model that I have has larger base side upper bout. The neck joint is like no else's.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:53 AM
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rwskaggs rwskaggs is offline
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I like the way engineers approach an art such as guitar-making - they blend a scientific postulation/trial/error/feed-back loop into their work. Tim McKnight seems to explore alternatives the same way.

I did visit the Yamamoto website and sent him a link to this thread. Hoping to learn something, but content just to enjoy it!

And no...SevenPalms...you CAN'T have it back!
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RW Skaggs, the tinman :

Acorn House Custom by Chris Kenney:Tinman "Heart Guitar" SJ
Godin Multiac Nylon SA; Roland Synth
McKnight Mini-Mac V; Madagascar RW, Italian/Carpathian top; exquisite!
John Helton Custom OM; Honduran Mahogany Burl "the Growler"
Rainsong H-DR1100N2
Seagull Parlor in Nashville high tuning

"The music lives in the musician; not the instrument."
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:28 AM
Jimbolaya Jimbolaya is offline
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Totally agree on not going back after a hand made. My yamamoto did the same for me. Didn't expect to buy it. Thought it was a little funny looking. But it was a slap in the face. Couldn't ignore it. It had to come home with me. Just love the sustain and character of handmade guitars.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:33 AM
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rwskaggs rwskaggs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbolaya View Post
Totally agree on not going back after a hand made. My yamamoto did the same for me. Didn't expect to buy it. Thought it was a little funny looking. But it was a slap in the face. Couldn't ignore it. It had to come home with me. Just love the sustain and character of handmade guitars.
...and I thought I was broke before!
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RW Skaggs, the tinman :

Acorn House Custom by Chris Kenney:Tinman "Heart Guitar" SJ
Godin Multiac Nylon SA; Roland Synth
McKnight Mini-Mac V; Madagascar RW, Italian/Carpathian top; exquisite!
John Helton Custom OM; Honduran Mahogany Burl "the Growler"
Rainsong H-DR1100N2
Seagull Parlor in Nashville high tuning

"The music lives in the musician; not the instrument."
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:38 PM
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El Conquistador El Conquistador is offline
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I believe Tony is one of the most underpriced builders out there. His guitars sound like what I think a guitar should sound. His OMYs are truely great fingerstyle guitars with lush overtones and sustain for days.

Here is my OMY:


As to his history, Tony was a tech at Livermore Labs, I believe, calibrating the electron microscopes there. He has always been a guitar guy and was looking for something to do when he retired. He wandered into Fine Fretted Friends in Livermore one day and fell in love with some of the hand builts they carried. From there, he just carried on until he reached the level he is now at. And, yes, he does approach builder from an engineer's eye. Mine was built custom for me.

Good buy on that OMY,

Steve
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Last edited by El Conquistador; 09-27-2012 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:57 PM
Jimbolaya Jimbolaya is offline
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steve,
What kind of top is that? Is that cedar? Is that Koa?
never seen one like that. it looks good.
-Jim
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:16 PM
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rwskaggs rwskaggs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Conquistador View Post
I believe Tony is one of the most underpriced builders out there. His guitars sound like what I think a guitar should sound. His OMYs are truely great fingerstyle guitars with lush overtones and sustain for days.

Here is my OMY:


As to his history, Tony was a tech at Livermore Labs, I believe, calibrating the electron microscopes there. He has always been a guitar guy and was looking for something to do when he retired. He wandered into Fine Fretted Friends in Livermore one day and fell in love with some of the hand builts they carried. From there, he just carried on until he reached the level he is now at. And, yes, he does approach builder from an engineer's eye. Mine was built custom for me.

Good buy on that OMY,

Steve
Yours is a beautiful guitar Steve - bet it plays even better than it looks!
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RW Skaggs, the tinman :

Acorn House Custom by Chris Kenney:Tinman "Heart Guitar" SJ
Godin Multiac Nylon SA; Roland Synth
McKnight Mini-Mac V; Madagascar RW, Italian/Carpathian top; exquisite!
John Helton Custom OM; Honduran Mahogany Burl "the Growler"
Rainsong H-DR1100N2
Seagull Parlor in Nashville high tuning

"The music lives in the musician; not the instrument."
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  #12  
Old 09-28-2012, 04:45 PM
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El Conquistador El Conquistador is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbolaya View Post
steve,
What kind of top is that? Is that cedar? Is that Koa?
never seen one like that. it looks good.
-Jim
Whoops, been away. The topwood on this guitar is Giant Sequoia. It is redwood on steroids. The B&S is Beeswing Mahogony.



As I have aged, my shoulders are protesting anything larger than a 00, and that is with a Manzer wedge. I have sold off all my larger guitars, but, have held on to this one. However, I am a believer that great guitars should not sit in closets, so, I am thinking of letting this one go as well.

Steve
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Last edited by El Conquistador; 09-28-2012 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:00 PM
Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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I don't know anything about the history of this guitar, but I'm sure Tony could tell you.

Tony's one of the best-kept secrets of the Bay Area. He's extremely innovative, *fast*, and underpriced.

Tony built me a 12-string baritone, and later a 7 string, which eventually got concerted into a multi-scale bari. The 12 string bari was especially interesting. Tony proposed it, but had never built even a regular 12 string, so he said it would take quite a while, and lots of research. 2 weeks later he called me and said it was done! That's a long time for Tony :-)

His latest adventure is a 6 string that has 7 strings, you can switch in a few seconds between a regular 6 string and a banjo-style "high strung" 6th string. Whichever string you aren't using tucks away inside a channel in the neck. I thought he had a demo of it on you tube, but I'm not finding it.

A lot of Bay Area players own Yamamotos. Here's Todd Krider on a Talus:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBPA3qMxt9A

And Mike Nepper on a spectacular Maple and Redwood Talus:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgZGj3YmLr8

Fran Guidry has a wonderful OMY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYblF14osI4
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:01 PM
ship of fools ship of fools is offline
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For the price he was asking I came just that close to pulling the trigger but you got there only 20 minutes before I was ready to do it ( should have done it on my phone but its such a pain being so small type ).ship
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:24 PM
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rwskaggs rwskaggs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
I don't know anything about the history of this guitar, but I'm sure Tony could tell you.

Tony's one of the best-kept secrets of the Bay Area. He's extremely innovative, *fast*, and underpriced.
Thanks for the links, Doug. Yamamoto was certainly a secret from THIS Ohio boy until last week. I am deeply impressed and will have an eagle eye out for more opportunities to try his work.

I did write to Tony via the link on his website, but haven't heard back yet. He's got to be pretty busy with a following like I have seen here!
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RW Skaggs, the tinman :

Acorn House Custom by Chris Kenney:Tinman "Heart Guitar" SJ
Godin Multiac Nylon SA; Roland Synth
McKnight Mini-Mac V; Madagascar RW, Italian/Carpathian top; exquisite!
John Helton Custom OM; Honduran Mahogany Burl "the Growler"
Rainsong H-DR1100N2
Seagull Parlor in Nashville high tuning

"The music lives in the musician; not the instrument."
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