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Old 11-17-2019, 06:48 AM
sjm1580 sjm1580 is offline
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Default Opinions of upper end Yamaha Acoustics?

Recently I've noticed some high end Yamaha acoustics on the Forum Sale Page going unsold at some very reasonable prices, which makes me wonder what is the level of appreciation is for the upper end Yamaha acoustics.

I realize Yamaha is probably most recognized for the entry level acoustics which are very well regarded at their price point.

I'm curious what opinions are for the upper end, hand made guitars, like the LL, LS, LA series compared to their North American counterparts.

Anxious to hear.

Thank You!
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:59 AM
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I think Yamaha makes very nice acoustic guitars in the <$1000 (US) range but my gut feeling is their reach exceeds their grasp as the price goes higher...
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:07 AM
sjm1580 sjm1580 is offline
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Originally Posted by RP View Post
I think Yamaha makes very nice acoustic guitars in the <$1000 (US) range but my gut feeling is their reach exceeds their grasp as the price goes higher...
Curious, have you played any of their upper end guitars?
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:16 AM
Dbone Dbone is offline
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I think the problem is that it is hard for people to form opinions when they canít get one in front of them. These units are extremely rare in these parts.

If there was more opportunity and exposure more people would probably be buying them, and the resale on the units would be much better like they are in some other markets.

Donít remember who it was, but someone on here mentioned they had knowledge that Yamaha was potentially looking to up the production coming out of their custom shop in Japan where these units come from. I donít know if this would be a good or bad thing. Perhaps they want a bigger piece of the NA market? If they do, currently they have a funny way of showing it.

My understanding is that they sell a fair amount of them in Asia and certain other markets. In NA they are essentially built to order only (which is not the case in other areas). Just look at that recent guy from the UK that did his LL36 NGD...Before buying he had an opportunity in the UK to play a LL26, LL36, and LL56 together in one place in one store. Good luck having that opportunity over here. Must be nice...

Right now these things are entirely hand made and a bit special/rare as a result. I like that they are not made by the bazillions personally. This is a big part of the reason why I went in the direction I did. This, and the fact that comparable guitars from other manufacturers in my market were 2K to 3k more in price...literally...The final thing that put me over was seeing an LL56 in person 3 times...Absolute tone monster that blew me away more than any other guitar that has been in my presence.

We all know what floats our boat. I think Yamaha would be floating a lot more boats if people where more exposed to these high end offerings.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjm1580 View Post
Curious, have you played any of their upper end guitars?
Yes, but the quality of the higher end Yamaha acoustics is not my point. Many of us oldsters identify Yamaha acoustics at the lower end where they stand out very favorably but simply wouldn't pay the same money that they would for a less expensive Martin, Taylor or Gibson. Thus my comment/opinion that Yamaha reaches to be successful at a higher price point than customers may be willing to spend. I do think dbone makes a good point about lack of access as well so that our collective frame of reference is based on firsthand exposure to the less expensive stuff....
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Last edited by RP; 11-17-2019 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:17 AM
Dbone Dbone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RP View Post
I think Yamaha makes very nice acoustic guitars in the <$1000 (US) range but my gut feeling is their reach exceeds their grasp as the price goes higher...
In our markets yes...because of exposure only...
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:19 AM
sakar12 sakar12 is offline
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Yamaha has me grumpy--Sweetwater reached out to their rep and was told that they don't make the LL 26, 36, or 56 in lefty.

Bummer. I was really hoping to get a 36.

I guess I share this to add another evidence for their rarity ... For me, some models don't even exist.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbone View Post
I think the problem is that it is hard for people to form opinions when they canít get one in front of them. These units are extremely rare in these parts.

If there was more opportunity and exposure more people would probably be buying them, and the resale on the units would be much better like they are in some other markets.

Donít remember who it was, but someone on here mentioned they had knowledge that Yamaha was potentially looking to up the production coming out of their custom shop in Japan where these units come from. I donít know if this would be a good or bad thing. Perhaps they want a bigger piece of the NA market? If they do, currently they have a funny way of showing it.

My understanding is that they sell a fair amount of them in Asia and certain other markets. In NA they are essentially built to order only (which is not the case in other areas). Just look at that recent guy from the UK that did his LL36 NGD...Before buying he had an opportunity in the UK to play a LL26, LL36, and LL56 together in one place in one store. Good luck having that opportunity over here. Must be nice...

Right now these things are entirely hand made and a bit special/rare as a result. I like that they are not made by the bazillions personally. This is a big part of the reason why I went in the direction I did. This, and the fact that comparable guitars from other manufacturers in my market were 2K to 3k more in price...literally...The final thing that put me over was seeing an LL56 in person 3 times...Absolute tone monster that blew me away more than any other guitar that has been in my presence.

We all know what floats our boat. I think Yamaha would be floating a lot more boats if people where more exposed to these high end offerings.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:28 AM
Dbone Dbone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sakar12 View Post
Yamaha has me grumpy--Sweetwater reached out to their rep and was told that they don't make the LL 26, 36, or 56 in lefty.

Bummer. I was really hoping to get a 36.

I guess I share this to add another evidence for their rarity ... For me, some models don't even exist.
Wow, I did not know that. How silly is that given that they are built to order and literally hand made.

I had never taken the time to look into that. In fact, at one point I think I suggested to someone on here that it would probably be likely that they would make them...that is annoying for sure...

I would be willing to bet that they make them for the Asian market...might be one round about way that you could get what you need...
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:40 AM
Graham H Graham H is offline
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I own 2 Yamaha LL models, both were under $1000.00 US for me, including hard case. The first one I bought was the A.R.E. 12 string, Sitka Spruce /w Rosewood back and sides, and I was so blown away, I went back and bought the Black A.R.E. Sitka Spruce also with the Rosewood back and sides with the Piano Black finish. Both guitars are fantastic in every way, I couldnt be happier !!! Of course I did some mods, and replaced the Uria nut, bridge saddle and bridge pins with Graphtech Tusq, and did my own work on the setups, but I am tickled, these guitars play great, sound great and fell great !!! 5 piece mahogany/rosewood necks with ebony fretboards and bridges, Abolone rosettes and separate piezo pickup per strings and a lot of hand made crafting !!! I'm blown away with these Yamahas, in my opinion they are worth much much more than what they cost me !!! Yamaha Rocks !!! Back in 1970 I bought a FG-300 dred, entry level guitar, it wasn't solid wood b/s, but it was a great guitar ,red label Nippon Gaki made in Japan. I played the crap out of it and sold it 5 years later but even back then it made quite an impression on me !!! I will always give Yamaha a look see when shoping for good quality instruments !!!
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:52 AM
Paoli Paoli is offline
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My L25-A that was top of the line in the 80īs after owning it for twenty five years is still,overall the best guitar I ever played.
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Old 11-17-2019, 08:00 AM
sjm1580 sjm1580 is offline
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Quote:
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My L25-A that was top of the line in the 80īs after owning it for twenty five years is still,overall the best guitar I ever played.
Interesting you mentioned the LA25A, the posting of one in the For Sale section is what made me post this question.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:13 AM
Paoli Paoli is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjm1580 View Post
Interesting you mentioned the LA25A, the posting of one in the For Sale section is what made me post this question.
wow! I havenīt seen the ad!if u can find it please post the ad1
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:19 AM
sjm1580 sjm1580 is offline
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Quote:
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wow! I havenīt seen the ad!if u can find it please post the ad1
https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=557374

I sent you a pm.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:30 AM
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The odd thing about the pricing of these upper end Yamahas...

We over here in our markets of the US and Canada are "fortunate" enough to only have to pay 4000 US and 5000 CND respectively for say an LL56. In the UK my understanding is that they can be paying upwards to the equivalent of 8000 to 9000 US or more for the same guitar.

If they were to come here in more numbers and become more of a known quantity do you think we will still only be paying 4000 US for one? My guess would be no.

Some UK folks on here can feel free to counter what I'm saying here, but my impression is that there are many a Brit, or many a person in certain other markets around the world, that will seek out and pay the prices on these upper echelon Yammies before they would go to the usual suspects that we tend to go for over here (taylor, martin etc)...because they are in the know more than the average North American in terms of what is offered at that level of Yamaha product...

Differences in economies and currency exchange are not the only factors in play here...clearly...
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:31 AM
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I have an LL500 top of the line handmade manufactured between 1999-2003. It is outstanding in every way, sounds VERY close to my much more expensive Goodall Standard. Impeccable workmanship, huge sound, very articulate and responsive. They retailed around $1100 when new, an absurd value at that price.

LL500 by KEITH GREENAWAY, on Flickr

LL500 BACK by KEITH GREENAWAY, on Flickr
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