YAMAHA GRAND CONCERT GC70 2009

 This Yamaha guitar was made in 2009 by currently best Yamaha’s Master Luthier Akio Naniki. This is Yamaha’s very top model available only by special order.

Its current retail price is 1 600 000 yen, which translates to at least 15 000 USD if sold in USA. (Made by Masaki Sakurai) Masaru Kohno top model Maestro is priced 1 200 000 yen. Similar grade guitars currently made by leading Spanish luthiers are priced minimum $20 000 USD.

The greatness of this guitar is a result of many years of making fine guitars at Yamaha’s Custom Shop. Making of Yamaha guitars based on Spanish blueprints begun in 1967 under the reign of Master Luthier Toshiro Kato, who was later being helped by Hiroshi Harada and Hideyuki Ezaki.

Yamaha started their fight for international clients in 1967 with new lineup of classical Grand Concert guitars made according to Spanish blueprints. They were: GC3 (solid Spruce top/ solid Indian Rosewood b/s) GC5, GC7 and GC10 (all 3 models with solid Spruce tops and solid Brazilian Rosewood b/s).

In 1968 Yamaha also introduced their lineup of great Grand Concert flamenco guitars. They were GC5F, GC7F and GC10F. The master luthier responsible for production of these guitars was Toshihiro Kato. He was helped by Hiroshi Harada, who was making classical models GC3 and GC5. Both these luthiers were trained by Eduardo Ferrer, a Spanish luthier from Granada, Spain who being invited (and appropriately rewarded) by Yamaha co., travelled to Japan during years 1964-1967.

It is very important to explain that 1960s and 1970s were years of very rapid devaluation of Japanese yen (hence rapid inflation of prices for all products). Because during those years practically all guitar models had some numbers closely related to their prices in yen, these models were quite frequently upgraded (relabeled) to higher numbers reflecting their higher prices.

For that reason, mentioned above Yamaha’s classical GC guitars lineup, was changed in 1971. New (1971-1973) lineup included models GC3D, GC6D, GC8D, GC10D (all 4 models made with solid Spruce tops & solid Indian Rosewood b/s) GC12D, GC15D and GC20D (all 3 models with solid Spruce tops & solid Brazilian Rosewood b/s). It is worth to mention that until 1974 all Yamaha classical GC models were made exclusively with Spruce tops.        

In 1974 Yamaha’s classical GC guitar lineup was changed yet again. In that year, for the first time in its history, Yamaha decided to make classical guitars with cedar tops. This newly introduced GC classical guitar lineup included models: GC5M(S), GC7M(S), GC10M(S), GC15M(S), (all with Indian Rosewood b/s), GC20M(S), GC30A, GC30B (all with Brazilian Rosewood b/s). M=spruce. S=cedar, A=spruce, B=cedar

In 1975 Kohno top models were 15, 20 and 30 (all with Brazilian Rosewood b/s). Model 30 was priced 300 000 yen just like Yamaha GC30A(B). In 1977 Kohno changed his lineup adding models 40 and 50 (both with improved looks but sounding no different than his earlier model 30) and changing specifications of model 15 from Brazilian Rosewood b/s to Indian Rosewood b/s. Yamaha's kept their lineup unchanged until 1979. In order to keep their prices at the same level, Yamaha GC guitars made in 1979 were made with somewhat lower grade woods, different finishes and less impressive ornamental extras if compared with those made in 1974. Production of GCM and GCS models ended by the end of 1979. Between years 1980-1985, Yamaha's lineup was being changed at least few times.

In 1985 top models made at Yamaha's Hamamatsu workshop were GC70 (Spruce/figured Brazilian Rosewood, all shellac finish), GC60 (Spruce/figured Brazilian Rosewood, shellac finish top) GC50 (Spruce/figured Brazilian Rosewood, all lacquer finish) & GC40 (Spruce/figured Brazilian Rosewood, lacquer finish top), and GC30 (Spruce/straight grain Brazilian Rosewood, urethane finish).

Since 1985 specifications and construction method of model GC70 hasn’t changed. However, it’s price in Japanese yen doubled. Due to changes in currency exchange rates its price in USD almost tripled.

Although its top bears several very small and very shallow fingernail marks, its back and sides bear just few very light scratches, its edges couple very light abrasions, overall condition of this guitar can be described as excellent. With even super careful use of shellac coated guitar such marks are simply very hard to avoid. None of them can be described as conspicuous and most of them are hard to see at first glance.       

This truly majestic and magical guitar offers impressive volume and response combined with very romantic tonality. Despite its great volume it gives player a feeling of lightness and great transparency. Its trebles are super sweet, round, yet very crisp. Basses are deep and full of overtones, yet relatively clean. All notes are well balanced, note clarity and separation fantastic, sustain amazing.  

SPECIFICATIONS:

Top: High Grade Solid German Spruce/shellac

Back & Sides: Solid Brazilian Rosewood/shellac

Neck: Honduras Mahogany

Fingerboard: Ebony

String Length: 650mm

Nut width: 52 mm

Guitar’s action is set by its maker to standard for classical guitars 4.00 mm under E6 and 3.5 mm under E1. There is however enough room on the saddle to lower its action to 3.5mm under E6 and 3.00mm under E1.

Guitar will be shipped in used original Yamaha hard shell case in still very good condition.


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Listed4 years ago
ConditionVery Good (Used)
Very Good items may show a few slight marks or scratches but are fully functional and in overall great shape.learn more
Brand
Model
  • GC70
Finish
  • Shellac
Categories
Year
  • 2009
Made In
  • Japan

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Victor's Guitar Gallery

Milton, GA, United States
Sales:325
Joined Reverb:2015

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