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Cost of shipping to Australia via USPS International Priority Mail is $150, but packages can't be taller than 42 inches and their overall size is very restricted. Most guitar cases are simply too large to meet this requirement. If package is taller than 42 inches and exceeds IPM size restrictions, it has to be shipped via USPS Global Express Guaranteed at the cost of $350. If you want to pay less for shipping, you have to accept my choice of the case I will ship the guitar in.
Eichi Kodaira EL300 in practically mint condition
This guitar was made in early/mid1970ties by Eichi Kodaira. Eichi Kodaira was absolutely very highly skilled luthier. His business philosophy was to produce very high grade classical guitars which could be available to less wealthy Japanese guitar players at affordable prices. This goal was achievable by using high grade laminates instead of solid woods. Solid woods are much harder to work with, easily crack during the production as well as later during regular usage. High grade laminates perform just like solid woods but are easier to work with and don’t crack that easily, hence their use always leads to lower prices of guitars that often sound as good as 3 x more expensive all solid woods” models. During 1970s Eichi was making guitars with his own label as well as more luxurious looking Ecole guitars, destined mostly for foreign markets. Eichi was absolutely highly regarded luthier not only in Japan.
Established earlier by Masaru Matano Old Asturias workshop was taken over by Rokkomann Co. in 1980 and Eichi was invited to join New Asturias workshop along with 2 other fantastic Japanese luthiers: Masaru Matano & Hiromi Yamaguchi (maker of terrific Cervantes guitars). Asturias today is one of only few Japanese Gakkis where all guitar models are made by hand “old fashion way”. Another such workshop is Kodaira workshop, although remains under Rokkomann umbrella, was separated from Asturias in mid 1980s
Eichi Kodaira’s instruments are very well regarded and a lot of players consider them as the great mid-price range classical guitars. This one is no exception. It really sings! It has beautiful tone, clear, full, and rich with great resonance with very impressive volume. The clarity of the treble notes is truly exceptional. I would describe them as being “glassy”. This guitar is also very responsive and super easy to play. In my opinion sound wise this guitars beats any brand new guitar that you can find in US stores in price range of $2500-$3000.
It is a serious mistake to disregard such guitars only because their description says “laminated back & sides”. They absolutely have nothing in common with cheap guitars that flooded US music stores in recent decades.
This guitar cosmetically is in practically mint condition for its age. The only visible cosmetic imperfection is 1 very light/small mark located on its sound board. Guitar remains in perfect functional condition.
Top: High Grade Solid Cedar/ lacquer
Back & Sides: Straight Grain Brazilian Rosewood Doubleplate/ lacquer
Calling this construction "laminates" would actually be very incorrect and quite misleading. This genuine Japanese invention has really nothing in common with modern era cheap particle-board laminates. This construction is nothing but 2 solid wood plates glued together, hence in fact nothing but reinforced solid woods. Such plates perform no different from solid woods, while don't crack as easily, are much easier to work with, and allow for much lower prices of these instruments. Such guitars have always been and still are a true blessing for all guitar enthusiasts with limited funds.
Ebonized Rosewood fingerboard
Scale: 630 mm
Nut width: 50 mm
Action set to 4.00 mm under E6 and 3.50 mm under E1 with plenty of room on the saddle for experiments with lower action.
This guitar will be shipped in used case of minimal value. You don’t pay for the case. You only pay for the guitar. Please consider this case as a free bonus and don’t expect too much. I will not accept any complaints regarding the condition of the case.
Here is some info you might be interested in:
"The Asturias Workshop is located on the island of Kyushu in the southern part of Japan. Seventeen people are employed there, most of whom have worked at Asturias all their lives or have a family connection.
Throughout the guitar making process, the parts of the guitar are carefully selected and thicknessed to ensure optimum balance and then glued by hand.
Great care is taken in choosing and storing materials. For example, tonewoods for the top are naturally dried for 3 to 4 years, then kiln dried before making up and fitting of rosette. The partially completed top is then stored for a further year. Similar methods are used for necks and other parts. From this stage each instrument is individually built and takes between 2 and 4 months to complete.
Each Asturias guitar receives seven coats of varnish; each coat is carefully rubbed down to ensure an even thickness and purity of sound."
Asturias has a much bigger following in Japan, and a number of models on these sites might not be available in your country.
Kodaira is a secondary or discount model that is manufactured by Asturias in Kobe, Japan.
Kodaira guitars are of the same quality as regular Asturias guitars, but they do not have the frills, adornments, and higher grade woods of Asturias guitars.
The Kodaira model number system is similar to the model numbers used by Asturias in the 1980s. The label does say Kodaira or Kodaira by Asturias. The current Kodaira line up starts with the AST 60 and ends with the AST 100.
During the 1970s & 1980s Kodaira models included the AST 40, 50, 60, 70, & 80. During that time Kodaira model numbers were tied to the Yen with the AST40 costing 40K Yen, AST50 costing 50K Yen, etc.
Asturias and Kodaira are great student workhorse guitars. These guitars were sold in a variety of scales: 650, 640, 630, 590, 550 and 530. There was also a 700mm bass model.
Asturias & Kodaira has separated for many years ago (more than 10 years, maybe more than 20).
Both are under marketed under the same umbrella, maybe owned by that corporation too, also
the rumor (may not be true) is that Kohno Manufacturing might own that corporation. We just
don't know the web of Japanese business system.
Anyway, in the last 10 years (or more) Kodaira isn't the same as Asturias anymore (except that
outside JP, they might still use Asturias AST brand.)
The build & quality of both brands in the last 10 years for the same price in JP Yen have
dropped in order to maintain the price point. However they both are still very reliable and
very durable. I always recommend them for my students and friends who are on budget.
A few years ago Asturias introduced several newer models called "Traditional Works" in the style of Romanillos and Torres. Very beautiful in appearance.
The English guitarist John Mills owned and performed a spruce top Asturias model AST 3456 built by Masaru Matano (similar to JM15) for his Asian tour in late 70s. He later switched to his Masaru Kohno 20 circa 1978 (which was later sold to another friend). For his world tour, John Mills was then playing his David Rubio.
Asturias collaboration with John Mills apparently broke off in the late 80's, and that for marketing purposes, the John Mills models were replaced with 'Renaissance' for JM 20 and Custom for JM15. The difference of the two is only purflings: the Renaissance has tie-block purflings, and the Custom has 3 layer plain purflings. Tonally the two models are as good. In fact I think Asturias belonged to John Mills was the best despite its lower model compared to my Asturias JM20 which I bought from Eli Kassner (Toronto Guitar Society) in 1984.
Asturias, under chief luthier Wataru Tsuji, then made another high-end model with Brazilian rosewood called Grand Suprema which was sold at about US$5,000 in 1987. The Grand Suprema has more clarity whereas my JM20 has a sweeter tone with excellent response, except the bass (6th) was poor.
During the 1980s, the Guitar Foundation of America (GFA),conducted a series of double blind research tests on a variety of classical guitars and rated Asturias guitars at the upper end for sound quality and playability.
As a result of the GFA’s high rating and through word of mouth by other satisfied musicians, Asturias guitars started to gain a following in the US. But the popularity was short lived, because the guitars were extremely difficult to get in America . While Asturias guitars have a strong following in in Japan, & in other parts of Asia and Europe, many Amercan guitarists haven’t heard of Asturias classical guitars.
The problem was that Asturias’s long time US distributer, JTG of Nashville, did little to no advertising nor did they provide much information about the available models. Only one or two catalogs were produced in English during the last 30 years and that was just for Asturias classical models (Asturias also produces a number of high end steel string guitars).
Up until recently, it was very hard to get any sales info regarding Asturias guitars in the US. No distribution system was in place and you had to make purchasing arrangements directly from the distributer. Plus, a number of the models produced by Asturias had six month + waiting lists for US buyers.
About 8 years ago, I tried to purchase an Asturias A7CP Sp/solid rosewood classical cutaway from JTG Associates and after several phone calls, I was told that the model could only be purchased on special order with prices ranging from $1800 to $3000.
JTG Associates had very little information regarding Asturias models and they did not seem interested in obtaining any further information. Plus the information that they had was incorrect: the A7CP was not a special order model. Frustrated with their apathy, I ended up purchasing the guitar directly from Japan for $1400 and got the guitar in less than 2 weeks.
Luckily JTG is no longer the US distributer. The new distributer, GSI of Santa Monica, CA seems to be much more responsive to buyers needs and freer with information regarding Asturias models. The major European distributer, Casa Bennelly, is also a great source of information.