s Yairi guitar

Posted by John Nicholas on Sat, 04/27/02 - 17:21:50.

Anyone know anything about 'S YAiri' or 'Syairi' acoustic guitars? I just bought a dreadnaught model YW 12 (not a 12 string)on eBay - probably should have checked first but got caught up in it and assumed it was a 'Yairi' guitar. Turns out that "K" Yairi is the maker of the higher end Alvarez-Yairi line. The headstock clearly says "SYairi", the seller claims it is has a solid spruce top and mahogony sides and back but knows nothing else about it's vintage.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, John

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Re: s Yairi guitar

: Anyone know anything about 'S YAiri' or 'Syairi' acoustic guitars? I just bought a dreadnaught model YW 12 (not a 12 string)on eBay - probably should have checked first but got caught up in it and assumed it was a 'Yairi' guitar. Turns out that "K" Yairi is the maker of the higher end Alvarez-Yairi line. The headstock clearly says "SYairi", the seller claims it is has a solid spruce top and mahogony sides and back but knows nothing else about it's vintage.
: Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, John

Re: s Yairi guitar

Sada Yairi was a cousin of K. Yairi; and in most guitarists opinions a much better guitar maker. His small company went out of business in the early 1980's. They are high quality well-made guitars, and are starting to become somewhat collectible.


S.Yairi was the uncle of K.Yairi, to my knowledge.

Ove Espeland

Re: s Yairi guitar

: Anyone know anything about 'S YAiri' or 'Syairi' acoustic guitars? I just bought a dreadnaught model YW 12 (not a 12 string)on eBay - probably should have checked first but got caught up in it and assumed it was a 'Yairi' guitar. Turns out that "K" Yairi is the maker of the higher end Alvarez-Yairi line. The headstock clearly says "SYairi", the seller claims it is has a solid spruce top and mahogony sides and back but knows nothing else about it's vintage.
: Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, John

S. Yairi split from the K. Yairi guitar making family in Gifu, Japan about 10 years back. I'm unsure of the two's exact relation, but I did hear that S. Yairi worked in the family run guitar factory for more than 20 years before striking out on his own with his sons and a couple friends.
The reason you've never heard of S. Yairi is that, as far as I know, the guitars are only sold in Japan. However, they're every bit as good as K. Yairi (aka Alvarez Yairi).
S. Yairi doesn't make as many models as the main family, but all his guitars are quite nice - all handmade, solid woods, etc..
I'm not sure which one you have, but an S. Yairi would sell between $800 and $2000 new here in Japan (and not much less than that used if it was in top shape.)

S.Yairi handmade guitar perfect condition model 800

Bought new, classic & never played more than 2 or 3 chords. Music teacher, now 80 who just didn't get to it. Wish I had. I would like to sell it. What's it worth in perfect hard, velvet lined Ovation case? Do you buy such? Who would? I'm in Medford Or. Here they can't even spell classical or acoustic. Thanks

Wishing to buy your guitar

Pls contact me on whatsapp
Plus 918 3439698 12
I'm interested in buying your guitar

Re: s Yairi guitar

: Anyone know anything about 'S YAiri' or 'Syairi' acoustic guitars? I just bought a dreadnaught model YW 12 (not a 12 string)on eBay - probably should have checked first but got caught up in it and assumed it was a 'Yairi' guitar. Turns out that "K" Yairi is the maker of the higher end Alvarez-Yairi line. The headstock clearly says "SYairi", the seller claims it is has a solid spruce top and mahogony sides and back but knows nothing else about it's vintage.
: Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, John

I'd gotten the translation mixed up when I talked to a worker at a local music store here in Japan. I wish to nulify my previous post and answer it correctly.

K. Yairi, as many guitarists know, are very nice, hand-made, and somewhat expensive guitars. They're sold in the U.S. as "Alvarez Yairi" and in Japan as "K. Yairi." "S. Yairi" is Yairi's lower price line sold in Japan and factory made in Korea. They are good guitars, but certainly not of the caliber of a K. Yairi. In the U.S., the factory made guitars are sold as "Alvarez." So the guitar you bought on e-bay is similar to, or a little better than an average Alvarez. They are usually priced between $400 and $800 here.

By the way, I played a K. Yairi, Bob Weir 12 String at a music store, and was it ever nice! Absolutely the best 12 string I've ever had my hands on. Unforetunately, I can't afford the $1500 price.

Hope this info helps.

Re: s Yairi guitar

I purchased an S Yairi Guitar Model #9107 new in Northern California (Bay Area) in 1974. It is a standard acoustic design. The music store owner told me a story similar to Gary's - S Yairi was related to K, but struck out on his own. Most of his guitars were marketed in Japan, but some were made for export to the US. (Mine has a manufacturer's tag inside the box written in English). The store owner really appreciated the quality of S's workmanship and felt they were a better buy. I've owned mine since new (30 years now!), and it has certainly withstood the test of time. The guitar still plays beautifully, sounds awesome, and now my teenage daughter is beginning to use it. I'm trying to decide if I need to pick up another guitar to protect the S Yairi from a beginner, but heck, I learned on it and it didn't come to any harm!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine. I think we paid about $225-$275 for it new in 1974.

S Yairi Guitar - 40 years later!

I bought an S Yairi guitar new in 1974 also. It is a YW-150. Absolutely gorgeous and plays better than any other guitar that I have ever heard. Solid three piece rosewood back and sides and spruce top . . abalone, etc. I bought it at Stevens Music in San Jose for $1200 and he told me that it was one of the final 50 guitars that S. Yairi had hand made before going to . . I think he said Yamaha. I don't know if any of that is true . . I was pretty young and green in those days; however, like yours, the sound of this guitar was, and is, brilliant. The only problem is that I can't really take it anywhere. It is too valuable to risk losing or damaging it. However, like you, I still have it . . 40 years later!

S.Yairi YW-150


In case you would ship this guitar to Oslo, Norway and are willing to sell it of course, then please respond to this email.

Ove Espeland

Re: s Yairi guitar

:I recently bought a s yairi from a pawn shop for 300 in great condition its a 1974 730 12 string and by the look of it and from what i have read about them this price was a bargain if any one has info on the 12 string model i would lovee to hear about it

re: S Yari Guitars

I recently sold my 1974 S Yari 6 string to a Music store in WI and the guy behind the couter or the owner of the shop kept saying it was a Alvarez copy made in Japan. S Yari was with the family business which was hand made violins in Japan. Their family started producing hand made guitars what year I dont know. The family started Mass producing guitars and because of cost couldnt keep up with the market in price. S Yari made all of his own guitars (hand made) until and through 1974 and refused to mass produce. With that said he went out of business and discraced his family. I paid in 1974 with the case $135.00 My guitar was well played and had some damage to the body. I was as good sounding as any accoustic that I ever played. Including Gibson. Fender, Alvarez and Martin.

S Yairi Guitars

There is a lot of misinformation in the posts above. The story, in greatly abbreviated form, is as follows:

Prior to Sada Yairi's bankruptcy, sometime in the mid 1980's, and since sometime in the 1930's S. Yairi Guitars of Nagoya were the absolute epitome of Guitars manufactured by Japanese Luthiers.

The deservedly well respected K. Yairi Guitars are a faithfull echo both in design and in quality to the older S. Yairis. After Sada Yairi’s bankruptcy his assets and brand name was sold off. and although a relationship to Sada Yairi is claimed, no relationship can be discerned in the quality of any S. Yairi product offered from the late 1980’s onward. Luthier Sada Yairi was born in Japan over 105 years ago.

Pre-bankruptcy S. Yairi Guitars are as masterfully made as any you may find.

Sadao or Sada S. Yairi and

Sadao or Sada S. Yairi and H. his son I believe built for a few U.S importers circa 60's 70's. The info below is from the Acoustic Museum...

S.Yairi S-22 1981, made in Japan (not to be confused with Alvarez-Yairi) made Lowden Guitars from 1980 to 1985 under licensing from George Lowden. They also made identical guitars under the S. Yairi name.The guitars are the same as Lowden guitars, with exception of the S. Yairi logo on the headstock & label in the body.

S Yairi acoustic 6 string guitar - Y-100

Back in 1966, I purchased from a local music store an S. Yairi acoustic 6 string classical guitar (Model Y-100). Inside the guitar there is a wood block with the numbers stamped into it (49-337). It is still in beautiful condition and has a deep, wonderful sound. I was just wondering if anyone knows the value of this guitar in today's market.

s yairi lowden

hi im a professional player in melb australia i own an s yairi/lowden 1982 a magnificent guitar.s yairi made these guitars for lowden late 70s ? under licence fully documented by lowden he picked the best handmaker in japan sada yairi. kenny white

s yairi

I was wandering through a flee market in Norman OK about two years ago and came across an S. Yairi model 9109 in it's original case. They were asking $125. I looked at the guitar and could tell right away that it was a quality instrument but I didn't recognize the name so I offered them $100 and they took it. When I got it home, I re-strung it and to my delight it was the best sounding guitar I have ever played. The workmanship inside and out is outstanding. I let a luthier friend look at it and he too was amazed by the sound and quality of the workmanship. In the case I found two receipts where the previous owner had put it in layaway and then paid it off back in 1976. He/she bought it at Andy Penn's Drum and Guitar City in Sacramento, CA. It apparently was used because he also bought a set of grover tuners that are still on the guitar. The asking price was $368 but it was sold for $225 + $79.50 for tuners, $6.15 for strings and $1.00 for a set of pegs. I know this is a lot of info but it was interesting to me and thought I would share.

BTW, I later read that S. Yairi was K. Yairi's uncle and apprenticed him until he started his own guitar manufacturing business. Also, I would not sell it for $500.

Found a S. Yairi on the street in mint condition in a case

Hi there, what great information you all have. thanks for posting.
I found a S. Yairi guitar on the street last sunday which was thrown out on the street along with old household items for rubbish collection.
I am not a musician and have no idea about guitars. I have just looked at it closely and it says S. Yairi model 800 handmade in Japan Nagoya.
It is in perfect condition as it is in a old guitar case with purple felt lining.

I was going to sell it on ebay for $50 but now that I see it is worth more, I think I might hold on to it and learn to play it... I took a music class in high school about 22 years ago, so I have really have no idea about music.

Does anyone have an idea of what year the model 800 was made for S. Yairi and roughly what they are worth?

Thanks heaps.

S.Yairi S-22 1981

My wife purchased this guitar for me from Sam Ash in 1983 for my graduation from college for 700 dollars. I also own a Martin Aura and an Ovation Balladeer and they don't come close to the Yairi in smooth, mellow, crisp sound. I have seen one sell recently for 2500 dollars but i wouldn't sell mine...it has become a part of me!

S. Yairi guitar

I have a model 800 classical with the S. Yairi label, signed in ink and appears to be signed by hand and not a stamp. Year is 1978. I've done a lot of research on Sadao Yairi and the most consistent story is that he worked for the Suzuki violin company making violins by hand for several years before starting his guitar making business in 1938 using the skills he had developed making violins. He is said to have used only the best tone woods and made a variety of models in both steel string and classical styles. The story goes that he went bankrupt around 1980 and this caused disgrace to his family though I suspect it may have been due to competition from machine made guitars undercutting his prices. In the US he would probably have bounced back easily enough but in Japan it may have been a bigger deal to have a business failure like that.

His son Hiroshi and a nephew Kazuo also made guitars for Alvarez and in China.

My guitar is beautifully made though the 800 model is supposedly a more basic model. The workmanship is excellent and the sound is very nice with excellent tonal range and sustain. It is my favorite guitar. One constant is that when I read posts from owners of S. Yairi guitars on various forums, they always say the same thing 'best guitar I've ever played' or 'my favorite guitar' or 'beautiful sound', and so on.

If anyone has better/more up to date information I'd like to hear about it.

dating my vintage S.YAIRI OM style guitar

the label is ripped off a guitar i have and can't find info on this guitar. the only numbers on the guitar are on the back support bracing that reads----------00123713 does anyone have any info on these numbers??????

S. Yairi Guitars

Find out about the company now a http://en.syairi.com/About/

Sada Yairi yw 12 Left handed

My guitar was bought in the 70's (1974 ?).
Is it a good guitar and is it interesting to repare it because the body and other pieces are damaged ?.
What is the price of this guitar ?
Thank you for your answer.
B colnot

Sadao Yairi 1970 accoustical guitar

I have had this 6-string guitar since it was new in 1970. It has 3 nylon strings. It has not been played much at all. No one knew how to play and didn't learn. It is in excellent shape. I am going to sell and I don't know what to ask for it. It says "Hand Made Yairi Guitar, Yairi Gakki LTD, Made in Japan, AD 1970, No. 14, Sadao Yairi (signature), Clase : (checkmark) 028." Can anyone help me to know the value? Thanks.

syairi 1972 accoutic guitar

I have a syairi guitar dated nov. 1972. It was my brothers guitar and no has played it in 32 years.
It is in excellent shape. The markings inside state it was hand made in Nagoya Japan, Model NO
9106. Can anyone help me know the true value of this guitar. I'd appreciated Thanks

Sadao Yairi guitar SY-12 model circa 1974


I have a model SY-12 dreadnought steel string acoustic. It was bought new in Yorkshire, England in 1974 as a birthday present for a keen guitarist who specialised in Fender Stratocaster and Les Paul guitars so it has been grossly underplayed for the last 49 years or so. It has a solid mahogany back and laminated mahogany sides and a solid Spruce top. It has very narrow bands on the centre of the top very much like a Yamaha that was made of Japanese Ezo Spruce. Sadao Yairi believed in hand picking the best of aged woods and making each guitar individually to match the bracing and top to get the very best out of each guitar. To make them sing. He used tools that were hand made using traditional Japanese techniques passed on to great luthiers such as George Lowden who chose Sadao to make his guitars in the 1980s before moving production to Nortern Ireland. He used a relatively small number of luthiers he trained to complete each guitar. He was very much against using machines in making guitars and so could not compete with large guitar factories. This sort of handmade high quality workmanship has made him acknowledged as the top Japanese luthier and so his guitars should command much higher prices than they currently do. Something around £1200 is often the price they reach but I predict they will eventually reach much higher prices. An equivalent would be a guitar made by a luthier like Fylde or Bourgeois. The guitars made by K Yairi Sadao's nephew are also excellent guitars but for sound quality the Sadao Yairi guitars are generally regarded as having the edge ( The K Yairi guitars have the edge on appearance) and the S Yairi guitars which were made in relatively small numbers are roughly ten times as rare. Look up the internet under Yairiluvr to get a definitive history of S Yairi.

S. Yari guitar Model 9108

I have had a S. Yari guitar Model 9108 for a number of years. The instrument is lovely hand made with a beautiful sound. It is a six string dreadnaught style and looks identical to a Martin guitar. Unfortunately I can find almost no information on this guitar. Any input out there would be greatly appreciated

Early Seventies S.Yairi 9109

I've owned an S. Yairi 9109 guitar since the mid-Seventies. I bought it from its original owner with the case for $125, one of the greatest bargains of my life. It's a beautiful OM -sized instrument. Spruce top, rosewood back and sides. I'm not sure if the back and sides are solid or not. A couple of luthiers I've used to service it over the years couldn't tell from the grain inside the body either. The guitar has a wonderful, wide-open very musical sound. I wish I could find out more about it, but information on this particular model is scarce. Very few of them ever come up for sale. I've been monitoring them on Ebay and Reverb for years and I think I've seen one. HIGHLY recommended if you do ever come across one for sale. If anyone has any other information, I would love to hear. Thanks!

Yairi guitar

Hi I just restored a Yairi model #9105 1978 and have put it up on Ebay for NO RESERVE sale. 1978 S Yairi natural original a very nice guitar for 99 cents. Peace

S YAIRI Jumbo Acoustic Guitar Model Y 1--1

Hello, am seeking some help, information on this guitar. I have a Acoustic S. Yairi. Photos are possible but need a email. Logo same as top photo shown here and also stamped on truss rod tortoise or faux tortoise cover. Similar soundhole label by Australia designer as you noted. Label says Nagoya Japan. I have no idea the model number noted and cannot find information. It is stamped Y 1 – 1. All is see on the sound hole label, with a long dash in between the 2 "1" numbers as shown. Would anyone have any idea as to its vintage, value, etc? Any info is appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Please join the s.Yairi Facebook group

Facebook group here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/786255648875306/?ref=share

S. Yairi guitar

I have an S. Yairi dreadnaught model number YW-120. It has an English-language label inside that says it was made in Japan in 1974,withthe signature of S. Yairi. I bought it new from a guitar store in Toronto, so they were distributed up here as well. It has abalone-shell inlays as the fingerboard dots and in a ring around the sound-hole.
I've never seen another one exactly like it. After almost 50 years, it still has excellent, low action and a beautiful tone, although it doesn't quite have the bass of the Martin dreadnaught it is patterned after. All the maintenance it's had, aside from new strings, is replacing a few frets and having the bridge reglued. I've played Taylors, Martins and Gibsons, but this is still my favourite acoustic.

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