Craig from Ottawa, Ontario sent me a most delightful note regarding his 1972 Yamaki Deluxe that he had had restored. I asked him if I could share his note and some photos, which he most graciously allowed. His writing style is fun and well worth reading. His Yamaki story is a good one. The guitar looks wonderful.
Apparently, in Canada, the bridge device is called a PGR Bridge Doctor, as opposed to the U.S. JLD version. Same thing, though.
Hi! I have a 1972 Yamaki 6-string that I purchased new here in Ottawa, Canada in 1972 for $99.99 CDN. According to the label, it is a "Deluxe Folk", model A333S. Although I have received endless compliments on its sound, I haven't played it much in recent years due to bowing or warping around the bridge, which pretty well destroyed the action and intonation.
I expect some of this was my own fault: not knowing much about the care and feeding of guitars when I was younger, it spent too many days and nights in the backseats of cars in hot and cold weather, and living in various closets and basements and attics where the atmosphere was probably not conducive to the health of things made of wood.
The Yamaki's fall from favour was not all bad, however, in that it allowed me to spend a lot more time with my Telecaster. :)
In any case, inspired largely by your story (ain't google amazing?), I found a good guitar tech near me and let him have [at it]. I got the guitar back yesterday, with bridge doctor installed, a new nut, a new 'compensated' saddle, frets all dressed and clean and shiny, and tuners that have been disassembled, cleaned and lubricated. I have fallen in love with this guitar all over again - she still rings like a bell, the intonation is perfect, and the action and playability are, I think, better than when it was new.
Thanks for the inspiration!
warm regards from Canada,
In a later message:
"...As you can see, she has a few nicks here and there - the ones around the soundhole were caused by a pickup I had clamped into it for a couple of years back in the 70s. I still have that pickup around here somewhere. A DeArmand, I believe it was. You can see the pearl dot on the bridge that covers the screw-head for the bridge doctor - my guy used the less elaborate version of the device, without the brass pin. Interesting that here in Canada, it's the "PGR" bridge doctor, as opposed to the "JLD" in the U.S. They are identical: maybe some kind of trademark issue? Whatever - it works. The light spot on the back of the guitar is a reflection, not a blemish. In the label picture, you can just make out the year of manufacture, 1972. The strap pin at the base of the neck block is not original; I had that added while it was in the shop. In general, the guitar was in good shape. The bowing of the face was the only serious problem, all the other stuff - new nut and saddle, cleaning and lubricating the tuners and lubricating the truss rod, were more-or-less maintenance issues or upgrades to the original equipment. According to the guitar guy, they got the "big stuff" right on this guitar, but scrimped on some of the details. He said he was quite pleased I'd brought it to him; that he loves the chance to bring out the shine in a "diamond in the rough." Made me feel good to hear that :)
"As a welcome home treat for the guitar, I found a nice, second-hand plush hard case to replace the old card-boardy case I've used off-and-on for the past 40 years. Just this morning, I dragged the old one out of a dark corner of the basement, it's first step on the way to the curb and thence to add to humankind's terrible signature on our long-suffering planet. Inside I found the little Allen wrench for adjusting the truss-rod and the two spare bridge pins that came with the guitar, still in the original little plastic case. It's amazing, considering all the places that case has been and all the moves I've made over the years, that those things survived without disappearing into that wonderful "safe place" where so many other things go, never to be seen again."
Yamaki 250 belonging to site webmaster.
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