Up for sale, a 1985 Kazuo Ichiyanagi Model 30 classical guitar in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Master luthier Kazuo Ichiyanagi first became known for his work building classical guitars for Fernandes in the 1970s, before setting up his own independent company which, for decades, has produced highly-regarded instruments. Ichiyanagi is also known for developing his proprietary “Super Wood” technique, wherein formaldehyde is used to bond two pieces of wood together, offering optimal vibrational capacity (around 40% more than standard lamination processes) for the treated wood. This guitar features a “Super Wood” spruce top, solid Madagascar rosewood back and sides, and a one-piece mahogany neck capped by a thick slab ebony fretboard.
Tonally, this guitar offers excellent richness and tonal breadth. Trebles are sweet and sonorous, with a broad bass register and detailed midrange. It projects well; highly responsive to user inputs and remaining articulate and balanced in its response regardless of register. The body width is 14 1/2” at the lower bout, and the body depth is 3 7/8”. Featherweight at 3lbs 11oz, this Ichiyanagi has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with D’Addario regular tension strings and optimal classical action.
The one-piece mahogany neck has a medium depthD-shaped profile carve with generous shoulders and faintly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .860” deep at the 1st fret and 1.010” at the 9th. The fretboard extension offers access to a 20th fret on the treble side, and the stock slender fretwire is nigh-flawless. This guitar plays cleanly and comfortably in all registers with a straight neck and action measuring 10/64” at the 12th fret on the bass side and 8/64” on the treble side. The scale length measures 24 7/8” (630mm), and the hand-carved bone nut measures 2” (50mm) in width. The slotted headstock sports a rosewood veneer, and the gold-plated tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch, with ornate abalone cherub inlays.
On the body, the rosewood bridge sits flush with the spruce top on all edges, and the saddle has modest height for future action adjustment. String spacing at the bridge is 57mm (2 ¼”). The body is framed by multi-ply purfling, and the soundhole has an ornate multi-ring rosette. Visible through the soundhole, the luthier’s label dates this guitar to 1985 and has Kazuo Ichiyanagi’s signature.
This guitar is well-kept, with an extremely small repaired split adjacent to the back binding on the bass-side upper bout rim, and a slender professionally addressed back crack to the bass side of the center seam on the upper bout, with targeted touch-up in this area. The French polish finish on the Madagascar back and sides is unique in its presentation, and somewhat open for interpretation in its application. Areas of the finish toe the line between cloudiness in the gloss and variation in the grain and stain on the rosewood, and it’s inconclusive which is predominantly on display on this instrument. Cosmetic wear on the gloss finish includes some small dings across the top, with more concentrated wear on the treble side of the strum path. Additionally, there are a handful of faint scratches on the body as a whole. The gloss on the neck profile is clean and smooth, with one small filled nick on the treble-side shoulder, imperceptible to the palm while fretting.
The original hardshell case is included.