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1987 Sunao Iida Classical No. 30 Vintage Classical Guitar w/ Case, Japan


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Up for sale, a 1987 Sunao Iida No. 30 classical guitar in excellent condition, complete with the original hardshell case. This guitar was handcrafted in Japan by luthier Sunao Iida. Iida apprenticed under Saburo Nogami, who himself apprenticed under legendary Japanese luthier Marasu Kohno. Tragically, Iida died at a relatively young age, and relatively few Iida guitars were produced, making his instruments quite rare even within Japan.

This particular guitar boasts a fan-braced (a technique learned by Kohno during his studies in Spain and favored by Nogami in turn) spruce top, rosewood back and sides, and a mahogany neck capped by an ebony fingerboard. It projects well; delivering a balanced and sweet tone with a warm, rich midrange and excellent articulation across all strings. Featherweight at 3lbs 5oz, this Iida has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with D’Addario normal tension strings and optimal classical action.

The one-piece mahogany neck has a medium depth D-shaped profile carve with full, inviting shoulders, measuring .830” deep at the 1st fret and 1.030” at the 9th. The thick slab ebony fingerboard retains the stock practically perfect slender fretwire with well-rounded crowns and only a hint of wear beneath the unwound strings on frets 1-3. This Iida plays well up the straight neck with medium action, measuring 10/64” high on the treble side and 13/64” on the bass side at the 12th fret. The scale length is 25 1/4”, and the original hand-carved bone nut measures just a hair shy of a full 2” in width. The slotted headstock has a rosewood veneer, and the tuning machines turn smoothly and hold pitch well with large, semi-translucent pearloid buttons.

On the body, the rosewood bridge sits flush with the spruce top on all sides, and the saddle has plenty of height for future adjustment. String spacing at the bridge is 56mm (2 1/5”), the lower bout width is 14 1/2”, and the body depth is 3 7/8”. The original label is visible through the soundhole, complete with build date, Iida’s signature, and the model tier (30).

The spruce top and bookmatched cuts of rosewood chosen for the back and sides are framed by multi-ply rosewood binding, and the central ring of the soundhole rosette has a checkerboard pattern. This guitar is well-kept and crack free, with some wear through the finish on the upper bout on top, some targeted finish touch-up along the binding on the treble side upper bout extending to the waist, and a handful of minor nicks and light finish scratches on the body as a whole. There is some light, requisite scuffing on the treble side of the strum path, and a small area of finish wear on the back at the treble-side lower bout edge. The smooth gloss finish on the neck profile has just a couple shallow marks on the profile length, none of which affect playability.

The original green zippered hardshell case is included.