In Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan, Yamaoka Archtop Guitars are all handmade by Luthier Norimasa Yamaoka.
About 25 years ago, Yamaoka san was remodeling Stratocaster as a hobby, he started to build his own guitar in 2002.
Young boy, he saw a violin and he was fascinated by the beauty of the instrument.
Since then he started to thinking about to build it by himself.
However, Guitar is his most favorite instrument, he start to think about to build a guitar that should have the beauty of violin.
He didn't have any knowledge about wood work at all, but loved making, build, create, since he was a kid, so he had confidence in the fact that he can do it.
He build his own way from the beginning, now and forever.
Developing over time an extremely efficient technique, as well as a pure and splendid architecture with simple lines.
The first guitar he built was the one he dreamed to have. That was the NY model.
He was fascinated by Violin in the beginning, so it had to be a archtop model in the same spirit.
Yamaoka san created his original "Chamber Body construction" focusing on playability without stress of howling.
Yamaoka Archtop guitars are chosen to be played by Japanese top jazz guitarist "Kazumi Watanabe", "Toshiki Fukawa"and "Shigeki Ohata", now these guitars are available in Europe too !
People might think he build Jazz guitar only. but he will make Rock guitar in the future.
No matter what type of guitars he build, the difficulty will be the same when he try to reach his goal.
In general, Archtop guitar has more process to build, so it takes more time compare to building solid guitars.
Yamaoka Archtop Guitars are truly a unique instrument, beyond comparison with any other guitar. All handmade even the pickups.
First choice wood quality, naturally dried.
You don't see the luxury artifice that you can found in some guitars made from overseas countries, it's because Yamaoka Archtop Guitars have the real beauty of simplicity, and it's with intention.
Every single points Yamaoka creates are all elaborated.
We can say Yamaoka Archtop Guitars are real "Made in Japan" guitar.
You almost feel the same way when you see the methods of Japanese traditional architecture.
Yamaoka's original floating pickups make the instrument more "acoustical."
The weakest point of floating pickup is howling issue, however Yamaoka Archtop guitar's original body construction called "KING POST CONSTRUCTION" controls this problem.
Good response for fast phrasing, and clear low sound.
Magical, rare and unique instruments, light, toneful, balanced, beautiful...... Alive !
Of course, Yamaoka san is working alone and only on order, there is no stock in Japan, the delay for delivery can vary from one model to another.
We always have some models for demo, feel free to take appointment.