Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Yamaha FG-75 Nippon Gakki M.I.J Not Red Label!  (Read 16607 times)
WVUBAMA
Senior Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 121




Ignore
« on: April 04, 2010, 01:41:20 PM »

In Fall, 1971, as a college freshman newly moved in the dorm, I bought a new Nippon Gakki "Red Label" Yamaha FG-75 for $60 and played it thru college. Sold it in 1978 and I have missed it.

Grabbed an interesting FG-75 the other day off Ebay which I believe is the non-export model of the FG-75. Red Labels from 1969 onward were for the international market as "Japan Inc."  began its rise.

S/N 40928 appears to be pre-1969 and there is a "Nippon Gakki Made in Japan" label. Note tuning forks logo on headstock and no "Made in Japan" logo on back of headstock.  Mismatched top. Tree-trunk neck and nice, loud blues box sound. As is, great for slide.  

Also, check out case since Red Labels originally came with cheap chipboard case.

Can anyone help verify?








Thanks
Logged
yosephroth
Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 35




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2010, 07:38:10 PM »

There's a guy named "Yamaha Junkie" on Acoustic Guitar Forum that is a library of info re:Yamaha guitars.
Logged

Larrivee L-04Re
Gibson ES125
Lanakai Concert Acoustic/Electric Uke (eh, Plugged in it sounds good)
Denis
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5435


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2010, 01:01:13 AM »

I love those old Yamahas.  They're cheap, stay in tune for the most part and you never worry about banging them on anything...Reminds that me I've got one in my basement without tuners and an endpin broken off in one of the holes...one day. 

That one looks like it's got a lot of picking left in it.  Congrats. 
Logged

WVUBAMA
Senior Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 121




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2010, 01:26:57 AM »

Thanks. I found out "red labels" were strictly export products and the factory in Taiwan was set up exclusively for the international markets in 1971-72 period.  Guitars for the domestic Japanese market were still made in Japan, but got a different label, like the one above. I think the SN puts it pre-1969. FWIW, there is a sticker on the OHSC for a Schneider Music Center in Augusta, Georgia.
Logged
sneaky
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1146




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2010, 02:43:54 AM »

I am careful about making absolute statements on Yamaha since irrefutable info is hard to come by, but in my Japan Vintage book vol.1 they have May 1969 as the time the FG-75 was introduced...not sure when they started exporting the model but there is also a photo of a catalog with that model and the info is all in English which leads me to believe it was not from a domestic catalog.
The very first two FGs that were built in autumn 1966 were the FG-150 and 180 according to the same book, and they had light green labels, different from the 75 seen here though. I`m not really sure how the red labels got the status they now have overseas... kind of like the E serial Fender Japans...but I see them in every used guitar shop in and around this city, never been tempted. I do own an FG-170 with a green-ish label very much like yours, believe it comes from the early `70s but if it got stolen I wouldn`t replace it, nothing special really. Now...I am not dissing Yamaha believe me, I own a whole whack of em but mine are older than the FGs, they go as far back as the early `50s and went out of production mid `60s when the FGs came in, and mine are solid wood Yamaha Dynamics. There are a few FG`s I`d love to have...the FG-1000 up to the 2000 but I should have got em years ago before they started selling for thousands of dollars, so I`m too late but every red label I see would be a step down from the Dynamics, but I keep hope alive that one day I`ll find one I want to buy.
Logged
Danny
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13118




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 04:08:51 AM »

         I have a Red Label FG-75. It does look just like yours. I have removed the neck to reset it and the bridge and PG so I can refinish the body completely. It is going to have to wait in line though, because I have two hand mades from the U.S. I'm repairing and a Goya that was hand made in Sweden that I want to restore first.
         I do like the FG's from back then though. They are built to last "like a tank" and some of them really have a sweet tone to them.
          It looks like you found a keeper. Do you know if it is a laminate for sure?
Logged

Too many guitars... But I keep thinking one more may just do it.
sneaky
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1146




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 04:21:22 AM »

the photo from the catalog in my book lists retail price as $65.00 at the time...I`m betting laminate.
Logged
Danny
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13118




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 04:28:30 AM »

  You are probably right. I think the 75 was the low end of the FG line. I like the size of these little FG's though. Like a small 000 Martin with a tighter waist.
Logged

Too many guitars... But I keep thinking one more may just do it.
sneaky
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1146




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2010, 07:14:41 AM »

yup...my 170 is small which is why I bought it...that and the price was right, $50.00.
Logged
flathead
Senior Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 266




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2010, 11:01:18 AM »

Famous Red Label! There are actually three red labels, only one of which is the desireable (famous) one. All red labels came on guitars produced from '68 through '72. The early ones state clearly they were produced in Japan at the Nippon Gakki facility, and these are the famous ones. Their ONLY claim to fame is that the quality of these guitars (quality workmanship, quality construction, quality materials) was outstanding for cheap, inexpensive, production line, knock-offs. They have good tonal quality, they are invaribly loud, their intonation is quite good ... considering they are cheap, inexpensive, production line knock-offs.

The second red label will not state any place of manufacture. These were partially assembled in Taiwan, shipped to Japan, and final assembly and neck set occured at the Nippon Gakki facility. The Taiwan portion of the assembly was --built to Yamaha specifications--, which usually meant they barely measured up. The third red label was completely constructed in Taiwan, again to Yamaha specifications. Keep in mind that this was the earliest days of the expansion facility in Taiwan ... they simply didn't have quality control perfected at that point.

Year(s) Sold: 1968-1974    
Original MSRP(US$): $109.50    
Top: Spruce    
Back / Sides: Agathis    
Neck: Nato    
Fingerboard: Indian Rosewood    
Notes: Folk Guitar Classic Type    
 
The price listed is for the last year  and spruce listed  for top means not solid spruce. sides and back would also be laminated

Flathead.
Logged

Larrivee D-60
Larrivee D-05 Gryphon Headstock
Guild F-35NT
Gibson B-25
Yamaha LL-25
Martin D-16H
Martin LX1
1902  "Up toDate Guitar" oak parlor
1944 d-28  Martin ( sold last year )
sneaky
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1146




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2010, 12:33:02 PM »

and thats why I said real proof is hard to come by, those dates and price don`t match up to the book I own, the one with an extensive interview with Mr. Hideo Ueda, the guy responsible for setting up Yamahas first factory of their own which the book says came on line in `66. I figure Mr .Ueda would have noticed if anything was wrong with the info in the book that may have been incorrect...but maybe he didn`t get to see it before it was printed in 2005 by Shinko Music in Japan. Somewhere along the line I wrote down in my notes that the FG-75 may have been their first export, along with the 325 model...would explain why in the book the 75 has an English description in the photo taken from a catalog.
Logged
lw216316
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2441




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2010, 01:00:45 PM »

wow, does that FG-75 bring back memories... bigrin

It was my FIRST guitar.
I RENTED a new FG-75 for 3 months.  ( to see if I could learn to play guitar )

Then was able to apply the rental payments toward the total purchase price of $70.
That was in 1974.

My first song was a 2 chord version of ' Skip to my Lou '   using D and A and a  Thumb-index-middle-ring simple arpeggio.
What a struggle that was....the pain of building up calus..  crying
.the difficulty of changing chords fast enough to keep time..
and trying to sing at the same time

It took me weeks to get to that point but I finally did it   ( no music lessons or help )
boy was I happy 

Later I traded the FG-75 and some cash to a friend for a Gibson B-25.

- Larry
Logged

PLAY SONG , LIVE LONG !

Larrivee OOO-60 - Lady Rose
Pavan TP-30 classical - nylon
Takamine 132s classical -nylon
former Larrivees  L-03R  SD-50
WVUBAMA
Senior Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 121




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2010, 01:40:14 PM »

        I have a Red Label FG-75. It does look just like yours. I have removed the neck to reset it and the bridge and PG so I can refinish the body completely. It is going to have to wait in line though, because I have two hand mades from the U.S. I'm repairing and a Goya that was hand made in Sweden that I want to restore first.
         I do like the FG's from back then though. They are built to last "like a tank" and some of them really have a sweet tone to them.
          It looks like you found a keeper. Do you know if it is a laminate for sure?

Gotta be a lam. These were L-00 knock offs which were made with cheaper materials, but overall quality manufacturing which made Japan world regarded. Even the case looks Gibson-esque.  I delayed purchasing due to that red label over-pricing internet hype and the realities of a neck after 40+ years. Action is stout, but playable, excellent for slide and sitting at the desk for a Blindboy or Daddy Stovepipe lesson. Again, my conclusion is that it is a pre-69 made for the Japanese domestic market.
Logged
flatlander
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3782




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2010, 02:21:08 PM »

I never understood the allure of any of the Yamaha Lower FG models, no matter where they were made?  My sister still has FG-75 that is probably MIJ. I know she loaned it to me when I was 12-13
(1970) after she'd had it a bit,so it's gotta be a 68 or 69. Still pick it up when I go to her house. Still is was it is and was.  Now I did get a Hohner on the other hand around 78 that was made in Japan and really pretty darn good. But it was solid wood and not as cheap as Yamaha. About 300.00 back then. It met a terrible end unfortunately. But search for new guitar led me Larrivee.
Logged

10-1614 more than a number, it's body and soul.
lw216316
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2441




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2010, 03:46:12 PM »

 
Quote
I never understood the allure of any of the Yamaha Lower FG models,

for me it was low cost and availability
and
the store had a rent to puchase plan.

I knew absolutely ZERO about guitars and just wanted to try one out for a while to see if I could learn to play.
The store salesman suggested the FG-75 and it worked out fine for me at the time.

Today I would not have an interest in one - except to bring back some good memories  bigrin

- Larry
 
Logged

PLAY SONG , LIVE LONG !

Larrivee OOO-60 - Lady Rose
Pavan TP-30 classical - nylon
Takamine 132s classical -nylon
former Larrivees  L-03R  SD-50
flatlander
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3782




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2010, 07:05:29 PM »


for me it was low cost and availability
and
the store had a rent to puchase plan.

Today I would not have an interest in one - except to bring back some good memories  bigrin

exactly!
Logged

10-1614 more than a number, it's body and soul.
WVUBAMA
Senior Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 121




Ignore
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2010, 07:26:52 PM »

I never understood the allure of any of the Yamaha Lower FG models, no matter where they were made? 

They are a fun blues box for slide. Almost a ladder braced sound. While, I can't understand the "red label" price hype on the internet, I am enjoying my new FG-75.
Logged
sneaky
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1146




Ignore
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2010, 10:02:26 AM »

Again, my conclusion is that it is a pre-69 made for the Japanese domestic market.


maybe...maybe not. Get the Japan Vintage series of books, then find somebody to translate the part on FGs, extremely enlightening. Or contact Yamaha Japan, see if Mr. Ueda is still around.
Logged
WVUBAMA
Senior Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 121




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2010, 12:15:57 PM »

Not worth the hassle. If it were an early Yairi, maybe. I'll stick with the 5 digit S/N.
Logged
sneaky
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1146




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2010, 12:20:32 PM »

got some S. Yairis too...from 1961 to 1971, all nylon strings and all fabulous. One rosewood in particular is outstanding but they all sound great. Have em in mahogany, maple and rosewood. Vol. 2 of that series on MIJ acoustics has an extensive interview with K. Yairi, lots of great pics of his guitars too. Well worth the hassle to me, actually got mine in a local music store about $30.00 each, just need the one volume on Morris guitars.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to: