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itsme
03-20-2010, 05:22 PM
Found this on our local craigslist (http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/msg/1653292175.html).


K.Yairi Guitar Ichigoichie"KANAI" - $250 (Pasadena)

This is a very unique acoustic 4 strings instrument made by K.Yairi Guitar(never sold in the United States.)
K.Yairi's excellent craftsmanship, made in Japan.
It is like a mixed instrument between guitar and Okinawan traditional instrument "SANSHIN".
It is the easiest string instrument in the world.
It is tuned in 1st and 5th, like GDGD,AEAE,and CGCG. so to play codes just bar by one finger.
It is very small(just 27 inches).easy to carry anywhere with you.
good for children for easy start to learn music or for any one who gave up to learn a guitar like me.
solid top(spruce or ceder I'm not sure.) and maple side and back.
I'm thinking it looks more like cedar than spruce, unless the spruce has been stained?

Specs from Yairi's site (http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.yairi.co.jp%2Ffmc%2Fi ndex.html&sl=ja&tl=en&hl=&ie=UTF-8).


Top - Solid spruce or cedar
Back / Side - Maple
Neck - Mahogany
Fingerboard - Rosewood
Bridge - Nyato
Scale - 475mm
It appears to have 17 frets, plus a zero fret.

Now, my tenor measures 26-1/2" with a scale length of 430mm and has 18 frets. So it seems this is basically a pineapple tenor? The difference in scale length would seem to come from the fact that the bridge is placed a bit lower on the bout?

It's shown as 28K yen, which translates to US$310.

Does anyone know anything about these or otherwise have any experience with Yairi instruments? What about the tuning described? I would assume normal uke strings and tuning would be fine?

I have been suppressing UAS. I still have only one uke after nine months, and I didn't even buy it (won in a drawing). :(

But I've been thinking of expanding my horizons and the pineapple shape is appealing, as well as new woods. My current uke is all mahogany (Cordoba LaPlaya) and my understanding is that spruce/cedar top with maple sides/back would probably sound a lot brighter? I like tenor and think I'll stick with it.

Money is tight right now. I've been in frugal-to-the-max mode for so long I can't even recall my last non-essential purchase, aside from some Worth strings, a clip-on tuner and the John King classical uke book, and those were certainly nothing major.

kenikas
03-20-2010, 05:44 PM
Cool looking instrument, it definetly looks like you could set it up as a tenor sized pineapple. Keep us posted.

Lori
03-20-2010, 07:30 PM
I don't know anything about this one, but it looks interesting. The strange thing about it is that they say it's spruce or cedar top and maple sides and back. To me, the photo makes it look like it is made out of one type of wood, since it appears the top and sides are the same color (but maybe it's been stained or something). The tuning sounds like some kind of slack key set up. You should be able to tune it GCEA with the right strings. I guess if you can see it in person, you could let us know what you think.

–Lori

Ahnko Honu
03-20-2010, 08:02 PM
Close enough to a pineapple for me to lust and covet.
http://images.craigslist.org/3k83p53l65Y35Tc5Z6a3k8c1bcced8746140d.jpg

itsme
03-29-2010, 05:24 PM
Well, I bought it today. :) He was willing to come down $50 without the instructional DVD and book (all in Japanese that I couldn't use anyway). He included a Korg CA-30 tuner. I don't really need another tuner, but he offered it in the price.

The lower two strings are wound, I'm trying it out on baritone tuning before I change strings.

I'm 99% sure the top is cedar. I have two spruce top guitars and the grain looks different, as well as the color being darker.

The frets are a little more spacious. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. I can't hit a 2nd/8th fret span on it.

It has a very nice tone and volume. Intonation up the neck seems excellent. Overall, I'd say the workmanship on it is top notch. Only a couple of very minor dings that you'd have to look really close to even notice.

I'll report back on what I do with it.

Ahnko Honu
03-29-2010, 06:31 PM
Well, I bought it today. :) He was willing to come down $50 without the instructional DVD and book (all in Japanese that I couldn't use anyway).
I'm 99% sure the top is cedar. I have two spruce top guitars and the grain looks different, as well as the color being darker.

I'll report back on what I do with it.

I'm guessing the top wood is Sugi aka Japanese Cedar though in reality not a true cedar but a type of endemic Cypress found nowhere else, and the national tree of Japan.
I lived in Japan 7 years and acquired a few things made from Sugi wood, pretty stuff. I think you did REAL good on your purchase, congratulations!

itsme
05-08-2010, 10:14 PM
Someone elsewhere asked me for a comparison pic, so here's the Kanai next to my tenor since I shot it and cropped it and all that.

http://images.dr3vil.com/files/11/ukescompared.jpg

KevinV
05-09-2010, 02:33 AM
Cool looking instrument. If you get a chance at some point, post a sound clip if you would. I'd love to hear what it sounds like in traditional tuning.

I take it it's a steel string instrument? If it's braced for steel string, uke strings may have a hard time pushing the top to get the most vibration out of it. I look forward to hearing more about your experience with this.

itsme
05-09-2010, 12:41 PM
Cool looking instrument. If you get a chance at some point, post a sound clip if you would. I'd love to hear what it sounds like in traditional tuning.

I take it it's a steel string instrument? If it's braced for steel string, uke strings may have a hard time pushing the top to get the most vibration out of it. I look forward to hearing more about your experience with this.
It was made for nylon strings. From Yairi's site:


Smaller size, easy to nylon push Kie

"String U" - "string", please use gut strings are made of nylon. Even without power are pressing.

Don't you just love how google's translator butchers Japanese? :p

It came with a spare set of "matched" ball-end classical guitar strings, like this:

D = guitar A (wound)
G = guitar D (wound)
B = guitar G
E = guitar (high) E

The baritone tuning works well (the scale is 475 vs. 480 for bari) but I ended tuning it up a half step higher to put a little more tension on the strings.

Bought a set of Aquila baritone strings but haven't put them on yet.

If you can tell from the pic, the Yairi has a slightly narrower neck. It's 38mm at the nut (the Cordoba is 40mm) and the string spacing is a little closer.

I'll see if I can borrow my husband's WoW mic again at some point and record something.

So far, I'm doing quite well with it and it's a lot of fun to play. I do play classical guitar and can read standard notation, but when I got the tenor (high g) I gave up and learned to read tab. With the baritone tuning being the same as the top four strings of the guitar, I can actually read standard notation on it with no problem. Also, low g tabs work fine, it's just that the notes aren't the same as intended.

itsme
06-27-2010, 07:37 PM
I'm going to bump this because I was on my first UU minijam (hooray, got the wedcam and mic working) and a couple people asked me what I was playing, but I somehow managed to cut myself off and everyone was gone when I went back. So, I was playing the Kanai tonight.