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A Diamond in the Rough

1977 Alvarez Yairi Model DY85



Serial Number 21138 (According to inside label)

Another Number on the label is 52 10 2G

Dated (According to label) 12/21/77

Signed by K. Yairi in ink on label


This guitar recently came into my possession.  I know some information about it.  Please feel free to correct any erroneous information using the link at the bottom of this page.  I can say that it is a player’s guitar, and some TLC could make it gorgeous.  The top, while quite worn and damaged, has lots of character and has darkened beautifully over the years.  It is hands down, one of the nicest playing, feeling and sounding acoustics I have ever laid my hands on…I cannot put it down.  In comparison, I also have a 2000 Tacoma DM9 that I consider a great guitar, and while cosmetically it is beautiful, and it’s a fine playing and sounding guitar…it cannot touch this guitar in terms of sound quality, playabililty and feel.  The solid rosewood back and sides instill a very mellow tone to the guitar. 


Specifications:  (Gleaned from Internet sources)



Condition:  Excellent player.  Rough cosmetics…needs some TLC. 


Pictures below with notations:


Ebony Fret board w/Abalone Inlays.  Note some wear on fret board.  Also, on the upper frets some adhesive has been slopped on the fret board. 


Sitka Spruce Top


Ebony Bridge.  Shoddy repair work shown. 


Pick guard has been reinstalled with the same shoddy technique as the bridge


Inlays around the sound hole


An example of the inlay work around the entire guitar


Back of the guitar.  More abalone inlays.   Finish has plenty of scratches and belt buckle rash that you can’t see in the picture.  Back of neck is faded, but not worn. 


Slight damage on back of headstock.   Tuners are excellent.


Label inside of guitar.  Signed by the man himself…K. Yairi.  I’ve compare this signature to others I’ve seen on the internet and I believe it is authentic.


A view of the entire back of the headstock  I believe this is mahogany, but I could be wrong…The mahogany on my Tacoma doesn’t look quite like this.  It could be something a little more exotic.


I am of particular interest as to whether or not the signature on the label means that it is an example actually hand made by K. Yairi.  I have read from several sources that it was indeed.  Also, I am interested methods to clean it and also it’s potential value. 


Please tell me more about this guitar by emailing