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Now here's a rare one for you! It's a 1980 vintage Shiro, made in Shiro Arai's famed Matsumoku factory in Japan. We have seen two of these in the past, and we were equally impressed by those examples. Each has small differences in the headstock inlays (different logos, and no stylised 'S'), the truss rod cover (3 screws or the more 'correct' 2 (as per Gibson®) like this guitar) and the bridge (the bridge is a proper tune-o-matic (Japanese) on this guitar, while another had a compensated wooden bridge, and another had a wooden bridge with a straight saddle).

Shiro Arai was responsible for many of the most sought-after brands of the 'lawsuit era' during the 1970s and early '80s, and one can only assume after looking at and playing this guitar that he would only apply his name, Shiro, to the highest quality lines. Shiro Arai now also makes the esteemed D'Aquisto (New York) guitars.

We were able to date this Made in Japan (MIJ) non serial-numbered guitar by the stamp on the high-quality Maxon-made pickups. The stamp 200201 shows they are model code 2, made in 1980 (0) on February (02) 1st (1).

This guitar is stunning in every respect, from its fully bound body and neck (with triple binding on the neck and 7-layer binding on the front of the body!), mother-of-pearl inlays (including the headstock), through to the quality of the fittings and electronics. The Maxon-produced pickups are truly amazing - gutsy, yet with a lovely 'sparkle' often missing from humbuckers.

Original frets show some wear on the first few positions, but it is still some time before they will need even their first dressing. The body, neck and headstock have only inconsequential marks, showing the guitar has been very well cared for by its previous owner (check out the 'more pictures' link below) and neck set is perfect. Tuners have at some stage been upgraded to Schallers.

A high quality, very rare and very playable vintage guitar, and it comes complete with its original hard shell case in good condition other than the missing handle. The original handle brackets are intact, so it would be a simple matter for a handyman to fashion a handle to suit.

The guitar represents extremely good value, and is a truly professional-grade instrument. Action and playability are incredible, and in every respect this guitar is the equal (and in many ways superior to) of the Gibson® ES-175® model it so unashamedly copies, at about 1/3rd of the cost!

Sold to Chris

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