1987 Alvarez-Yairi DY90 Dreadnought Guitar

The DY90 is certainly "up there" in specs compared to other Alvarez-Yairi models from the time. It's a premium, Japanese-made guitar featuring rosewood back and sides and x-braced, spruce top, plus pearly bling around every edge. This is a customer's guitar and has been heavily played-in and has received various repairs during its lifetime.

It's got a big, punchy, full sound with good, defined bass. It sounds to my ears like a "split the difference" between a D-18 and D-28, for the most part, with a bit more top-end shimmer and upper mids present to the player. That's part of the "Yairi sound," though, I find.

This guy has had a refret and bridge work done in the past (in an attempt to stave-off an eventual bridge death from a hairline crack running through the pinholes). My work was a level/dress of the frets, widening of the saddle slot and a new bone saddle, and some preventative work to deal with that hairline crack in the bridge a bit more.

First, I filled the pinhole slots and what was visible of the hairline crack. It ran right down to the bottom of the slots so I knew it would eventually break the bridge in half if left untouched. It's just a matter of time. I then moved the bridge pins aft and drilled them so they'd be parallel with the angle of the saddle slot. This both improves sound (as back-angle is more identical string-to-string on the saddle) and also means that it's harder for the bridge to re-split on the new pinholes as each pinhole terminates in a different section of the grain.

All that done, the rest was glorified setup work. The result is a better-sounding, happier-feeling guitar and -- ya know -- that makes me happy as well. The owner said, "do whatever you think is necessary," and I'm glad so little was necessary, in fact. There was enough height on the newer frets that the level/dress job still leaves them feeling like newer wire.