I Swear I’m Not Gonna Buy This Guitar, But You Could Buy It

Almost seven years ago, I wrote a paean to the awkwardly-named uber-Matsumokus named “Skylark” and sold by JC Penney department stores. Well, there’s a perfect example of the big-dog model on Reverb right now. The seller says he won’t take a penny under $800.

If I buy this thing, it will go in my steel-shelf archives with over one hundred of its closest relatives. If you buy it, you would have an absolutely first-rate guitar for the same price as a new Chinese Fender. Someone should play it. There’s no sense in saving it for the future. Who will care about guitars in an era where most people can’t be bothered to learn an instrument?

Maybe you don’t want to spend that much. So here’s an offer which I might repeat in the future but might not: For $299 net Paypal or Venmo, I’ll ship you a very nice Japanese guitar which will only need a quick setup and a change of strings to play pretty well. I have some duplicates I’ve been meaning to shuck off. Stuff like these. My purpose here is to spread the gospel of Matsumoku guitars. If you want to spend more than that, let me know. If you want to spend $800, skip me and buy that SKylark. That’s all, folks!

16 Replies to “I Swear I’m Not Gonna Buy This Guitar, But You Could Buy It”

  1. AvatarShocktastic

    I’m just looking for something to learn on. I don’t care if it’s a little scuffed just so long as it’s playable and repairable. I’ll do PayPal but would rather send you a check or cash. Question is, what does it cost to ship a guitar? My son sold a really rare color lava lamp but we were dismayed by the high cost of shipping it at retail rates.

    • AvatarCJinSD

      One of the strange ‘quirks’ of the globalist economy is that I can get fresh produce from Costa Rica off my grocer’s shelves for sixty cents a pound and kettle bells from China delivered to my door by Amazon for a total of two dollars a pound, but I can’t ship a locally-sourced gift two-hundred miles for $2.60 a pound. Meanwhile, the Warren Buffett puppets who protest Walmart’s impact on local economies will fight to the death to protect the Bezos-Obama business model so they never have to rub shoulders with the common herd in a store.

    • AvatarJ-Dog

      This one is $60 to ship, which isn’t bad. I’ve noticed any apparent deals on Reverb seem to be offset by shipping. Same with eBay. I was able to get a very nice Epiphone Les Paul from Guitar Center a few weeks ago for about $150 less than anything on Reverb.

  2. AvatarDougD

    Not my thing. However, I am eyeing a 12 string Daion Caribou 81 for sale locally… That’s a pretty weird and obscure Japanese guitar.

    Lots of great quality used guitars available these days, why buy new?

  3. AvatarJohn C.

    Interesting that our friends in both China and Japan are so prolific in the construction of electric guitars. While I can’t think of a single prominent Asian guitarist despite the no doubt mother lode of Asian guitarists that surely absorb the bulk of Asian guitar manufacturing. It is so generous that despite such great local demand, Japan and now China make their product available here so that we don’t have to deal with our own people. What a blessing! Our own people, I mean come on…..

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I dont know to tell you this but America hasnt been a leading guitar producer since the Sixties. The early Sixties. Our manufacturers went upscale almost immediately.

      I should also note that the value of my 100-plus Japanese guitars isnt equal to that of my eighteen PRS Private Stock and Wood Library models. Not even half, actually.

      You may not know any Asian guitarists but the best selling solo rock artist of the modern age, John Mayer, is a protege of Berklee’s Tomo Fujita and sounds more like Tomo than an Electra looks like a Fender…

      • AvatarJohn C.

        Good job! Evangelize away….. John Mayer you say, no not Japanese but copied (ironic huh) one. Nice of someone like you to shill for them. If you left it to Mr. Moto or Charlie Chan whose business more naturally is talk of Asian greatness, more may catch on to the game being played on them.

        • Avatarbenjohnson

          Maybe the Japanese have something to teach us. For example – the fact that Toyota spilled all their knowledge and gave it to GM via NUMMI and GM still can’t make profitable niche vehicles in small quantities says more about GM’s unwillingness to learn and adapt than anything.

          If Tomo is able to take a Western instrument and Western music structure and work magic with it, wouldn’t it be a good idea to pay attention instead of just dismissing?

          You don’t have to copy the entire damn culture – Japanese family life and work ethic sucks, but at least try to find what’s good and learn and adapt.

          • AvatarJohn C.

            GM made a fine Corolla but people preferred the Toyota nameplate even though the same car was coming down the same line with a higher price, less discounting and a worse warranty. Tomo is welcome to play the guitar and Japan is even welcome to make the western instrument. This does not require the west to bow down before them and sacrifice our own in tribute, That is the part that seems to baffle you as if that was a natural result. The two things need not have gone hand in hand.

          • AvatarGreg Hamilton

            I know this isn’t the place for kumbaya type sayings, but I think everyone has the opportunity to learn from other people no matter where they are from. For example W. Edwards Deming an American statistician was shunned by U.S. manufacturers and embraced by Toyota who used his methods to improve their quality. Pitting one group or nationality against another or one generation and against another might improve click throughs but solves few problems except for those of the powers that be. I do like this blog and the intelligent discourse, and I do learn alot about popular culture here that I would not learn elsewhere, and of course the writing is way above my pay grade. I did own a Pontiac Vibe from that unionized NUMMI plant for almost ten years and it was virtually trouble free.

  4. AvatarPhil


    I couldn’t afford to purchase your Accord, but I am interested in taking you up on this offer. I live only 4 miles from Ray’s so you might not even have to ship one to me. I could get it from you the next time you are up here.


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