Yamaha occupies a surprisingly unusual niche in the guitar industry.
The company, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its presence on the American market and export to other countries beyond Japan, has consistently produced guitars that have sold in impressive numbers and attracted a notable following of celebrity players and esteemed pros.
Yet the success of Yamaha guitars is influenced more by their reputation for high quality and the outstanding value their instruments offer for the money than by the usual forms of guitar hero worship that drive many guitar sales. As a result, Yamaha has quietly satisfied the needs of all walks of players from beginner to pro while an ever-changing parade of trendier instruments have hogged the spotlight.
Although Yamaha was originally founded in 1887 to produce pianos and organs, the company did not start building guitars until the early Forties, eventually opening a factory dedicated exclusively to guitar construction in Hamamatsu in the late Forties. Yamaha’s first guitars were nylon-string classical models, and these guitars were sold only by retailers within Japan through the Fifties and early Sixties.
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