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1976 Tama Model 3557-12 Solid Woods Spruce Jacaranda New Strings Original Hard Shell Case
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Today, Lawman Guitars is Presenting..
A beautiful and all all original Tama, made in Japan, Martin inspired , 12 string guitar with the original Hard Shell Case.
The guitar is just beautiful and plays as nice as it looks. All we had to do is clean it up and put a new set of Dr Duck Phosphorus Bronze light gauge strings on it. It sounds wonderful and has all solid woods in its construction. Solid Spruce top, Jacaranda back and sides that looks a lot like Rosewood. The neck is a solid hunk of Maple, truss rod, and a Rosewood fret board. The body is X-braced as all high quality built guitars are. Love the original Japan Star emblazed Tuners!
These Model 3557-12 Tama guitars were made by Seisakusho Co. in Aichi, Japan. This company was founded in 1962 as part of Hishino Gakki, They were produced only in 1974 thru 1976. The serial number does not give any clues to the actual date of construction. I am calling it a 1976 but it could be any of the three years of production.
Here’s some history I found on the internet regarding these high quality made Tama Guitars.
The TAMA guitars were produced by Seisakusho Co. in Aichi, Japan. This company was founded in 1962 as part of Hoshino Gakki. The history says that the brand name TAMA was created by the founder Yoshitaro Hoshino in memory of his wife Tama Hoshino. In the beginning the company produced guitars, amplifiers and drums for Ibanez. In 1974 the first TAMA guitar could be found in a Ibanez brochure. It was the model 3558/6, a six string dreadnought. From the model name you could suppose that there was also a 12-string version, but I have never heard of it. Later on the the model name changed to 3558.
In the following 3 years the line was completed by different steel-string and two classical guitars. The steel-strings were more or less copies of Martin guitars. Tama’s of that period can be identified by the full written logo on the headstock (except the classical guitars). In 1977 TAMA presented a new line of guitars with a different design, covering a T-style logo on a “not-Martin-like” headstock. In 1978 TAMA introduced their last guitar, a TG-190 as a limited top-of-the-line model. The end came in 1979 when the production of TAMA guitars unfortunately was stopped because of economical reasons or in favor of the Ibanez product line. The existing stock of fine tone woods was sold to Ibanez, who went on producing guitars in the same factory with the same workers and with the same design under a new line, called “Artwood Guitars”. Today the design can still be seen on the actual Artwood guitars.
The guitar has a 16 inch wide body. The nut measures 1 7/8 inches and it has a25 1/4 inch scale neck. The guitar plays great. You can tell is was hardly played above the 5th fret. There are some finger divots and some pitting on those frets alone. The big handed guys will love this neck. Its pretty wide but has a comfortable medium C profile. Plays well about the 5th fret. Measures 3/16th of an inch from the 12 fret to both the low and high E strings. Bar chords are not a problem on this guitar.
A fine example of one of the top Japanese Makers of a Martin Copy 12 String. Solid woods and quality construction as we all appreciated from the 1970’s Lawsuit Japan Guitars.
Ships in the shown original Hard Shell case. Its as nice as the guitar. All latches, hinges and original handle are still present as is the accessory box. The gold plush interior is still very nice and is an awesome home for your cool Tama 12 string guitar.
Sold as is no returns as its vintage and used. However. I have been hand picking my customers instruments for over 20 years now and they all loved the guitars I found for them. This cool Tama will certainly not be an exception.
Thanks for checking out our cool guitars.
Lawman Mike at Lawman Guitars