Yuichi Imai is one of Japan's most revered and experienced luthiers, being an independent maker since the opening of his own workshop in 1971. Several top players including Aniello Desiderio, Frank Bungarten and Alvaro Pierri have played Imai guitars. Very few of his guitars are exported due to the high demand in Japan, so it is a pleasure to have one for offer here in the United States. This particular instrument is built with stunning materials including a gorgeous set of CSA rosewood for the back and sides, rich in dark grain lines, particularly in the upper bout. The craftsmanship is exquisite as well - of note, it has a lovely and elegantly carved head relief, and tasteful inlay work, particularly the rosette which is banded by alternating yellow and red herringbone - exquisitely executed. Sound-wise, this is a powerful concert guitar with ample volume and weighty presence that is reminiscent of the great Madrid instruments from the 1960's and 70's. The basses are firm and steady while the trebles are thick, balanced and cleanly separated, making this an incredibly versatile instrument for any musical setting.