Takamine, Hirade H5, Classical Guitar, 1985, Solid Cedar Top,
Rosewood Back and sides
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Hirade is Takamine’s premium line of classical guitars, originally designed by master luthier Mass Hirade. These guitars are constructed of the finest tonewoods and handmade in Sakashita, Japan.
The Hirade H5 is the most affordable member of Takamine’s premium line of classical guitars. Although only a step above the Takamine C132S, the H5 displays a marked improvement in feel and tone over its lower sibling: dark robust bass, warm trebles, immaculate fretwork and slender easy-to-play neck are hallmarks of this model.
All H5 series guitars feature a solid cedar top, solid Indian rosewood back and sides, solid mahogany neck, inlaid marquetry rosette, bone nut and saddle, ebony fingerboard, adjustable truss rod and gold plated Gotoh tuning heads. These tuning heads have removable knobs, are smooth turning and hold pitch well once the strings are stretched out.
The H5 is braced lighter than the H8SS and TH90, resulting in less string resistance. In other words, the H5 is easier on the fingers than higher Hirade models. The downside to less string resistance is reduced dynamic range before buzzing.
Its adjustable truss rod is an oddity on a classical guitar but a welcome tweak for many players. Most H5 series ship set flat (no neck relief), the way I like it. If you have a heavy touch you’ll want a little extra neck relief (neck bend) to reduce buzzing.
Original Posted By Hirade K-5] Here’s the Hirade marketing line. Guitarras Hirade is a ‘factory within a factory’ at Japanese instrument mass-producer Takamine. Master luthier Mas Hirade joined Takamine in 1968 and began his namesake workshop soon after. Hirade limited-production instruments are labeled as ‘handcrafted’ (each instrument is signed by a single luthier, some models by Hirade himself), and are advertised to use the best Takamine woods (solids and laminates) and to follow Hirade designs.
The major influences on guitar tone are the tone wood used, the quality of internal bracing, and strings. A solid cedar or spruce soundboard is a prerequisite for good tone. Hirade guitars are now available with soundboards of solid cedar or spruce, solid rosewood bodies, and ebony fingerboards. The spruce-topped models comprise the concert-level guitars in the Hirade line, providing an analytical and powerful sound. For the body, solid wood is prized the most, but a less expensive (and more green) laminate body is less susceptible to kracking, and has arguably indistinguishable tonal characteristics compared to a solid equivalent, assuming the build quality of instruments is the same.
Hirade built an entry-level cedar/koa guitar called the K5, produced in 1994-6 (?). The K5 uses a laminate koa body wood, fine-grained, solid cedar soundboard, and tropical American mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard. The K5 is the only known Hirade with an adjustable truss rod neck (like its less-expensive mass-produced cousin the Takamine C132S). Perhaps the small extra weight helps balance the light K5, as well as providing flexibility if neck relief adjustment if ever needed. Most high-end classicals skip the truss rod