Playable As-Is - as described, but also with scope for further improvement.
Update 12/11/2017 - Further Reduction for Quick Sale!
If you follow my listings you will know that, amongst all the other guitar types I sell regularly, I am rather partial to Vintage 12-String Guitars, particularly those of Japanese Suzuki and Kasuga origin, together with the open/slotted headstock Yamaha 12-strings, from the late 1970s. Here now is another example, which it appears is a little later built, from the late 1980s, on which I have dressed the bridge, to give the strings a better break-angle over the saddle & improve the superb chorused 12-string sound! The superbly appointed styling reflects significant Martin inspiration style features.
I have sold many Japanese-made 12-String Guitars over the years....the beautiful finish/detailing on this one are as striking & handsome as any of them....the last Suzuki 12 String I sold was a 1970s Kiso 9513, restored on pre-order & sold at £499, but this one is offered at a much lower price, reflecting the more recent, non-vintage date, and also reflects the higher string action....perfectly playable, but not as low as some buyers might be seeking.
Please see additional advice in the "NOTE", under "Action, Strings etc.heading below, about use of a capo!
I am concentrating my time on restoring the Harmony, Stella & other USA-made guitars I specialize in, for which I have a steady stream of orders, so I am clearing a few other guitars. That apart, as further detailed under the "Condition" heading below, I have not considered that the guitar warrants the time & expense of carrying out structural adjustments to lower the action, as it can readily be be played as it is, other than dressing the bridge, which I have already completed, but principally to improve the break-angle over the saddle, and therefore it's sound transmission.
Stock Number: VTG1240.
According to the Suzuki Website the Serial Number D89041070 indicate manufacture in 1989.
Amongst other Japanese-made guitars, together with the Open-headstock 1970s Yamahas I have often sold, Suzukis have got to be amongst the nicest affordable 12 strings around - I've sold a good number of them over the last few years, and have always been super-impressed.....they have all sounded great, played nicely, with comfortable sized necks, and not least looking great! In this case a very Martin-like styling. This one must be right up there amongst the ones I have had, with an exceptional quality and volume of sound - really powerful quality 12 string sound - like an orchestra!
The nicely coloured and grained book-matched Spruce top has smart Cream-edged/Black multi-binding, with matching soundhole rings, and original Black pickguard. The equally attractive, slightly arched richly-coloured Mahogany back and matching sides have single Cream binding, matching centre stripe and end-stripe and Black dotted/Cream end strap-button.
There is much discussion regarding solid/laminate tops, in relation to Vintage Guitars. I have to say that there is a fine difference in sound that highly trained ears, like those of the professional luthier I work with, can detect.....for the rest of us there are just great sounding guitars, and I prefer the judgement of my less finely tuned ears!
The guitar is in generally excellent cosmetic condition.....only a little play & general use marking, for a guitar approaching 30 years old, the most noticeable of which is a bit of a nick on the treble side of the soundhole....previously fitted soundhole pickup perhaps, but must have been used with a trailing lead? The frets & nice Rosewood fingerboard show very little play wear. The enclosed individual machineheads/tuners, which appear to be the originals, are bright, showing no age-related discolouration and work fine. All in all I think that you will agree that the photos show that this remains a very handsome guitar.
As Mentioned previously the Rosewood bridge has been dressed, reducing slightly it's overall height, but more particularly correcting the original shaping of the bridge, which was almost higher at the back edge than the front...one of the few design failings in Japanese made guitars, which the makers didn't correct over many years...basic principles of Geometry dictate that if you want a decent break-angle of the saddle, in order to optimize sound transmission & avoid nasty string rattles, you need the bridge to slope distinctly rearward, with rear of the bridge significantly lower than the front....that it now does!
The action height, neck/fingerboard alignment, top shaping, and truss rod questions are outlined in the next "Action, Strings & Cases" section.
It plays nicely, with correctly adjusted string height at the nut for easy fretting for open chords etc., but as mentioned, at approx. 4mm. at the 12th. fret, the action is at the upper end of the range of viable string action heights for a 12-string, but if you use the standard 12 string procedure of tuning down two steps to D, and capo at the 2nd. fret, the 12th. fret action comes down to 3mm./3.5mm.
NOTE: If you intend to buy, please make sure that you have a capo which is of the correct type/quality to operate correctly on a 12-string guitar.
The point about using a capo on a 12-string guitar is that you have strings of widely differing gauges, including pairs of wound & unwound strings side by side. It is therefore essential that the capo has the capability to adjust the pressure and has the correct quality of pad on the arm to ensure that all strings, particularly the thin plain strings are held by the capo....otherwise the strings that are not being correctly fretting will inevitably buzz.
The problem with many "quick change" lever type, and some other cheaper capos is that they have no adjustment to take account of the thickness of the neck, according to position, and are therefore just not capable of working correctly on a 12-string. Also the trigger type rely on a spring which weakens over time.
I use a professional quality Shubb capo, dedicated 12-string model.
The trussrod is clearly working, and adjustment does take a little of the fingerboard relief out, but does not appear to be acting against the action height, and instead appears to be pushing the fingerboard extension down a little, and adding a little to the slight unevenness of the guitar top around the soundhole. As mentioned the guitar is entirely playable as it is, the situation has not changed at all in the 5 years that the guitar has been here. At the price offered the buyer has the option of keeping it as-is, a great sounding & looking, economically priced 12-string, or of funding the replacement of the trussrod or other work found to be needed, and enhancing the value.
Please satisfy yourself that you are comfortable with this set-up before purchase. The typical 12-string width neck has a width of approx. 48mm. to the nut, a quite shallow "D" shaped profile, and a scale length of 25.5"/648mm. A new set of Martin Bronze XL 10-47 strings will be fitted before sale.
There is no case with the guitar, but I have some Gigbags, or if you require a case offering greater protection, I do have Hiscox Liteflite hardshell and other cases, and if I can marry the guitar to a suitable hard case for you, I am happy to discuss an inclusive price for Guitar and case.