Acoustic Guitars/Shiro A550


Hi, Kevin don't mean to be a pain, does a A550 look the same as the A551 as the picture's i've seen of the aria A551 looks nothing like mine.So i thought i'd do some more research and what i found out has me baffled.In 1954 Shiro Arai was importing guitars from Jose Ramirez and Herman Hausser, Now my guitar looks exactly like a 1954 Flamenco guitar, same length 650mm, same neck width 52mm same cutout on headstock same bridge but is labeled Contruccion De Guitarra(which is obviously Spanish)Shiro made in Japan, would Jose Ramirez printed labels under Shiros name on his request as he was importing and selling them under his own name?,I can't seem to find a picture of a Shiro labeled A550 anywhere for comparison to the A551.Regards Nick.

Yes,Jose Ramirez, et al, etc..  would print labels under Shiro's name on his request as he was importing and selling them under his own name and more....but YES that is the short answer....Please, go buy the book 'Guitar Stories' by Michael Wright parts one and two. It explains so much abut this convoluted and highly confusing business...Cheers, Kevin

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Kevin Dunham


Sigma by Martin guitars, Vintage Asian Import Guitars, acoustic guitars, american guitars, vintage music gear and vinyl record albums


I am a scholar and researcher of vintage Asain Import guitars and my area of expertise is Sigma by Martin fretted instruments imported by C.F. Martin & Co. from 1970-2007. I have been compiling materials and studying Sigma since 2008.

I have my own website,, a blog, Sigma Martin Memo's, I am a consultant on the Vintage Sigma Guitars Facebook page and am an editor of the Sigma Guitars Wikipedia page. I am also writing a book on the sigma line and have just returned from MArtin in NAzareth where I was granted access to and permisiion to reproduce Sigma by MArtin materials by Dick Boak, Archivist at Martin. Martin customer service representatives now refer Sigma by Martin inquiries that they cannot answer to me.

My book propsal is currently under review by Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publshing group and an article I wrote for Vintage Guitar Mazine is under advisement.

Studied at Linn Benton Community Collage in Albany Oregon and Marylhurst University in Portannd, Oregon. I have been a lifelong musician and student of guitars and am a guitar tech.

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