|Wilson||1968-1970s||Wilson brand: Most of these were made in Japan, by Hiroshi Yairi under the supervision of his father Sadao Yairi. All are marked with “clase” instead of model numbers (in lower right corner of label). All Wilson models should be 800’s, I’ve seen 851 to 857. The label will also note the year as AD., say Handmade, and give a “No.____” and printed with H. Yairi Luthier, usually accompanied by his signature, sometimes Hiroshi Yairi, sometimes just H. Yairi. Most will also have a supervisor stamp “made under the supervision of SADA Yairi”.
The earliest example I’ve seen is 1968, which was very different than his later models. More of a Japanese flair to it. The variety of inlays, binding’s and tonewood used within the same “clase” number makes it difficult to tell which is which, without actually seeing the model. Early models are not made quite as well as the later ones, and not ALL Wilson models are made by either Yairi! If it doesn’t have a Yairi name on the label or stamped on a brace, it was made by some other luthier in Japan. Many of the old Japanese guitars (regardless of brand of export) were made by more than one luthier or factory. Same holds true for Alvarez (not Alvarez Yairi) models. [Source: YL, email 9/9/2009
Also a Wilson and Son model.