The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Bozo B80S-12 12 String Guitar Natural, 1975

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Here’s a treat – a Bozo B80S-12 built under license around 1975, by K. Yairi in Honshu, Japan, and in fully playable condition! Most of the – very few – Bozo Podunavic guitars we have seen were made in the USA and used by top players like Leo Kottke and Harvey Mandel.

Bozo Podunavic was born in Serbia and completed an apprenticeship with master luthier Milutin Miadenovic in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1950. In 1959, he moved to Chicago and took a job repairing guitars and in 1964 opened his own shop with his own line of ‘Bozo’ guitars. Many of these were very ornate, following traditional European styles.

In the mid 1970’s Bozo moved to Southern California and opened a new shop and a lutherie school. Around that time, demand for his instruments had risen enough that he was able to contract with respected Japanese builder K. Yairi, located in Kani, Honshu. This arrangement ran for several years. Eventually, Bozo Podunavic moved to Florida for health reasons and the offshore production ceased, though Bozo was still building guitars in 2019.

Here we’re looking at a Bozo B80S-12. This is a 12-string, jumbo bodied model. The name breaks down as ‘B’ for ‘Bozo’, ’80’ for the model or decoration level, ‘S’ for Spruce top, and ’12’ because it’s a 12-string. The top is Spruce, paired with solid Indian Rosewood for the sides, back and bridge; the body blocks and neck are Mahogany, with Ebony for the bound fingerboard. The top is decorated with two layers of Herringbone purfling, and the rosette is a relatively wide band of black fill with Mother of Pearl loops and shamrocks. There has been a thin plastic pickguard on the top, with the edges barely visible to close inspection.

It’s not easy to date this guitar exactly, partly because the ‘Serial Number’ section of the label is either blank or completely faded. There is a number ‘1020’ stamped on the neck block. We’re dating this to 1975 due to the dates of the arrangement between Bozo and Yairi, and because this model appears in a 1975 Bozo catalog. In any event, the years of construction were few.

This wonderful Bozo B80S-12 is in overall good condition, with finish wear to the neck where the player has worn through with his or her thumb. There are a few small dings and dents, but nothing serious or structural. There is a bit of fret rattle on the frets just before the body, but otherwise it is very playable and is set to a fairly low action.

A hard shell case, likely original, is included.


Price: $2,499.99 CAD
  • Model: B80S-12
  • Year: 1975 | Approximate year
  • Finish Gloss Natural
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 1020, built under license around 1975 in Japan by K. Yairi
  • Country of Origin: Japan
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 24/02/2022

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 6.072lbs 2.76kg
  • Scale Length: 647.7mm 25.5in
  • Nut Width: 49.67mm 1.956in

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