(SOLD) SAITO Guitars S-622TLC Maroon 2021
Saito S-622TLC, maroon finish, made in Japan 2021. This, friends, is just unreal. Saito guitars was founded by master luthier Masaaki Saito and is based in Kawaguchi, an hour or so northwest of central Tokyo. Masaaki opened a specialist guitar repair business in 1991 and ran it for twenty years. In 2011, he launched Saytone, offering high end hand-wound pickups, which have done very well in Japan and popped up in guitars we've had through by Crews Maniac Sound among others. In 2015, the company launched Saito Guitars, running under the same roof and guided by the pursuit of 'simple, beautiful tools'. They now have half a dozen dealers in Japan and another half dozen around Asia and Europe, but they still primarily operate as a by-order custom builder; you can spec just about every detail from the logo colour to the inlay shape to the hardware. They're doing very well in Japan, there's a wait time for a new build and the used examples hold their value very convincingly. This one dates to 2021, so it's a fairly new example. First up, it looks slick as heck: the satin finish, carve top, modern logos and minimalist appointments look like something out of a $1k/night hotel in Norway. The woodwork is amazing: the body is two piece centre joined lightweight ash, finished in open-pore satin, and it rings like a bell and weighs in next-to-nothing. The neck is hard rock maple, with a separate piece for the board and a stripe of wenge in the middle, making for a cute highlight on the headstock. It's got a formidable combo of maple binding, hiding the fret ends, and rolled edges, for super smooth feel. It's a compound 10-12" radius and a tapered C to D style shape, and finished in beautiful satin. It's one of the best necks I've ever played, it feels incredible. The tone on offer is quite something too. The pickups are Saytone 'Hand Winding TLC' single coils, which are a slightly overwound take on classic Tele vintage style single coils. The tone has heaps of sparkle and jangle, so it's bright and extremely clear, but still pretty forgiving and unwaveringly musical. The treble is balanced by a piano-esque clarity and weight through the low end, adding percussive oomph and bell-like definition across the whole range. It seems to get along with any amp and pedal and persistently deliver outstanding life and detail. There's plenty of great vintage styled guitars coming out of Japan, but their modern offerings like this are truly amongst the best production guitars in the world. I hope this is the first of many Saito guitars we get through, it's going to make someone extremely happy.
Model: SAITO Guitars S-622TLC
Made: Japan, docs date 20 Dec 2021 (serial 170557)
Finish: maroon, 'open pore' style satin urethane
Body: swamp ash
Neck: maple, maple board with wenge stripe, 10-12" compound radius, 'standard grip' profile, rolled edges
Pickups: Saytone 'Hand Winding' TLC single coil x2
Case: basic hard case, original docs included
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. The headstock has some scuffs on the end. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, no major marks. The back has minor rub wear near the neck plate. The sides have minor rub wear on the bottom horn and elbow area and minor dimples on the top horn and near the jack. The front has some light scuffs around the knobs and some play wear on the horns. Overall: excellent condition (9/10).
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electronics tested and working properly. The frets look great, 9/10 for fret life left. Wearing fresh 10/46 Moonshiners strings.