Yamaha SA-1200S Semi-Hollow Brown Sunburst 1980
Yamaha SA-1200s semi hollow, brown sunburst, made in Japan in 1980. Sometimes it's hard to put into words just how exceptional a guitar really is... this is one of those occasions. I could fill this description with superlatives, and I'd still fall short of conveying the magic of this beauty. The SA1200S is a rare model, Yamaha made a total of 800 between 1980-82, that's all. It's basically the same guitar as the more-famous SA2000, but without the fancy inlays and the gold hardware and with a different top, it's otherwise the same. The top on this is solid spruce, and therein lies a lot of the majesty: the tone is thick, juicy, articulate, warm and absolutely brimming with harmonic richness. The PAF-style humbuckers are splittable, and it every single option seems to sound brilliant: bridge HB only, neck HB only, both, one pickup split, both pickups split... each option is unique, but they're all instantly likeable and full of possibility. The neck is moderately chunky and perfectly round, it's spot-on and feels exactly how it should. The luxurious bound ebony board feels excellent under the fingers too. The beautifully aged sunburst finish lets the subtle, tight grain of the spruce show through on the top and the wide glamorous grain of the maple shine on the back; it looks all the better for a few years of play too. This is truly a stellar guitar, it'll make someone extremely happy for a very long time.
Model: Yamaha Super Axe SA-1200S
Made: Japan, 1980 (best estimate on serial and catalog, serial 002304)
Finish: brown sunburst gloss over spruce/maple
Body: solid spruce top, laminate maple back and sides, semi-hollow with center block, thinline
Neck: maple, rosewood fretboard, moderately slim profile
Pickups: original Yamaha humbuckers, coil-splittable
Case: basic used generic dreadnought acoustic case, okay fit with some padding
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. There's quite a lot of very small dings and marks, but nothing major. The most noteworthy dings/scratches are on the end of the headstock, behind the bridge, on the top edge of the body near the shoulder-contact area, near the knobs and in the middle of the back of the body. There's really nothing dramatic at all, just a bunch of little nicks. Overall: good condition (7.5/10).
Playing condition notes: Neck is straight, intonation is good, action is low, truss rod works. All electronics tested and working properly. Frets have some minor wear but are in pretty awesome shape, 8/10 for life left. Setup with fresh 11/49s. Very very good indeed.