(SOLD) Yamaha SA-30 Hollow Body Aruba Green 1966
Yamaha SA30, aruba green, made in Japan 1966. Yamaha's first ever electric guitars were released in 1966, so this is a superb 'first year' example of the awesome SA series hollow bodies. Surf music was enormous in Japan at the time, so local builders like Yamaha were offering original shapes that borrowed a little from Fender offsets and Mosrite models while mixing in some classic Gibson style hollow body design elements. Examples of the SA-30 from 1967 onwards have normal F-holes with plastic 'wings' underneath to reduce feedback, but these super early examples borrow the 'painted on' F-holes as featured on the Gretsch Chet Atkins 6122 of the same era. The unique double cut shape, curvy headstock, double binding and funky hardware make for a superbly cool aesthetic. Cap that off with a lush forest green finish, and heck... it's gorgeous. The neck is straight with a working truss rod and functional frets, which is awesome for a guitar of this age. It's seen plenty of play, so the neck has a fair bit of finish rubbed off and feels supremely slick. Tone-wise, it's a lot of fun. The pickups are a large size single coil, so they're kinda like a gold foil or a P-90 in tone. There's a whole stack of walloping natural attack on board, so this has a gorgeous percussive quality to it. The hollow body offers plenty of richness through the midrange and the pickups are equally happy doing crispy cleans or growly overdrive. I'm a huge fan of these early SA guitars, and to get an OG 1966 example in good shape like this is a rare treat. The future is green, right?
Model: Yamaha SA-30
Made: Japan, 1966 (serial 1255)
Finish: transparent aruba green, gloss poly
Body: laminate maple, fully hollow, thinline depth
Neck: maple, rosewood fretboard, 12" radius, 24.75" scale
Mods: re-wired with a volume/volume/tone setup, bridge, knobs and tuners replaced
Pickups: original Yamaha hum-cancelling single coil x2
Case: basic non-original gig bag
Overall: minor finish wear. The headstock has some widespread scuffs and rub wear, as well as extra holes from previous tuners. The neck has significant rub wear on the back and edges, as well as widespread light dimples on the back and some play wear on the board, but heck... it feels amazing int he hands. The back has widespread light scuffs around the whole body, as well as a couple of little finish chips on the edge along the top and bottom edges in the widest section. The sides have scuffs and dimples around the whole body but no major marks. The front has widespread light scuffs and dimples and some play wear on the guard and horns, but no major marks. Overall: good condition (7/10)
Playing condition notes: Neck is straight, intonation is good, action is low, truss rod works. All electronics tested and working properly. Frets have some normal wear but are pretty even with no major buzz issues; 6/10 for fret life left. Setup with fresh 11/49 Moonshiners strings.