Yamaha SA-50 Hollow Body Dark Green 1969
Yamaha SA-50 hollow body, dark green, made in Japan circa 1969. We've shown this to a few people, and the reaction is always the same: "holy heck that's a gorgeous guitar!" (or similar). These original Yamaha hollows are incredibly well built and increasingly famous. We arranged for a full re-fret for this girl, so Jon at JPGW has installed some brand new EVO Gold frets and done a full luthier-grade setup; it's playing like an absolute dream. You can really feel the warmth and resonance of the 50ish year old body, and the tone is absolutely magical. The pickups are a low-output humbucker; they're brilliantly balanced and responsive and sing truly in both clean and dirty situations. There's a few mods and dings etc (see below), but this will absolutely blow the mind of it's new owner; it's just a phenomenal guitar.
Model: Yamaha SA-50 (check out some original catalog images here)
Made: Japan, 1969 (best estimate on features and catalog, 5-digit serial no longer visible)
Finish: 'dark green'; a dark transparent British-racing-green, gloss poly
Body: figured maple, fully hollow, thinline
Neck: maple, rosewood fretboard, moderately slim profile
Mods: pickguard removed, bridge replaced with Gibson-style, Grover tuners installed, orange drop capacitor installed, pots replaced, frets replaced with Jescar EVO Gold wire
Pickups: original Yamaha humbuckers, 'hum-free anisotrophic ferrite magnets with individually adjustable pole pieces'
Cosmetic condition notes: moderate finish wear. There's a chip on the binding on the bottom horn, and another couple of small chips on the back. There's some dings, pone on the back of the neck (doesn't impede playing) and one near the knobs. There's some extra holes where the pickguard has been, as well as where some dog-ear style pickups have been added and later removed. There's some finish checking lines near the knobs. There's some buckle rash on the back and a number of other minor scratches around the body. None of this is dramatic, it's pretty good for a 50ish year old guitar. 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 are brand new as noted, 10/10. Setup with fresh 11/49s. Resist if you can!