Yamaha SA-50 Hollow Body Natural 1968
Yamaha SA-50, made in Japan 1968, natural finish. My oh my, this is a lovely thing indeed. This particular guitar has spent the past couple of years in the Topshelf personal stash, but some new acquisitions have necessitated finding a new love for this beauty. The SA series launched in 1967; they were a fun mix of classic archtop jazz designs with some modern surf guitar influences. They later evolved into something more akin to a Gibson 335, but these early examples are a beast all their own. The combo of a fully hollow laminate maple body and single coil pickups delivers a unique tone: heaps of warmth and openness balanced by a thick and punchy attack; seemingly halfway between a Strat and a trad hollow body. The neck is a moderate round profile, well-played in and very smooth in the hands; paired with the lively body it's an absolute delight in the hands. The flame maple on show under the golden natural finish is a show-stopper: this, frankly, is gorgeous. The original case is a cute and handy bonus. Please no-one buy this, if it hangs around a while maybe I can keep it... please?
Model: Yamaha SA-50
Made: Japan, 1968 (serial 10178)
Finish: natural, gloss poly
Body: laminate maple, fully hollow, thinline
Neck: maple, rosewood fretboard, 15" radius, 24.75" scale
Mods: pickguard removed, trem arm removed, one knob replaced
Pickups: Yamaha 'hum-free anisotrophic ferrite magnet' single coils
Case: original Yamaha hard case, good condition with a few dents
Overall: minor finish wear. Headstock has some minor marks on the end. Neck is clean and smooth in the hands, minor dimples on the back only. The back has some light scuffs, surface scratches and dimples around the body, no major marks. The sides have some rub wear and dimples around the whole body, no major marks. The front is in great shape, just some dimples on both horns, near the knobs and on the shoulder and some light rub wear around the body. Overall: very good condition (8/10)
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; 7/10 for fret life left. Setup with fresh 12/54 Moonshiners strings.