Yamaha SA-50, sunburst, made in Japan 1968. We're unashamed vintage-Yamaha fanatics around here; we're happy to shout from the rooftops about the many virtues of these brilliant guitars. This is an SA-50, a model that launched in 1967 and disappeared around 1972, and featured some innovative ideas. The shape is a Yamaha original; it's charming and quirky while remaining 100% classy. The F-holes are shielded with some little plastic 'wings' inside the body, minimising feedback, and this was one of the first Yamaha models with an adjustable truss rod. The inlays are real mother of pearl, popping brilliantly against the rich chocolate brown rosewood board. The quality of maple on display through the perfectly aged sunburst finish is incredible, it really oozes quality and class from every angle. The tone of these is quite unique: you get a sparkly, spanky attack not dissimilar to a Strat, but with a thick, warm body with a huge rich bottom end akin to an ES335. There's a really unique definition and expressiveness to the tone; the nuances of the notes really come out clearly, and the tone of the wood absolutely shines through in it's harmonic complexity. The original case is lined in blue velvet, it's very cool. If you're after a vintage hollow body that'll have you constantly hankering to get home to play it, this will surely deliver.
Model: Yamaha SA-50 (check out some original catalog images here)
Made: Japan, 1968 (serial 8031)
Finish: sunburst, gloss poly
Body: figured maple, fully hollow, thinline
Neck: maple, rosewood fretboard, moderately slim profile
Mods: input jack replaced, frets replaed
Pickups: original Yamaha humbuckers, 'hum-free anisotrophic ferrite magnets with individually adjustable pole pieces'
Case: original hard case, good quality and condition, awesome shape, includes some original docs and trinkets
Overall: minor finish wear. For a 50 year old guitar, this is in incredible shape. The most noticeable marks are a small dent on the back on the back of the headstock, a scratch below the bridge and next to the top F-hole, and a mark on the top horn on the back. Aside from that, it's just some minor shallow buckle rash, minor play scratches on the guard etc., some pitting on the chrome and some wear on the plastics. Overall: very good condition (8.5/10)
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. Proper sweet!