Yamaha SA-50, transparent red, made in Japan 1972. These old Yamaha hollow-bodies are a favourite around here. This one is a perfect example of why: it's a stupendous guitar with voodoo in spades. The trans-red finish reveals the subtle grain of the plain maple top, but the back features some really pretty flame figuring. This shape is a Yamaha original, it's got a cool retro look to and is superbly comfy in the hands. The body is light and eloquent, it's extremely responsive to the lightest touch and really opens up with when playing rhythm. 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 perfectly. The pickups are a low-output humbucker; they're brilliantly balanced and responsive and sing truly in both clean and dirty situations. This really has a lot of mojo; it's a real life-companion guitar; you'll want to pick it up every single day.
Model: Yamaha SA-50 (check out some original catalog images here)
Made: Japan, 1972
Finish: transparent red, gloss poly
Body: figured maple, fully hollow, thinline
Neck: maple, rosewood fretboard, moderately slim profile
Mods: pickguard removed, input jack replaced frets replaced with Jescar EVO Gold wire
Pickups: original Yamaha humbuckers, 'hum-free anisotrophic ferrite magnets with individually adjustable pole pieces'
Case: basic generic brand dreadnought acoustic case, reasonable fit once padded
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. There's some wear on the end of the headstock and a handful on minor marks on the back of the neck. There's a few longer scratches and some 'buckle rash' on the back, the front just has a handful of minor scratches. None of these are nasty. 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 are brand new as noted, 10/10. Setup with fresh 11/49s. Proper sweet!