Yamaha SA-50 Hollow Body Transparent Green 1968
Yamaha SA-50, transparent green, made in Japan 1968. Have I mentioned I love Vintage Yamaha guitars? I love them. This is an SA50, a quirky little model made from 1967-73 approx. It's got some cool little original design features: the original shape, unique bridge and tremolo, art-deco-esque tuners, little plastic wings in the F-holes to minimise feedback, split surfboard inlays... it's weird and wonderful all around. The pickups are a very early take on the hum-cancelling single coil idea: they're bright, open, sparkly and spanky with a sweet warmth and thickness through the bottom end. The body is fully hollow, adding a whole lot of depth and harmonic complexity as well as a snappy, punchy attack. The neck is cooperative and comfy; it's slimmer than many 335-style guitars but with enough girth to feel right; similar to a '57 Reissue Strat in profile. The dark green finish is deluxe: it's got an Aston-Martin BRG charm that hits the unusual curves of the body just right. The vintage rosewood board and aged cream binding and figured grain of the maple peaking through the green complete a chic 60s look that radiates offbeat-awesomeness. Having the original trem arm and pickguard is a nice bonus; not all 50+ year old guitars are so lucky. This is what dreams are made of!
Model: Yamaha SA-50
Made: Japan, 1968 (serial 8138)
Finish: transparent green, gloss poly
Body: figured maple, fully hollow, thinline
Neck: maple, rosewood fretboard, moderately slim profile
Pickups: original Yamaha hum-cancelling single coils 'hum-free anisotrophic ferrite magnets with individually adjustable pole pieces'
Case: vintage vegan leather gig bag
Overall: minor finish wear. Headstock has a few minor dimples on the end, back and edges, as well as a blackout over the logo on the top. The neck is pretty clean and smooth in the hands, just a few minor dimples on the back. The back has quite a lot of shallow, small scratches and scuffs around the body, nothing nasty but they're widespread. The sides are similar: no major marks, just a bunch of small scuffs and marks the whole way around. The front is pretty clean, just some minor scratches on the shoulder and near the knobs and some normal play wear on both horns and the guard. 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; 6/10 for fret life left. The trem plate is slightly bent, but it all functions fine. Setup with fresh 11/49s.