Yamaha SA-50 Hollow Body Transparent Red 1967
Yamaha SA-50, trans red finish, made in Japan 1967. I'm a huge vintage Yamaha fan, I'm sure I annoy my friends and colleagues with my undying devotion to these weird and wonderful guitars. The SA-50 is a quirky hollow body model made from 1967-73 approx; this example seems to be a first-year example. It's not a million miles from a 335, but you get a fully hollow body which adds some warmth and depth and shortens the sustain, as well as the funky tremolo and a pair of hum-cancelling single coil pickups. All that puts the sound somewhere between the traditional jazzbox-esque warmth and fullness and the sparkly, jangly attack of a Strat or Jazzmaster. Quite frankly, it's a terrific sounding guitar; there's really something magic about it when it's plugged in. As with all vintage Yam stuff, the build and finish is immaculate and inspires a lot of confidence. The early versions of this model, like this one, often feature some beautiful figuring in the maple; this one is no exception. The dark cherry red finish means the grain is subtle, but oh boy, this is made of some delicious wood. These are an exceptionally cool original 60s guitar, and for now, they're still very affordable, so join my gang of enthusiasts and grab this overachieving little oddball before word spreads too far.
Model: Yamaha SA-50
Made: Japan, 1967 (serial 7230)
Finish: transparent red, gloss poly
Body: laminate maple, fully hollow, thinline
Neck: maple, rosewood fretboard, moderately slim profile
Mods: pickguard removed
Pickups: original Yamaha hum-cancelling single coils 'hum-free anisotrophic ferrite magnets with individually adjustable pole pieces'
Case: basic non original gig bag
Overall: minor finish wear. Headstock has a few scuffs on the end, no major marks. The neck is pretty clean and smooth in the hands, just some minor dimples on the back; binding is in great shape. The back has a number of surface scratches and minor scuffs but no major marks. The sides have a few minor things: dimples on both horns, scuffs and marks on the shoulder extending around past the jack. The front is pretty tidy, just some dimples near the tailpiece and bottom horn and some play wear above and below the strings. 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.