(SOLD) Yamaha SA1000 Super Axe Persimmon Red 1977
Yamaha SA1000, red, made in Japan 1977. These vintage Yamaha ES style offerings are superb guitars and certainly a Topshelf favourite. This is a pretty early example of the long-running Super Axe series, and oh boy, it's a very juicy time. The neck is a moderate profile, round and comfy and a whisker slimmer than some of the other SA's we've had through. The body resonates beautifully in the hands, it feels very alive. The rich red finish has a few miles on the clock, but it's looking pretty swish for a guitar well into it's fifth decade. The stock bridge pickup is rich and warm with plenty of presence and body, it's very good. Now, here's a fun little twist: the neck pickup has been upgraded to a K&T Big Thumb. If you wanted to buy such a pickup, they're made to order and list at around $800aud... for one, not for a pair. They're hand offset wound with a step-gap, so it's a whisker wider around the bottom of the poles near the baseplate, using a mid-60s style green polysol wire rather than the standard enamel stuff. The pickup is specifically wound with semi-hollows in mind, so it's a perfect fit for this beauty. It's clear and chiming, especially under a generous attack, shimmering with complex note separation and a tight, punchy bass. Under a lighter touch, the gooey midrange warmth adds nuance and depth to every note. Heck, what a sound. There's so much goodness on offer here, it's like a perfect Sunday roast.
Model: Yamaha SA1000 Super Axe
Made: Japan, 1977 (serial 002309)
Finish: persimmon red, gloss poly (PR)
Body: laminate birch with centre block, 46mm thinline depth, 403mm wide
Neck: maple, ebony board, 12" radius, 24.75" scale, moderate C shape
Mods: neck pickup replaced
Pickup: Yamaha A-11 humbucker (bridge), K&T Big Thumb humbucker (neck, more info here)
Case: vintage Yamaha hard case
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. The headstock has a number of dimples and marks on the end and bottom edge, as well as some light scuffs on the front and back. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, there's some clouding of the lacquer and some dimples on the back. The back has some more clouding near the neck joint, as well as widespread minor scuffs and dimples around the whole body but no major marks. The sides have minor dimples around the whole body, plus a few dents near the jack, nothing too nasty. The front has some dimples around the tailpiece and knobs and in the elbow area, as well as play scuffs on the horns. 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. The frets have some normal wear but are pretty even with no major buzz issues, 7/10 for life left. Setup with fresh 11/49 Moonshiners strings.