(SOLD) Yamaha SA1200S Super Axe Burgundy 1981
Yamaha SA1200S, burgundy, made in Japan circa 1981. The Super Axe series was Yamaha's approximately ES-flavoured models, and by the early 80s they had become quite a hit on the Japanese market. We've had a stack of excellent SA700 models and a few SA1000 examples through, but these SA1200S models were a higher end offering and are much less common. The headline spec is the solid spruce top: heck, juicy. Firstly, it looks great: extremely tight sub-1mm grain lines run parallel down the whole top, and the rich dark burgundy finish adds some sassy shiraz chíc to the look. The neck is a comfy moderate rounded C shape, and the ebony board lends a lux feel under the fingers. Tone-wise, it pushes things in a slightly jazzier direction: it's woody, dark and rich with a gorgeous percussive plonk. You can still dial thick, growling rock sounds out of it without struggling; that bridge pickup likes to party, but the hot-spiced-cider cleans are all sorts of alluring. The coil-split option is surprisingly handy too, the output is a reasonably close match and the extra articulation and brightness will find many uses. The matching case would have set you back a air few extra ¥ back in the day, so that's a handy addition. This is a beautiful example of vintage Japanese craftmanship, it adds up so perfectly in the hands. More like Yum-aha, amirite?
Model: Yamaha SA1200S
Made: Japan, 1981 approx (serial 001109)
Finish: burgundy stain, gloss poly
Body: solid spruce top, laminate maple back and sides, semi-hollow with center block, thinline 44mm depth, 405mm across
Neck: maple, ebony fretboard, 44mm nut, 12" radius, 24.75" scale, slim taper profile
Pickups: Yamaha A-II humbucker x2, coil-splits via push/push tone controls
Case: original Yamaha wood had case, original manual included
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. The headstock has dimples and scuffs on the end, plus some scuffs on both edges and the back around the tuners, and minor clouding on the front up near the Yamaha logo. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, minor dimples and rub wear on the back only. The back has minor dents in the middle of the body and along the back edge, as well as light scuffs in the elbow area, bottom bout and near the neck join. The sides have dimples in the elbow area and near the jack. The front has cracks around the jack in the lacquer only, as well as dimples behind the bridge, along the back edge and elbow area and near the knobs, as well as play wear on the guard and horns. Overall: very 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. The frets have minor wear but are pretty even with no major buzz issues and recently polished, 7/10 for fret life left. Setup with fresh 11/49 Moonshiners strings.