Yamaha SG-5A Flying Samurai Sunburst 1971
Yamaha SG-5A, three colour sunburst, made in Japan 1971. The 'Flying Samurai' was a Yamaha original shape that debuted in 1967; they were made for five or so years before disappearing into the evening mist... This one rolled off the line in 1971. The wacky shape was designed to appeal to surf players; The Ventures were basically as big as The Beatles in Japan so there was a certain mania long horns, strange curves and twangy tones. The tone on offer is awesome. The neck pickup is Strat-like, but with a certain fatness and slightly shorter sustain; a nice halfway between a Strat and a Mustang. The bridge and middle pickups share a joint housing, and via the blend knob, you can dial in a humbucker, one single coil or two singles... pretty innovative for it's day and a whole lot of fun to unpack. Once you wrap your head around it, it's pretty easy to dial in a crunchy, fat, complex and twangy tone that'll sit perfectly on top of a mix. The neck on this later example is a nice comfy round C profile, whereas earlier versions of the model often had a hard-V type profile. It's a very comfy shape; it feels awesome in the hands and features some very pretty grain, especially on the back of the headstock. If you're after an absolute banger of a vintage offset, something a little left of centre but built with meticulous care... this rules.
Model: Yamaha SG-5A
Made: 1971, Japan (serial 14253)
Finish: pearl blue metallic
Body: nato (not verified)
Neck: maple with rosewood board, 22 frets, 24.75" scale, 12" radius
Mods: bridge replaced
Pickups: Yamaha single coils x3
Case: non original padded gig bag
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. Headstock has some minor scuffs on the end. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, minor dimples on the back only. The back has a few scuffs and dimples around the edge and light scuffs here and there, no major marks. The sides have a few minor marks: blacked out dings and a few scuffs in the elbow area, a couple of scuffs and dimples near the jack, dimples on the bottom horn. The front is very clean, just some light scuffs along the back edge, a dent in the elbow area and some play wear and dimples on the guard and top horn. Overall: very good condition (8/10).
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electrics tested and working properly. Frets are pretty even with minor wear only, 7/10 for fret life left. Wearing fresh 11/49 Moonshiners strings.