NGD: Yamaha SA-1000!


I've been on the lookout for my first semi-hollow guitar for the last few months. Being in the midst of a house remodel, my budget was tight. Based largely on what I read on TGP, I eventually narrowed my search down to older Yamaha SAs, Ibanez AS-180/200, or 60s Guild Starfires.

Then one day, a 1980 MIJ Yamaha SA-1000 showed up on eBay for cheap. I prefer the simpler top to the flamey maple and gold hardware that you'll find on the other SA models. After hearing so many great things about yamaha's QC, I figured it was a pretty safe bet and acted quickly.


She arrived from Japan four days later. Action was crazy high, so a cranked it down and tweaked the intonation. Wow! Pretty sweet neck. Very smooth. The curve felt great in my hands. Tiny bit of buzzing up on the bass strings way up near the 17 fret. Other than that, the neck felt great. I'll probably take it in for a pro set up soon.

My plan was always to add a bigsby. So an hour before getting together with some friends for a jam, I slapped on a B-60 and a Towner Tension bar. Look ma, no drilling! The tension bar works like a charm and the whole thing is totally reversible (aside from a couple small holes near the strap button).

Well after plugging this baby into my rig at a good volume, I am happy to report that this thing is a beast! Nice beefy tones, great articulation, and the control able feedback is unreal. Exactly what I was looking for. The bigsby even stays in tune!

I don't have a huge collection. But the guitars I do have are pretty nice (Suhr, Anderson). While I'm still in the honeymoon phase, I can definitely say that these old Yamahas are amazing instruments... And at a fraction of what I paid for my other guitars. The value for the money is incredible.


Great score!

That's a pretty rare guitar, and one worth having. Very cool.

Mr. Tyler

Oooh, nice. My dad has a sa-2000 (i think) I think it's easily as nice as his 2000s es-335. At this point that almost goes without saying. These guitars are great.

Orville Greco

Yeah I had one of those, great guitar but I just dont get along with guitars that have the strap attach on the back of neck, so now a guy in Oz has it & he was pretty happy to get.

At least here I can always get anther as they do pop up, definitely good value & the Jmarket ones have that Super Axe on there which the export models dont I believe
Great score. I just purchased an '05 ES-335 for a great price, but the Yamaha was on the top of the list to watch for. Had I seen your's I would have been in a bidding war with you! Congrats.


Sweet! I love my SA2100, but I could do without the gold hardware too. Congratulations on a great guitar!

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