The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Yamaha AEX1500 Martin Taylor Archtop Blonde, 1995


Instrument Categories: , , ,

Built in Japan from 1994 to 1999, the Yamaha AEX1500 is a single-cutaway archtop electric guitar originally designed by Yamaha and British jazz guitarist Martin Taylor. Taylor used these guitars as his touring instruments. While these models were sold in North America as the AEX1500, in Europe and the UK they were called the “Martin Taylor” model.

The Yamaha AEX1500 is built, like many other professional grade archtop electrics, with Laminated Sycamore (Maple, Acer pseudoplatanus) for the top, back and sides. The use of laminates improves both physical stability and feedback rejection at stage volumes. The neck is Maple, with Ebony for the fingerboard and bridge and Indian Rosewood for the head plate. For hardware, the AEX1500 sports a Yamaha ‘Johnny Smith’ style humbucker plus a Yamaha piezo pickup set in the Ebony bridge. A preamp is mounted on the upper bass side with the 9v battery box near the strap pin, and the top carries a 3-way toggle switch and master Volume and Tone controls. The Yamaha tuners and trapeze tailpiece are gold-finished.

This example is in overall good condition with a few small dings and dents in the natural finish.  Fretwear is light, and the guitar plays well and cleanly as presently set up.

Dating Yamaha guitars by serial number can be challenging due to their use of over a dozen systems over the years. In this case, it’s known that the Yamaha AEX1500 was built from 1994 to 1999. Reading the Yamaha serial number document against this example’s serial number does not provide an exact match, but hints at a build date of January 1995.

An arched-top hard shell case is included. The case is not Yamaha branded and so may not be original.

Here’s the builder on the Yamaha AEX1500:

“The AEX1500 allows the player to explore new expressions in a jazz-orientated repertoire. On the one hand, its neck-mounted mini-humbucker reproduces those warm and mellow traditional archtop tones; on the other, the instrument carries a bridge-loaded piezo system for reproducing realistic amplified acoustic sounds. These two signal sources can be mixed together, offering an extensive palette of voicings and providing extensive tonal tailoring courtesy of the piezo’s three-band EQ and adjustable (400Hz-2kHz) midrange. “

Martin Taylor can be seen playing ‘Stella by Starlight’ on his blonde  Yamaha AX1500 in the video linked here.

Here’s Martin Taylor on why he tours with the Yamaha AEX1500

Via Vintage Guitar magazine:

“The guitar I used was the prototype of a guitar I designed, along with Martyn Booth, for Yamaha. It’s called the AEX1500; in the U.K. it’s known as the Yamaha Martin Taylor. It’s now available in the States and I am very proud of it; it came out well.
I’ve been a Yamaha endorsee for six or seven years. I have two AEX1500 production models; one blond, one sunburst. I also have two prototypes, the blond one you saw on TV and a black model. I have another Yamaha archtop guitar called an AES1200, an APX10 steel-string flat-top, a nylon string APX10, and an APX8C, which I use with my band, Spirit of Django. Yamaha has been very good to me!
I only travel with my Yamahas. If something happened to my Barker I wouldn’t be able to replace it. The Yamahas are practical; they’re easy to play and they sound consistently good no matter where I’m playing. I know that sounds like an ad, but it’s true; that’s why I play them.”

Price: $2,000.00 CAD
  • Model: AEX1500
  • Year: 1995
  • Finish Natural Blonde
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: QLH008F, Likely built January 1995 at Hammamatsu, Japan
  • Country of Origin: Japan
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 07/03/2024

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 5.6lbs 2.545kg
  • Scale Length: 25.2in 640mm
  • Nut Width: 1.694in 43.03mm
Yamaha Guitars Website

Contact The Twelfth Fret Regarding This Item


Guitarists’ Pro Shop
2132 Danforth Avenue
Toronto, Ontario  M4C 1J9 CANADA
○ Sales: +416•423•2132
○ Service: +416•423•1554