The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Yamaha SA 1200S Super Axe Sunburst, 1980

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Built from 1966 to 1994, the SA ‘Super Axe’ series of full size and thinline archtop electrics included models like the solid spruce top Yamaha SA 1200S.

In 1929, Andres Segovia toured Japan for the first time, and western-style classical guitar quickly became very popular. Salvador Ibanez – of Valencia, not the modern Hoshino-owned name – exported many classical guitars to Japan after that.

Japanese instrument builders had been working hard since the 1960s to create top quality instruments in fairly large numbers. Japanese luthiers had been going to the source in Spain since the mid 1950’s and Yamaha brought celebrated Spanish luthier Eduardo Ferrer to Japan to instruct several of their top luthiers during 1966.

Here we have an original condition Yamaha SA 1200S, built during 1980 at Yamaha’s shops in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture. The Super Axe line had been built for fourteen years, and over time came to have a body shape more like a Gibson ES 3xx model. The headstocks were unique to Yamaha, and there was no risk of infringing on Gibson’s models. These were high quality instruments, with varying levels of decoration.   After 1984, SA production was moved to Taiwan.  

The Yamaha SA 1200S features a solid Spruce top and laminate Beech back and sides. In the model name, the trailing ‘S’ indicates the solid top. The neck is Mahogany with a bound 13.75 inch radius Rosewood fingerboard. The SA 1200S model is very similar to the higher-end SA 2000S, the difference being nickel vs gold plated hardware, and Beech laminates for the body vs Maple on the SA 2000S. Both feature an Alder and Spruce center block for feedback rejection and sustain. This contrasts to the use of Maple center blocks on Gibson ES thinline models. Tuners are Grover Roto-Matics, and a fairly heavy Yamaha adjustable bridge and stop tailpiece are at the body. A pair of Alnico 2 humbucking pickups feed through a standard Gibson-style wiring harness.

This example is in overall good condition – it has been used as intended, so there are some small dents and scuffs to the finish, but fret wear is light. It plays well, and sounds good! The Spruce top adds a bit of warmth and mellowness to the tone and its attack / decay profile.

A Gibson hard shell case is included.


 

Price: $1200 CAD
  • Model: SA 1200S
  • Year: Current
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 002178
  • Country of Origin: Japan
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 08/08/2019

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 8.36lbs 3.8kg
  • Scale Length: 628.6mm 24.75in
  • Nut Width: 43mm 1.69in

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