Need info about Yamaha guitar building in 70's

Yamaha, est. 1897, one of the oldest musical instrument companys in the world. Building guitars from the early 40's. Famous for their mid 70's SG's.

Need info about Yamaha guitar building in 70's

Postby sl700yammy » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:29 am

Hello, fellow Yamaha lovers!

I've read wiki and some sites and didn't found exact info about Yamaha guitar building in Japan in 70's.
I will be grateful if you will help me to find answers to this questions:
It was a large guitar factory (or there were some common plants, that produced guitars for Yamaha and other Japanese brands), or it was a small handmade manufacture?
I mean period 1976-1982 or near.
Possibly there were, or somebody heard about fake Yamahas, if every small manufacture could produce guitars?
I've seen three types of headstocks only on Studio Lord models:
Image
Image
Image
It is possible to know, on which plant guitar was made, or possibly Yamaha support have info about serial numbers, like Fender does?

Thanks,
Roman
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Re: Need info about Yamaha guitar building in 70's

Postby Mimasu » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:19 pm

sl700yammy wrote:It was a large guitar factory (or there were some common plants, that produced guitars for Yamaha and other Japanese brands), or it was a small handmade manufacture?
I mean period 1976-1982 or near.


All Yamaha electrics were made in Japan until 1984 when some parts of production were moved to Taiwan. (BTW: acoustics were made in Taiwan a lot earlier). It is generally agreed that these MIT guitars had the same high quality as the MIJ guitars.

The real Yamaha origin guitars like the SG's, SF's, SA's etc were made in Yamaha's own factories. Guitars like the SR's and the LP's and SL's (let's say the strat en gibson imitations) are believed to be made by other (non Yamaha) factories in Japan. I've never seen any official proof of that though.

sl700yammy wrote:Possibly there were, or somebody heard about fake Yamahas, if every small manufacture could produce guitars? I've seen three types of headstocks only on Studio Lord models


I've seen talks about fake Yamaha's in the www. I've been gathering a lot of information on Yamaha guitars the last years and I've never seen a Yamaha that looked fake to me. But I must admit that the back of the third pic of you doesn't look good to me. Are there more pics of that guitar. I've never seen that kind of back of a Yamaha headstock. Are you sure it's a SL headstock?

A nice thing to know about SL headstocks: A lot of people (including me some tim ago) think that Yamaha started with the LP series with the open book gibson style headstock and after a lawsuit by Gibson changed to the original Yamaha headstock as seen on the SL's. But it's just the other way 'round. First there were the Yamaha style SL's. After that there were the Gibson like headstocks on the LP's. These early 80'ies Lord Players only show up in the Japanese catalogs, not in the EU and US catalogs. The same with the SR's. These strat copies only show up in the Japanese catalogs, not in the US or EU.

sl700yammy wrote:It is possible to know, on which plant guitar was made, or possibly Yamaha support have info about serial numbers, like Fender does?


Yamaha has a "serial number wizzard" but that works very bad. Yamaha support is very bad, as well as for information as for spare parts etc. The only way to get some good information sometimes is through Yamaha UK. I've never tried that but I hear good things about them. The best information can be found in the book "The history of Yamaha guitars", a must for every Yamaha lover. (as Japanaxe is 8) ) OK, not a high quality book as we know of some other manufacturers, but a lot of very usefull information.

There is a lot of serial number information in this book. Regaring the SG's, SF's etc this information can be found on this forum also (there is a topic on dating SG's by serial and all SF's I've seen till now fit that system very close). The dating information given in the book can also be found on the following site (I don't like copying from that book so I better give you the link):

http://vintageguitarpro.com/serialyamaha.shtml

I hope you get your SF1000 soon. Let us know how you like it :D

Leon
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Re: Need info about Yamaha guitar building in 70's

Postby sl700yammy » Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:40 am

Thank you, Leon!
You are very kind person!

I owned 3 Yamahas already, Super R'n'Roller 400, Studio Lord 430 and SL-700. First two I decided to change. SR-400 had a bit twisted heck and sen-body sound for my taste wasn't so deep (as my ash-bodied Custom Shop Fender), but had remarkable high ranges. SL-430 I changed because it sounded not so good as SL-700 (possibly because of aghatis body and bolt-on neck). I'm so sorry, that I have never owhed Gibson LP Custom to make test. In russian forums they usually compare and think what is better to buy - Gibby Studio, or Yamaha custom (both cost here in russia near $800-1000 used, of course). I owhed Gibson LP standard 2003 and really was not so amazed with the overtones, I love Yamaha in this case.

It is generally agreed that these MIT guitars had the same high quality as the MIJ guitars.


I've heard so. Here in Russia it was the most popular and even cult rock band Kino (with Victor Tsoy, that died in 1990). Band's guitarist Gasparyan played Taiwan's 1984 Yamaha SG, and that's why it became cult instrument in Russia. Not so many people here know Santana, but everybody loves Kino. :D LOL

BTW, Yamahas is quite popular in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine...... as well as Greco and other JV. But not top models, because a lot of people are very poor here, and a few musicians can buy Gibson or RPS... My friend, very good specialist in psychology, that worked in top clinic in Belarus for near 30 years have income near $ 150 monthly. It is very typical.

Are there more pics of that guitar. I've never seen that kind of back of a Yamaha headstock. Are you sure it's a SL headstock?


Yes, it's Studio Lord, but possibly fake? I've seen here in www near 10 such guitars:

http://www.shamray-shop.ru/catalog/elec ... sold/2247/
http://www.shamray-shop.ru/catalog/elec ... sold/3449/

there are a couple of them.

I hope you get your SF1000 soon. Let us know how you like it :D


I will be proud to post pics etc. Hope I will like it, but for pity it has not original PUs, they are changed to Seymous Duncans. I don't know why, but i've seen in www a lot of SF's with changed PU's. Possibly they are noisy on highgain or something like that?

My SL-700 have serial 001312, SF will have serial 002225.
I'll try to contact Yamaha UK, possibly they really can tell something about that numbers.
According to your link serials, in 1976-80 Yamaha produced just 4000 guitars, it means that in general was just near 200 of each model. If it is so, it's really great, it's real custom shop :D

Have a nice holidays!

Roman
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Re: Need info about Yamaha guitar building in 70's

Postby Mimasu » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:31 pm

Roman,

When looking at the guitars in the links you posted I get a feeling something's not right. I've never seen Yamaha's I thought could be fake. Looking at these I'm not sure :? . If they are fake, they did a great job. Just look at that triple binding on the SL700 headstock.

But who would want to make copies of guitars you can buy for a few hunderd euro's as an original. If I could build guitars like that I'd start copying Gibsons.

BTW: what do you have to pay overthere for such a SL700 in EU or US value. Perhaps you should start a business exporting vintage Yamaha's to Europe.

Leon
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Re: Need info about Yamaha guitar building in 70's

Postby sl700yammy » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:54 am

Hello, Leon!

Possibly these Yamahas was fake or licensed (who knows nowdays?), that was made in taiwan or near. I saw a couple of them - they has rusted furniture - they were made in 70-80-s, I think. As i read in Wiki - 3 or more guitar plants made Yamahas + Kasuga manufacture. Possibly it's one of them. I will contact more japanese sellers to find out about Yamaha building, but they also usually don't remember too much from 80-s, or don't have time to tell about it.
I paid $ 700 for SL-700 and $ 650 for SF-1000. I don't think it's cheap, possibly it's cheaper to buy directly from Japan? But if you want to know prices in russia I can send you price list for Japan Vintage guitars of local dealer in Belarus, and you can see the prices.

Roman
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Re: Need info about Yamaha guitar building in 70's

Postby Mimasu » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:12 pm

sl700yammy wrote:Possibly these Yamahas was fake or licensed (who knows nowdays?)


Roman,

There are no licensed SL's. So only original and fake.

sl700yammy wrote:I paid $ 700 for SL-700 and $ 650 for SF-1000. I don't think it's cheap, possibly it's cheaper to buy directly from Japan?


These prices look very decent to me. If I had to buy these guitars in the Netherlands I'd have to pay similar prices. I don't know about Russia but importing from Japan is very expensive here. These Japanese sellers seem very cheap but whet I buy a 500 dollar guitar in Japan that guitar would cost me a total of 750 to 800 before it's in my hands.

Leon
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Re: Need info about Yamaha guitar building in 70's

Postby sl700yammy » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:18 am

Hello, Leon!

Today I saw in www Studio Lord - 1200. Possibly, it was top Yamaha Les Paul. It is interesting to know, possibly somebody owned this guitar here. I wonder, what is the features, that made it cost 120000 yen, and Sl-700 just 70000, possibly neck-thru?
By the way, it has the headstock same as "fakes" we told above. I think it was real yammys, that was made at another plant. It has characteristic for Yamaha SL scrathes at the headstock, as I noticed.

http://www.k4.dion.ne.jp/~yjibika/1970s ... L1200.html

I found one more interesting catalogue. There are many famous SF players there. As a jazzman, I know the music of Ernest Ranglin. Really great player showed there with SF-1000!

http://brochures.yokochou.com/guitar-an ... n_p10.html

Possibly do you have a scan of this page without smoothed faces?
It will be great to look at SF's players there.

Roman
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Re: Need info about Yamaha guitar building in 70's

Postby Mimasu » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:26 pm

sl700yammy wrote:Possibly do you have a scan of this page without smoothed faces?
It will be great to look at SF's players there.


Sorry, same problem overhere.

All Japanese catalogs you can find on the internet seem to have these blurred players.

All EU and US catalogs I have are in non blurred real quality. But there are no players in there.

Leon
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