The Yamaha Electric guitar range comprises some great semi acoustic guitars. These were called Super Axe (SA) and are modelled on ES-335 semi hollow bodies. The SAs have a great reputation as high-quality, affordable alternatives to a Gibson ES-335. These SA models were generally made in Japan – although lower number models may be made in Indonesia. The body shape of the Yamaha SA models has slightly thinner horns than a Gibson ES-335. The headstock angle is generally flatter than the 17 degrees used by Gibson. The SAs also have a volute behind the nut to help strengthen the neck and prevent damage to to guitar whiplash. Notable Yamaha SA players include Troy Van Leewen, John Etheridge, Frank Gambale and Jon Scofield.
The earliest SA guitars were made in the 1960’s and were asymmetric, the later models including the early 1970’s had an elongated headstock and were symmetrical. The top of the range SA models appeared in 1974 in the form of the SA-90 which comprised a large body with 2 tone /2 volume pots with a 3-way selector switch, Alnico V dual hum-bucking pickups with a high output. Ebony fretboard with chevron shaped abalone fret markers inlays.
Yamaha SA-90 (1974, Tobacco Sunburst)
Yamaha SA-90 (1974, Natural Wood)