Up for sale, a 1970s Yamaha Studio Lord model SL800 in perfect working order, 100% original save for a fresh jumbo refret and hand-carved bone nut. Crafted in Japan, this set neck Studio Lord takes its cues from an LP Standard, with a two-piece carved maple top, mahogany body, and a two-piece maple neck capped with a rosewood fretboard. The guitar is lively and powerful sounding, and the craftsmanship is evident in the great playability and classic range of LP tones.
The original pickups are clear and authoritative with a bit of growl and bite. The neck position humbucker offers thick, boosted mids, round lows, and fat highs, while the bridge pickup provides plenty of focused midrange cut. The instrument weighs 9lbs 14oz, and not surprisingly this guitar can deliver plenty of punch and sustain. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, we've dialed in this Studio Lord with 10-46 strings, low action and spot-on intonation.
The two-piece maple neck has a moderately slender C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulders in every register, measuring .815” at the 1st fret and .985” at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard has a 13.75” radius with pearloid trapezoid inlay, refretted with pristine jumbo fretwire. In line with traditional Gibson spec, the scale length is 24 3/4” and the hand-carved bone nut measures 1 11/16” (43mm) in width, ensuring optimal note clarity and sustain. This guitar plays cleanly in all registers with a straight neck and responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The headstock features the “Studio Lord” gold silkscreened script and SL800-embossed truss rod cover. The original Yamaha Japan-branded tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.
All the electronics function as intended, with a three-way pickup selector switch and individual Volume and Tone controls for each humbucker. Chrome-plated hardware includes the ABR-1-style bridge and corresponding stopbar, and plastics include the original quartet of reflector cap knobs and one-ply pickguard, which shows some requisite scuffing along the pick path.
The gloss Cherry Sunburst finish (described by Yamaha as Red Sunburst) is particularly vibrant, and cosmetic wear includes scratches and dings, largely concentrated on the back and body perimeter, with some notable cloudiness in the clear coat on the lower bout rim, and isolated finish checking adjacent to the neck joint, In contrast, wear on the top is much more restrained. The gloss finish on the neck profile is smooth and clean, with the exception of light chipping throught the clear coat the treble-side binding edge between frets 7-12.