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1978 Yamaha SA1000 Super Axe Semi-Hollow Vintage Electric Guitar Walnut, Japan


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Up for sale, a 1978 Yamaha SA1000 Super Axe in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. This Yamaha is a prime example of premium Japanese craftsmanship put to the task of elevating American design, and in this case the venerable Gibson ES-335 is the template. The semi-hollow body has a winning concoction of tonewoods, featuring an arched beech/birch top and back, a maple center block, and a one-piece mahogany neck capped with a bound ebony fretboard. This tonewood complement delivers an airy, sweet and articulate sound attributable to the semi-hollow construction, paired with the glassy snap and immediacy of the ebony board. The stock pair of humbuckers can produce everything from snappy, chiming cleans, to warm, growling humbucker fullness, with a particularly rich and bold sounding neck pickup. This Super Axe weighs 9lbs 2oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.

The one-piece mahogany neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut, gaining plenty of heft and roundness further the fretboard, measuring .815” deep at the 1st fret and .980” at the 12th. The bound ebony fretboard has a 12" radius and retains the original medium jumbo fretwire. The frets are in great shape, with plenty of meat and well-rounded crowns, showing only light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 4-8. This guitar plays cleanly in all registers with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. Conforming to Gibson specs, the scale length is 24 3/4", and the hand-carved bone nut measures 1 11/16" in width. On the headstock, the original Yamaha-branded metal tulip button chrome tuning machines turn smoothly and hold pitch well.

All of the original electronics function accordingly, with a three-way pickup selector toggle and dedicated Volume and Tone knobs for each pickup. The humbuckers have original date stamps on their baseplates, reading 53.6.8, which translates to the 53rd year of the Showa period (1978). The original plastic parts are intact on the body, including the grippy reflector cap knobs, and black two-ply pickguard. Stock hardware comprises the chrome-plated Nashville-style bridge and stopbar tailpiece.

The gloss Walnut finish is dark and rich, framed on both sides by cream body binding, with cosmetic wear limited to a handful of minor dings and faint finish scratches largely concentrated along the treble-side lower bout body edge and on the back.The smooth gloss finish on the neck profile is flawless.

A faux leather gigbag is included.