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1980 Greco SA-500 Semi-Hollow Vintage Guitar Sunburst w/ Maxon U-1000, Japan Fujigen


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Up for sale, a 1980 Greco SA-500 semi-hollow guitar in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. One of Greco’s more unique and uncommon early offerings, this SA is a scaled down (14 1/4” lower bout width) version of a Gibson ES-335, in the vein of an ES-339 but predating the release of that instrument by decades. It was crafted at the Fujigen factory in Japan and is rarely seen outside of its country of origin.

Tonewoods include a white sycamore top, back and sides with a maple centerblock, and a maple neck capped by a bound rosewood fretboard. Acoustically, this guitar is snappy and bright, with plenty of airy warmth faithfully captured by the pair of Maxon U-1000 humbuckers. Wound at 7.75k ohms, the U-1000 is a PAF-style humbucker with plenty of top end detail and focused, spongey lows. The bridge position offers midrange detail and cutting growl, while the neck pickup is bold and defined. Weighing 8lbs 5oz, this Greco benefits from a professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.

The three-piece maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with modest shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .815” deep at the 1st fret and .945” deep at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard has a 12” radius and features pearloid block inlays with fret-edge binding along the medium jumbo fretwire. The frets are in great shape, with plenty of meat and well-rounded crowns, showing light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-12 that becomes progressively lighter as you approach the octave. This guitar plays cleanly in all registers up the 24 3/4" scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The bone nut measures a full 1 11/16” in width, and the headstock has an “open book” shape, Greco inlay, and bell-shaped truss rod cover. The original set of “Greco Guitar”-stamped tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch, and the H80-prefix serial on the back of the headstock dates production to August, 1980.

All of the electronics function as intended, with the Maxon U-1000 humbuckers wired to the stock harness and governed by a three-way pickup selector switch and individual pairs of Volume and Tone controls. The ink stamps on the humbucker baseplates date to 1980. The original quartet of gold reflector knobs are present, as is the four-ply black pickguard. Hardware includes the ABR-1-style bridge and corresponding stopbar, both with clean nickel plating.

The gloss Honey Sunburst finish is framed by cream binding, highlighting the bookmatched flame figuring across the sycamore top and back. Cosmetic wear is limited to a few microscopic finish chips along the binding on the lower bout, a handful of pinhead-sized dings on the back central to the lower bout, and a smattering of faint scratches on the body as a whole. The pristine gloss finish on the neck profile highlights subtle horizontal figuring in the central third of the maple neck, and feels smooth and fast in the palm.

A padded gigbag is included.