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1988 Yamaha AE1200 II Vintage Archtop Electric Guitar Natural, 100% Original


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Up for sale, a 1988 Yamaha AE1200 II in near mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. One of Yamaha’s AE line of hollowbody guitars, this instrument represents the culmination of a nearly two decades’ development from Yamaha, who first introduced the AE series in 1967.

Competing with the likes of Gibson’s L-5CES, the AE1200 II has a 17” lower bout width, traditional tonewood construction, and gold hardware. The spruce top, birch back and sides, and slab ebony fretboard ensure an articulate and rich natural acoustic tone. The guitar has ample projection and a glassy treble snap, and the sound is present-yet-smooth. The original humbucker pair has alnico V magnet construction, with the necessary breadth and detail needed for complex Jazz chording. A pair of push/pull Tone pots engage individual coil taps for each pickup, allowing for snappy single coil sparkle, broadening the tonal palette beyond your garden variety archtop. This guitar weighs 8lbs 3oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 11-49 strings, low action and accurate intonation.

The three-piece maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with moderate shoulder, measuring .790” deep at the 1st fret and .905” at the 9th. The slab ebony fretboard features split block pearl inlay and cream binding, with original medium jumbo frets that are in remarkable condition. Fretwear is limited to some extremely light flattening of the crowns beneath the plain strings from frets 1-3. This Yamaha plays cleanly in every register up the 25 1/2” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The original bone nut is present, measuring 1 11/16” in width, as are the gold Yamaha Rotomatic-style tuners which turn smoothly and hold steady, accurate pitch. The headstock also features multi-ply cream binding, ornate inlay and the Yamaha logo.

All the original electronics work just as intended, with individual Volume and Tone knobs for each pickup, as well as coil taps on the Tone pots for both humbuckers. The pickups have original date stamps on their baseplates that translate to the 63th year of the Showa period (1988). The guitar features all gold hardware which is in remarkable shape, including the Tune-o-Matic bridge and the “Curvy X” tailpiece design. Plastics include the quartet of ridged reflector cap knobs and the multi-ply bound deep brownish red tortoise pickguard which shows some requisite pick scuffing.

The Natural gloss finish is in excellent condition, with only a couple minor blemishes; namely a minuscule nick just north of the neck pickup and some very light finish scratches in the clear coat of the gloss on the back. The finish on the neck is pristine, and there’s some light birdseye figuring in the maple.

This guitar comes with a Gator-branded gigbag.