Up for sale, a 1997 Yamaha Masayoshi Takanaka Signature model SG-T in near-mint condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. An utterly unique signature model spin on Yamaha's perennially popular SG platform, and made in extremely small quantities (the SG-T2 model would supplant this original iteration almost immediately), this Yamaha was designed in collaboration with Japanese guitar legend and city pop pioneer Masayoshi Takanaka. The bevy of unique features include an HSH pickup complement, Rockin’ Magic-Pro tremolo, and a See Through Navy gloss finish with "Takanaka" graphics.
Featuring neck-through construction, a carved maple top, and mahogany body wings, this Yamaha takes Gibson's tried and true tonewood combination and utilizes it to great effect. Yamaha also used a three-piece neck for this model with two pieces of mahogany paired with a central maple section, patented as the T-Cross System. This not only improves the stability of the neck, but also adds to the tonal complexity, with features of both woods evident in the sound. When plugged in, the HSH pickup complement yields a wide array of vital tones; the SGH-ICB “Spinex” humbuckers are punchy and bold, with plenty of top-end articulation and tight, snappy lows, and the blade-pole single coil pickup in the middle position delivers plenty of single coil sparkle and shimmer, pairing well with the humbuckers in positions 2 and 4 on the five-way pickup selector switch for spanky, gutsy sounds. This SG-T weighs 9lbs 15oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.
The three-piece mahogany/maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut, with more heft and roundness further up the fretboard, measuring .810” deep at the 1st fret and .985” at the 12th. The ebony fretboard features abalone/pearl arrow inlays and flawless medium jumbo fretwire. This guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4“ scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod, and the locking nut measures 1 11/16” in width. The bound headstock sports gold palm tree inlay, and the chrome-plated Yamaha tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The late ‘90s-style stamped serial is present on the back of the headstock.
All of the electronics function as intended, with the pickups governed by Master Volume and Tone controls. The wiring harness has been augmented with a pair of modern CTS pots. The humbuckers have model and date stamps on their baseplates which translate to ‘97. The Rockin’ Magin-Pro tremolo has a push-in arm design, actuating smoothly and snapping quickly back to pitch from deep dives and sharp trills, with a light dusting of surface patina on the chrome plating.
The two-piece carved maple top features cascading gold “T A K A N A D A” letters distributed evenly and randomly, framed by multi-ply abalone binding, and there are more palm tree inlays as well (perfect for Takanaka’s beachy aesthetics: the man famously once played a guitar made out of a surfboard). The See-Through Navy gloss finish exhibits only a couple minor dings on the back, and a handful of faint scratches in the clear coat on the body as a whole. The smooth gloss on the neck profile is immaculate.
The original Yamaha-branded black tolex hardshell case with orange plush interior is included.