To say a Yamaha SA1100 is a poor man’s Gibson 335 would be a very unfair statement – Granted Gibson make some mighty fine semi-acoustic models, yet equally, for various reasons, we know many 335’s are not as good as they should be – Since the later 70’s and early 80’s both Ibanez and Yamaha have consistently produced a fine number of 335 influenced models from their Japanese factories – Such has been their reputation that many fine notable guitar players have recorded and toured with them on a regular basis – The good news for you, as a potential buyer, is that you don’t have to spend as much to acquire a used quality Yamaha SA1100 – It might not have the same fancy trimmings as the more expensive SA2200, but it is effectively the same grade of instrument regarding tonal quality, playing performance, build quality and attention to detail
So in no particular order let me update you with various details :-
- Purchased brand new in 1991 and has only had one careful owner in all that time – The condition is very good and granted a natural finish does a good job of hiding slight grazes – Yet a detailed tour of the gloss finish will reveal little signs of previous use – In fact other than the merest hint of a surface graze there are no nicks, dings or dints to worry about – Yet slightly unusual is a hint of ‘sun fade’ to the natural finish underneath the bridge, tailpiece and control knobs – Many might not notice it until I’ve pointed it out, but nothing whatsoever to worry about
- There is just the merest hint of fret wear and merest is the key word, so if it has taken 27 years to get to this stage, then I’d suggest another 10 or 20 years or regular use is possible before any fret dress is required
- Includes the original deluxe Yamaha case
- The Yamaha serial number is SMJQ025 and this sequence can provide various date options, but knowing a 1991 purchase date then we can conclude that M =’s June, J =’s Made in Japan and Q =’s 1990
- The guitar is all original including the Yamaha humbuckers with the neat push/push coil tap options on each tone pot – The humbuckers have a paf flavoured output of 8.02K and 4.10K when split
- Dark smooth rosewood fingerboard – no worn patches from nails – medium jumbo frets with the frets over the fingerboard binding
- Whole guitar weighs 8lbs and 6oz so totally credible on such a guitar
- Mahogany neck with medium depth C neck profile – measures .823″ around the top nut end and .890″ around the 12th fret – Comfortable feel that is not to slim or meaty
- Re-strung and set up with a set of 10’s and a sensible fluid playing action
Tonal character :- I suppose a Gibson 335 has to be the bench mark to which any semi acoustic has to be measured against – The Yamaha has a full warm tone with more articulation than you’d generally find on a 335 – Neck pick up is warm and full – Play chords and you can clearly pick out each note, whilst chilled out blues licks are clear and lush – More bite from the bridge pick-up but not thin, nor weedy , with controlled power and enough grunt to drive the amp – Maybe as an overview I can suggest this SA1100 is more Steely Dan than Foo Fighters, so whilst the clean tones of the SA1100 are a great attribute, equally it loves to play through overdriven amp settings, where its natural clarity allows it to be clear and not mushy or moody – The coil tap options are a good bonus without been the guitars primary function – So credible and useful as and when required, for funky disco chops, but don’t expect them to be Chic at its best – Yet equally they are better than nothing – You can run one pick-up on coil tap, with the other on humbucker, both on humbucker or both on coil tap, so plenty of useful options as required
£1079 buys you a lot of guitar with a professional build quality and playing performance
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Every guitar in stock at Guitars4You has been personally selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention paid to the set-up and playing performance – Every sale, phone call, mail order transaction or e-mail is handled my me – Mark Hopkin, the owner, Managing Director, cleaner and coffee maker (Jo, my wife helps with the coffee) – A 35 year journey has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars – This reflects in every aspect of our business.
I have no desire to run an Amazon style 'click to buy' guitar shop, that lacks any soul or passion, or indeed to fill a showroom with a selection of dirty, shop soiled or dusty guitars that are in need of a set-up.
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