The Yamaha Super Axe Guitars

In the early 90s I bought a Yamaha SA1200s it had belonged to a professional jazz musician who thought he was upgrading by changing to a Gibson. Everything about this guitar screams quality and by all accounts this is true even at the lower end of the range. I still have this guitar and it would be the last guitar in my collection that I would ever sell.

My Yamaha SA1200S

I see a bewildering variety of SA models for sale and on the web. I decided I would try and make a resource to gather together as much information about these as possible. I discovered early in this that there is a wonderful website by TheSupposedStringMeister dedicated to pre 1977 SAs. You must visit his site here


I will concentrate on the models from 1977 onwards except that because they are not included in the SupposedStringMeister's site I will include the SA15 and 15d which date from 1968. Information is from personal experience and discussion, Japanese and English Yamaha Catalogues, Yamaha Archives and photographs. Sometimes there is information from good sources that I can't verify where this is the case I will indicate it by red italics.

At the suggestion of Sean TheSupposedStringMeister we have started a thread on the Yamaha Forum on SA pickups posting pictures of various pickups and information on them here's the link
Yamaha SA Pickups
If you wish to contribute join the forum its free or email me. Also if you have any queries I can put them on the forum.

Yamaha Superaxe models and links

The SA 15
The SA 15d
The SA 500
The SA 503 TVL
The SA 700
The SA 800
The SA 900
The SA 950
The SA 1000
The SA 1100
The SA 1200s
The SA 1300
The SA 1300W
The SA 1800
The SA 2000
The SA 2000s
The SA 2100
The SA 2100-11
The SA 2200
The SA 2500
The SA 2200GS

I have not included any of the SAS models which are smaller bodied guitars and are on a separate section of this site nor the SARR custom which is similar to a Rickenbacker and is covered in the rare and unusual Yamahas section.

A mysterious one off SA

On the Yamaha Forum a poster has asked for help with a one off SA it appears to be for someone called Alan Ray but we can't get much further than that. I believe it was made in the USA at either YGD or Artist services. It has no Made in on it and as the USA are pretty strict about what percentage needs to be USA parts to say Made in USA I think it probably is USA.
Here is what else I can tell you:
The fifth control is for a piezo pickup
The Sperzel Tuners are original to the guitar
Looks like a Superaxe but the logo doesn't match any known model. There are several SAs that have similar logos but all are different in someway or other.
It doesn't appear to have a country of origin stated which is unusual
It has a non standard serial number (not unusual for Yamaha)
Unlikely to be built by someone other than Yamaha it would be too difficult and not worth the trouble just add and change the pickups on an existing one is much easier, anyway the sticker inside must have been put on at manufacture
Regrettably the Pickups are not Yamaha so don't tell us anything
Can anyone tell me anything or even have a theory

Some Pictures

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