The Yamaha Superjam

The Yamaha Superjam or SJ Guitars

An SJ800 The case is dated 1980

The Superjam range or SJs were launched in 1979 and comprised several models. They are another Yamaha Fender type but in this case looks like a sort of Telecaster Stratocaster combination. The domestic models ceased around 1984 and the European models around 1988. In some cases the headstock shows Superjam and in some cases SJ. I can't at the moment see a pattern to which ones say SJ and which Superjam possibly it's to do with when they were made.
Some sources say that these were all made in Taiwan but this isn't true. I have seen several that were made in Japan, but none that have made in Taiwan on them. As always with Yamaha it is likely they were made in both countries.
Update July 2017
A member of the Yamaha forum has posted that he has a red SJ550 with Made in Taiwan stamped on it. Can we find an MIJ 550?
Update May 2020
I have now seen several SJ550s Made in Japan so as so often Yamaha made this model in both Japan and Taiwan

The Superjam SJ Domestic models

These comprise of 6 models 500, 600SM, 600SR, 700HM, 700HR and the 800. The M and R are just Maple or Rosewood boards otherwise the same model.

500 600 SM and SR 700 HM and HR 800
Available from Dec 1978 to 1983 1984 only 1984 only from Dec 1978 to 1983
Release price in yen 50,000 60,000 70,000 80,000
Body Alder Maple Top Alder Alder Alder Maple Top
Neck Maple Bolt On 25.5" scale 13.75" radius Maple Bolt On 25.5" scale 13.75" radius Maple Bolt On 25.5" scale 13.75" radius Maple Bolt On 25.5" scale 13.75" radius
Board Maple 21 Fret Strat Style

2 string trees

Maple SM Rosewood SR 21 Fret Strat Style 1 string tree Maple HM Rosewood HR 21 Fret Strat Style 1 string tree Maple 21 Fret Strat Style

2 string trees

Pickups 1 G111 HB and 1 J1 single coil 2 Single coils 2 Spinex HBs 1 G11 HB and 1 J1 single coil
Controls 1 volume, 1 Tone, 3 way selector no coil tap 1 volume, 1 Tone, 3 way selector 1 volume, 1 Tone, 3 way selector coil tap 1 volume, 1 Tone, 3 way selector coil tap by push button
Weight 3.8kgs 3.4kgs 3.4kgs 3.8kgs
Available Colours Persimmon Red, Black or Natural Black, White or Candy Tone Red Black, Brown burst or Candy tone red Oil Stain or Yellow Natural
Some Images
The 500

And a 600 SR

The 800 note the unusual push button coil tap and the made in Japan

The only picture I have seen of a 700 is the small one in the archives, if anyone could send me some that would be helpful.

The Superjam SJ Export Models

In the 1983 English catalogue the 550 HR and HM are launched again the M and R just signify Maple or Rosewood boards. These also appear in the 1985 and 1987 catalogues but are discontinued by 1988.
Specs These are similar to the rest of the range in radius, frets, scale length etc.
Body Alder with Birch Top
Neck Maple Strat style one string tree Maple board on the HM and Rosewood on the HR
Pickups are said in several sources to be Spinex but they are not referred to as Spinex in the catalogues
Controls 3 way selector, 1 volume 1 tone with push pull for the coil split.
Available in Candy Apple Red, Black Cherry, Orange Sunburst or Black Pearl. I have also seen a white one which doesn't look refinished but the colour isn't mentioned anywhere.


Extracts from the 1983 and 1985 English language catalogues.


The 550

The SJ 500EX

This model isn't mentioned anywhere and I can only assume that it is an export version of the 500. It differs from the 550 in having no pickguard and the one I have pictures of has a Rosewood board instead of Maple. It is certainly made in Japan, Pictures below.

Any additional information on this model or any others would be much appreciated.
Update May 2020
Have seen a black SJ 500EX for sale on a Russian site serial number 099706 made in Japan that serial number would indicate 2009 but that's impossible of course. Some details from the sale

Body Maple and Alder
Neck Bolt on Maple with Rosewood board 22 frets
SH Pickup configuration with 1 volume 1 tone and 3 way switch no mention of coil tap
Yamaha Branded Diecast tuners
Manufactured 1980 to 1990
As always sales info should not be taken as gospel but in this case it's all we have.

Picture from the Russian sale

Update June 2024
Michael61 from Tokyo has sent me quite a lot of information including this advert from a 1983 Japanese magazine

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