The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by chase » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:47 pm

HorseyBoy wrote:
Gavanti wrote:So here's a 60s SG question: how many different variations of that brilliant trem arm have y'all encountered on these (different tips,materials, diameters, collet ends)?
I've read that on some (I think early) Yammy SGs the arm was removable but I'm not sure that's right. I know when I got my SG-2 I expected the arm to come out, like a Jazzmaster, and me and the dude in the store in Yokohama (who spoke very little English) stood around scratching our heads wondering what the problem was. It was only when I saw the case (with a wear mark where the trem arm sits) that I realised it was meant to stay on.

Eh? I have '66 SG3, the nut at the base of the arm unscrews so you can remove it. I've never seen an SG2 or SG3 that didn't have this (not counting all the weird SG5c whatevers, just the original 2 & 3).

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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by HorseyBoy » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:39 am

^ See, that's great information. Mine (and a few others on here, I suspect) is different. The arm has a groove around the end that is inserted into the trem that locks into the collet. You can adjust the tightness of the collet's grip, but you can't take the arm out unless you dismantle the trem.
The Mastery vibrato is similar - the arm isn't designed to come out.

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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by Stereordinary » Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:19 pm

HorseyBoy wrote:The Mastery vibrato is similar - the arm isn't designed to come out.
That's not true, the arm on a Mastery vibrato pops in and out quite easily.
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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by HorseyBoy » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:02 pm

^ Really? I thought the idea was that you left the arm in all the time. There's one in my Harvester. Never tried pulling it out :whistle:
But the point is, the arm on my 67 SG-2 can't be popped in and out unless you take the who trem unit apart.

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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by chase » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:26 pm

I'm skeptical. The Yamaha SGs are really well thought-out guitars, and a non-removable trem arm (on a trem design that definitely supports removable arms) would be a poor design decision and pretty out-of-character. Do you have pictures?

Edit: is it possible your trem was modified later by someone who had lost or broken on of the original parts? It does seem like the trem is non-standard enough that repair or replacement would be difficult.

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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by Stereordinary » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:24 pm

HorseyBoy wrote:^ Really? I thought the idea was that you left the arm in all the time. There's one in my Harvester. Never tried pulling it out
I pull out/pop in the arms on my Mastery vibrato-equipped guitars all the time. With certain cases there's no need, so in a lot of instances you just might not have to. But, you totally can.
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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by HorseyBoy » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:32 pm

chase wrote:I'm skeptical. The Yamaha SGs are really well thought-out guitars, and a non-removable trem arm (on a trem design that definitely supports removable arms) would be a poor design decision and pretty out-of-character. Do you have pictures?

Edit: is it possible your trem was modified later by someone who had lost or broken on of the original parts? It does seem like the trem is non-standard enough that repair or replacement would be difficult.
Trust me, my trem arm won't come out, and I'm pretty sure it hasn't been modified. I know of at least one dude on SurfGuitar101 that has the same trem on his SG-2. Also found this post (from 2009) on an old forum:

http://www.guitarforums.com/showthread.php?t=1445" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Your axe may have a collet, which is a type of collar that grips the arm more tightly as it is screwed in. Take a close look at where the arm enters the trem.

Not all trem arms can be easily removed. My old Yamaha SG-2 and SG-3 guitars use a collet fitting, but the arm has a groove around the end that is inserted into the trem that locks into the collet. I can adjust the tightness of the collet's grip, but I can't remove the arm unless I take off all of the strings and dismantle the trem.
I suspect they changed the design on later (ie 1967) models. Would love the other guys to chime in here: is your SG-2 or 3 trem arm removable or not?

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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by Gavanti » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:43 pm

My SA-5 arms (identical mechanism to the SG-2/3) both seem to be pretty well locked into their collets. One of them has a piece of plastic shoved into the end of the collet, and I'm not certain if that is original or an adaptation. Especially with the nut below the trem plate, I think it would be difficult to remove them without taking the whole trem apart. The one that came with my SG-2 is actually broken in the middle of the collet (sadly, also broken), and I take that as a warning not to mess with them too much. I've been curious whether someone could weld at least the arm back together, but then I thought I read somewhere that they were made of some odd material rather than stainless. I'll have to see if I can dig that source up.

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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by antisymmetric » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:55 pm

My '66 has a removable arm and the nice little tensioning nut/ collet accessible from the top. (I'm assuming it's original)
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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by chase » Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:11 pm

Weird! Sounds as if they may have changed it for the '67 model - if so that's very odd, because it works fine on the '66, and they only made them for two years. Anyone have a '67 with a removable arm?

I went for my '66 for superficial cosmetic reasons (script logo), but now I'm really glad I did.

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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by antisymmetric » Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:42 pm

chase wrote: I went for my '66 for superficial cosmetic reasons (script logo), but now I'm really glad I did.
I wasn't even aware of all the finer points of difference between the different years when I got my '66, but the more I find out (thanks to the OSG knowledge base 8) ), the more pleased I am that I got the one I did. I could live with the later block logo quite happily but prefer the script, looks like the early arm/ collet might be better, and the early case is a design tour de force too.
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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by HorseyBoy » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:58 pm

^ Yeah, I had no idea either. All I knew was that Link played one and I wanted one. I got the only one that popped up in Yokohama while I was last there (near enough to catch a train).
I also love that we can talk about "early models" and know that it means 1966 and that "late models" can only mean 1967. It's insane they only made these things for two years.

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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by Gavanti » Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:02 am

HorseyBoy wrote: It's insane they only made these things for two years.
This. So much guitar, so little time. I thought it might be a cost issue as there are so many machined and molded parts involved, but the banana and samurai guitars share a number of those parts and were in production until '71.

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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by chase » Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:10 am

Yeah - and also insane that the single-digit SGs were part of their first stab at electric guitars, and they pretty much nailed it. These aren't cheap knockoffs, and they're practically begging for a proper re-issue. Talk about underrated gems.

BTW I've seen block-logo ('67) SGs with the trem arm removed... do you have pics of your trem, HorseyBoy?

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Re: The Unofficial OSG 60s Yamaha SG Thread

Post by chase » Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:23 am

From what I've read the SG7 was played and popularized by Yuzo Kayama (the "Japanese Elvis"), while the SG2 and SG3 did not sell well, which might explain why they were discontinued while the banana and samurai guitars were not. I guess they didn't have the same cultural weight on the Fender shapes that the West did. It's hard to find reliable information though.

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