Yamaha SA 50b

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
User avatar
CorporateDisguise
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:56 am
Location: NY

Yamaha SA 50b

Post by CorporateDisguise » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:49 am

So this happened.

I picked this up in Fs section here a few weeks ago.

It's truly an amazing guitar. I was really nervous when I bought it, as it was my first vintage guitar purchase. It plays wonderfully, and this trem is absolutely amazing. It has one of the best clean tones I have ever heard. It also has a super comfy neck, although the really flat fretboard radius takes some getting used to.


The idea of cermaic pickups also had me worried, but man do they sound amazing. Although they are super microphonic. They pick up every little noise, from tapping the body to the creaky trem. Maybe someone else who owns one can tell me if that is normal. I tend to like mildly microphonic pickups, but these are excessively so. I suppose i could have them potted, but I'm worried it might kill the unique sound this thing produces.
Mechanical Birds wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:28 pm
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

.

User avatar
Mechanical Birds
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1981
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:24 pm

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by Mechanical Birds » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:26 am

So glad you love the thing man!

User avatar
wproffitt
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 970
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:48 pm
Location: Ellicott City, MD, USA

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by wproffitt » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:52 pm

Welcome to the SA club!
I'm sure that Gavanti will be along in a minute to help you with the specifics of the pickups on your SA50. As near as I can tell, they are identical to the ones in my SA30T only with metal covers. Mine have plastic covers and I've never noticed that they're especially microphonic. Perhaps this is a function of the covers? Mine also sounds glorious clean (especially with my tweed amp) and does rock pretty hard with my Marshall. Your trem is different from mine (mine's more like a Bigsby). How well does it work? I imagine it's like a JM/Jag trem. Am I right?

Enjoy!

User avatar
bacca51
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 376
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by bacca51 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:14 pm

Hell Yea!

Im struggling to decide between an SA-15 or an SA-50 in algae green.

Image

Image

User avatar
CorporateDisguise
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:56 am
Location: NY

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by CorporateDisguise » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:26 pm

The trem is very much like a jazzmaster trem, in function and form. It has very similar range of motion up and down. The biggest difference I would say is it takes slightly longer (like a few millaseconds) for it to return to pitch. I think it probably just has a softer spring.

User avatar
Zork
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:01 am
Location: Berlin!
Contact:

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by Zork » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:31 am

Whoa! That's super hot! :w00t:

User avatar
Gavanti
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1434
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:31 pm
Location: Des Noise, Idohiowa
Contact:

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by Gavanti » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:35 am

Hey congrats!. These are super cool guitars, and the silver is hard to beat for aesthetics. I had a late model SA-50 that also got pretty microphonic. The flip side was that the pickups were among the clearest I've ever played. Yours is also missing the baffles for the f-holes that would theoretically cut down on howl. The trem on these is pretty much identical to the SG-2/3 trem from that era, so you'll find good info in the Vintage section on those. If you haven't seen it yet, most of the info you need is at user SuperAxe's site on SA's. He has experimented with the pickups, so he might be able to offer advice on potting.

User avatar
CorporateDisguise
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:56 am
Location: NY

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by CorporateDisguise » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:41 am

Thanks for the info! I'll definitely try to contact the guy who runs that site about the pickups.

One more question.
Do any of you know if the F hole inserts really did anything? I know mine is missing them, and am just wondering if I'm missing out on anything.

User avatar
wproffitt
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 970
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:48 pm
Location: Ellicott City, MD, USA

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by wproffitt » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:41 pm

Mine has what I’d call a fairly easy to control feedback and it has the baffles. I doubt it’s anythinf you should sweat, though.

User avatar
SuperAxe
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:46 am
Contact:

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by SuperAxe » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:45 pm

Gavanti wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:35 am
Hey congrats!. These are super cool guitars, and the silver is hard to beat for aesthetics. I had a late model SA-50 that also got pretty microphonic. The flip side was that the pickups were among the clearest I've ever played. Yours is also missing the baffles for the f-holes that would theoretically cut down on howl. The trem on these is pretty much identical to the SG-2/3 trem from that era, so you'll find good info in the Vintage section on those. If you haven't seen it yet, most of the info you need is at user SuperAxe's site on SA's. He has experimented with the pickups, so he might be able to offer advice on potting.
Thanks Gavanti, I must admit that I only checked the microphonic behaviour after CD contacted me. I just never thought about it as I don't play loud and don't use high gain. But this is what I found:
- SA-5 - narrow pickups - rubbing and tapping the pickup cover comes thru the amp; Shouting into the pickup does not come through.
- SA-30 - old style pickup, serial # < ~17000 - rubbing and tapping the pickup cover comes thru the amp but not too bad; Shouting into the pickup does not come through.
- SA-50 - new style chrome plated pickup - rubbing and tapping the pickup cover comes thru the amp loud and clear; Shouting into the pickup does come through as well.

I don't know if the later pickups are more microphonic than the earlier, although on mine it is. The pickups are not potted. I do like these pickups so I have no reason to change their 'behaviour' through potting them.

And then there is off course the whole debate if potting actually does something at all.... :w00t:

User avatar
SuperAxe
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:46 am
Contact:

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by SuperAxe » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:50 pm

CorporateDisguise wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:41 am
Thanks for the info! I'll definitely try to contact the guy who runs that site about the pickups.

One more question.
Do any of you know if the F hole inserts really did anything? I know mine is missing them, and am just wondering if I'm missing out on anything.
They do work but if you really want to minimise feedback, you will need to glue in a timber block under the bridge. I did that on one of my SA-30's and it made a huge change. This is documented on my website if you you want to see how I fitted the block. Couple of shots here.

Image

Image

User avatar
SuperAxe
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:46 am
Contact:

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by SuperAxe » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:15 pm

Appropriate post title...

Saw this on the bay:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Yamaha ... SwDFBaJwqR

Image

User avatar
CorporateDisguise
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:56 am
Location: NY

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by CorporateDisguise » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:24 am

Thanks for all the info. I'm going to leave it as is for the moment because it still sounds excellent clean. Probably the best clean tone I've ever had. I just can't use it with any gain because it just hums and feeds back like crazy even with all the strings muted. I know hollow bodies don't usually take gain well, but with these pickups it doesn't take gain at all.

Although it does sound great with a gated fuzz. ;D

Oh, and that blue one is super sexy!

User avatar
Chiediazanna
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 11:03 pm

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by Chiediazanna » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:02 am

Found this thread, so I post here instead of starting over. I want to show you my 1967 Yamaha SA50 in perfect condition (non original bridge only) that I had yesterday. No problems, evertything in working condition. So happy with it :-*
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
bacca51
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 376
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: Yamaha SA 50b

Post by bacca51 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:31 am

Thats beautiful. I'm gasssing so hard after a Yamaha sa20 in that sunburst with black pickup covers. Its a stunning combo.

Post Reply