This site is about vintage Yamaha Superaxe guitars – particularly the early series which were all characterized by their distinctive horns and their high build quality.
The period 1967 to 1972 saw the release of the models SA20, SA30, SA50 and SA70, while the SA60, SA75 (bass) and the top of the line SA90 model were released from 1973 to 1977.
Interestingly, Yamaha had released a model SA-5 just prior to the release of the above above mentioned four models in 1966.The SA-5 looks, in my opinion, identical to the SA50 and was only released for a very short period of time, ie, less than a year. There is very little information on this model available.
Although the SA15 and SA17 were also released during this period, they are not being discussed in detail here.
These models differ as follows:
SA5, SA20, SA30, SA50 and SA70:
- Full hollow body
- Mini humbuckers (Photos of a disassembled pickup)
— early model black plastic covered pickups with light gray mounting rings
— later model chrome coated pickups with black plastic mounting rings
- One volume pot, one tone pot and a balancer pot
- Plastic baffles under the F holes to reduce feedback
- Bound F holes
- Original ‘obelisk’ shaped case with blue lining
SA60, SA75 and SA90:
- Semi hollow body with timber block running through the full length of the body
- Standard, chrome (SA60) or gold (SA90) coated, full humbucker size pickups with black plastic mounting rings
- Two volume pots and two tone pots
- No baffles under the F holes (obviously)
- Original ’335 shaped’ or ‘obelisk’ case with resp. dark yellow or blue lining.
These models also have individual variations depending on the year they were built.