Guitarz will know of my enthusiasm for certain early Yamaha solidbody electrics, but being a recent semi-hollowbody convertee I am wishing I had the chance to sample Yamaha's early semis. In May 2011 we looked at this particularly nice example of a Yamaha SA-30 semi and now Derek has sent us photos and a few words about his Yamaha SA-20 which is the 12-string version. I'll let him tell you about it:
Having shown the Yamaha SA-30, I thought you might be interested in this 1968 SA-20; it's the same guitar (minus vibrato) as a twelve string. The price in 1968 was $315 according to a catalog you can view here, making it the most expensive of the SA (semi acoustic) line at the time, about $2000 in today's dollars.
When I first got the guitar, I noticed that there's black plastic inside the F-holes; this, I learned from the catalog, is a baffle intended to suppress feedback (patent pending!). If you've both pickups selected the "mic balancer" lets you blend between the two; the pickups are the size of humbuckers but I think they are single coils. Either way, they're attractively fitted. The neck is very narrow, and the nut (which I don't believe to be original) makes it challenging to play; but overall the workmanship is superb.
In that same catalog is a very interesting amplifier, the TA-60; I'm including a picture of that as well. I'd really like to find one to compliment the guitar.
G L Wilson
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