Saturday, 17 April 2010

Yamaha SG-3 (like Link Wray's guitar but slightly different)

Did you guess which guitar I bought on my shopping trip yesterday?

Yes, it was the Yamaha SG-3. I confess that sunburst wouldn't have been my first choice of finish, but in real life it really is quite attractive.

I haven't quite worked out what all the controls do just yet. Obviously there's a volume and tone in the usual position, and a 3-way switch sits on the lower horn. The switch on the upper horn appears to turn the Jaguar/Jazzmaster-esque circuitry on and off. I haven't quite worked out what two of the roller controls are doing but the third seems to blend in the additional coil of the third pickup so you can have a single coil or a humbucker sound or a blend between the two. The vibrato again is styled along the lines of those found on Fender Jaguars and Jazzmasters and it is a joy to use. (Unlike that hideous useless thing you find on Fender Stratocasters and which very nearly put me off tremolo arms for life.)

This buy was, of course, inspired by the Link Ray video we were looking at on Thursday. I just saw that guitar he was playing and had to track one down. I was extremely lucky to find one the very next day, as I'm told that it's quite a rare guitar. I guess I went to the right shop! Link Wray's Yamaha was in fact the SG-2, virtually the same guitar but with two pickups instead of the SG-3's three. The two guitars also have slightly different shaped pickguards from one another in the area of the upper horn. I imagine that the SG-3 has additional circuitry for the extra pickup.

The headstock is a distinctive shape, which I quite like. The point at the end echoes the pointiness of the body horns.

At the back of the head here we see the Yamaha name stamped on the own-brand tuners.

The guitar has the odd knock or two, but for a vintage guitar it is in supremely good condition. It looks like it was new a couple of years ago and has had just one careful owner! It even gets Elsa's seal of approval (or perhaps she just wanted to get in the photo, poser that she is).

G L Wilson

Photographs: © G L Wilson

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  1. do u know where i can find the wiring/pots schematics of this beauty ????

  2. Try talking to Ben who posts on the forums.

    He's just finished building an SG-2 replica and has an SG-3 replica in the works

    Copy and paste the following into your URL bar:



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