Bill Alston

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AE Guitars


These hollow and semi hollow guitars first appeared as the AE 11 in 1967 and through various models remained in production until the mid 90s. All are made in Japan except where stated in the individual descriptions. In theory I suppose the IN10 belongs here but it's described in my rare and unusual Yamaha section.

AE 11

The first of the models appearing in 1967 and according to the archives ceased production in 1971.
Specifications
Body Hollow Double bound Maple with Spruce Top
Neck Set Maple
Fretboard Rosewood with decorative block inlays 22 frets with a zero fret 630mm scale 350mms radius
Headstock Matching Yamaha written on in capitals white binding with a single black line. Black on White truss rod cover with tuning fork logo and Yamaha written on. No model name
Tuners Vintage Yamaha
Pickups 2 Silver Yamaha Humbuckers on Black surrounds no coil tap
Controls Black with silver top, 2 volume 2 tone 3 way switch with white tip
Nut 41mms
Hardware Chrome
Bridge Tune-O-Matic on Rosewood base with Trapeze tailpiece 4 bars and a Rosewood insert
Pickguard Black on White, Black White 2 screw
Colours Natural or Sunburst
Comments released at 70,000 yen weight approx 2.9kgs




Some details of the AE 11

AE 12

This appears to be a direct replacement for the AE 11 launched in 1972 and available until 1976. It is easily differentiated from the 11 having a completely different headstock and tailpiece, no zero fret amongst other differences
Specifications
Body Body Hollow Double bound Maple with Spruce Top
Neck Set Maple
Fretboard Rosewood 20 frets block parallelogram style inlays 640mm scale 350mm radius
Headstock Matching plain white binding Tuning fork logo Black on white truss rod cover with Yamaha written on no modelname
Tuners Yamaha Vintage style but not the same as the 11 see pictures
Pickups 2 black humbuckers no coil tap
Controls Black with silver top, 2 volume 2 tone 3 way all chrome switch
Nut 41 mms
Hardware Chrome
Bridge Tune-O-Matic on Rosewood base Trapeze 2 bar Tailpiece with Rosewood Insert Yamaha written on tailpiece
Pickguard Black on White 2 screw
Colours Natural or Sunburst
Comment Released at 90,000 yen weight 3.4 kgs



AE 18

Very similar to the 12 with some more expensive appointments
Specifications
Body Hollow Double bound Maple with Spruce Top
Neck Set Maple
Fretboard Ebony 20 frets block arrow inlays 640mm scale
Headstock Matching white binding with one black stripe Tuning fork logo Black on white truss rod cover with Yamaha written on no model name
Tuners Yamaha sealed diecast
Pickups 2 silver humbuckers black surrounds with coil tap
Controls Black gold dials with gold top, 2 volume 2 tone push push coil tap 3 way all gold switch
Nut 41 mms
Hardware Gold
Bridge Tune-O-Matic on Ebony base Trapeze 2 bar Tailpiece with Rosewood Insert Yamaha written on tailpiece
Pickguard Red wood effect (maybe Rosewood) 2 screw
Colours Natural or Sunburst
Comment Released at 180,000 yen weight 3.4 kgs



AE 1200T

This is a pretty rare guitar only 200 were made all in 1979. The T stands for thin, it is a thinner version of the 1200. I have only ever seen one of these it had the serial number 001194 and I only have two pictures and don't quite have full information. If anyone has anymore I would appreciate it.
Specifications
Body Thin hollow Beach and Birch with a spruce top.
Neck Bound set maple
Fretboard Ebony with block inlays 350mm radius 20 frets
Headstock Black bound in white with two black stripes in the binding. Yamaha written on in capitals, a swirly logo black on white truss rod cover with AE 1200T in script
Tuners Yamaha Branded diecast
Pickups 2 Yamaha Humbuckers with coil tap
Controls Gold coloured 2 volume 2 tone with push push coil split 3 way switch with white tip
Nut
Hardware Gold
Bridge Tune-O-Matic with trapeze tailpiece plainish except for a swirly decoration 2 bars
Pickguard Black looks single ply but thick
Colours Antique stain
Comments released at 120,000 yen weight 3.25kgs

AE 1200

The 1200 was in production from around 1978 to at least 1994 in various forms. The original model to about 1984 then replaced by the 1200S followed by an Sii and an S111. Some of these guitars are made in Japan and some in Taiwan.
Specifications 1200
Body Bound Beech and Birch with Spruce top
Neck Bound Maple set neck C profile
Fretboard Ebony 20 frets split block inlays 350mm radius
Headstock Black bound in white with two black stripes Yamaha in capitals swirly logo black on white truss rod cover with AE 1200 in script
Tuners Yamaha diecast
Pickups 2 Yamaha Humbuckers with coil tap
Controls Black with silver tops 2 volume 2 tone push push for coil split
Nut
Hardware Gold
Bridge Tune-O-Matic on Ebony originally but changed to Grenadilla later Ornate twisted wire Trapeze tailpiece
Pickguard Tortoiseshell
Colours Antique stain only
Released at 120,000 yen weight 3.6kgs


 

AE 1200S and ii

The 1200 S is in the 1988 catalogue but probably replaced the 1200 around 1985 there are some differences: The neck is Mahogany not Maple
The pickups are now Alnico V humbucker
The control knobs are gold coloured
Extra colours are added as well as Antique stain there are Natural and Burgundy options
I am told that the Sii replaced the S in 1989 but I have no evidence for this and cannot find any details of the differences between the two models


The S or Sii I don't know yet

AE 1200S iii

The Siii came into being in 1992 and is distinguished from the previous models by a different tailpiece, referred to sometimes as a curly X but is like two back to back crescent moons. There don't appear to be any other significant differences.


The Siii note the tailpiece

AE 1500

Available from 1991 to 1994
Specifications
Body Hollow Beech and Birch with a Spruce top
Neck Bound Set Maple
Fretboard Striped Ebony 350mms radius Block inlays 20 frets 640mm scale
Headstock Black bound in white with two black stripes in the binding. Yamaha in capitals swirly logo black on white truss rod cover nothing on it
Tuners Yamaha branded diecast
Pickups 2 Alnico V Humbuckers with coil tap
Controls Gold 2 volume 2 tone with push push coil tap a 3 way switch with white tip
Nut
Hardware Gold
Bridge Tune-o-Matic with decorative trapeze tailpiece 2 bars with what looks like 2 back to back crescent moons in between see picture
Pickguard Black on white 2 screw
Colours Antique stain
Comments released at 150,000 yen weight 3,7kgs




The 1500

AE 2000

This model was released in 1978 and produced until 1990.
Specifications
Body Bound Beech and Birch with a Spruce top
Neck Bound Maple set neck
Fretboard Ebony split block inlays 20 frets 640mms scale 350mm radius
Headstock Black bound in white with two black lines in the binding. Yamaha in capitls swirly logo truss rod cover black on white with AE 2000 in script
Tuners Yamaha diecast
Pickups 2 gold covered humbuckers with coil split
Controls Black with Gold top 2 volume 2 tone push push for coil split all gold 3 way switch
Nut
Hardware Gold
Bridge Tune-O-Matic on grenadilla wood (earlier ones probably ebony) Swirly interlocked wires trapeze tailpiece
Pickguard Tortoiseshell on white
Colours Antique Stain only
Relesed at 200,000 yen weight 3.7kgs


 


AE 500

Made in Taiwan from 2004 to 2008 this is the budget model of the range. Similar to the SA 500 in many ways but still with many good features.
Specifications
Body Maple
Neck Set Mahogany C shape
Fretboard Rosewood 628mm scale 350mm radius 22 frets dot inlays
Headstock Black Yamaha on headstock in capitals no other markings or logo
Tuners Yamaha sealed diecast
Pickups 2 Yamaha Humbuckers no coil split
Controls Black with Silver top 2 volume 2 tone 3 wy switch with white tip
Nut
Hardware Chrome
Bridge Tune-O-Matic with six saddles screwed into guitar body
Pickguard Black on White
Colours Black or Sunburst



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