Bill Alston

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The Superjam or SJ



An SJ800 The case is dated 1980

The Superjam range or SJs were launched in 1979 and comprised several models. They are another Yamaha Fender type but in this case looks like a sort of Telecaster Stratocaster combination. The domestic models ceased around 1984 and the European models around 1988. In some cases the headstock shows Superjam and in some cases SJ. I can't at the moment see a pattern to which ones say SJ and which Superjam possibly it's to do with when they were made.
Some sources say that these were all made in Taiwan but this isn't true. I have seen several that were made in Japan, but none that have made in Taiwan on them. As always with Yamaha it is likely they were made in both countries.
Update July 2017
A member of the Yamaha forum has posted that he has a red SJ550 with Made in Taiwan stamped on it. Can we find an MIJ 550?

The Domestic models

These comprise of 6 models 500, 600SM, 600SR, 700HM, 700HR and the 800. The M and R are just Maple or Rosewood boards otherwise the same model.
Specifications

500

600 SM and SR

700 HM and HR

800

Available

from Dec 1978 to 1983

1984 only

1984 only

from Dec 1978 to 1983

Release price in yen

50,000

60,000

70,000

80,000

Body

Alder Maple Top

Alder

Alder

Alder Maple Top

Neck

Maple Bolt On 25.5" scale 13.75" radius

Maple Bolt On 25.5" scale 13.75" radius

Maple Bolt On 25.5" scale 13.75" radius

Maple Bolt On 25.5" scale 13.75" radius

Board

Maple 21 Fret Strat Style

2 string trees

Maple SM Rosewood SR 21 Fret Strat Style 1 string tree

Maple HM Rosewood HR 21 Fret Strat Style 1 string tree

Maple 21 Fret Strat Style

2 string trees

Pickups

1 G111 HB and 1 J1 single coil

2 Single coils

2 Spinex HBs

1 G11 HB and 1 J1 single coil

Controls

1 volume, 1 Tone, 3 way selector no coil tap

1 volume, 1 Tone, 3 way selector

1 volume, 1 Tone, 3 way selector coil tap

1 volume, 1 Tone, 3 way selector coil tap by push button

Weight

3.8kgs

3.4kgs

3.4kgs

3.8kgs

Available Colours

Persimmon Red, Black or Natural

Black, White or Candy Tone Red

Black, Brown burst or Candy tone red

Oil Stain or Yellow Natural

Some Images
 
The 500

   
 
And a 600 SR


 
 
The 800 note the unusual push button coil tap and the made in Japan

The only picture I have seen of a 700 is the small one in the archives, if anyone could send me some that would be helpful.


Export Models

In the 1983 English catalogue the 550 HR and HM are launched again the M and R just signify Maple or Rosewood boards. These also appear in the 1985 and 1987 catalogues but are discontinued by 1988.

Specs These are similar to the rest of the range in radius, frets, scale length etc.
Body Alder with Birch Top
Neck Maple Strat style one string tree Maple board on the HM and Rosewood on the HR
Pickups are said in several sources to be Spinex but they are not referred to as Spinex in the catalogues
Controls 3 way selector, 1 volume 1 tone with push pull for the coil split.
Available in Candy Apple Red, Black Cherry, Orange Sunburst or Black Pearl. I have also seen a white one which doesn't look refinished but the colour isn't mentioned anywhere.

 

Extracts from the 1983 and 1985 English language catalogues.

 

The 550


The 500EX

This model isn't mentioned anywhere and I can only assume that it is an export version of the 500. It differs from the 550 in having no pickguard and the one I have pictures of has a Rosewood board instead of Maple. It is certainly made in Japan, Pictures below.



Any additional information on this model or any others would be much appreciated.