The Yamaha SX

Bill Alston

The SX Range The Devil's Head Guitars



An SX 80


These guitars appeared in the mid 70s and are an unusual mixture. They have SG type looks with flatter bodies but with Stratocaster measurements. All the guitars in the range were made in Japan and appear to have been domestic market only. I haven't seen a single one of these for sale on Ebay UK.
Update April 2019

I have just seen an SX 60 sold on Ebay for £301 refinished but reasonable condition.




The Devil's Head an SX 60

Details

The range is said to have followed on from an SG Model the SG125-2 I can't find anything about that model. They all have 648mms scale 22 jumbo frets and a 42.5mm nut. There are two launches the first in November 1974 and the second in November 1976.



60 80 125 800a 800b 900a 900b
released Nov 1974 Nov 1974 Nov 1974 Nov 1976 Nov 1976 Nov 1976 Nov 1976
Ended 1976 1976 1976 1978 1978 1978 1978
Price at launch 55,000 yen 70,000 yen 120,000 yen 80,000 yen 80,000 yen 90,000 yen 90,000 yen
Fingerboard Rosewood Rosewood Ebony Ebony Ebony Ebony Ebony
Body Katsura Katsura Bound Katsura Archtop Maple and Mahogany Maple and Sen Bound Maple and Mahogany Bound Maple and Sen
Neck Maple Set Maple Set Maple Set bound and with bound headstock Mahogany Set Maple Set Mahogany Set Maple Set
Tuners Yamaha Die Cast Yamaha Die Cast Grover Chrome Yamaha Die Cast Yamaha Die Cast Yamaha Die Cast Yamaha Die Cast
Pickups 2 Alnico SCs 2 Alnico SCs 2 Alnico SCs 2 Humbucker G 11 3 Alnico SCs X1s 2 Humbucker G1 3 Alnico SCs
Weight 3kgs 3kgs 3kgs 3.8kgs 3.6kgs 3.8kgs 3.6kgs
Colours Red, Brown, White, Natural and maybe others Black, Natural and maybe others Natural, Red, Brown or Black Brown or Black Cherry Red or Black Brown Sunburst or Red Sunburst Brown Sunburst or Natural
Controls 2 Volume 2 Tone and 3 way Pickup selector 2 Volume 2 Tone and 3 way Pickup selector 2 Volume 2 Tone and rotary 3 way pickup selector 2 Volume 2 Tone and Pickup 3 way selector Strat Style 1 volume 2 tone and 5 way Selector switch 2 Volume 2 Tone and 3 way Pickup selector Strat Style 1 volume 2 tone and 5 way Selector switch

The archives have limited information about the SX60 and The SX80 hence there could be colours I haven't seen. As can be seen the first run comprised of 3 models and the second one of 4 or 2 variations of 2. The SX60 was the cheapest of the first run and the SX 80 next, they look very similar except for the binding on the 80. Here are some pictures of those two.< /p>


All the above are SX60s

 
The Above are SX80

Pictures of the 125 are hard to find here's is the launch advert featuring Carlos Santana

Update 5th May 2018
A correspondent Jamie form Canada has bought a 125 which was adverised and priced as an 80 wish I could have that luck. Jamie has kindly provided some pictures and given me permission to use them. Thanks Jamie,




The 125 has a rotary pickup selector with normal three way plus a fourth setting which is off

Here is an advert provided by Buzzard from the Yamaha forum

The second launch in 1976 comprised of the 800A and B and the 900A and B, the As are HH configuration and the Bs are SSS configuration. The only differences between 800s and 900s appears to be that the Pickups are described differently and the 900 series has gold hardware. Exactly what the difference is in these pickups and hardware, apart from 10,000 yen, isn't clear.


Pictures of the second issue

800a on the left 800b on the right

Stunning 800b on the left and a 900a on the right.

And a 900b

In 2002 there was an NSX Exart 2000 limited edition, this was a reissue of the SX900b available in Natural or Black.It is said but I have no proof that only 180 of these were made.
Famous Users
Rory Gallagher played and SX800b at times and Tommy Bolin had an SX125 specially made to his specifications

 
Tommy Bolin and his SX125
Back to top