Yamaha Studio Lord and Lord Player Guitars
Lord Player 800 Custom
Information on these guitars is not easy to find. They were made solely for the Japanese domestic market
and Yamaha themselves did not export any of them. Therefore they only appear in the Japanese catalogues and not any of the English language ones. Some obviously made their way to the west
including an SL400s which I own.
Update March 2016 Don who is a guitar enthusiast with a significant Yamaha collection has provided some good information please
see updates page by clicking the link below the updates list.
Update April 2016 Don has corrected some of my clumsy rendering of his thoughts so the updates are now more accurate and are
clearer. Also provided a serial number for an LP400 of 5Y22019 which would indicate to me an earliest date of November 1986 which would be surprising.
Anyone have any thoughts. Strangely this guitar has sealed Yamaha Chrome tuners instead of the usual plastic govered Kluson style and they
appear to be original another Yamaha mystery.
Update April 2016 We have now found more LP400s with these sealed tuners they all have E4 series serial numbers
5K19057 5X21010 and 5Z24002 the earliest these could be are April 1986, October 1986 and December 1986 respectively. I am now fairly certain that the archives are wrong and production of
at least the LP400 continued until at least late 1986 and that the specs changed at least to the extent of there being these tuners.
As with many things Yamaha the truth is often different to the catalogues and archives but they are the best source
we have along with some information from owners. The timeline for these models is:
1976 The first SL series of 9 models launched the 380, 430, 500, 550, 650, 700, 800,1000 and 1200
1979 Further 6 SL Models added the 400s, 500s, 600s, 700s, 700c, 800s
1980 Original 9 models discontinued
1982 Old models all discontinued and replaced by 2 new models the 450s and 550s
1984 All SLs discontinued and replaced by the 5 LP Models the 400, 500, 600, 800 and 1000
It seeems from the evidence that the number in the designation relates to the launch price in 100s of Yen. So a model designated as 800 would
be released at 80,000 yen. This may carry through to other Yamaha ranges and certainly applies to some but not many of the superaxe range.
Someone else may be able tell me it does or doesn't with SGs
There is a theory that these and Superaxes follow the published series for SGs and in most cases this appears to be true but some
which are in the right format give you the wrong year and several have serial numbers that fit into no published format at all.
As always the most reliable way is by the numbers on the back of the pickups.here is a spreadsheet with a few example serial numbers
This is a pickup from my Superflighter the number 53 refers to the 53rd year of Emperor Hirohito's reign which
Some Miscellaneous thoughts
The model within the range is designated on the truss rod cover so every so often you may spot something odd which may be just a changed cover.
Within the Lord Player range all models have Standard written on them except for the 800 which has custom written on. I have been unable to find any
evidence to suggest that there may be variations in models such as an 800 standard or a 1000 custom, but it doesn't mean that they don't exist.
There are 4 sunburst colours which are red sunburst, easily spotted, then brown sunburst, tobacco sunburst, violin burst and also oil skin,
which can look quite similar.
Specifications of all models are in the pdf linked below, where I am in doubt it will be in red italics