Bill Alston

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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.
Updates page


History

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: 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
Serial Numbers


This is a pickup from my Superflighter the number 53 refers to the 53rd year of Emperor Hirohito's reign which is 1978

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
Models Specifications

Some Photographs



Here we have three headstocks a 400LP with "plastic covered tuners", an SL1200 and 800LP Custom. Note the headstock shape on the earlier SL model.


On the left an SL800s on the right an SL700s