Bill Alston

Additional Information

Information following Email Exchanges with Don during March 2016

Don is a collector of guitars who has a several LPs and SLs and has provided me with information from his studies of them.

Don's ever changing collection of Lps and SLs

Below are some quotes from Don's E-mails

I have noted that the SL450 and SL550 versions of Studio Lords were very similar to the later model Lord Players, with somewhat slimmer necks, more consistent weights and a slightly more pronounced top carve than the heavy Studio Lords of the mid-late 70s. I also noted that one of my Studio Lord 450 models has the stamped serial numbers which are the same style as the Lord Player LP400 I recently bought, rather than the white applied serial numbers on my other Studio Lords.. I am guessing that this was a 1983 model, which came just before the Studio Lord's name change and re-alignment into Lord Player model These two guitars appear to be almost the same, leading me to believe that the SL450-SL550 models of 1982-1983 morphed into the Lord Player models of 1984.

I think one of the most interesting discoveries was the top carve differences from the mid-late 70s SLs and the subsequent SL450 and 550 and the Lord Player versions. This is quite subtle but there is just a bit more contouring on these 1980s Yamahas along with a slightly thinner neck carve.

Other information from these E-mails

Don has pointed out as above a subtle change in the serial numbers that seems to have occured around 1983, this is a change on the SLs from a painted serial number to a stamped unpainted serial number which continued on to the LPs. Some photos to illustrate this.
This is the headstock serial number on my 1978 SL
This is the front and back of two of Don's guitars the Red one is the SL which he thinks is from 1983.

It is also interesting to note that the serial numbers on Don's guitars do not fit into any known Yamaha system maybe the 3 at the front indicates 1983 who knows. Maybe there is a set of numbers for the Japanese domestic models that we are unaware of.

LP400s with 1986 onwards serial numbers

We have now found at least 5 LP400s that have E4 system serial numbers. These don't indicate the exact year but only commenced in 1986, but the archives say production ceased in 1985. All these guitars have the Yamaha sealed chrome tuners as distinct from the plastic covered Kluson type tuners in previous 400s. Therefore the production of LP400s and perhaps other models continued at least until late 1986 and the tuners were changed to the Yamaha sealed type. I have not yet managed to find any other model of LP with this range of serial numbers nor with changed tuners.

Some Pictures to illustrate the different types of tuners for different type serial numbers

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