Guitar

Bill Alston

1972 Yamaha SG Guitars




In 1972 a range of single cutaway SGs was launched still not the SG shape we know today but certainly not as radical as the earlier models. There were 8 distinct models and some variations within those models. All are 628mm scale.
The models are SG20 SG40 SG40S SG45 SG60 SG65 SG80 SG85 there are variations to the 60 and the 80.

The SG 20


This was a very basic guitar indeed. It appears to have been produced only for a short time in 1972 although it doesn't appear in the archives and I don't have access to any catalogues that show it. A single pickup model. Specs I can find are
Specifications
Body Katsura Flat
Neck Bolt on Unknown wood
Fretboard Rosewood 22 frets dot inlays
Headstock Matching colour see pictures
Tuners Yamaha Branded Diecast Van Gent style
Pickups 1 Humbucker
Controls 1 Volume I tone
Nut 1.75"
Hardware Chrome
Bridge 6 saddle terminator type hardtail
Pickguard White
Colours Red or Black
Years available probably only 1972
Weight 3.4kgs





A very basic guitar

The 40 range


There are 3 models the 40 the 40S and the 45 although I am hard pushed to see much difference between the 40 and the 40S except the 40 is German cut and the S is Flat. The 40S does appear to be a very limited addition produced only in 1972 and it is slightly heavier than the 40, leading me to believe that it might be a different body wood, or the weight difference could be due to the cut.

Model SG40 SG40S SG45
Body Katsura German Cut Unknown wood Flat Nato Flat
Neck Bolt on Mahogany Bolt on Mahogany Mahogany Set neck
Fretboard Rosewood 22 frets dot inlays Rosewood 22 frets dot inlays Rosewood 22 frets dot inlays
Tuners Yamaha Branded Diecast Van Gent style Yamaha Branded Diecast Van Gent style Yamaha Branded Diecast Van Gent style
Pickups 2HB 2HB 2HB
Controls 2 Vol 2 tone 3 way switch 2 Vol 2 tone 3 way switch 2 Vol 2 tone 3 way switch
Nut 1.75" bone 1.75" probably bone 1.75" probably bone
Hardware Chrome Chrome Gold
Bridge 6 saddle terminator type hardtail 6 saddle terminator type hardtail 6 saddle terminator type hardtail
Colours Sunburst, Red or Black Red or Black Light Natural* or Mahogany
Launch Price 42000y ? 45000y
Available 1972 to 1974** 1972 1972 to 1974**
Weight 3.2kgs 3.4kgs 3.5kgs

* The colours are a natural colour that looks like Alder and one that looks like mahogany the catalogues specify mahogany bodies throughout
** The archives say the models ceased in 1972 but the SG40 and the SG45 appear in the 1974 US catalogue


This is an SG40


This is an SG40S
The tuners headstock etc are the same as the SG20.



The SG45

The 60 range

There is an SG60 and an SG65 but there is also a variation an SG60T which as you might expect has a Trem style bridge. It is the same type of trem and bridge as the SG2 etc.

Model SG60 SG65
Body Nato* German Cut Nato Flat
Neck Bolt on Mahogany Mahogany Set
Fretboard Rosewood 22 Frets Block inlays Rosewood 22 frets block inlays
Headstock Black on Sunburst Matching on Colours Matching
Tuners Yamaha Branded Diecast Van Gent style Yamaha Branded Diecast Van Gent style
Pickups 2 Humbuckers 2 Humbucker
Controls see note below 2 Vol 2 Tone 3 way switch
Nut 1.75" 1.75"
Hardware Chrome Chrome
Bridge 6 saddle terminator type hardtail 6 saddle terminator type hardtail
Colours 2 colour Sunburst, Red or Mahogany Light Natural or Mahogany see SG45
available Dec 72 to 1973 Dec 72 to 1974
Launch Price 52000y 55000y
Weight 3.9kgs 3.5kgs


Sean alias TheSupposedStringMeister tells me that his SG60T definitely had a Mahogany body


The SG60


The SG60 and SG60T bodies same guitar different bridge
Note the unusual controls

The SG60 and 60T have an unusual electronic setup
There is a Volume control a treble and a bass control then there is a bypassable, three-position rotary “tone selector” knob. The guitar actually has three pickups—the bridge unit is two single-coils that can be used individually or in parallel.



The SG65 showing the 2 colour options

The 80 range

This is the SG80 and The SG85 the top of the range there is also an SG80T being a trem version of the 80 again with the same type of trem unit as the SG2 etc.

Model SG80 SG85
Body Honduras Mahogany German Cut Honduras Mahogany Flat
Neck Bolt on Mahogany Mahogany Set
Fretboard Ebony 22 Frets Block inlays Ebony 22 frets block inlays
Headstock Matching Matching
Tuners Yamaha Branded Diecast Yamaha Branded Diecast
Pickups 2 Humbuckers 2 Humbucker
Controls see note below 2 Vol 2 Tone 3 way switch
Nut 1.75" 1.75"
Hardware Chrome Gold
Bridge 6 saddle terminator type hardtail 6 saddle terminator type hardtail
Colours Light Natural or Mahogany see SG45 Light Natural or Mahogany see SG45
available Dec 72 to 1973 Dec 72 to 1974
Launch Price 78000y 80000y
Weight 4kgs 3.5kgs

The SG80T appears in the 1974 US catalogue but nowhere else. All availability dates are approximate.
The controls see pictures are 1 Volume 1 Treble 1 Base a tone boost and a bypassable tone selector and blender for the bridge pickup which is actually 2 single coils.
A comment from an advert
It has a number of tonal options including a 5 way tone circuit rotary switch that covers series, parallel, and coil splitting.   You can disengage the circuit to use the 3 way switch to have more options as well. The knobs control, volume, bass, treble, and a tone boost knob which seems to cut out other frequencies to help you cut through the mix.


The T and The hardtail showing the different colours



The controls



A quick guide to identification
Set Neck

Chrome Hardware SG65
Gold Hardware dot markers SG45 Block Markers SG85

Bolt on Neck
Flat body SG40S
German Cut Dot Inlays SG40
German Cut Block inlays normal controls SG60
German Cut Block Inlays extra tone boost etc SG80

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