These guitars are Strat Clones which appeared around March 1984 and with a couple of exceptions lasted for less than a year. There has been some speculation that the range was short lived due to complaints from Fender although considering the ST looked very like the SR it replaced that seems unlikely, however as can be seen below the headstocks are very like Fenders and it was the headstock that Fender got Tokai to change in the eighties. The STH 400 and 500s lasted into 1985 as they appear in the 1985 catalogue. The guitars came with Rosewood or Maple boards indicated by an M or R in the model name. All 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.
|ST360 M and R||ST 400M and R||ST 500M and R||ST 600M and R||ST 800M and R||ST 1000M and R||STH 400R||STH 500M and R||STH 800R||STH 1000R|
|Body||Sen or Agathis, Igem||Sen or Agathis, Igem||Alder||Alder||Alder||Alder||Sen or Agathis||Alder||Alder||Alder Bound|
|Fretboard||Maple or Rosewood 21 Frets 13.75" radius||Maple or Rosewood 21 Frets 13.75" radius||Maple or Rosewood 21 Frets 13.75" radius||Maple or Rosewood 21 Frets 13.75" radius||Maple or Rosewood 21 Frets 13.75" radius||Maple or Rosewood 21 Frets 13.75" radius||Rosewood 21 Frets 13.75" radius Matching Headstock||Maple or Rosewood 21 Frets 13.75" radius||Rosewood 21 Frets 13.75" radius Matching Headstock||Rosewood 21 Frets 13.75" radius Matching Headstock|
|Bridge||Standard Steel pressed saddle trem type||Standard Steel pressed saddle trem type||Standard Steel pressed saddle trem type||Standard Steel pressed saddle trem type||Yamaha locking type with locking nut||Yamaha locking type with locking nut||Standard Steel pressed saddle trem type||Standard Steel pressed saddle trem type||Yamaha locking type with locking nut||Yamaha locking type with locking nut|
|Pickups||3 SCs||3 SCs||3 Alnico V||3 Alnico 5||3 Alnico 5||3 Alnico 5||2 HBs||2 HB Spinex||2 HBs probably Spinex *||2 HBs probably Spinex *|
|Tuners String Trees||Gotoh Tuners 1 String tree||Gotoh Tuners 1 String tree||Gotoh Tuners 1 String tree||Gotoh Tuners 1 String tree||Gotoh Tuners No string tree||Gotoh Tuners No String Tree||Gotoh Tuners 1 String tree||Gotoh Tuners 1 String tree||Gotoh Tuners No String Tree||Gotoh Tuners No String Tree|
|Release Price Yen||36000||40000||50000||60000||80000||100000||40000||50000||80000||10000|
|Colours||Sunburst, White, Black||Sunburst, White, Black, Candy Tone Red||Sunburst, White, Black, Black Metallic, Siver Gray||Sunburst, White, Black, Candy Tone Red, Silver Gray||Sunburst, White, Black, Candy Tone Red, Silver Gray||Sunburst, Black, Cream White||Black, White, Red||Black, Cream White Coral Blue||Black, Cream White Coral Blue, Red, Deep Blue||Black, Cream White Coral Blue, Red, Deep Blue|
* The Yamaha Archive only details the 500 from the SH range, but as the 500 is stated to have Spinex pickups, it is reasonable to assume that the more expensive models also have them.
Update August 2017
I have come across a model I've not previously seen an ST 535RX. It appears to have been made in Japan in the late 80s probably 1988 or 89 it is very hard to find any catalogues for that period. I have found examples in Blue and Red but obviously there could be other colours. It looks to be an SSH but from the information I have seen I suspect it's not a humbucker but two single coils as in some other Yamaha models. It has a Maple neck and Rosewood board and either a Sen Ash or Alder body.
Update April 2022 STX 01R
A very knowledgeable guitarist from Japan Chris Hawkins has sent me some details of a guitar he owns which is an STX 01R a model I hadn't come across before. From studying the routing the hardware etc Chris believes this to be a Fujigen build from around 1983 1984. The comparison he has done with other Fujigen Guitars he owns leads me to think he is right. There is also the use of a non Yamaha Humbucker which to me suggests an outsourced build.
From Chris and a couple of other auction post I have put together the following:
Body 2 piece Alder
Fretboard Rosewood 21 Frets Dot Markers
Headstock Matching with Yamaha STX01R in Black and Gold
Tuners Gotoh Kluson Style
Pickups 1 Gotoh Humbucker 2 Unmarked Alnico Single Coils
Controls 1 Volume 2 Tone 5 way switch Black
Hardware Chrome or Gold
Bridge Vintage Style trem full size Steel Block Stamped saddles
Pickguard Black 11 screw laminated
Colours at least Red and Black
Years available unknown probably early 80s.
Update July 22
Przemyslaw Stronski is a Yamaha lover from Poland who owns a very nice *ST400M proving they exist with a Maple board.
He has also purchased a ST500RX from Japan. It hasn't arrived yet due end of July. So here is another model not known to me. He has sent me some pictures from the sale but they aren't great but I have found a little bit of detail and pictures from a sale on a Russian site.
First the ST400M which is a really nice looking guitar
Now the ST500RX
The Google translate from the Russian throws up some very strange detail but what I can see from the pictures and what makes sense from the translate is as follows.
The serial number is from 1986-1989 I can get to most catalogues from that date now and this guitar does not appear in any of them.
The Russian translation describes this as a pumped up version of the ST500 with a superior trem unit (see picture)
Made in Japan
Rosewood board with 22 frets and dot markers
HIPS type Yamaha EMS pickups HSS
! Volume 1 Tone 1 3 or 5 way switch (looks like a 3 way)
Seems to have a locking nut but not a locking bridge
Still Update July 2022
Sergei Bondarenko frequently sends me pictures often without comment he is I think based in Russia where they seem to often get unusual Yamahas. This is a
again a model I have never heard of and I can't find out anything about here are the pictures and if anyone knows anything all gratefully received. When I blow up one of the photos I think I can just about make out made in Japan.
Update Dec 2022
Drew Milne has sent me some pictures of his ST400M here it is Thanks Drew