I always liked the look of the first electric guitar Yamaha made and finally managed to buy one locally. It needed quite some work done to it and the bridge pickup was a non-original, low output pickup that did not match with the neck. The bridge had some non-original saddles and I was not able to locate the proper ones. The vibrato arm was missing and I made a new one from scratch. I also made a bridge pickup from scratch which turned out to be a nice match for the neck pickup. All in all, a satisfying project.
The full ‘restoration’ project is documented on the Offset Guitar Forum here:
This is a hollow body guitar that I built recently. The building process is documented here.
I decided to name the guitar ‘Duovette’ as it is loosely based on three Gretsch guitars: – body size, scale length, pickup layout as per Duojet 6128, while body shape and F holes are as per a Corvette 6187 and the head stock shape as per a Corvette 6132.
Specifications: Grover Locking tuners, TV Jones Classic pickups, puriri fretboard, paua inlays, kohekohe sides and neck, mahogany back, norfolk pine top, rewarewa headstock veneer and ebony bindings.. Finish is Briwax oil on waterbased stain. Colour is best described as Carmine Red.
The old Yamaha SA5, SA20, SA30 and SA50 have a rosewood or ebony bridge base. The bridge base is quite a nice piece of workmanship and is not easily made from scratch. The bottom of the bridge is angled in two dimensions so that it follows the contours of the arched top it is resting on. It is screwed onto the guitar body while the posts are screwed into the bridge base to allow the metal Tune-o-matic to sit on top.
You can buy generic timber bridge bases at Stewmac or so for about $20, but they look different and their post spacing does not allow for an original Yamaha SA30 tune-o-matic.
I had an old busted up SA30 with something that really could not be called an archtop bridge. It needed something better…
So I pulled the original bridge base from one of my SA30s and decided to copy it and make my own. Blimey, 3.5 hours later and I do have a rather nice (if I say so myself), brand new bridge base. Just need to source the screws and the posts but trying it with the original bits…
All fits perfectly on the old Superaxe and looks rather ‘original’. Here some photos.