Yamaha SA-50 aftermarket vibrato arm

The SA-5, SA-50 and SG-20 vibrato (tremolo) arms and collets are removed sometimes and then get lost. I had a number SA50s and one SG2 without their vibrato arm (whammy bar, tremolo, whatever) so decided to make them myself.

The SA-50 vibrato arm I make from 316 stainless steel while the collet is made from 304 stainless steel. The nuts are also 304 s/s.

If you are interested in getting one of these vibrato units, contact me.

Below the SA-50 video I made about the vibrato assembly and installation with my aftermarket vibrato arm and its collet.

To check out the video for the vibrato assembly and the SG-2 installation click here.

Making a Bridge Base

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.

Top one is the original rosewood base.

Yamaha SA30 Bridge Base

Bottom view:

Yamaha SA50 Bridge Base

Fitted onto the SA-30 body:

Yamaha SA30 Bridge Base

With tune-o-matic fitted:

Yamaha SA30 Bridge Base