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April 20th, 2009:

Collectable Guitars pt 24 – Yamaha SG2000

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Yamaha is now a huge corporation covering all aspects of musical instruments, and more products including motorbikes. However, in 1976, when the SG2000 was introduced they were very much still an upstart company trying to make a name for themselves.

Yamaha sg2000 guitar

In 1973 they had introduced a range of Gibson inspired SG models- equal cutaway designs with mahogany bodies and set necks- very much like a Gibson Les Paul with two cutaways. They were nice, high-quality guitars, however a classic model was what Yamaha needed to boost this new range, and in 1976 the SG2000 proved to be just what they were so badly in need of.

The SG2000 was thus far the most desirable model Yamaha had ever made. It included a through-neck instead of the set-neck construction used by previous SGs, meaning greater sustain and playability. It was, like the other SG models, met enthusiastically, especially given that the Japanese copy boom was at its peak in around 1976, whereas the SG, while influenced by Gibsons, was still an original enough design.

The SG2000 was based on an earlier Yamaha, the SG175, but had refinements over the original design. These included a contoured body to make playing more comfortable, a maple top, gold hardware and a fine-tuning bridge.

The SG2000 was met well, and became known as a serious alternative to Gibsons of the time. It is still held in high regard as possibly Yamaha’s highest-quality guitar ever, and the one that gave them a serious foothold in the guitar market.

As such many were sold, and they have been used by a handful of well-known artists, the most notable being Carlos Santana, Bill Nelson of Bebop Deluxe and Stuart Adamson of the Skids and Big Country.

The SG2000 is probably the biggest selling model in the SG range, and used examples are not uncommon.

Prices are still high for these desirable guitars, and usually reach between £600 and £1300.