My first electric guitar. Although I have played guitar since 1985, and had an electric bass for a couple of years in the early 90's, this is the first electric guitar I even had. The L20-A is such a great guitar I never thought I'd need another, but E-bay can be very suductive. I went to a Smashing pumpkins concert last winter, and there was an extreme difference between the tones he was getting from Les Pauls and from Strats (Non shit). What seemed to me like the guy onthe mixing board had pretty severe hearing damage (not unlikely in that job) and couldn't hear the high tones from the strat, so he dialled in treble till it sounded like shit. The songs with Corgan on the LP sounded excellent.
I'm not that into the single cutawy LP look, but saw a Yamaha SG on Ebay, and just loved the shape. I have had great experience with Yamahas, and the reviews are universally praising the SG's so I took the chance of buying one without playing it first.
I was looking for a black SG2000 (who isn't!), or a tobacco SG1500 but decided I couldn't justfy the 2X price jump for the neck through body vrs set neck.
This one came up for pretty good price from Switzerland.
Very good! It has a bit of blushing in the finish, most strongly on the back, but from a normal distance it is not noticeable. I have read that this blushing is caused by out gassing of the pickguard affecting the paint if it is stored for long periods in the case. Don't know it that is true, but it was certainly stored more than played. The mark in the main photo is just a reflection.
The fret wear is minimal. The ebony fret board pristine. Yamaha is rightly famous for the quality of the instruments made in the Nippon Gakki factory. The quality of the mahogony, ebony and maple are all superb. Hard, dense and close grained. The gilding of the hardware is partially worn off, as would be expected after a quarter century.
Sound and playablity.
As noted above, this is my first electric. I'm a mediocre player, but the SG (and the 1989 Fender American Standard Strat I got a few months later), combined with teaching friend guitar, and finding some of the web instructional sites have given me a huge bump in motivation.
As others have noted, the Yamaha SG sounds very nice accoustic, with a balance tone and long sustain.
The SG is a very flexible guitar. With the coil splitting it gives you the option a clean single coil sound, while the Yamaha Alnico humbuckers are hot enough to get my little amp wailing. It'll feed back on channel 2, voice 3, gain 6, volume 2 with me sitting side on to the amp :)
The guitar beautifully made, heavy, and feels great in the hand. It was delivered with 9's and the action is a bit low for my style of rythym playing, but all the frets play cleanly while picking lightly (I'll put 10's on it soon, cause I don't like 9's.).
My friend has an SG2000 ebay special with very hot Seymour Duncans, which is a more single purpose guitar. I prefer the coil splitting versatility of the original pickups.