The History of Yamaha Guitars


This museum showcases historical models of Yamaha guitars from the past 50 years.

  • 1965GSX33B

    Manufactured in 1965, the GSX33B was an early design that later grew into the S201, S301, SG2, and SG3 models. This prototype model was evidence of Yamaha's earnest desire to enter the electric guitar market.

  • pre-1966DYNAMIC GUITAR No.80

    This guitar was sold under the name “Dynamic Guitar” pre-1966 in the days before there was a dedicated Guitar Division. It was literally Yamaha's first guitar series and included several models with specifications for different uses.

  • 1966FG180

    This was Yamaha's first acoustic guitar, manufactured after establishing a dedicated Guitar Division in 1966. Rather than copying overseas models, the development team used a proprietary design based on human engineering. Shown here is a model featuring the popular inner label that came to be known as the “red label.”

  • 1966SG2

    Yamaha’s first electric guitars officially launched in April 1966 under the names S302 and S201, which were changed one month later to SG-3 and SG-2. They featured original designs for the tremolo unit, neck joint system, and pickups, demonstrating Yamaha's penchant for individuality and innovation from our very first models.

  • 1968SA15

    A hollow body model sharing the same feature of the SG7’s long horn next to the first string and equipped with two single-coil pickups.

  • 1968SB7A CAB

    Our top-of-the-line bass guitar sharing a body shape similar to the SG-7. Its scale length of 800 mm (31-1/2") was shorter than the SB-2.

  • 1975L51

    This is one of the custom models in the L series. The guitars in this series collectively took on the peculiar name (in Japanese) of the “four L Devas” and were only sold for a four-year and nine-month period from November 1975 to July 1980. The asymmetrical body and uniquely shaped headstock make for a characteristic appearance that stands out even today. This guitar excels at nuanced expression thanks to its design emphasis on sound quality and overall balance.

  • 1975L52

    This is one of the “four L Devas.” It’s recognized for its white double pickguard and for its body shape that later grew into the CJ (country jumbo) series. It emphasizes excellent chord balance.

  • 1975L53

    Another of the “four L Devas.” This guitar has a gorgeous, distinctive design and clear, penetrating sound, with a design that showcases Yamaha’s renowned craftsmanship.

  • 1975L54

    Another of the “four L Devas.” The L54 features a distinctive designed pickguard that standards out on this unique instrument. Other distinctive traits include its bright, clear, and powerful sound.

  • 1976SG2000 BS

    This top-of-line model in the SG series was developed by pursuing the characteristic tone of the SG175 and applying the innovative techniques and technology evolving throughout the SG series. It featured a unique neck-through structure, a sustain plate, and a semi-open humbucker.

  • 1977SF700

    A model with the characteristic bright tone of the SF series, plus 24 frets, a smooth top cut that forms to the player’s body, and a back cut for a left-right asymmetrical design.

  • 1977SC1200

    With its name standing for “Super Combinator,” the SC-1200 was the pinnacle of the SC series with its unique neck-through structure. Features included distinctive bar magnets for the pickups plus the ability to create 13 sound variations with three connected mini toggle switches for the three pickups.

  • 1978AE1200

    Yamaha's high-end full acoustic guitar launched in 1978, featuring ebony on the fingerboard, gold parts for the hardware, and tone knobs compatible with coil tapping.

  • 1978BB2000

    In 1978, the addition of the BB-2000 raised the bar for bass guitars even higher. The BB2000 featured a neck through design like the BB-1200, with a bar magnet type pickup in the bridge position. This model was popular with many players, from jazz fusion to rock and pop artists.

  • 1982SG3000 WR

    The flagship model of the SG series bearing the “custom” guitar title. Newly developed pickups and a narrow bridge for lighter weight were utilized in this model, which was developed to meet the demands of players influenced by the heavy metal music emerging in the early ‘80s.

  • 1983GC71

    One of Yamaha’s flagship classical guitars. It incorporates the tone of S. Hernandez and Hermann Hauser I with Yamaha design and production expertise. Devoted players include Andrés Segovia and Baden Powell. (For sale in Japan only)

  • 1984BB5000

    Yamaha’s first 5-string bass. The price topped that of the BB-3000, but since there were few high-quality mass produced 5-string basses at the time, this model was adopted by a large number of players.

  • 1987APX50

    This was an early custom model in the APX series of distinctively compact and small-bodied acoustic-electric guitars. It was especially well received by live stage performers due to its easy-to-handle body that made crossing over from an electric guitar relatively simple.


    These models used a solid structure with a semi-acoustic body shape popular at the time. The design was developed in England rather than in Japan, and the lineup featured three models: Custom, Deluxe, and Standard. Shown here is the Deluxe model.

  • 1990PAC912

    The first guitar in the Pacifica series designed by Yamaha Guitar Development at our North Hollywood R&D center opened in 1989. This model was stacked with Yamaha originality in a traditional design.

  • 1991TRB6P

    The TRB-6P featured a five-piece maple and mahogany neck through construction similar to the TRB Custom, plus an ebony fingerboard, while the body attached to the neck from the sides.

  • 1995SG7AS

    Our flagship model with a distinctive body that came on the market as electric guitars started to boom in popularity. Shown here is a 1995 remake of the 1965 prototype: the neck pickup is not slanted, the color is moss green (which never made it to market), and there is no fingerboard binding—all features that differ from the model launched in 1966.

  • 1995SG175B

    The SG175, designed and developed specifically for Carlos Santana, was dubbed the "Buddha SG." The distinctive body inlay work featuring a Buddha image that was intended to convey the high quality of Japanese products to the world. The model shown commemorated 30 years of Yamaha electric guitars in 1995 and was issued and sold in Japan only.

  • 1998CPX15

    The first model in the CPX series, which served as a compass directing a new generation of guitars excelling in both sound and design. The fret markers are decorated with international signal flags and the guitar featured a 2-way pickup system with a piezo pickup and condenser mic to deliver on the development concept of producing a natural acoustic guitar sound.

  • 2003AES620

    This model featured bold body contours with a fine cutaway. The similarly distinctive bridge demonstrates Yamaha’s consistent pursuit of innovation.

  • 2014LL86Custom

    Using only the most select, high quality wood and embodying all of the craftsmanship of expert luthiers, this is the flagship of Yamaha’s acoustic guitar line up. (For sale in Japan only)