Dating vintage yamaha guitars
Black labels can be found as “Made in Taiwan”: And “Nippon Gakki Co.
Ltd” Japan: Around 1976 – 1977 Yamaha changed to a oval white or orange label: Almost all white oval labels are made in Taiwan. Some rare white oval labels are Nippon Gakki made in Japan: There’s one big exception concerning early FG’s.
At the same time, the Japanese figured out how to build guitars. Despite a decent build provenance, this little puppy suffered in its earlier life. It may not have fallen out of the back window of a ‘63 Chevrolet Impala station wagon and bounced down the road for a few hundred feet but when we got it, it looked like it had thought of making that leap.
Dinged, dented and roughed up, it, like the tough guitars that Nippon Gakki’s are, survived. It could be tweaked with some saddle or nut work - but the playability and sound are still, somehow, pretty good.
But the complexity of decoding the number isn’t the most frustrating part of this particular serial number system – it’s the fact that the serial numbers actually repeat every decade – so you actually have to know what decade your guitar was built in to begin with.