No, I didn't exactly NEED another guitar. I seriously didn't. But when one's personal #1 shows up for a decent price - What should one do? I've been in love with the Yamaha SG-3 in Coral Red ever since I saw it. Yamaha's mean take on the Jazzmaster, just more options (additional bridge pickup to be blended with the other one), and more aggressive looking. I don't get why those didn't get re-issued! Too me, it's the best designed solidbody I have come accross (I know it's subjective, though). Their first solidbody guitar (SG) design, their second model (after the two-pickup, otherwise identical SG-2 Link Wray is known for). This baby is from 1967, so it is more than 50 years old. No definition of vintage discussion here, I guess... Problems for acquisition were: It comes in SB, Pearl White, and Coral Red (Something between Race Red and Dakota Red, I guess - really screaming in your face - I love it!). With CR being the most rare, as far as I can judge by personal observation. meanwhile Vintage prices (although not comparable to Fenders, this model is usually has an asking price of around US$ 1700...2500 - When I started looking, they were quite a little less, ca. 900...1200 €) It showed up in Japan or North America, adding another ca. US$ 400 for shipping and customs. By 2017, it's not to be shipped to the EU at all (Indian rosewood slab board). So when a EU based OSG member offered one in my desired color for below a grand, I took a chance (little shipping, no customs, no CITES problems) - Even though this guitar was recovered from desaster: Someone had ripped off the zero fret and gone bonkers with an orbital sander or so, to put on a grimey black color. Tuners, knobs, and the whammy bar were missing, and the whole thing in a desolate condition. The seller is a really respected proficient specialist in Vintage Yamahas and must have had a box full of spare parts, he restored the whole thing to stock (except for a whammy bar which is a fine replica), removing the black goo color and leaving the partially sanded original finish (where the unkown rampage clown before didn't have a go at it...). He gave it its last fret-dress (not much left for next time...), and a full set-up too. I also have to thank him deeply for providing proof of the buying history, so I can register it as CITES-legit being on EU ground pre-2017... I finally came to string it up, and I shouldn't have bought it: I was pretty convinced that my Squier VM offsets were pretty good guitars. Well, they are - compared to this excellent thing more or less "pretty good". More muddy, less lively. I have Rose PUps for them lying around, will shim and improve some components. But this Vintage Beast is just noticeable more transparent and defined, the tuners are a joy, it just feels pretty natural... I will give it some time, though until the honeymoon is over to draw a conclusion there. While I am at it, I cleaned, set, and strung up my recently (ca. 2 years ago... I guess I was pretty busy) acquired Yamaha SGV-300. It was a pretty messy, grime- and setup-wise, and had a Mexican Fender Whammy-bar-substitute. I managed to acquire one of the last original spare Whammy bars from Yamaha/EU. As a re-issue of the SG-2a, I thought it was pretty close to the SG-3 (They even share identical PUps in identical configuration...) - except a dramatically different shape for the body (strangely revers) and the headstock ("samurai headstock" - I like the billhook headstock of the SG better). I didn't care too much for the design, but it was the closest thing to the SG-3 I could get my hands on. Well, it is in no way the same - They are two completely different guitars! So here is what came to my face on first look/listen (based on my models - There could be hidden modifications in the SGV, whereas I'm pretty sure the SG has been restored by a knowing hand to vintage spec). I used Thomastik Infeld Swing 10s (flatwounds with wound G) for both. Actually, I was going for 11s on the SGV, but read that the vibrato springs take a maximum of 10s, so they are identically strung. Scale: The SGV is short scale. The SG3 is Fender Standard scale. Nut: The SG has the Zero-fret/steel-guide I expected. The SGV has a bone or most likely plastic nut (although it feels pretty solid like a quality TUSQ nut). Vibrato/bridge: Quite different systems, especially the Vibrato and its consequences. SG looking similar to JM/Jag rocker. instead of a rocking bridge, it has a roller bridge with individually (!) adjustable saddle heights! The intonations screws are one-side-through with spring. The SGV has more of a Bigsby-turning shaft thing balancing a block through wich the strings are led completely straight-through. It is very sensitive to tension changes (tune down one string a bit, all others go up - when unstringing the grimey old strings, the high E popped after tuning down the others). It also sports a roller bridge that seems to be rocking to a degree, but has only two outer height adjustments (I have the feeling that the roller saddle heights are not perfectly matched to the fretboard, but a little heigher on the outer strings (haven't measured yet, though). The intonation screws are two-side-through with cap nut but without spring. Break-angle: The SG-vibrato has a flat behind-the-bridge-offset string end. The SGV's vibrato is angled quite steeply, probably still a bit steeper than the often criticized non-vintage-spec mexican Classic Player offset trem-placement. Pickups: The neck Pickup is slanted lightly with the SGV. Controls: The SG has a rhythm circuit. The third roller weel is the bridge mix blender. The SGV doesn't have a rhythm circuit but a third shaft pot for the mix blender. Last but not least: Sound: The SG sounds like a little warmer version of the JM. The SGV too me, sounded quite piercingly with strong trebble. Not sure if I like it, I'll have to let it settle and see about PUp height etc.. although I already gave it a full setup including a cardboard neck shim (temporary, but was required to get the action down).