Santana Gold - Yamaha SG-2000

Santana Gold - Yamaha SG-2000

In 1966 Yamaha introduced their first solid body electric guitar series dubbed the SG for "Solid Guitar". It included some pretty wild body styles with the exception of a couple of models that were similar to a Fender Jazzmaster.  

Two of the more eccentric creations have righteously deserved nicknames such as the Flying Banana (SG-3C) and Flying Samurai (SG-2/5/7). Ibanez Iceman?

The first SG series lasted until 1971 and was only distributed in Japan. 1972 brought the first Yamaha electric to American soil and a few years later they tagged Carlos Santana for a custom model, the SG-2000. 

In the beginning… before the streets were paved with Santana gold…

Yamaha’s first solid body electric imported in the U.S. were the not-so attractive SG 40/45’s.  A year later, the modestly better looking SG-30/35’s arrived. (SG-30 below)

Although neither series was widely successful, the SG-30/35 was important because it was the first iteration of a symmetrical double cutaway that eventually become Yamaha’s flagship U.S. offering.

In fast succession there was a crescendo of the (essentially) same body style with higher-end everything leading up to the SG-2000 in 1976.  Those models were the SG-50, 70, 90, and 175. The SG-175 that landed in 1975 was Yamaha’s first domestic higher-end offering (below).

Yamaha SG 175 1976 Cherry | Nicks Guitars | Reverb | Guitar, Yamaha, Guitar  design

Yamaha approached Carlos Santana about a custom 175 and he wasn’t having it.  Among several issues, his main complaint was the guitar would not sustain like he wanted it to.  

The resulting improvement, a neck-through SG-2000, integrated a brass Sustain Plate and T-Cross System, both of those components were patented by Yamaha and helped achieve what Santana needed. 

• The T-Cross System refers to mahogany wings flanking the maple neck. 

• The Sustain Plate is a hunk of brass under the bridge. 

The SG-2000 debuted in 1976 (below).

1976 SG 2000 Specs: Carved maple top, Maple/mahogany body, Maple/mahogany neck, Ebony fretboard, Dual Alnico V humbuckers, Gold hardware, Mother of pearl split wing inlays, Two volume and tone controls, 3- way switch

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