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http://www.yamaha.com/apps/guitararchives/guitarchive2.asp?t=ac  The FG-160-1 BK (Jumbo), I had one of only 4 references I can find. The 7 digit numbers are sequential, used by all guitars, no relation to the date. Followed by models Fg-580, FG-630 (12 string), FG-1500, FG-2000 and FG-2500 (12 string slot head) in 1971. All being Jumbo size. The top, back and sides are 3 ply plywood. Also, the 100 series guitars were very lightly braced. These are all very beautiful guitars! The FG-140, FG-150 & FG-180 continued with the wider flared headstock shape. It really is, but they were made with saw cut plies, and not today’s rotary peeled log plies. The best way to date the early FG’s is to look inside. I’ve found a couple of rare models not listed in Yamaha’s Guitar Archive (no longer available). All of these models are highly respected and sought after. The 45 refers to the 45th year of the SHOWA emperor era (1926 – 1989), which is 1970. The FG-75-1 was upgraded from the FG-75’s ladder bracing to X bracing, greatly improving its tone. I don’t think so because the first few months they didn’t have the 8 digit number on the brace. https://usa.yamaha.com/.../guitars_basses/ac_guitars/fg_redlabel/specs.html In mid-1971 they changed the serial numbers to 8 digits, the first being the year, the next 2 the month, the next 2 the day, and the last 3 the unit number. The plywood of vintage Yamaha guitars were made differently than today’s plywood. The top has 3 layers, thin top and bottom plies and a thick mid ply (oriented perpendicular to the top and bottom plies), making it hard to tell that it isn’t solid wood. The first is the familiar red label with the Nippon Gakki removed. Starting in September 1972, there were 4 slightly different Tan labels, over a period of 3 years. And 5 models with rosewood plywood back & sides (all Jumbo); FG-345, FG-350W, FG-365S, FG-375S, and FG-351SB. To add to the confusion, starting in 1972 guitars made in Japan, not for export, also have a Tan label, which says Nippon Gakki. Another rare one is the FG-75-1 BK (I’ve only found one example), with the same black body and while pick guard like the others. But the first models, FG-150 & FG-180, where actually available in October 1966, but only in Japan. Three models with mahogany plywood back & sides (all Jumbo); FG-335, FG-335L (the first left hand model), FG-340, and FG-336SB. The FG-110 and FG-150 are Folk size guitars, similar to Martin’s 000 size. FG-1500, FG-2000 & FG-2500 have solid Ezo spruce tops and solid Jacaranda sides and backs. In mid-1973 they stopped using the “T”. Actually, they pick up where the previous “Dynamic” series left off. The FG-75, FG-110 & FG-230 have the familiar tapered headstock shape. FG-1500, FG-2000 & FG-2500 are very rare and can sell for many thousands of dollars! There are other differences on the headstock; the Yamaha logo is smaller, the headstock shape has a slightly flared shape (wider at the top), and the truss rod cover is bell shaped and says “REINFORCED NECK”. There were a few different Taiwan labels during the 70’s. You can tell the sides and back aren’t solid by looking at a grain pattern or a defect on the outside and looking for the same on the inside. It’s widely known that Yamaha made great laminated guitars on the 60’s & 70’s. Plywood pretty much guarantee that won’t happen. The serial numbers initially consisted of 6 digits. It is assumed all guitars (not just the FG’s) being built shared these numbers. I consider “vintage” Yamaha FG series acoustic guitars to be models made between the years 1966 and 1981. FG-45-1, FG-75-1, FG-110-1, FG-110E-1, FG-160-1, FG-160E-1, FG-165S-1, FG-170-1, FG-180-1 (3 piece back), FG-210-1, FG-280-1, and FG-295S-1. These models have light green labels, very similar to the familiar red labels. I’ve only found 3 references to this model. FG-500, FG-550, FG-580 have solid spruce tops, FG-630 is spruce plywood. Inspecting a New-To-You Vintage Yamaha FG, Yamaha FG Serial Numbers, Interior Markings, and Labels – 1966 to 1981, Red Label FG’s, Differences Between the EARLY & COMMON Versions, Yamaha Early FG 6 & 7 Digit Serial Numbers, History of the Yamaha FG – 1966-1981 (US Models), Yamaha FG 5 Digit Japan Only Serial Numbers, Deconstructing a 1972 Yamaha FG-160 – 21107695, serial numbers initially consisted of 6 digits, “Yamaha FG Serial Numbers, Interior Markings, and Labels”, http://www.yamaha.com/apps/guitararchives/guitarchive2.asp?t=ac, Added “Inspecting a New-To-You Yamaha FG” Article and PDF. The FG-300 was the top of the line non-hand built guitar of that era. All these guitars featured white oval labels. There looks to be another label under the label. All 4 of the models used Jacaranda plywood for the back and sides, which is similar to Brazilian rosewood, but actually Jacaranda is not in the rosewood family. They have the familiar red Nippon Gakki label, the larger Yamaha headstock logo, and the Yamaha truss rod cover with the 3 tuning fork symbol. The bridge pin holes are arranged in an arc, instead of the usual straight line, although the early 70’s models made in Japan (not for export, Tan rectangular label) have the pins in a straight line. The FG-300 is well known for its sweet tone and deep bass, making many question if it isn’t actually all solid wood. The back and sides are also 3 plies, with the inner ply being a different wood (filler). On one of the sides you should find an ink stamped date code, such as 45.12.28, which has the format YEAR.MONTH.DAY. The first solid top FG models were introduced carrying an “S” suffix, which previously indicated Sunburst finish (now noted as SB). I’ll concentrate on models imported into the US, there were many other models not imported but have made their way over here, initially brought back by US military stationed in Japan, and more currently eBay. But the outer plies are both tone wood. Most people interested in vintage acoustic guitars will recognize the “signature” red label as the start of the historic Yamaha FG line. Another, possibly rarer model, is the FG-110-1 SBK (Folk). There was also another 12 string model added, FG-260 (slot head, made in Japan). Almost all commercially produced vintage Yamaha FG’s for export are plywood. I’m wondering if these may have been factory seconds, maybe ugly grained wood, and they just sprayed them black to be able to sell them. In 1967 the FG-110 (folk size) was introduced, with the familiar red label. The FG-45 is unique that is has a 21.62” scale, actually 7/8th’s of the normal 24.88” scale. Plywood is a wooden board consisting of 2 or more layers glued and pressed together with the direction of the grain alternating, typically 90 degrees. You will notice 2 serial numbers inside most of the Taiwan models (8 digit number on the brace under the end of the fretboard, and a 7 digit number starting with a “T” on the neck block), except for the first few months of the Taiwan Red label guitars, they only have the 7 digit number beginning with “T”. It has been assumed the first digit is the year, but the remaining 5 digits do not fit any other dating systems. Then a Black label, used from mid-1975 to early 1977. If you take a close look the sound hole with a jeweler’s loupe or magnifying glass you will see it. In 1975 most of the existing models numbers had -1 added to them, on a black rectangular label. It is a “budget” version of the FG-150. Then a White oval label that was used for the next couple of decades. In 1978 a mid-range series (both Jumbo) was introduced featuring the FG-750S (solid spruce top, mahogany plywood back and sides) and the FG-770S, the first all solid wood non-hand crafted model, with a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The top selling acoustic guitar series of all time. The -1 is in a small font and some people don’t see it as part of the model number. In 1975 the high end FG model (FG-1000 and up) became the L series.

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