Saturday, February 9, 2013

1981 Yamaha FG-336SB

Here's another interesting vintage Yamaha guitar I recently plucked from eBay.   The Yamaha FG-336SB was made from 1977 to 1981.   It has a beautiful sunburst finish and an iconic Gibson songbird-style pickguard.  The FG-336SB is a dreadnaught-sized guitar with a very comfortable thin neck and loud resonant tone.  With a professional set-up, it really shines as demonstrated on the YouTube video I found below.



This particular guitar was advertised as in "pristine, mint condition."  When I received it, the guitar looked great until I took a look at the back, which was all scratched up and had two small cracks in the finish.

When I contacted the seller with pictures and suggested a partial refund based on the misrepresented condition, he did not want to believe that the pictures were of the guitar he had sent me.  After I uploaded video of the guitar, including the serial number, confirming both the identity and condition of the guitar, I received no response.  This is where the eBay platform really shines because within 24 hours of opening a case with eBay, the seller refunded me the partial amount I had requested in the first place.

This is a guitar that will really shine after it receives some TLC.  The strings look so ancient they could easily date back to 1981!  Besides buffing out the scratches on the back and cleaning the fretboard, I'll adjust the saddle to lower the action.  With new strings and a proper setup I look forward to finding this lovely vintage Yamaha sunburst a good home.

15 comments:

  1. How much did you pay for it? I'm looking to buy one. Thanks.

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    1. Hey bwood, the original price was $345. Good luck!

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    2. I have one in perfect condition for sale

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  2. How can I find the age of my acoustic guitar..
    Sereal Number is FG-336SBII
    tks

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    1. Yamaha has notoriously incomplete records, but here you go:
      http://faq.yamaha.com/us/en/article/musical-instruments/guitars-basses/ac-guitars/796/4094

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    2. Have one looks great sounds great red stamp inside



      says 2nd also stamped 90930835 .

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    3. Hi there. FG-336SBII is not the serial number. That's the model number. The serial number should be visible if you look inside the sound hole towards the neck. It should have 8 numbers. When you see the numbers, write them down and then enter them into the guitar dater at this site: https://www.guitarinsite.nl/serienummers-yamaha_eng.php
      It will spit out the date of manufacture for you.
      Cheers

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  3. Can u explain how to lower the action ,,

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  4. Very broadly: Tightening the truss rod (on those guitars that have one) does allow some limited modification. Otherwise, the saddle is the white (usually) plastic (or alternative material like bone) that sits in the bridge and over which the strings originate. That and the nut over which the strings pass at the top of the neck can be filed down to lower string height. Finally, a neck reset is needed when the angle of the neck no longer allows proper string angle despite the above modifications. Hope that helps.

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  6. Won one of these in an ebay auction for 140 bucks about 10 years ago. The seller wanted a paltry $11 for shipping - and now I know why - he shipped it in a big ol' box with no padding or protection of any kind inside. It was free to bounce around in there and take direct hits from anything that made contact with the box. Thankfully it was still pristine when I opened the box. I consider myself a guitar hack, play maybe 15 or 20 chords and limited finger picking, so I can't provide a professional player's insight about the guitar. But I find it great to play and you can't beat its durability or looks ... in the entire Yamaha vintage FG line, there are only a couple of models that look roughly like this one, and only one, maybe two that have the sunburst finish. I also own a little-seen Yammie FG-340T, I would say it has a slightly better sound and is heavier than the 336SB, suggesting it might have a better build quality and durability, and is highlighted by its ultra-rare tea-colored "T" tint on the top. Both play very alike, comfortable, low enough action to play for a long time and move from chord to chord. Luv 'em!

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  7. Hi folks Does anyone know if these are a solid top Yamaha or Ply. Thanks

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    1. Ply. The SB designation here is for Sunburst, whereas a simple S in Yamaha model numbers is the designation for solid top.

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    2. Thanks for your reply, Im glad to learn that! I just picked up an early 80's FG-336SBII, A really lovely guitar.
      It was so hard to tell the top and I just wondered if it was possibly a spruce.

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