Yamaha Lord Player

Discussion in 'Other Single-Cuts' started by johnt, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. johnt

    johnt Senior Member

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    I've just bought a rather gorgeous cherry sunburst Yamaha Lord Player LP400 (will check the serial number for exact year with Yamaha) in great original condition.
    However, in trying to find out some factual info about these guitars, there is very little out there and a lot that is conflicting.
    Yamaha made Lord Players and Studio Lords - some were so called 'Lawsuit models' with open book headstocks and some weren't, but it is not clear what the differences were between the Studio Lords and Lord Players and the specs of each model. I've seen Studio Lords with both 'correct' headstocks and 'incorrect' and Studio Lords with bolt on necks.
    But nowhere can I find a site which for once and for all tells me about years of manufacture, specs etc. although there are a few that give a little... Yamaha almost appear to pretend that they never existed. Shame - and maybe a quiet agreement with Gibson made this happen. Who knows? I know that there wasn't a lawsuit brought against Yamaha as there was with one other.
    Is there a Yamaha expert out there or somewhere I could really indulge myself in these very well made and highly underrated instruments from the late 70s and early 80s?
    I'll put up some pictures of mine in the next few days.
    Thanks
    JohnT
     
  2. johnt

    johnt Senior Member

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Well, here it is, just in case somebody out there is interested...
    JohnT
     

    Attached Files:

  3. LPGeoff

    LPGeoff Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,016
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    John,

    I'm no expert but I believe the model 100 & 200 were bolt on neck. 300 & 400 were set neck. That may even depend on the year. The Lord Player/Studio Lord model had nothing to do with the open book headstock.

    I believe all brands changed headstocks after the Gibson lawsuit. I can't find the thread about the real lawsuit info but I believe Gibson "threatened to sue" Ibanez over the open book headstock and everyone scrambled to change designs. Yamaha included. Yamaha was never sued by Gibson.

    This would have been in 1976. If you find any brand LP copy, Ibanez, Yamaha, etc. with the open book headstock, it's probably 1976 or earlier. 1977 and later, everyone came up with their own headstock design for their LP copies.

    If I remember from catalogs I've seen, Yamaha started making LP copies in ~1970-71.

    The set neck Ibanez or Yamaha are pretty nice guitars. Open book headstock or not. Although they'll never have the resale value of a real Gibson, their values lies in the fact that were very well built, MIJ Les Paul copies.
     
  4. Nicks classic

    Nicks classic Senior Member

    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    47
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Its definately a looker :thumb:
     
  5. dennistruckdriver

    dennistruckdriver V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    26,082
    Likes Received:
    2,754
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Gibson Les Paul - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "These guitars later became known as "lawsuit" guitars. The actual lawsuit referred to was brought by the Norlin Corporation, the parent company of Gibson guitars, in 1977, and was based on an Ibanez headstock design that had been discontinued by 1976. Ibanez settled out of court, and by 1978 had begun making guitars from their own designs."
     
  6. Nicks classic

    Nicks classic Senior Member

    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    47
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    That was a good read! thanks denis that was cool
     
  7. tonebone

    tonebone Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,423
    Likes Received:
    1,510
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
  8. LPGeoff

    LPGeoff Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,016
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    You could be right. It's been awhile since I read up on them. I could be thinking about Ibanez. Google is your friend.

    I haven't seen a way to serial/date them.

    Thanks for the lawsuit info Dennis.
     
  9. johnt

    johnt Senior Member

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Why thank you, I'm honoured!

    JohnT
     
  10. tonebone

    tonebone Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,423
    Likes Received:
    1,510
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    I'm guessing "Lord Player" was too uncomfortably close to "Les Paul" in appearance? (That had to have been their initial intention, maybe their legal staff advised them to change it)

    Broken pup rings. At least 50 to 80% of the MIJ I've seen on the internet have/had them. As does mine. But usually they crack right in the middle, not around a screw point like yours.

    I'm not fixing mine. It is my badge of honor, you see my friend. :)
     
  11. VB.

    VB. Junior Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    A few incorrect statements have been made in this thread. Norlin/Gibson filed suit against Ibanez in 1975, however the suit was dropped as the last "open-book" headstock model (Ibanez LP Custom) was discontinued by the end of 1974. Way before the lawsuit was filed.

    That does NOT mean that the other companies all quit producing guitars with the "open-book" headstock after that time.

    Back on topic: That Lord looks great, can I ask what pups are on it? Has the nut been replaced? That looks like a plastic nut, I though all of them had bone nuts originally!
     
  12. johnt

    johnt Senior Member

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Thanks, it's playing great too. It was set for 10s and I use hybrid 9s so tweaking the truss rod a little to suit. Nearly there. Yes, it does look like a plastic nut. I don't think that's original and it will be upgraded.

    The pickups look to be the original Yamahas as the wiring looks original and undisturbed throughout. I'll take a meter to them later tonight. I'm using the guitar in anger for a band rehearsal on Tuesday evening so I'll let you know how they sound.

    I'm amazed at how little played and scratched this guitar is, just keen to know its age now.

    I'm having a debate with a friend as to whether those knobs are original or not. he says they should be reflectors for the age, but I've seen others with the same type as these. Again, if only there was a definitive site or book for these guitars...

    Any other info very welcome.
    Thanks
    JohnT
     
  13. BrianGT

    BrianGT Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    354
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    You may get some information from Martin Booth the UK luthier.

    Martin worked for Yamaha in the 80's and designed the Yamaha MSG for them.
    He used to set up all the UK guitars and he has been to the factory numerous times.
    After he left he set up on his own and managed to get the rights from Yamaha to make the MSG under his own name.

    He is very well clued up in all things Yamaha.......he helped me out with a very little known Yammy SA model.

    You can get his number out of Guitarist mag, I don't want to post it, but just remember he is a busy guy trying to make a living......but he's a really decent guy. :)
     
  14. johnt

    johnt Senior Member

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Thanks Brian,

    You know it's a small world. Years ago (1993 I think it was), I wrote to 'Guitarist' magazine asking how I could find out more about a band I used to follow around the London pubs in the eigties called 'SFX' (featuring my all time hero the late great Alan Murphy ex Level 42, Go West, Kate Bush etc). With the help of Martin Booth I was able to discover that they had released one album, which I now own and is my desert island album.

    I'll contact him again. Thanks for the tip!

    JohnT
     
  15. BrianGT

    BrianGT Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    354
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    I liked Alan Murphys playing too! Good luck with Martin. :thumb:
     
  16. johnt

    johnt Senior Member

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Yamaha have informed me that my serial number denotes a guitar made in Japan in 1983, so that clears that up. It is also clear that at least as late as 1983 Japanese manufacturers were making close copies of Gibsons, to the extent of the true 'open book' headstock, despite the earlier 'lawsuit' against Ibanez.

    For those interested, I used the email address below to contact Yamaha about the serial number.

    I'm still looking for further quality info about Lord Players and Studio Lords if any wisdom exists out there.


    Yamaha UK Customer Support [support_uk@inquiry.yamaha.com]

    JohnT
     

    Attached Files:

  17. johnt

    johnt Senior Member

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Replacing the nut now, upgrading the original pickups. Tried them out at band rehearsal last night and have to say that unfortunately they didn't cut it.
    I have a '70s DiMarzio SD that I'll match with a DiMarzio PAF 36th Anniversary.
    Not original , but hey, I need that tone...

    JohnT
     
  18. davidn_smith

    davidn_smith Junior Member

    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    The Lord Player was apparently a Japan Only model, not for export, (which may account for later 'open-book' headstocks) and as such was metric, but VERY well made. The Studio Lord was lower quality, made for export and they really don't compare. I've just traded a LP400 fitted with SDs for a new Gibson Trad and can honestly say the Yamaha was every bit as good a guitar and, in some respects (quality of wood and finish) arguably better, so, if you see one, grab it and play it to death!
     
    Lupinsansei likes this.
  19. Ranman

    Ranman Junior Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    The Lord Player I bought Cherry Sunburst it is an early 80,s Gibson open Book Headstock. mine is heavy a set neck and heavy. This Guitar was supposed to be Strickly Japan Domestic, they made the studio lord and others for exsport. Mine Doesn't have a scratch on it, but I paid $599.00 in 2011, as I said in a earlier post I put seymour duncans in it, and now it has what Iwould call a chingy trebley sound, I don't no wheather I should put the originals back in or switch the pickups out of a 91 Studio a nice Guitar, it actually has rather thick paint on it, like the ones that are going for $1399.00 now. I need some input Guys. Ranman. see what you can find out about this Guitar the serial #,s do not show up anywhere I can find ,But they are 5M04018 Made in Japan.
     
  20. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg Premium Member

    Messages:
    23,046
    Likes Received:
    34,694
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Nice looking guitars, but like many MIJ axes, really shitty name
     
    1 person likes this.

Share This Page