Yamaha sa503 TVL review

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Yamaha sa503 TVL review

Post by riffmonster » Thu May 07, 2009 12:40 pm

I've only had this guitar a week, so it's still early days, but I was very pleased with the results from last nights rehearsal.

The construction on mine is top quality. The binding on the neck doesn't cover the fret ends (like on a Les Paul) but on mine they all felt smooth. I couldn't find any faults with the build and construction. The pots work well and have a useable taper. The p90s are on the 'hot' side, but have plenty of character, bite and snarl. The switches feel cheap, but do their job well with no pop and crackle. These should be easy to upgrade as they are on a mini-scratch plate.

Strap the guitar on and it feels well balanced, and lighter than my LP (approx 3kgs, my LP is about 4Kgs). The neck feels much like my Les Paul standard (60s neck). This is my first time with a bigsby, it seems to function well and tuning seemed pretty stable. The previous owner had installed a roller bridge, so I presume this is an improvement on the factory version. I do find it gets in the way sometimes when going for a volume pot to turn up (never down of course!).

Unplugged it has a nice bright sound, although slightly 'metalic' - guess that's the bigsby.

Through my AD30 I found the bridge and neck pickups give a wide range of sounds from punky bite to mellow blues. Personally I didn't think that much of the middle pick up. I found if I turned the volume of the middle pickup right down, I could use that as a 'kill switch'.

The big surprise for me was the sustain. This has amazing sustain. Combine this with the real easy feedback, you get big grin factor on rock'n'roll power chord song endings.... gerrrrannnnnnnggggggg......into feed back and a bit of bigsby wobble then kill switch. Great!


This is a very versatile guitar, massive grin factor, looks the biz and delivers a range of useable tones. This could be the perfect pub gig guitar. Versatile, eye catching but not too expensive if some punter chucks beer all over it. If you are looking at 335 style guitars but your pockets don't go deep enough for a gibson, this is well worth checking out.


I recorded some quick sound bites:


Also there's a good review that details the features and sounds really in much more detail, check out:



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