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  1. #1

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    Does anyone have any knowledge or experience with this guitar model? Looks like a sleeper among 70's Asian models, and I'm not finding very much in terms of reviews. Thank you,

    Tom

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I did not know anything about this guitar but I'm also interested in information about the Yamaha AE-18 because I'm currently looking for a jazz guitar. Today I saw the Yamaha AE-18 at a local dealer in Berlin and felt immediately in love.

    Never had seen or heard of this model before. Actually I was searching for a new one....

    70's Yamaha AE-18 Archtop Opinions-whatsapp-image-2020-02-14-14-32-05-jpg

    Best, Netti

  4. #3
    Did you happen to play it??? No one knows anything about these apparently...

  5. #4

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    Yes, but I'm an absolute beginner. I tried a lot of different jazz guitars in the last days...only playing some easy chords or the c- and g-blues scale.
    But it was a big difference to all the new ones I "played" before. The more than 45 year old Yamaha felt like "my guitar" - so easy and soft. Hard to explain.
    The sound was great with the different pick-ups, when the guy in the store played it.

  6. #5

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    Don't know about the ae18. I did have a late 70s ae1200 though which I believe is the successor to the 18. Very good guitar which I wish I had not sold. Yamaha pickups imo are a little muddy, but they work. Rest of guitar was great, beautiful acoustic tone. Pretty comfortable body for a 17" too.

    I'd say make sure to check the neck joint if you haven't already. Don't get fooled by the "old Japanese Guitars" thing. There are still a lot of clunkers.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by arielcee
    I'd say make sure to check the neck joint if you haven't already.
    That means where the neck "meets" the body? What kind of problems can be?

    Thank you !

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by netti
    That means where the neck "meets" the body? What kind of problems can be?

    Thank you !
    Yes. Sometimes they can be bit weak, may need resetting in the future, depending on the joint type. I'm certainly no authority; I have had a few older Japanese archtops and both needed a neck reset.

  9. #8

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    @arielcee
    good to know - I will have a closer look on it. Thanks!

  10. #9

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    I own a Yamaha AE-18. It's an exceedingly well-built guitar that dates back to the days when the Japanese had figured out how to make excellent instruments but hadn't figured out who to copy. The result is an instrument with many distinctive and interesting design features. These came in sunburst as well as natural finishes. The hardware on the AE-18 is gold-plated. There is also the AE-12 - same basic guitar with chrome hardware and less fancy details. The finish is poly, not nitro, which is typical of most Japanese instruments of the day.

    -the guitar is a full-depth 17" laminated archtop with a standard CES-style layout and two humbucking pickups. Scale length is 25 1/2" and rim depth is 3 3/8".

    -the arch of the top and back plates mimics the "German Carve" popularized by German "Roger" archtop guitars (but without any recarve). The placement of the two tone knobs means they present at an offset angle, which is simply amusing. The next generation of Yamaha archtops abandoned any German design cues in favour of more comprehensive Gibson styling.

    - the tailpiece in particular is quite beautiful, a substantial piece of hardware with a leather-covered, stamped insert. The rest of the hardware is all top quality and distinctive-looking. I think the pots are of some special high grade - they move as if sealed and filled with oil.

    Mine has the original hardware (except for a non-orignal but period-correct bridge) but, as a result of an unfortunate argument with an automobile, sports a custom-built replacement neck, so I cannot speak to the typical neck profile.

    The guitar performs very much like a Tal Farlow, with meaningless acoustic volume, and a very dry electric sound that the members here call "thunk" - LOTS of that. REALLY LOTS of that.

    I've dug it up from the archives and here are a couple of quick pix.
    I recommend these guitars - they sound great, are built to a very high level of quality, and are typically an excellent value. As per the OP's question, definitely a sleeper.


    Last edited by Hammertone; 02-14-2020 at 05:02 PM.

  11. #10

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    I have an appointment on Monday morning testing some other jazz guitars - but my heart ist beating for the AE-18.
    I think I will buy the Yamaha on Monday afternoon.

    I love the idea, that this guitar has a story to tell......

  12. #11

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    sorry @tomvwash for taking over your thread....

  13. #12
    Thank you for your post, Hammertone. The one I am looking at on Reverb reads "deeply carved spruce" top (as opposed to shallow carved?) ...and you mention laminate top. Seller is not very helpful on this, and I am only asking because no one besides you has any experience with these. The one video play example on YT is horrible. Just can't believe it sounds that bad. Anyway, still looking at this one, as well as a Heritage for almost 4x the amount....

    Thanks,

    tom

  14. #13

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    I will double-check, but am 99.99% positive that it is a fully laminated guitar. Prudence will be very happy with me.

    I will also play mine a bit regarding the "dark" comment. Last time I played it it struck me that it out-Farlowed the bejeebus out of anything I have every played. It is built on the heavy side. It is strung with a set of D'Addario Chromes or GHS steel flats that I installed before retiring it @20 years ago. They are like new.

    I saw both Reverb ads. Wow, those guitars are clean. The one you are looking appears to have a Harptone case (good thing) Grovers (probaby not original) and a replacement bridge - all good stuff, IMO.

    I may even stick my iPhone in front of the amp for you.

  15. #14
    I just ordered the '74 from Reverb. Laminate or carved remains up in the air. But this price is hard to resist. And, again, if it is anything like the SA2200 I sold, this will turn out to be a smart purchase...wondering how these Greco Paf's will sound and trust that Mike and Mike's shop made the right move here.

  16. #15

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    My HiFi is all Yamaha, my clarinet is Yamaha, my classical guitar is Yamaha. But I have no Yamaha electrics. I'd like to have one some day, so I collect info by following threads like this one. I did find the following on the internet that may shed light on how this guitar compares to the AE1200, etc.

    To date this guitar [1976 Yamaha AE-18] I called Yamaha HQ informing of serial number 31657. They responded it was manufactured at Hamamatsu Factory in Japan, July 1976. Excited to be asked this treasure, he proudly explained AE full hollow series, along with SG solid body and SA semi hollows sits on Yamaha's top range trilogy. 2 digit AE series (AE-11 AE-12 / AE-18) evolved to 4 digit AE's in 1980 (AE1200, AE1500, AE2000), among which AE1200 got revived again in 1990 with the new name given 'AE1200S-II'. All are revered jazz guitar and still holds high accolades. My closing comment, this is definitely a true vintage classic.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomvwash
    ...Laminate or carved remains up in the air...
    They say a picture is worth a bunch of words...
    Attached Images Attached Images 70's Yamaha AE-18 Archtop Opinions-yamaha-ae18_8458-jpg 

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by icr
    My HiFi is all Yamaha, my clarinet is Yamaha, my classical guitar is Yamaha. But I have no Yamaha electrics. I'd like to have one some day, so I collect info by following threads like this one. I did find the following on the internet that may shed light on how this guitar compares to the AE1200, etc.


    Nice to read this. Thank you for sending!

    Tom