Yamaha SGV 800 – Cool Enough To Justify A Rising Price?
The Mosrite-derived design of the Yamaha SGV 800 is cool. But is it worth a premium price?
The 800 has a bound neck and the parts and workmanship are generally above average. When Yamaha discontinued the SGV800 (mid-2000s?), Guitar Center allegedly discounted these instruments to just $350US. At those prices, you were getting a lot of (potential) value for your money. This price may have included a gig bag, also.
The Yamaha SGV 800, to me, is the logical extreme of a Mosrite – the cool ‘upside-down’ shape, the roller bridge, a tremolo, two single coils, the body-mounted output jack and a relatively thin neck. However, you may need to upgrade and change your SGV 800 to make it an instrument you can depend on. It is also a little on the heavy side, probably around 9 lbs.
In summary, when/if you decide to buy this Yamaha model (or a similar one), add in the cost of making it an instrument you can take on a gig or sit around and play without getting frustrated. Personally, I cannot recommend paying a premium for an instrument that needs a modified bridge support and other key items to get it to professional standards. On the other hand, the raw materials are all present for a signature sound and great play-ability, once you get these instruments fixed, adjusted and fine-tuned.