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Garage Sale Special - Yamaha FG-75

Hi:

My Brother in law has been wanting a guitar for a while. The other day he asked me to come a look at a guitar at a yard sale.

It looked ok, and he just wanted something to start with. So they gave it to him for $60.

So does anyone know much about older Yamaha Guitars?

It's a Yamaha FG-75, which I would describe as a 3/4 size steel string acoustic guitar with open gear tuning machines. It has a reddish orange label inside that doesn't state the country of manufacture. The serial number is T0133832 is stamped on the neck heel inside the body.

It's playable, but the neck has a fair amount of bow. I tried tweaking the truss rod a bit, but it is fairly tight so I mostly left it alone.

Would it be worth letting a decent shop tech having a look at it?

Bry
 

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I have an FG-110. I "appropriated" it from my Mother after she no longer had time to practice playing. It matches your description although I believe the one I have is more of a "folk" size body. It had been a decent entry-level guitar for me. I just had it serviced/setup a my local music store. Great improvement over the dull sound that was coming out before. God only knows the last time it had any attention payed to it. I've restrung it once in the 5-6 years I've had it. Plesantly suprised when I got it back. Although I don't play it much anymore, anytime I feel like playing an acoustic piece, it's there to use. I hope your Brother enjoys the guitar. Hell, I'd take any "playable" guitar for $60 in decent shape...

-Twiggy
 

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In my Japan Vintage Vol. 1, they say the FG-75 was introduced in March 1969. It is a small body...like my FG-170... I`m assuming the one you speak of is a red label?... which came into being in October of 1966...they followed the laminate S series Dynamics...S-50 and S-70...which came after the all solid wood Dynamic series which evidently began in the early 50s. The S Dynamics were made in response to split top Dynamic export models. I have both an S-50 and S-70...they`re OK but nowhere near as nice as my Dynamics.
Is the FG-75 worth saving?... why not...depending on how much it would cost of course.
the fact that it`s almost 40 years old is pretty cool to me and I`d save it. The red labels have been garnering a lot of respect lately as players trying to figure out just how Yamaha was able to make all laminate acoustics sound so good. When I got my 170, I would have bet anyone in the store that it had a solid top...got it home and looked through my watchmaker`s loupe and saw it has a real thin layer on top and bottom with a thicker layer in the middle.
 
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I have a FG-180. Red label. No Ser. #.
I believe mine to be a '71-73.
From what I know about them, the MIJ's
had NIPPON-GAKKI printed on the label
with the model #. That would make them
desirable. I think they went to Korea after that.

Hey sneakypete, just curious. Does your
book cover anything regarding Tokai pre Les Paul Reborn?
 

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there are 8 books in the series but none have anything on the Les Paul Reborns or Reborn Olds...they mostly talk about strats and teles.
 

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It's playable, but the neck has a fair amount of bow. I tried tweaking the truss rod a bit, but it is fairly tight so I mostly left it alone.

Would it be worth letting a decent shop tech having a look at it?

Bry
Try applying 'manual' pressure to staighten the neck and then tighten the truss rod (at the same time). Unless you are out of thread, it should be easy to turn when the pressure is released from the neck.

Don't force the nut, and you should never hear any cracking.
 

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Did you try yamahas website..?? I know they have a serial number wizard that can tell you the year it was made even though the numbers repeat every 10 years. They also have a model tracker type thing.....you put the model in and it tells you what years they were made and what they are made out of...etc. I don't have time to get links right now but use google and you'll find them. I just did this fo an old fg331 i bought.....and sure enough the serial number came right up and told me the dates of manufacture.
 

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This is my garage sale special. Bought just outside of Renfrew, Ontario at a yard sale near my grandparents' cottage(on the ottawa river, in Braeside). 1950s/60s silvertone archtop, horribly refinished in blue and green paint. Bought it for a dollar, and Im in the process of fixing it up now




Also, the guitar you mentioned is a great little guitar, one of my buddies got one as his first guitar.
 

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The red label yamaha's are kind of collectable. I have an FG-75 and I use it as my office guitar. I think it sounds great. I paid more for it than you did because I simply had to own a guitar that was built in 1969 (mine was).
The action is high, you can't really wail on it .. but for a quiet sit down it's perfect. I like the sound a lot. The FG-75 was the bottom of the line for the red labels. I think the FG-180s are most in demand.
I also own a 'green label' (made in taiwan) FG-160 and the sound on that thing is totally awesome. Laminate as well, made in 72.
 

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just posted about a 75 at another site...they retailed for $65.oo new, maple back and sides , spruce top. The pic of the catalong I saw in my book is all in English so I`m guessing it was for export.
 

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And why do I never find these garage sales?

The only thing I've found of interest was the book, "The Great Escape" by Paul Brickhill, on which one of my favorite movies was based.

I'd trade that for some cheap guitar, and it was a good read.
 

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Take the tension off that neck ( loosen the strings ) and let it sit a week or more - sometimes either the rod loosens up or it straightens itself out a bit . The FG-75 is a super guitar , has a real following in the states - one of the better bargains thats out their . A luthier set up or check up might be necessary- somewhere around 60-75 bucks .
 

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Here's some more info for you

The FG-75 is actually listed as a Spanish Style Acoustic guitar, with a red label, and if it is early enough may actually have one of their wider heads on it.As others have mentioned it shouldn't be to difficult to get the truss rod moving eventually, you might want to think about making sure that the guitar is hydrated first.Ship
 

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Joshmac is the label still inside the Silvertone, and does it list where it was made. As near as I can see your model was possibly made by the Kay branch, they made the Thin Twin model along with arch tops.Ship
 
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