SF700 Un-matched Pickups?

Today my final piece of the puzzle arrived, an SF700 in Persimmon Red! My collection is now complete and all original with the exception of one hard case, which I’m sure I’ll never get, but it’s all good. Upon receipt of this SF700, I started my near ritualistic procedures of new-guitar-day. Pulled the old strings off, polished up the body, cleaned the fretboard and oiled the neck before restringing and setting up. While the strings were off, I lifted the pickups to look at the date stamp underneath, and was caught totally by surprise…

The model numbers stamped onto the back of each pickup, were different. The bridge pickup had the expected “SF-700” stamped on the back, whereas the neck pickup had “SF-500”. My first thought was, “perhaps the previous owner had an SF500 as well and pulled a fast one on me”, but when I looked at the wiring it’s pretty obvious that no-one’s messed with it. Strange right?


For curiosity’s sake I pulled the pickups out of my sunburst SF700 after discovering this, and found that there are no models stamped on the back, only the date stamp and the much smaller letters “SF”. This could simply be a different in manufacturing process between years/batches, that they changed the stamps being used, but it would’ve been nice to check if the pickups were the same or not…

PickupsI find this kind of fascinating, another little bit of proof of how hand-built these guitars were. The paint jobs are often quite different, the number of pieces of wood on the top or bottom of the bodies change between guitars, and apparently the pickups occasionally got picked out wrong..

If you’ve got a Super Flighter, pop the pickups out and have a look at the back and let me know what you find! Drop a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!


One comment

  1. ===UPDATE 26/01/2015===

    Since posting this, I’ve done a little more background research and found that the pickups in SF500s and SF700s are actually the same! The difference in sound is evidently due to the brighter sound of the maple in the SF700s, but they definitely both use Yamaha’s “F-II” humbuckers.

    My point being, someone probably just put the wrong stamp on the pickup or picked one out of the wrong box but it ultimately makes no practical difference!

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