Where have they all gone?!

I imagine this could be due to the fact that the financial climate is improving and people are less inclined to sell their guitars for the much needed cash now, but where the hell have all the Super Flighters gone?! Since buying my last piece of the collection, my Persimmon Red SF700 back in June, today is the first time I’ve seen one for sale in the UK!

Of course it’s possible I’ve just missed some on Gumtree or other smaller websites if I’ve not looked at the right time, and there will have undoubtedly been private sales happening, but this is the first time in the 3 years I’ve been watching these guitars where there has been a period of such silence. I would usually get at least one message a month from an automatic eBay search telling me there was a new Super Flighter listing of varying conditions and prices, and I could often find one or two a month on Gumtree, not to mention the amount of private emails I’ve received offering to sell!

Since March this year sales were obviously slowing down a bit, after there was a large amount selling within a few weeks of each other at the end of 2013, but this is crazy.

Prior to my posting of this website there was very little information available online about these guitars, perhaps this site offers enough information on the quality and value to persuade owners to reconsider selling? Or maybe it is just due to the economy starting to get back on its feet, giving less need for people to panic-sell.

Perhaps this would be a good time to create a page on here where people can buy and sell Super Flighters amongst other enthusiasts and collectors?

Let me know your thoughts!

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28 comments

  1. I agree with you. I have not seen any for sale in the UK in the past few weeks. There was one rather uncared for SF500 in the USA that I noticed. I have to confess to a lack of diligence recently.
    Daviedawg

  2. I purchased a SF1000 in the late 80’s (with the hardcase) with a view to learning to play guitar, until I stumbled across this site wondering how much it was worth. I had no idea they were so highly regarded. Great site along with Japanaxe. Is there somewhere i can download the manual and not just view it? All those knobs and switches were a complete unknown to me back then and still are.

    1. Hi mate,

      They’re very highly regarded amongst those of us in the know 😉 The manual doesn’t appear to be available for download anywhere, I’ve got a few copies and scanned them in for use on this site. I’ll try and get some higher definition scans soon as those ones are kind of rubbish.. Will try and get it done tomorrow as I’ve just got a new printer/scanner!

      The knobs are pretty standard like a Les Paul, the push switch activates the coil tap (humbucker when down, single coil when up) and the toggle switch is a standard three-way pickup selector 🙂

  3. Something magical happened with the SF range. I prefer it to the more in demand SG. I sold my Les paul within a week of getting the SF500. Some people have complained about the quality of the pickups. All I can say is ???? are you deaf? The resonance is fabtastic.

    There was an SF500 on eBay in the Uk recently for a very cheap price as it was collect only. I am afraid I don’t know the outcome. I will check later.

    1. The SF500 pickups aren’t are bright as the SF1000, and they are slightly lower output, but still excellent! Large amount of it is down to personal preference of course, but they easily defeat the quality of any other £400 guitar on the market 😛

      The guitar you say was sold on eBay recently I believe was about £350? If it’s the same one I saw shortly after posting this page I contacted the guy to point out to him that the pickups had been changed at some point in its life and he may want to amend the ad to get a quicker sale but by that point he’d already sold it elsewhere! Not bad really 🙂

  4. There is an SF500 on eBay with 5 days to go. This one looks a beauty with a lot of the original stuff like the strap and cleaning cloth!

  5. I just found one and I’m picking it up in a few hours! Excited about it. My SG1000 will have a brother soon. Thanks for all the info on this wonderful guitar.

      1. Have it with me now! Sf1000. It’s the oil stained one. Some wear and tear but nothing outside the ordinary for an old guitar. Perfectly set up too. Sounds great but might need to have the wiring checked. Still getting to know it though. Got it for €450.

      2. Well I am jealous of you getting such a nice guitar at a good price. Enjoy many years of playing it.

      3. To be specific, it was actually a trade. Traded an MiJ strat worth more or less €450 for it. I never did like that strat too much so was worth it in my book.

      4. Alex that’s a fantastic deal! They’ve been selling for closer to €1000 in the 12/18 months, nicely done 😀 Hope you have lots of fun with it, VERY versatile guitars!

    1. Oh that can be arranged. Give me a few more days to get to know the SF. For now (in arguably the vaguest comparison ever), I’d say the SF sings, while my SG growls. haha. I’ll try to be more specific when I get to play the Sf for a few more days.

  6. Does anyone know how many where made? Mine has a serial number 39xx and I have yet to see one for sale beyond 4xxx so I wonder where there less then 5 thousand also made. Also I must note that I have never seen one with a serial number below 3xxx either so is it possible did they start at 3000 meaning there are less than 2000 of them in the world!

    1. It looks like SGs used the same serial number system, so counting from the lowest to highest number would also include some SGs making it impossible to work out how many Super Flighters there were unfortunately!

      Also, they range from 2XXX to 7XXX, I have one that’s a 7 and have seen several that are 2. Ones that are 2XXX are the very first production batch in December 1977 I believe 🙂

      1. That late? That’s surprising but I suppose entirely possible. I never did find out if there is an exact method to identifying the date from the serial number, but if you check out my earlier blog post on dating a Super Flighter you’ll see how to date check from the number stamped on the pickups 🙂

      2. That’s close to what I thought in that they didn’t start at 0000 or go too high in numbers so it looks like there was 6,000 or so made. Im not sure if that is a big or small run in guitar production terms but considering how many have not lasted or were lost in the Japanese tsunami it’s a pretty small club.

      3. There are never many guitars being sold 35+ years after production, especially for a model that wasn’t in the spotlight like a particular Les Paul or Telecaster. Even so, there are surprisingly low numbers of Super Flighters.. I’d love to know how many were made, but I don’t think we’ll ever find out :/

    2. I have a sf700 with a serial no. 12xx brought late 70s at Hessy’s in Liverpool.
      Unfortunately it is not in great condition, hoping to get £225/ £250 through usual sale sites
      within the next 2/3 weeks

  7. Next time I do strip and clean I will have a look at the pickup backs. I have been reluctant so far because the neck pickup ring has a split. They are expensive to replace.

    1. Yamaha UK want about £15 (before VAT and postage) for those, it’s pretty bad.. It’d be interesting to see the date stamp!

  8. I have had mine since i was 17 and I am in my 50s now. I aint letting it go! Can anyone tell me what kind of Rosewood the fretboard is?

    1. To clarify, only the SF1000 has an ebony fretboard, all other models are rosewood although I couldn’t tell you what “breed” it is!

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