1978 Navigator SA 80 Blonde

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Rare, early Navigator SA in natural/blonde. 

Navigator is a domestic only brand under ESP, making very high grade copies of traditional style guitars.  From its inception in the mid 1970’s until today, the Navigator brand has always been regarded as one of the highest quality brands in Japan with a product line of premium model guitars.  

This Navigator appears to have been made in 1978 based upon its pot codes.  The back of the headstock is stamped with 0080 which is widely believed to be the model number for these early Navigators. This would make the guitar an SA 80, with an original cost of ¥80,000.

Navigators from this time are built somewhat differently from other 335 style MIJ guitars.  The top and back are much more sculpted, with somewhat of a dish around the edges which can be seen in some of the photos.  The center block construction is different as well, using a mahogany center block, rather than the more typical maple.

The top and back are really beautiful flame maple.  The neck is mahogany with 1-9/16” nut, rosewood fretboard and fret edge binding.

​The pickups in this guitar are very desirable Maxon 'S' stamped humbuckers which were used on some of these early Navigators. These are an excellent PAF type humbucker. The guitar appears to be all original.

Overall the guitar is really beautiful and plays great, but needed some serious TLC when I first received it. It's a really beautiful early Navigator.

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