Greco SA 500 - 1974
This is a really rare and unusual guitar that Greco appears to have produced only in 1974. It is built to a high spec, has the shape of an ES-335, is a full hollow body like a 330, is sized like a 339 (decades before Gibson), has no F-holes, came in a flamed case and absolutely screams!
So let’s break all that down.
Top and back are flamed white sycamore finished in a very nice lacquer sunburst. It is a full hollow body like a 330 with a mahogany block mounted under the bridge. The body has no F Holes! There were some Gibson 330’s custom ordered this way, so it may be following one of those very rare guitars. Body has very nice five ply binding. It also came with a black pickguard which was removed for the photos. Tuners say YFG, which I have been unable to find any information on.
It has a set neck that is made from Japanese maple with an ebony fretboard and interesting colored pearloid block inlays. It is also a small scale guitar, larger than a Les Paul, but smaller than an ES-335. I will add a pic next to its brethren when time permits.
The pickups have Maxon embossed into the bottom and the catalog says these are Super Humbuckers - and they live up to that name. Whether it is the full hollow body, the pickups or both, the guitar absolutely growls when you want it to. I believe these pickups were the version immediately before Maxon came out with the U-1000 (for Greco) and Super 70 (for Ibanez), which were branded differently but the same pickup. Tail piece is a trapeze style and the less ornate version used on the ‘74 SA-550 rather than what is shown in the catalog.
The case is just crazy, with a flamed interior! I believe the case is original to the guitar as it is too big for a Les Paul and too small for an ES-335.
This model only shows up in the 1974 in this configuration, so it was very likely only produced for one year.
Click on main image above for full size pictures