Greco SA800S-STP - 1978 (ES-345 Copy)
This is a very rare Greco copy of an ES-345 finished in Sunburst lacquer made in May of 1978.
In 1978 Greco introduced the SA 800, which is a highly appointed copy of an ES-345 built to the same specifications as Gibson at the time. It includes a flamed sycamore (English Maple) body, maple center block sandwiched between spruce, a three piece maple neck, striped ebony fingerboard and split parallelogram inlays.
As a 345 all its hardware is gold plated, including it's PU-2 humbuckers. It also features a Greco version of the Varitone switch, which alters the tone substantially using a range of capacitors. Tone can go from a bypass, to a very thick heavy bluesy sound, to progressively thinner sounds as the knob is rotated. The PU-2 pickups work exceptionally with the Varitone, making this a serious and versatile blues machine. PU-2 are an excellent Maxon made pickup. These are original to the guitar, dated May 2, 1978.
The SA800 in 1978 was offered in Sunburst SA800S, Wine Red SA800WR and Walnut SA800W. The standard tail piece was a trapeze style, but a stop tail piece could be ordered by adding the letter 'STP' at the end of the model number, which makes this guitar an SA800WR-STP.
I found an original magazine ad (see pics) from October 1978. The last catalog that shows this model is from 1981, while it is missing from 1980 catalogs, so it may have only been offered for a few years. All examples I have found, have been made in 1978.
This guitar is all original except for the selector knob on the Varitone. Condition overall is excellent, with a few chips and aging of the hardware as can be expected given it is over 40 years old. There is generally less interest in pre-1980 Greco's, but this guitar should have collectors and players alike re-thinking that, as it is an outstanding instrument. Vintage Japanese made 345's are an extreme rarity, with few production models offered across all manufacturers.
This guitar has been completely gone through: frets level, crown & polish; harness pulled to clean pots, switch,jack and varitone; fretboard cleaned and oiled; body and neck cleaned; neck/truss rod adjusted for relief; action set. No buzzing or dead spots anywhere on the neck. Sounds amazing through a good amp. This is one of my favorite Greco models.
The guitar will come with a non-original hard case. If you would like one of the optional original aluminum frame hard cases or a brand new case, I can provide one at a small additional cost.
This guitar is located in the US
Click on main image above for full size pictures