Yamaha SG1820 & SA2200 review

Those looking for a classy pro-quality instrument overlook Yamaha's longest-running electrics at their peril

Yamaha SG1820 & SA2200
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

The SG1820 and SA2200 are proof-positive of Yamaha's exacting standards for craft. The SG1820 is big boned but great to play, with a big neck and reassuring weight leaning into its LP-style voice, while the SA2200 is an exercise in refinement and ES-style versatility that is a joy to play.


  • +

    Feel and playability off the charts.

  • +

    Both are tone machines.

  • +

    Quality builds and finishes.

  • +

    Great value, especially the SA2200.


  • -

    Limited colour choice and no left-hand options.

  • -

    SA2200 might be a bit too posh for some.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The giant Yamaha Corporation was once likened to a vast ocean tanker to this writer: it moves slowly and in a very considered fashion, at least as far as its guitars are concerned.

Yet some 54 years after Yamaha entered the electric guitar market its reputation for consummate quality and consistency remains – across price points, from beginner to professional. It’s hard to remember playing a ‘bad’ Yamaha guitar, if indeed we ever have. 

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Dave Burrluck
Gear Reviews Editor, Guitarist

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.