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Vintage 1968 Yamaha SB-5A White “Flying Samurai” Bass With Hard Case

SKU 88YAM003
by Yamaha
Sold out
Original price $ 1,999.00 - Original price $ 1,999.00
Original price
$ 1,999.00
$ 1,999.00 - $ 1,999.00
Current price $ 1,999.00

Used And Vintage Basses

From the spring cleaning of touring and session bass guitar legend, Bob Glaub, we present to you an authentic 1968 Yamaha SB-5A “Flying Samurai” Bass! It's all original with the orginal hardshell case, and even an old Yamaha strap.  

If you aren’t familiar with Bob’s 50+ years of work, don’t take our word for it; Just ask Jackson Browne, Journey, Steve Miller Band, John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dolly Parton, Rod Stewart, Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley, Carly Simon, Leonard Cohen, Tracy Chapman…just to name a few!  Producer extraordinaire (The Doobie Brothers, Van Halen) Ted Templeman has been quoted as saying, “When I’m on a session the first person I call is Bob Glaub.”  

Since Bob hadn’t been playing his “Flying Samurai” lately we  figured we’d ask him if we could find a suitable home for it.  He agreed and now you can be the owner of a vintage bass that celebrates its 55th birthday this year. This bass is all style and all substance!  Featuring a comfortable ergonomic body design, thin neck, and light weight, this instrument delivers a punchy sound favored by surf music and noise-rock fans alike, or anyone looking for an extra cool bass that is truly unique.

This is a vintage, medium scale (32"), 1968 Yamaha SB-5A Flying Samurai bass with a Pearl White finish. It features a zero fret, two amazing-sounding single coil pickups, and volume / tone / and a blend control.  Rugged and reliable, this bass is considered by some to be a secret gem!  With a cool reverse offset body (WAY before the Ibanez Iceman) that matches a cool sound!  Yamaha began making basses in 1966 when it introduced the SB-2.  Notable Yamaha bass players include Van Halen’s Michael Anthony, Joy Division’s Peter Hook and Billy Sheehan. There have been a lot of models, but few have been as recognizable as this one.

Largely modeled on the Fender’s designs – the body shape was loosely based on the Precision, but it had two single-coil pickups like the Jazz. The main deviation from the Fender shape was a more radical headstock which wouldn’t have looked out of place on the 1980s ‘Superstrat’ guitar. By 1968 the SB series became a more radical design, with an almost ‘tear-drop’ shape to the body, one of the unique features of the Flying Samurai.  It was constructed at Nippon Gakki, and features a lightweight alder body, bound rosewood fretboard and all of the vibe you could ever want.

The bass is in great condition, considering it's over 50 years old - while it does have normal player wear with small chips & dings, it's not beatdown at all - and the neck plays perfectly.  It has been setup by the techs in our shop, and we ended up keeping the flatwound strings on it.  This thing plays like a dream.  Everything is original, as is the case - and as an added bonus, and a vintage Yamaha leather strap is included.

The Flying Samurai is a rare one to spot, and there's only one with the pedigree of Bob Glaub attached to it.  We expect this bass to fly out of here quickly!