||1975-1982 Navigator SA-150|
ESP-designed sleek 335
For those who have less exposure to Navigator, it is a sub brand of ESP, the prominent Japan guitar maker. To differentiate ESP's contemporary design, Navigator lineups stick to the traditional look and feel with ESP's top-notched craftsmanship applied. Navigator is favored by the many of pro musicians in Japan and worldwide and acclaimed as 'Japanese craftsmanship at the pinnacle' from many of domestic and international guitar forums. Particularly on this guitar, distinguishable features can easily be noticed, for example the sleek body contour, Gibson Deluxe tuners, Honduras Mahogany + Honduras Rosewood + Swampash. And not to mention, the guitar is made in Japan, at the local ESP factory.
For its antique finish, Navigator wears nitrocellulose lacquer, not the common way for massive production guitars due to much cost and effort. The main benefit of lacquer? the subtle change of natural timber colorization and deeper resonance as the woods are getting dried over the course.
As for this particular model, Navigator SA series 335 types appear in the ESP catalogs only from 1975 to 1984 and the one showcased here is 1975-1982 production. The guitars manufactured around this period are distinguishable by the narrow dots on 12 frets. Navigators from the rest of years have dots distant each other, one on 6th string and one on 1st string.
Trivia for collectors - the model of this guitar is SA-150. ESP advises there is difference of the tuning pegs between SA-120 and SA-150, where SA-120 has brass-made ones while SA-150 tuning pegs were made from bovine bone. Also, pickups must be from Gotoh, judging from S letter imprinted.