Greco also made SA branded 335 clones and they are more accurate most of the time. With Greco the SA stood for semi-acoustic, but Yamaha asserts it stands for "Super Axe", a moniker boldly emblazoned on the headstock via a les paul script silkscreen. I intend to tell you what makes this axe so super, but first lets start with the differentiations from a legit 335.
Okay, these 335 clones run below the radar and can be had way cheap. The SA-1000 is from the 70s early series. They're built well with a long neck tennon. Neck is Mahogany and the block is typically maple however the plies in the back and sides can be birch, beach, Asian spruce, maybe maple or a combination of any of the above. The SA-1000 has nice A2 PAF copies (though they have Phillips pole pieces, WTF?) that sound pretty solid. The neck has a 70s volute. The necks are chunky but have more of a mid 60s nut width so not a great guitar for fat-fingered guys. The electronics are great. Still working and sounding right after 40 to 50 years. The fretboard appears to be ebonized though it was sold as ebony. The binding does not have nibs and is very thin. The bridge is like a giant, funky abr1 clone designed by a blind man based on a verbal description of a real abr1, but its serviceable and functional. I can't tell what they finished this guitar in. Feels like some kinda toxic lacquer and not polyesther resin, though later Yamaha literature asserts they use a proprietary poly formula. Regardless, its well applied and very thin. Sadly, the pickguard is attached like an LP, not a 335. What a cop out. She also sports an oversized headstock with a few extra curves (I guess designed to avoid the Gibson lawsuits Yamaha and other Jap builders suffered anyway) and it looks plain weird at certain angles. Oh! the tuners are all metal keystone-shaped grover style. They work adequately even after many moons.
These guitars are incredibly resonant. Like really resonant, pal! The neck set is at a really good angle to allow you to get the stop bar flush with the body causing every note to transmit into the block and hollow wings. Between the toneful stock electronics and the wonderful resonance and sustain you will have to pry this "super axe" from my cold dead hands. Buy one before they go over a grand. People will catch on soon. SA-700s are cool too (rosewood board, anyone?), but they have inferior electronics with weird/weak A3 buckers.
I have named this guitar Big Red and she voiced no objections.
if you prefer reosewood the 700 is a good guitar too, basically the same with a rosewood fingerboard and different pickups. Admittedly a lot of Japanese guitar people dislkike the alnico III humbuckers in the 700, but YMMV. My best all around set of humbuckers is probably alnico III sowho can say whats in this magnet mojo anyway. Good luck, I I think I got mine from japan... can't recall anymore. It was about 7 or 8 hundred bucks