My daughter tours a lot and is thinking of adding an electric to her tour gear for venues that are a feedback nightmare. I've been looking at this model Yamaha and like the fact that it uses a regular fiddle bridge, not a special one from Yamaha; BUT I read a review that said the thing puts out a lot of hiss, which she definitely wouldn't want to deal with. Does anyone have any experience with this model of older Yamaha?
I have an old SV-120 that I assume is similar. What I can say is that it has a 1/8 line-out jack. That's not robust mechanically. Any cable is going to want to pop out. I don't think it will work well on stage for that reason, regardless of hiss.
I have a YEV-104, which has a standard 1/4 jack. It's much more robust.
I do agree that being able to use a standard bridge is an asset. My SV-120 has a flatter, fiddle bridge. I've never modified the YEV-104 bridge because of the built-in pickup. Though I'm thinking of asking a luthier to do it.
I only use my SV-120 as an unamplified practice instrument in my living room or on travel.
This is too late to be of use to the original poster, but I just learned that Yamaha makes a sturdy-looking 3.5 mm to 1/4" TRS jack. This is for SV-100/110/120 instruments. It mounts below the reverb controls using existing screw holes. This looks much more viable for playing.
The 3.5 mm to TRS jack has been great for me to spend a lot more time testing it through a good pedal board and amps. It is a game changer in terms of mechanical stability. With that jack, the instrument cable sits rock solid. It would be sturdy enough for performance.
I do like the sound of the two-element piezo pickup under the bridge feet.
What I forgot, though, is that the SV-100 series instruments with on-board preamp are known for having low but audible noise when operated on battery power, especially as the battery is discharged. So the preamp is definitely not as good as those on the SV-200 series, which according to advertising are "studio quality".
Operating with external power cleans up the noise considerably. But that means having a wall wart with a relatively short cable as I do, or jury rigging a higher voltage battery. Doing that via the external power port would be safe as it is clearly marked for a range of 9 to 12 V. I would be afraid to do anything via the internal battery port without removing the preamp and reverse-engineering the voltage regulation circuit.
So although I really do like the pickup, I would not recommend buying old SV-100 series instruments to an advanced player because of the preamp.
BTW, I did finally modify the bridge on my YEV-104 to lower the action. I did it myself. I should have done that years ago. There's a good chance I'll buy a second one so I can leave it cross-tuned. If I do, I'll lower the action immediately after I buy it.