James Tyler USA Studio Elite 35th Anniversary Model Studio Elite 1987 Mamywo Body Malibu Beach Shmear

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James Tyler USA Studio Elite 35th Anniversary Model Studio Elite 1987 Mamywo Body Malibu Beach Shmear

On 2024 NAMM, James Tyler Guitars announced the Studio Elite 1987. The design was a idea of Sarah Tyler (James Tyler’s Daughter) to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Studio Elite. The official birth year for the Studio Elite with Jim’s headstock design was 1987. It was also the year that Jim went full time building only and no more mods and repairs. So in 2022 it was 35 years old. So to celebrate, everything on the guitar is California and the sounds are a throwback to those early Tylers which were all Mamywo (Jelutong) and had lead/rhythm circuits in them with midboost preamps. Also, to keep it as modern as possible too, we are using Stingray 500 with the new cancelling coil circuit.

California Special - High Output Humbucker

Chunky and punchy with great low mids. Big with balanced upper midrange. The tone of this pickup was compared to the voice of James Earl Jones. Strong attack with good sustain.

Stingray 500 - Alnico 5 Single-Coil

Neck: Big, full and very dynamic with punchy mid and balanced highs that exhibit a good jangle. Rich in harmonics, these pickups are authoritative, yet touch sensitive. Played hard they are fat, yet they brighten up with a light touch. They have more output but clean up well.

Middle: Has the same characteristics of the neck but reverse wound and has reverse polarity for hum cancelling in switch positions 2 and 4. They have more output but clean up well.


Each pickups has own 3 way mini toggle switch for Series/ Split / Parallel function and 1 master bypass toggle(2-way LEAD / RYTHM switch) for Lead sound (series bridge pickup) with 5 -ways pickups selector.

  • Lead / Rythm 2-way Mini Toggle Switch

There is a fourth mini-toggle that is a 2-position switch. One position of this switch gives you what ever configuration you have set with the other switches. The other position bypasses any setting you are in and gives you the bridge pickup in series.

  • Mini Toggle Switch for each pickups
  1. Up (closest to the pickups): Gives you the pickup wired in series. It is the loudest, most fun sounding position and has no 60 cycle hum.
  2. Middle: Gives you a split pickup sound. That’s the sound of the hidden coil being grounded out. This results in a slightly weaker signal, a slightly thinner tone, and a 60 cycle hum.
  3. Down(furthest from the pickups) : Your pickup wired in parallel. That’s the sound of both coils running but at one quarter the resistance. This provides the weakest signal, thinnest tone, and no 60 cycle hum.


The Midboost control is located in one of the available tone positions. It is an active circuit that requires a battery as well as having the guitar plugged to activate the battery. With a charged battery the circuit is active at all times unless you use a bypass button. This is a high gain/low impedance circuit, which affects the tone of your pickups. The sonic aspects of the circuit can be divided into two sets of effects - the circuit effects and the mid range boost effects.


  • The Circuit Effects: When the circuit is active it expands the frequency response of your pickups and increases the output of your guitar. You get lower lows, more miss, higher highs and a volume increase of about 2db. Even if the mid-boost knob is turned all the way down you still get the circuit effects.
  • The Midrange Boost Effects: The boost is centered at 100 hz (low mid) but affects a very wide frequency range. Turning up the mid-boost now (while the circuit is active) increases your mid range frequencies, rolls off a small amount of high frequencies and further increases the output range of your guitar. The more you turn up the knob, the more mid range and output you get.
  • Bypass Button: The bypass button activates and de-activates the circuit effects and midrange boost effects simultaneously. In other words, it activates and de-actives the entire midboost circuit. When you bypass the entire midboost circuit, you switch to a passive circuit (battery is not connected) without the expanded frequency range, higher output and increased mid range available with the mid boost circuit. This returns you to the more traditional tones your pickups normally have. The bypass button allows you to move back and forth from mid-boost circuit tones to traditional pickup tones with the tap of a button.
  • Preset Button: The preset button activates and de-activates only the midrange boost effects while leaving the circuit effects constant. The amount of boost is determined by where you preset the midboost knob. Instead of reaching down and turning the midboost down until you reach the desired sound your boost effects are punched in and out with the tap of a button.

ModelJames Tyler USA Studio Elite 1987
BuilderJames Tyler Guitars
Body TypeSolid Body
Body WoodMamywo (Jelutong)
Finish TypeSemi-Gloss
Finish ColorMalibu Beach Shmear
Neck WoodQuartersawn Maple
FingerboardIndian Rosewood
Neck CarveStandard '59
Scale Length25.5''
Neck Dimensions.845'' 1st - .975'' 12th
Neck RadiusStandard '59
Frets22 - .110' x .055'
Nut Width1 5/8" / 41.3mm
Nut MaterialTusq
Neck FinishSatin
InlaysGold Mother of Pearl Dots / "1987" Special Inlay on 12th Fret
Side DotsGold Mother of Pearl Dots
HeadstockFaux Matching Color Headstock with California Logo
Neck PickupHCS Stingray 500(New Hum-Cancelling Singlecoil) - Slanted
Middle PickupHCS Stingray 500(New Hum-Cancelling Singlecoil) - Slanted
Bridge PickupCalifornia Special Humbucker - Slanted
PickguardWhite Pealoid
TunersHipshot Locking
ControlsMaster Volume / Midboost Preamp w/Bypass button / 3xSeries/Split/Parallel mini-toggle / Lead/Rhythm Circuit / Neck&Bridge Button
Electronics5-way selector switch
Case James Tyler G&G Deluxe Grey Tolex Hardshell Case
Weight7.50 Pounds (7 lbs 8 oz)