Motorbike-inspired guitars of beauty
Yamaha guitars have announced the launch of its new Revstar range of solid-body electric guitars, the company’s first completely new electric guitar series in 20 years.
The diverse series includes 8 different models, each with a unique feel and design. As you would expect from Yamaha’s 50-year legacy of creating guitars, the instruments have been expertly crafted from the ground up, and have been constructed using input from hundreds of guitar professionals and experts.
The design of the guitars drew inspiration from the vintage street racing motorbikes of London and Tokyo, and Yamaha worked with a global team of designers to make sure these instruments look as incredible as they sound.
Though all the guitars are unique in their own way, there are some important features that are common across all of the new instruments. For instance, all of the series are constructed with a set-in neck, and boast ultra-playable neck profiles. The fingerboards are all rosewood with a scale length of 628mm (or 24 and 3/4 inches).
All of the guitars in this series include neck and bridge custom-wound Humbucker pickups and 3-way pickup switching, and the vast majority of the series is constructed in Indonesia, except for the RSP20CR which is built in Japan.
Some of the unique key features and specifications of each model are highlighted below.
For under £300, this is the most affordable model in the new range, but there is certainly no lack of quality here. The ‘tune-o-matic’ bridge allows for great intonation and sustain whilst the medium frets and a slim neck allow for easy, quick playing. The high-gloss finish of the RS320 looks incredible, and is complimented by the black 1 ply pickguard.
The RS420 looks to build on the foundations of its little brother. Though it also has the medium frets and slim neck, high gloss finish and tune-o-matic bridge, there are some key differences.
The humbucker pickups are Alnico rather than ceramic, the black pickguard is 3-ply and, most significantly, the RS420 has an additional dry-switch Push/pull control, which allows players to change from the humbucker tone to mimic single-coil tones, without any interference when switching.
The RS502 has a slightly different feel to it from the previous two models. Keeping the dry-switch Push/pull control of the RS420, it instead has a steel wool finish and some key differences in the specifications.
Unlike the RS320 and the RS420, which both have Nato necks, the neck of the RS502 is mahogany. The neck overall is larger, with a medium profile and jumbo frets. The pickups are Alnico P-90s and it sports a wrap-around bridge.
This is also the first in the series that comes with an additional gigbag, in case you need to transport it on your vintage motorbike around Tokyo.
The close relation to this model is the RS502T, an incredibly good-looking vintage style guitar, which differs only really in aesthetics. It has a cream pickguard, aluminium tailpiece and a high gloss finish.
Similar in style to the RS502, though with the addition of Alnico humbucker pickups, instead of P-90s. The RS620 also has a beautiful flamed maple and mahogany body and a steel wool finish.
At the top-end of the Revstar series, the RS720B is a bold-looking guitar, with a Bigsby B-50 tremolo for subtle (or not so subtle!) vibrato. This is a unique feature in the range, and coupled with the lower output Filtertron style humbucker pickups, helps deliver a classic retro tone.
Finally, for the same price as the RS720B, there is the RS820CR. The key features of this model are its maple and mahogany body which allows for a warm rich sound, and the Tonepros AVT-II bridge which allows for a tremendous amount of sustain. The pickguard is also worth noting on this model, being anodized aluminium rather than ply.
If you would like to learn more about any of the guitars in this series, please visit the product pages on our site or contact one of our many in-store product specialists, and stay tuned for our video reviews on the Revstar series on the Dawsons YouTube channel.
About Lee Glynn
Lee Glynn is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Liverpool, England. After moving to the UK from Perth, Australia, Lee enjoyed a successful career as guitarist in Liverpool based rock band Sound of Guns.
After releasing two albums, a myriad of EP’s/singles and touring extensively around the world for 6 years including stops at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, as well as the coveted Reading & Leeds Festivals, Lee decided it was a time for a change of scenery.
Utilising his experience in music journalism, Lee now works within the web team at Dawsons Music, where he can still relay his passion for music by producing great content for the Dawsons blog and social media. Lee is still an avid guitar player and writer.
Here are some fun facts:
- Before moving to the UK, Lee used to host a radio show in Australia at the age of 18. Lee presented the unsigned bands segment at Twin Cities FM in Perth, WA.
- Sound Of Guns enjoyed a short but successful career in music with many of their songs being used in television adverts, sports channels and the extremely successful videos Road Bike Party and We are Not Crazy We are Amazing.
- He also can’t play bar chords due to an accident so learned to play power chords by studying Black Sabbath songs and Tony Iommi’s playing style.