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Rating and Reviews: Yamaha RevStar RS502T

The RS502T's edgy tailpiece is a nod to the RevStar concept -- Yamaha's motorcycle engineers helped develop these guitars, ensuring they were made to rock.

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Sound
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The Wow Factor
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"A League of Its Own" submitted May 26, 2018

By Christopher M in San Rafael, CA
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: 13 years playing, building and repairing guitars. Studio and gigging musician
Music Style: Post rock, classic rock, jazz, psychedelia, country and folk, classical
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Overall: I’ve been looking for an electric guitar for a while now that I can call my own. I’ve been playing for 13 plus years and know a bit about what I like and have always been left with either pay over $1000 or make some compromise and some hardware modifications. I can honestly say, post honeymoon phase, that this is the guitar I’ve always wanted. There isn’t much information about the Revstar line out there, so I’ll do my best to cover the bases. One day while at my local guitar shop I noticed a Yahama Revstar on a deep discount because the particular model had a broken bigsby tremolo so I had to try it out for such a easy fix. My initial impression was WOW. I’ve played plenty of Yahama acoustic guitars, all great quality, but my first impression of their electric Revstar line was nothing short of impressive. So I was on a hunt for something with the pickup configuration I prefer and an aesthetic that inspired me to play and this model surpasses all expectations. The first thing I noticed was that the action was absolutely phenomenal. The scale length was shorter, 24.75 but with a fender fret spacing past the 12 fret, more reminiscent of a PRS but with a 14.25in radius which was slightly flatter and perfect for my style of fingerstyle/tapping with an ultra comfortable neck that I could only describe as a modern C shaped neck, but just as fast as a slim profile. The second thing I noticed was the quality of the hardware. The bridge is rock solid, all pieces precision cut and the unique trapezoid tailpiece has a hard tension spring providing in endless sustain and a subtle vibrato if you like (which I prefer not to use for stability purposes). The wiring is the unsung hero in these guitars, all the cavities are properly shielded with extra attention to detail with shielded wiring, quality solder joints and a treble bleed on the tone pot. The guitar is equipped with Yamaha’s custom P-90’s which in my opinion rival or surpass the sought after Gibson reissue P-90’s modeled around the original line of their guitars as well as aftermarket Seymour Duncan’s and Dimarzio’s. The tone and EQ on both pickups are outstanding and what you would expect from quality P-90, filled with rich saturated thick single coil tone with the fullness of a humbucker. And because of the quality shielding, hum and feedback is minimal. If you prefer some additional hum cancelation, you can roll back the tone pot, because of the added capacitor for the treble bleed/greasebucket style circuit, it also cuts down the cycle hum which sounds lovely with Jazz tones. Additionally, the master tone knob is a push-pull pot that is set up as a bass cut, resulting in tones that sound almost identical to a thick Telecaster. And that finish!! Holy crap. If someone told me this guitar was manufactured in Indonesia, I wouldn’t of never thought it! Aesthetically this guitar is like nothing else on the market. The Bowden Green color is hard to capture. Most of the stock photos show this gorgeous forest green color paired with cream colored pickguard, pickup covers and nickel plated hardware. The green color is that bright deep green under direct light, otherwise it takes on a darker green, closer to black appearance, but definitely not black, it’s hard to describe and I recommend either google searching images to get an idea or seeing it in person. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of all-black guitars, and although in the dark it has a similar appearance it’s still very much green. The cream and nickel accents are phenomenal. Just outstanding. The tuners are of very good quality. They’re definitely substantial and the gear ratio is just right. Just tighten the tuning peg heads like any guitar and they’re rock solid. The only complaint I can think of, albeit minor is that I didn’t care for the nut. The nut is made of a plastic compound and didn’t help sustain. I’m not sure if it’s specific to the 500 series of Revstar, but I replaced it immediately with a TUSQ black nut which I do with all my guitars. It’s a simple, easy and cheap upgrade that makes a substantial positive difference. If you’re looking to replace the nut for a GraphTech, the Gibson nut was the perfect fit. No additional slot filing required. The guitar arrived in a super nice quality padded soft gig bag with plenty of additional pockets, reinforced padding, zippers, straps and handles that outclasses any aftermarket soft case I’ve ever owned. All in all, I can honestly say that this guitar will be the one I’ll be holding onto for the rest of my life. From the all mahogany body and Slim profile, to the action that makes my playing faster when needed and more accurate, the simple two master pot setup that makes it easy to find the perfect tone easily, to the attractive uniqueness that makes me want to play, this guitar is in a league of its own.
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