Yamaha Revstar 720B Electric Guitar Review
In 2016 Yamaha released their newest electric guitar collection in 20 years, the Revstar. The guitar itself looks both modern and retro, with Yamaha stating that the range has drawn inspiration from their own 50 year legacy of design and manufacture, and also from the Cafe Racer motorbikes popular in London during the 1960s. The instrument was developed over a three year period and bears all the hallmarks of Yamaha’s meticulous attention to detail in producing a high-quality instrument that is a joy to play.
I recently had the opportunity to test the RS720B model over a few days, and overall I have been quite impressed.This guitar features 2 VT5+ pickups, 3 position lever, a master volume and master tone control, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, a body constructed of a flame maple top and mahogany, locking die-cast tuners, a tune-o-matic bridge and a Bigbsy tremolo arm. The body shape hints at an SG but it is no more than a hint. Two finishes are offered; Ash Grey and Wall Fade (and this is the finish seen in the video).
The VT5+ pickups are unique to this guitar and I have found them to be very musical with a number of tonal settings. When recording the demo I used clean, slight crunch and saturated lead tones and the pickups handled all 3 very well. The hum bucking pickups do not distort the clean tone, nor do they lose definition with very high gain amp settings. These three pickup positions alone could easily cover a multitude of styles, but the ‘Dry Switch’ feature adds even more tonal variety to the mix. Similar to a coil split and unique to the Revstar range, the Dry Switch introduces a passive circuit cut to filter out low frequencies and give the player a single coil-like tone wihtout the hum and drop in output. It is possibly closer to moving from a humbucker to a P90 instead of a true single coil pickup.
Perhaps from a poor experience I suffered when buying an acoustic guitar as a kid, I always look at the quality of the tuning mechanism before just about anything else on a new guitar. I need to feel confident that they will hold their tune and be highly accurate as the string is adjusted. I am glad to say that the tuners are of the highest quality.
The setup out of the box was also surprisingly good. I felt I could take this guitar straight a recording session or gig off the shelf and it would play exactly how I liked.
The only negative thing I could say - and it is an entirely subjective - is that the look may not be for everyone. I love strats, teles, 335s and Les Pauls, but that is just ‘my thing’ and I know plenty of people who disagree (especially with my love of strats). Some people will love this guitar straight up; and after playing it I must say I could be swayed towards one given the exception quality at this particular price point.