Having spent the last 120 years perfecting righteous guitar tones, Yamaha has set out to increase their coolness quotient. The design of their latest guitar line – the Revstar Series – was inspired by café racer motorcycles popular in 1960s London.
Made in Japan, the RSP20CR is a handsome retro machine with all the comforts of modern rock and roll. Bearing a slight resemblance to Yamaha’s classic SG2000, the RCP20CR has its own rugged thumbprint.
A push/pull Dry switch functions as a low-cut filter or EQ knob, allowing the player to roll off the bottom end of the guitar’s vintage-output alnico humbuckers. This result is single-coil or P90 flavors without the hum. Judicious use of the pickup selector’s three positions results in an abundance of smoky blues or heavy rock.
With a scale length of 24.75″ and a neck radius of 13.75″, its set-neck design, rosewood fingerboard, mahogany body, and comfort cut make the RSP20CR a breeze to manhandle. It’s slightly weighty, but the feel and access to the upper frets makes this the kind of guitar one could get lost in. With jumbo frets, die-cast tuners, TonePros AVT-II bridge, antique-finish pickup covers, and an anodized pickguard, it’s strikingly cool yet high-functioning.
Plugged into a two-channel half stack reveals a dark rustic countenance. Its warm tones and facile neck shape makes this an inspiring guitar to conjure favorite classic-rock riffs or modern blues soloing. The Dry switch is subtle but a nice touch when you need a P90 dialect. The pickups yield earthy grit with crunch, but clean up nicely to expose a bit of twangy nasality.
The Revstar RCP20CR is a super-cool guitar – an old soul with modern appointments. It rocks, it snarls, and its looks provide just the right amount of individuality.
This article originally appeared in VG December 2016 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.