The Japanese company Yamaha, for many years, has been one of the most underrated guitar makers on the business, and I still can’t understand why. Their guitars have provided excellent playability, great tones, and beautiful designs, and its RevStar series has been nothing but.
The series has produced excellent guitars taking style inspiration from the UJM and Norton/Triumph Cafe Racer motorcycles that were popular in Tokyo and London in the 1960s and are making a return to the modern times, and I am a huge fan of those machines.
The Yamaha RevStar RS502T has its own personality that differentiates it from other guitars, it features great playability, amazing tones, and sound, comfort, looks, the complete package providing excellent value for its price, way south of $1000.
When I first took a look at the Yamaha RevStar RS502T I was simply awed, the styling was retro and contemporary at the same time, fitting exactly the modern classic description. It features asymmetrical double-cutaway Gibson SG-like body shape with a wider base. It has added belly and rib cage contours for comfort.
This RevStar utilizes mahogany tonewood on the body with a maple top and a gloss polyurethane finish that is available in various paint jobs like Black, Ash Gray, Vintage Japanese Denim, and the most marketed and my personal favorite Bowden Green, which pushes all the right buttons. Combined with the set-in mahogany neck wood the RS502T is capable of the lengthiest sustains.
The neck also has a gloss finish and a medium neck profile that allows excellent playability and added comfort. The neck features a 24.75-inch scale length and has a rosewood fretboard with white inlays, 22 jumbo frets, and 13.77-inch radius. Rest assured in terms of build quality and setup, because the whole RevStar series has delivered big time and has not disappointed once.
The hardware does a good job of keeping things stable, however, it also helps the guitar achieve the cafe racer style aesthetics that this guitar boasts. The pickup covers are pretty much unique and the copper scratchplate is raw, the floating aluminum tailpiece is also very well designed and all do their part in the design. It has a Tune-o-Matic fixed bridge and die-cast tuning machines to keep things in check, just perfect.
To provide the excellent retro bare-bones sound to go with the design, the Yamaha RevStar RS502T features a pair of P90 VP5 pickups with Alnico V magnets that provide an excellent balance between humbucker and single-coil tones.
The controls are a little more advanced in this guitar and I love it! It features a master tone knob that has a push/pull functionality to give you excellent tonal shaping, giving the tone more clarity and punch when needed. Other than that it has a master volume knob and a three-way pickup selector switch.
I would suggest you to give a try to the iconic sound of the Yamaha RevStar RS502T before buying anything else, it is worth stating that the distortion and sustain are simply perfect. Let’s not forget that this guitar is also featured in our best electric guitars under $1000 list, so make sure you check that out too before making your final buying decision!