Magazine article Guitar Player

Yamaha: RS 502T

Magazine article Guitar Player

Yamaha: RS 502T

Article excerpt

ACCORDING TO YAMAHA, THE REVSTAR series of guitars was "inspired by the stripped-down custom "cafe racer" motorbikes popularized on the streets of London in the 1960s." That theme is evident in the 502T's sporty satin-nickel hardware, which includes die-cast tuners, metal knobs, an oval jack plate, a Tune-o-matic bridge, and a snazzy floating aluminum tailpiece. These blend beautifully with the cream-colored top binding, pickguard, and pickup covers.

Each Revstar model has custom-designed pickups created especially for it, and in the case of the RS 502T, they are VP5 Vintage P-90 single-coils featuring alnico V magnets wound with plain enamel wire and mounted on German silver baseplates. In addition to the single Volume and Tone controls and 3-way pickup selector, pulling up the Tone knob engages a proprietary Dry Switch that filters out lower frequencies on a gradual slope starting at about 2kHz, slightly slimming down the sound

Moving into decidedly more esoteric territory, Yamaha deployed what it calls IRA (Initial Response Acceleration) on the Revstar instruments, which applies "specific vibrations to completed guitars," with the aim of releasing inherent tensions between the various parts of the guitar, resulting in increased resonance and greater responsiveness. They even supply colored graphs and stuff to support those claims.

I can't say whether it is attributable to IRA, even in part, but this guitar sounds great. It produces big, warm, clear, and luscious tones on all settings, including the useful variations produced by the Dry switch. …

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