Yamaha Revstar RS502 P90 goodness

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Ape Factory, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory Member

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    Sort of bought this on a whim after a period of TGP-induced needles want. I'd been doing rather well and downsized to just three guitars. And I was happy. Damn you.

    Anyway, picked this one up at Sam Ash locally. They had the T version at Guitar Center but I liked the stop tail and the green/gray color. Cheap too but I threw it on the 0% financing deal for two years regardless. Free money. Thanks inflation!

    The salesman said no gig bag was included. I fell for this until I went home and saw, on Yamaha's web page, that a gig bag is included. I went back and they miraculously found said gig bag.

    Played "ok" out of the box so to speak but the action was too high. Any lower and it would buzz. A quick measurement of the nut showed it was too high for a good setup. I scheduled an appointment with my local luthier and also ordered a set of locking Hipshot tuners. Unfortunately, they weren't a direct bolt-on item without the adapters. I put them on anyway and played the guitar until it was time to bring the guitar in to him.

    Other than the high nut, he had to finesse the 13th fret. Other than that, everything looked pretty good.

    Weight is in the low 7 pound range. Sustain is adequate but not mind blowing. The neck feels chunky to me (totally forgot to measure it when I had the strings off!) but not wide by any means. I can tell the difference between the Revstar and my Eastman for instance. It's comfortable to play and it isn't Les Paul thick. It does have a rib cut.

    Plays very well, pretty even up and down the neck, no dead spots at all. Sustains evenly in the upper registry. Stays in tune and is fine on the intonation front.

    The bridge, which is Chinese made, feels pretty solid. It's infinitely adjustable, definitely not lacking in that department. My only complaint is it has the two screw, Fender-style saddle height adjustment. I find those fidgety and unless you have both screws planted firmly and evenly, they'll buzz a bit. I may drop a bit of hot wax in each bore then put the screws back in.

    All of the metals have a satin brushed appearance and really look quality. The paint finish is also flawless front and back. The front is satin and will shine up with use eventually. It is easy to clean though. The fret ends are finished well and the rosewood fretboard is pretty with a nice smooth, natural gloss finish. The frets aren't as tall as I usually like them but they work just fine and I have no issues playing the guitar. I don't think it plays as well as a high end PRS but it's not far off. It doesn't look cheap. Honestly, overall, the guitar looks like it would be twice as expensive as it is and I really like the way it looks.

    The wiring is actual vintage braided wiring. This surprised me. The tone knob is push/pull for more versatility.

    The P-90's are really nice. Very usable over a wide volume knob range. None of the switchgear makes any undue noise. You could gig this guitar regularly without question. This is the second P-90 guitar I've owned so I don't have a ton of experience with them. The pickups sound best with vintage-style amps, IMO, but they'll take to high gain modern stuff as well. They're nice and fat with good snap/punch. I find I roll the volume back just a smidge on the bridge most times. The bridge (treble) pickup is not overly bright, even with the low pass cut of the push/pull tone knob.

    The pickups are also very responsive to pick attack. There's a fine line though where they loose a bit of treble with a really soft attack (even with the volume cranked) and get in your face with harder picking. I don't fingerpick (I'm working on it!) but I think the guitar would be exceptional at that. Both the neck and bridge pickup have tons of character (the right kind) and if you have tone in your fingers, you'll like these pickups.

    I would not classify them as super tight. But they're closer to tight than they are spongey.

    The neck pickup is great. I'd say it's more vintage voiced than modern, it'll do slightly dirty sustainy openish solos with a really nice complex tone or smooth haunting mids all day long depending on how you adjust things. And it's the first neck pickup where I actually use the tone knob for stuff other than the "woman tone". So it's bright enough and the tone will roll back the highs nice and gradually. And you can adjust the guitar's voice with both your fretting and picking hand. Very expressive.

    I don't play a ton with a clean amp and I'm pretty picky in that regard. I don't think the guitar sounds best clean but it's more likely me than the guitar. And my amp choices/settings.

    It does do nasty pretty well which is what I bought it for. This guitar is great for punk, classic rock, hard rock, etc...it's very "fun" in that regard. Still, there's guys on Youtube playing soft jazz on it.

    Can't think of anything else that really stands out. It does get played pretty regularly. I've had it for three or four months now and won't be going anywhere. Just too much fun and too good of a deal. It's made in Indonesia. I've owned an Ibanez or two from Indonesia and this feels better made. I put it solidly in the recommended buy category.

    No super high quality photos this time around. Just iPhone stuff.
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    Still have the pickguard plastic on.
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    These are the original tuners which I believe to be Chinese-licensed Hipshots. They're non-locking. The Hipshot's screw hole didn't quite line up with the original so I had a luthier fill in and repaint the old holes so they didn't show and I wouldn't have to use the adapter plates.
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    New tuners top, old tuners bottom. The old tuners were solid and had heft just like the new hipshots.
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    New tuners installed.
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    Fretboard and frets
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    The bridge. The stamp says Alchemy and they do have a web site which is how I found out where it was made (China).
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    Jeff_G, CRAIG4FSU, atquinn and 8 others like this.
  2. BrokenRomeo

    BrokenRomeo Supporting Member

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    Nice guitar!! I just picked up a RS620 and I'm really happy with it...cool looking, quality and sounds great.
     
    CC Overdrive likes this.
  3. SciFlyer

    SciFlyer Member

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    I like these Revstars a lot. I have the 502T. Your thread reminds me that I really need to play it more often.
     
  4. Ugly Bunny

    Ugly Bunny Supporting Member

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    Awesome! I have one of these exact guitars coming soon and it's cool that you already stripped it and showed me all the bits so I won't have to take mine apart. I do love those locking tuners, though... Do you know if anyone make direct drop-in locking tuners for it? I've been so spoiled by locking tuners that normal tuners seem like a chore nowadays :D
     
  5. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory Member

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    I don't know of any. Honestly, you can just use the included plate that comes with the hipshot and there's no drilling. And I really like the hipshots, especially with those knobs. They're a bit faster, more precise and easier to tune than normal flat buttons.
     
  6. Juan Wayne

    Juan Wayne Member

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    I'm over here now!
    I saw over an hour of my life go by like nothing the day I held one just like yours. I was so happy the guys at the store just let me be, they didn't even tell to turn it down a bit (I got progressively excited). I should've bought it.

    By the way, I'm dying to get a clearer look at the dry switch circuit. I need to know if it's just a series choke-cap or there's more to it. It sounds stellar, I know that much.
     
  7. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Member

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    I have had the RS720B for about six months and I just can't fault it; build, neck, frets, pickups all are top quality. Nice to see locking tuners as standard too. All the Revstars from the 502 and up are super good (the 320 and 420 are quite different and more generic)-and thankfully are not clones of anything else.
     
  8. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory Member

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    I can open the back up tomorrow and take some detailed shot for you.
     
    jklotz and Juan Wayne like this.
  9. Juan Wayne

    Juan Wayne Member

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    You're awesome! I'll be right here. :munch
     
  10. CC Overdrive

    CC Overdrive Member

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    Theres new models coming out that were just spotted at Namm.

    I really have lower the pickups as the output needs to be a touch less, to match up w other guitars used live.....I dont wanna mess w the mojo too much though!
     
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  11. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory Member

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    Ok...meant to post these earlier but was a bit busy. Wires in the way, hard to get a clean shot so I photographed the pot from several different angles.
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    Juan Wayne likes this.
  12. Juan Wayne

    Juan Wayne Member

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    Oh man this is great! These might be the first gut shots of a Revstar ever, at least that I've seen. I'll be taking a looong look at these at home.

    Thanks a lot for taking the time! And again, gorgeous guitar. Enjoy!
     
  13. josetxu

    josetxu Member

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    Had one and I didn't like it. Neck pickup was so muddy it was unusable. Though of change the pickups but didn't want to start the rabbit hole of searching pickups so I sold the guitar.
     
  14. Juan Wayne

    Juan Wayne Member

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    Thanks again for posting this stuff, first real gut-shots of a Revstar I've seen.

    I've been horribly busy and this is probably a hail Mary, but maybe you can clear a couple things up here, that I may be reading incorrectly.

    The white-covered pair of wires comes from the selector switch, right?

    Then the black pair goes from the middle of the tone pot into the switching part of the push-pull, which would be odd yet potentially brilliant at the same time...?

    Then the blue/purple covered pair goes into the volume pot. Am I guessing this right?

    If that's how that thing is wired, that's a great design and I'm actually considering doing something like that on one of my guitars.

    Finally, if anyone can make up whatever is the labeling on the cap that's not 223J, it'd be awesome so I could figure out the actual value of the dry-cap.
     
  15. COYS

    COYS Supporting Member

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    If you guys are looking for a revstar wiring diagram I have them. PM me your email address
     
    Juan Wayne likes this.
  16. Juan Wayne

    Juan Wayne Member

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    I'm over here now!
    Message sent. Thanks!
     
  17. COYS

    COYS Supporting Member

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    I've sent the revstar service manual to you both by email. If anybody else wants it, give me a shout.
     
    Juan Wayne likes this.
  18. Juan Wayne

    Juan Wayne Member

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    I got it. Thanks again!
     
    COYS likes this.
  19. COYS

    COYS Supporting Member

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    I believe that I have sent the RevStar service manual out by email to everyone who's asked for it. If anyone else still wants a copy, let me know by PM :)
     

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