Some manufacturers like to refer to their guitars in strange ways. “Workhorse”, “thunder”, “rolling stone” and “Groovy” are some examples that just baffle me. When I am buying a guitar, I do not want it described in some abstract manner. I want the manufacturer to be specific and honest. Which is why I sometimes sit down and review a guitar in a way that makes sense. So let us sit down and take a close look at the “Workhorse” Yamaha Revstar RS320, see why it is referred to as such, and what it is actually.
The guitar shapers decided to go with the simplest, and the most recognizable shape out there. The double cutaway is an efficient shape that provides the player with easy comforts and allows them to look stylish while doing so. It is impossible to have a problem with the double cutaway guitar as it is the basic and most efficient design out there. The neck of the guitar is C shaped, with the little horns of the guitar making its silhouette look like an axe. Fun times for all musicians involved with the instrument.
The body of the guitar is built out of Nato. Nato is an alternate name for Mahogany and tends to, for some reason, turn off most of the players looking for a new guitar. While Nato is a cheaper variation of Mahogany, it is of the same quality. The Nato is a moderately weighed hardwood, making it a nice wood to make the bulk of the instrument out of. The body doesn’t weigh too much and thus is comfortable to play. It is a durable wood so do not expect the guitar to start falling apart or getting dents. It also has a very nice warming effect on the tones of the guitar, with the lowest tones feeling thick and almost tangible when playing.
The neck of the guitar is built out of Nato as well. A good choice again because of the sturdiness of the wood. It won’t be falling apart anytime soon. Yet this is where the weight issue comes up and makes the whole thing worth reconsidering. The guitar ends up on the heavy side for the sake of sturdiness. The neck is set-in and blends wonderfully with the whole design and provides good access to top frets.
The bridge of the guitar is fixed and designed in the tune-o-matic style. This means no vibrato for you, no string bending and no tremolo bars, no matter what. Still the bridge design is nice and the guitar is easy to restring. Perfectly adequate, even if I do want to play with a tremolo bar.
The nut of the guitar is made with a synthetic material, called synthetic bone, but that is really a variation of PVC. Not a bad choice to be honest, and yet I still have a problem with the escaping string buzz. Then again I have a problem with most things so the tiny amount of string buzz shouldn’t bother anyone so much.
The guitar tuning machine is adequate, decent even. Definitely beats the cheaper guitar tuning machines. Yet this one might need retuning every once in a while as well. Don’t get too annoyed though, be thankful you’re not dealing with this annoyance on a daily basis.
Humbuckers all around! Why? Because they filter out most of the string buzz that the nut lets escape. Not a problem really, since as a result you get a cleaner sound and can shred as much as you want with heavy sustain. Yay! Anyway, the pickups are the H3 Hot Outputs, cheap, simple and nothing to write home about. You will eventually get tired of them and switch them out, so no danger of them going flat while you are using them at all.
Standard controls – a volume knob and a lever for pickup configuration. Though it is expected from Revstar series, RS320 doesn’t have a Dry Switch, so don’t expect coil splitting feature with this one.
Yamaha Revstar Sound
The biggest redeeming quality of this guitar is how it, surprisingly, sounds as good as it does. Must be a combination of humbuckers filtering the string buzz and the ability to split the coils? The sound of the guitar is versatile and enjoyable. It is fun to play and the sustain is a lot of fun to turn up. That is all.
Decent guitar, definitely recommended if you don’t mind the tiny problems it has. Looks good, sounds decent, the tuning is nice, the price is the most attractive thing about it. Just don’t let it weigh you down too much.
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