AE500 Review

manufacturer: Yamaha date: 12/11/2007 category: Electric Guitars
Yamaha: AE500
The AE500 utilizes the tradition of the AES1500 but adds a modern twist with Yamaha's signature tailpieces, original "F" hole design, and contemporary finishes creating a unique blend of classic tradition and modern invention.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.6
AE500 Reviewed by: Andy6688, on december 11, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 570

Purchased from: Billy Hyde Music

Features: This is a single cutaway, full hollow body electric with a maple body, mahogany set neck and rosewood fingerboard. It has 22 frets on a 25.5 inch scale neck, tune-o-matic bridge and non-locking accessories. The pickup configuration is ideal. Two Yamaha humbuckers with tone and volume controls for each, and a Standard 3-way switch. It pretty much has everything I'm looking for, except locking tuners would have been desirable. // 9

Sound: This guitar produces an extremely full sound due to its full hollow body. It especially excels at producing lower tones. I predominantly play the guitar on a clean setting, and it's rich tone is ideal for this purpose. It can also be played unplugged, producing a bright acoustic tone. However, this can only be done with high gauge strings because thinner strings simply do not produce enough volume. In terms of overdrive, there is certainly nothing wrong with the tone of the guitar. Its rich tone complements the distortion. However, the reason I wouldn't recommend this guitar if you play heavier styles of music is that it is susceptible to feed back at higher volumes. The best feature of this guitar is its pickup configuration. The neck pickup has an extremely warm tone. The bridge pickup sounds markedly different: it is extremely bright and clear. This is one of those guitars where the two pickups sound very different to one another. Yet they go together quite well. It is a versatile guitar due to the separate volume and tone controls for each pickup. I like to play leads on the neck pickup with the tone turned down to obtain an extremely smooth/creamy tone. On the other hand, I use the bridge pickup, at full volume and tone for fingerpicking, where a crisp sound is desirable. So to sum up, the guitar produces fulls tones, is versatile, but loses some marks due to its feedback (but it is a hollow body after all). // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Aesthetically, the guitar is exquisite. I really like the brown sunburst finish that the guitar comes in. The action is pretty good, but I'm sure it's not the best. For a person Who likes to play around the lower frets, the playability is fine. The workmanship is excellent, but I am a little annoyed that the output jack has become loose quite a few times. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The only major complaint I have about the guitar is that the tuners are quite poor. They do not stay in tune well at all. I find that all the strings will change pitch by about a semi-tone if not tuned for a couple of days. However, I've never had any issues with the guitar actually going out of tune when I'm playing, so I'd be prepared to gig with it. It's a very heavy guitar, so the wood has shown no signs of damage despite my negligence at times. The finish really is exquisite. It still looks as good as the day I bought it. // 7

Overall Impression: This is an entry level hollow body guitar. It sounds great and looks great. I have had a few problems with the hardware (ie tuners) but I can't really fault it in any other aspect. I've been playing 2 years now and this is my first electric guitar. The great thing about it is its versatility. I definitely would not get any other guitar that does not have the 'Gibson style' pickup configuration. If I was to get another jazz box, I would look for one with locking tuners and a bigsby tremolo. But other than this, the Yamaha AE500 is a rhythm guitar that I would use for years to come. It's excellent value as well. // 9

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