AES620 Review

manufacturer: Yamaha date: 01/06/2009 category: Electric Guitars
Yamaha: AES620
The award-winning Yamaha AES620 guitar delivers the fat, punchy chord tones and the articulate, singing solo sounds only a single-cutaway set-neck guitar can deliver. Our unique "body-through" bridge blocks transmit more string vibration through the guitar body, while their offset placement tightens lows and focuses highs which delivers a more present, "woody," and musical sound.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.8
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) pictures (1) 9 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
AES620 Reviewed by: awfulwaffle, on april 05, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 799.99

Purchased from: Brass Bell Music

Features: Made in Japan, 2005. 22 frets, set neck, abalone fret markers, scale is on the shorter end, 24 3/4", 13 3/4" radius, jumbo frets. Rosewood fingerboard, mahogany neck. Quilted top, single cutaway design. TOM bridge, string-thru body, passive electronics. Seperate volume controls for neck and bridge pickups, 1 tone control, 2 humbucker design, Seymour Duncan JB at bridge and Yamaha made alnico at the neck. Comes standard with grover tuners. The cutaway is great, being partially filled in it gives a good brace for your hand when playing in the upper register. // 9

Sound: This guitar is great for what I play. I play blues, thrash, metal, and classical. The JB at the bridge is great for my metal taste, good crisp sound from it. The neck alnico is bright and rich, great for blues. I play it through a cheap rogue RG120R with upgrade Celestion 12" speakers, and it sounds amazing. The tonal range of this guitar is amazing. You can get just about any sound out of it if you tweak the pickups enough. I like to blend the two, keeping the Alnico up a bit higher than the JB, which gives me a more bass-heavy sound. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I cannot judge the factory setup, as the guitar I bought was a on display at the store. for the most part, the action was good, the pickups well-adjusted, and no overall flaws, however I'm not sure if this was the work of the store techs or the factory. One complaint I have is that no matter what, I constantly get a buzzing on the 1st thru fourth fret of the low E. The neck is perfectly flat and even if I set the action outrageously high or adjust the bridge saddles, I still get buzz. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will definitely withstand live playing, and the hardware is good and solid. The strap buttons are well attached and oversized, so it'd be very hard to pull the strap off of them. I would use it without a backup for sure. The finish is as good as the day I got it. // 9

Overall Impression: this guitar fits what I play superbly. I have been playing for 4 years, and am currently involved with a thrash/metal band. Along with this guitar, I own a Fender american fat Strat and a Jackson WRMG Warrior, a Yamaha CG-111 classical nylon string, and an Alvarez RD 10 steel string. Out of all my electric guitars, this by far sounds the best. It's also a close second for playability, tied with my Jackson. If this were stolen, I'd buy it again, but probably in the hollow body variant. Again, the one complaint I have about it is the buzzing int he lower register on the E, otherwise it is great. I compared this guitar to a Les Paul of comparable price, and the AES620 beats it hands down. The sustain is amazing, the electronics are great, and the body seems more comfortable to me. While it is a bit uglier than the Les Paul, I'd still go with it. // 9

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overall: 9
AES620 Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 02, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 700

Features: Features have been mentioned by others so I won't repeat them. I have no idea when it was made. I've had it for around 4 years so it is no younger than that. The wood has not yet petrified so it's not several million years old. Nothing special in this area. Music store threw in a gig bag and a strap (probably put them out $5 too). // 10

Sound: I like the sound of this guitar. I found the JB in the bridge a little bright to start with so I lowered it a little and adjusted the screws in the middle/bass. I mostly play with both neck and bridge together as they compliment each other well. Sound is a personal thing and I should point out that I find most guitars too bright anyway. The pickups were probably adjusted correctly at the factory (whatever that means) and it was just my preference to bring more mid/bass out of them. I split the pickups through push/pull pots so I've got the choice of "single" or dual coil sounds. This guitar was very versatile to begin with but it is even more so when you can get the single coil sound and all the dual/single variations through the push/pull pots and the toggle switch. When you are not playing this guitar (I.e. strumming/picking) then it is extremely quiet. You can leave it on a high gain setting and there is not a peep from the pickups until you want to make noise. It does not feedback or rattle etc. I know the Seymore Duncan - JB (sp? ) in the bridge is a well respected pickup but I'm not sure where the neck pickup came from. I view both pickups as being very good and they compliment each other well. and this guitar can handle it alI play all kinds of music l. It is at as comfortable with Crazy Train as it is with Frosty the Snowman at Christmas. I've got several smaller amplifiers around (kids got them as gifts but gave up) but my main one is a 1973 Garnet Session Man head (these are from Winnipeg) into a home made cabinet. Mostly though I play through a DigiTech RP-250 into headphones. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The finish was flawless. Honestly I couldn't find anything wrong with it (I spent about 10 minutes going over it before putting out $700). The action was not bad from the factory. A little high, had to lower it a little. I was able to do so without getting any buzz so that was ok. I did notice that it took some time to get used to the frets. Someone in a previous review mentioned jumbo frets. I was not used to them so when I pushed too hard on the strings I would end up bending them over the fret and onto the fretboard. This would cause the note to sound a little sharp. Took some getting used to in terms of "lightening up" my touch. The effect that I got was what I would imagine a scalloped fretboard would give (that is only an example - this guitar does not have, or pretend to have a scalloped neck). The problem was that this does not happen everywhere along the neck, only in certain places. I would imagine that this is a flaw in the action/fit but it isn't too bad and I also found that my speed increased by not putting as much pressure on the strings. Guess there is a silver lining to almost everything. An 8 because of the pots and what I would assume would be some slightly flawed (stress the slightly in this case) fretwork. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would surely survive live playing. I would say that it is very sturdy. I'm gentle with it so I'm not sure what kind of harsh treatment it could withstand. I will say that, after about 4 years it looks as good as new (better actually because I replaced the cream colored PU surrounds with chrome ones). I have only had trouble with the volume/tone pots on it. I ended up changing those with push/pull pots and splitting the pickups (they both come with 4 wires so it's easy to do). The strap buttons are solid and I'm sure that the overall guitar would be fine Live. I would not trust the volume/tone pots Live though - they crackled and popped and eventually I had the choice of full volume or nothing. Would I use it without a backup? Nope. But I would have a backup for everything (even the drummer) if I ever played Live. Through my work I do a lot of public presentations (without my guitar) and I can't count how many times something has gone wrong. I wouldn't expect this guitar to fail but I've seen Stranger things happen. I'd rate this at 8 because of the pots. // 8

Overall Impression: I like this guitar. I tried out a lot of other guitars and this one just "fit" me. It was a choice between this and a Godin Freeway Classic and I decided on this one (let the debate begin). The main factor in choosing was the way the AES felt rather than anything else. I liked both guitars and had to leave the shop and come back the next day to finally decide. The Freeway Classic felt like everything was too far towards the neck when I was playing it. Felt like I was strumming/picking on the 13th fret. I felt like I was just too far to the left if that makes sense. The Yamaha settled in a little more comfortable. just personal preference I guess. My only problem with this guitar was the volume and tone pots. I don't know why they would put the obvious effort into this thing and then cheap out so badly on the pots. I called The Music store about it and they said it was Yamaha's issue. I called and emailed Yamaha several times and never once got a reply so I guess you're on your own with that one. I did notice it when I was trying the guitar out but since I very rarely touch them once they are set and I was planning on the push/pull pots eventually anyway I decided I could Live with it. What I didn't realize at the time was just how bad they were and how soon they would give out. I must admit though the guitar would be a lot more appealing out of the box with the push/pull pots and the coils "split". Both pickups sound great in the "single coil" position (especially the JB in the bridge) and they make no "single coil" noise at all. I don't have a lot of money and, even though it is not the most expensive guitar in the world, I have to work hard and save for a long time to make a purchase like this. I feel I made a good choice. If it were stolen; I'd hunt them down and do something bad. Would I buy another one? Depends, I'd go to the music store and try out what they have. I'm not too fussy about brand names (I.e. I won't only buy a certain brand or avoid a guitar because of the name on the headstock - that's just paint). You can see and feel quality (which would, by default, leave me putting certain brands back on the rack) so I'd have to see what was available at the store before making that choice. // 9

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overall: 10
AES620 Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 18, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 494

Purchased from: V Sel Music, Pakistan

Features: I bought it in January 07 direct from the factory. It is a factory sealed guitar and comes with it's original packing. It is basically Korean made. It has 22 frets, neck/scale length is a Standard Les Paul type. The frets are medium and neck is slightly thinner than fat necks of Les Paul or rather it's neck is C profile type. Fret board is of A class rosewood. The neck is made of mahogany. Body is of mahogany topped with quilted flame maple wood. The finish is transparent high gloss. Bridge is a tune matic but a superbly redesigned one with very smooth saddles with no sharp edges. It is a sting thru body. Two volume and one tone control is provided. The bridge is a Seymour Duncan JB and finger board is a Yamaha alnico pickup a very good one indeed. It has a 3-way toggle switch. Tuners are of Grover non locking type. It comes with a cable, LN key and a manual. // 10

Sound: I play rock, blues, metal & country. It has a very bright, crisp sound. I am using two Yamaha 50 watt combo amps. It is a very well sheilded guitar without any noise. You can very easily get sharp, bright, crips sound from this guitar because it has a maple wood top known for its bright sound. I have also a Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty if I compare its sound with AES 620 it is surely very bright indeed but not as warm as Epiphone. If you need warm & round sound of course you simply Switch the pickups to finger board one and you get it right there with satisfactory warmth. This guitar can very well suits any kind of music you play. This guitar makes solo very clear with good sustain capablity. It is a light weight guitar as compare to Les Paul. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was arrived from factory with ultimate condition and set-up. The action is fantastic. The pickups are set with optimized height and I haven't need to readjust it yet. Yes of course the guitar wood is exactly and perfectly bookmatched no problem at all. The brigde is very well routed. No the guitar has no flaw what'soever as far as its quality is concerned. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Of course this guitar is strudy enough to withstand the live performances very easily. I performed with it in live situations and found it totally reliable. It has a wonderful hardware with brillant quality. The strap buttons are very tightly and seculy intact at their right place. Oh of course I am very confident to use this guitar at live performance without a backup. The overall finish of this particular guitar is out class. The finish seems very tough and reliable and surely will go a long way execpt you also should care for it. // 10

Overall Impression: I am quite satisfied with this guitar. I have been playing for the last 27 years. I have got lot of Boss pedals, Yamaha amps, Fender 12 string guitar, Yamaha FG guitar, Ovation CS257 electric acoustic, Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty 3 pup, Yamaha Pacifica 412V electric guitar and Yamaha Les Paul version electric guitar my very first one (Bought from Japan in 1980) SL 400S Studio Lord and now I am planning to purchase a Fender FM212R amp. // 10

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overall: 9.8
AES620 Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 06, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Made in Yamaha's Taiwan factory... I sill have a Yamaha RGX from 13 years ago made in that factory... still amazing as the day I bought it. Mahogany Body with Veneer maple finsih (transparent amber burst) LP style with sculped body. Well balanced and comfortable to play sitting or Standing. 1/4" jack mounted on the bottom between the 2 strap pins so when you sit... you won't crush your cable. Through body setup with adjustable tune-o-matic bridge. Seymour Duncan JB Humbucker in the bridge and a Yamaha Alnico Humbucker in the neck with a 3 way toggle Switch. 2 Voyumes and a master tone control. Grover tuning machines keep her in tune all the time. I give it a 9 due to the veneer top... but you'd pay $200 more for one with a real maple top. // 9

Sound: I play mainly Rock, Metal and such. This guitar is simply amazing for it. Rich and powerful and has just the right amount of punch. it's equaly good for Classic Rock, Blues and Jazz (roll the tone down abit) I play through a 5150 head and matching 4X12. it's just right for me. The neck pickup is an amazing match for JB in the bridge. The 2 work excellent together. For everything I play, the sound is perfect for me. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The setup from the factor was decent. The action was a bit high for me and it was strug with.9's. So... those came off, 10-60's went on, adjusted the neck, set the pickup height and adjusted the intonation. Spot On. The guitar has no flaws in it's hardware. Everything sounded and worked properly. No noises, no scratching, no crap hardware. The Finish too, was flawless. No scraches or dings. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've been playing for over 15 years. I have 2 other Yamaha's, a custom built and an EVH Peavey Wolfgang Standard. I've played them all Live and they all Live up to gig standards. The AES was exception in tuning stability, balance when strapped on and just overall playability. If I blew a string on it, simple to change. Yamaha's hardware is amazing. Nothing drifts out of place or moves. it's solid. I would buy another one with out question. I would gig with only one and no back up if I had to. I like having a back up... just incase; ) It is very dependable and sturdy. I beat the crap out of it on a few gigs and it took the punishment. // 10

Overall Impression: I've owned my AES for 2 years now, and as I mentioned, this guitar suits all my musical needs. it's amazing. I have played for over 15 years, had many other guitars... keep going back to Yamaha. Since it was given to me as a gift, I would most definetly go and buy another one if it was stolen... heck, I might just buy another one for different tuning! I've played many, many guitars over the years, I own a Peavey EVH wolfgang that sold for near $3000 when they were released. The AES is a fraction of the price and is just amamzing. I think it beats out any Epiphone, LTD, PRS SE anything, Ibanez or any guitar in it's shape and style. that's just my opinion after playing all of these instuments with great setups. It just does something for me. it's an amazing guitar and worth every penny... Period. Its not for everyone, but if your looking for the LP style guitar, give this a try, you won't regret it. // 10

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