Price paid: $ 1764
Purchased from: Music123
Sound — 8
Unplugged, it has a better sound then you might expect from a laminated guitar, but it is unexciting (at best) when plugged in. The bridge piezo sounds like most bridge transducers (squawky mid-range, thin bottom). Clear brilliant sounds right through to the muddiest of throbbing jazz riffs. This guitar will feed back if left setting turned up by the amp. The guitar seems unusually sensitive to string types and gauges.
Overall Impression — 10
This beauty has a fast neck, and its small size is comfortable. The piezo will provide a beautiful Jazz fingerstyle alternative, but will definitely not fit a complete accoustic bill. This guitar is very good value however, and is a good introduction to the seduction of jazz boxes. It's amazing. From jazz to Bossa Nova. The workmanship and quality are great, many different settings and sounds and a great look.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Everything is fitted well and seems very solid, no loose hardward and well set up. This guitar should at least outlast me but it is a jazzer and by its very nature it is delicate. The metal work still looks like new, there are no blemishes on the wood. Treat with care and should last a lifetime.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The neck is superb and comfortable, not figured maple but a beautiful selection of bonded rock maple. If you ever have to remove the piezo back plate you will notice a nice hunk of mahogany used to set the neck. Ebony and bone floating bridge and a bone nut. The action is fine with no buzzing although the higher frets. No obvious flaws externally but some shavings and glue showing internally. Yamaha offers on this instrument a better level of presentation and finish than the other manufactories.
Features — 10
The gorgeous AEX1500 looks, feels and sounds like a Vintage jazz archtop. Its Sycamore top and Maple back and sides summon just the right combination of mellowness and edge. The floating bone-on-Ebony bridge and the floating Johnny Smith-style mini-humbucker (it's attached to the neck, not the body) yield the spacious and organic warmth that separates the true jazz instrument from the semi-acoustic-style tone. - Sycamore (arched)/maple back and sides body - Maple neck - Ebony fretboard - Floating "Johnny Smith" style humbuckers, bridge piezo - Gold hardware - Humbucker volume, tone, piezo pre-amp system with 3-band EQ, blend, volume, AMF (adjustable mid-range frequency) - 20 frets - Ebony/bone bridge - 24-3/4" scale - Trapeze-style floating bridge design