Price paid: £ 85
Purchased from: Ebay
Features — 9
Beautiful black flamed maple top, alder body, maple neck, rose wood fret board 22 frets. 25.5 scale length. Seymour Duncan JB bridge pickup and 2 Yamaha single coils. 5 way pickup selector and volume and tone knobs with "push-push" Switch for splitting the humbucker. Grover Locking tuners. I bought this guitar with a Gator hard case. It has a tremolo bridge that is really solid with or without the tremolo fitted. The tremolo is really sensitive and you only need to touch it to start the effect. I tend not to use it.
Sound — 9
I've been playing for 30 years. When we started a family 20 years ago, I sold all my electric equipment and played acoustic for years. A few family members and I decided to get back into playing for fun and I bought this as a cheap guitar to mess around with. We play all sorts of music as our ages range from 20-50 and this guitar can do it all.
I love the bridge pick up as a humbucker and split, so never really use the other two.
I tend to run it through a Boss ME-50 that I've had for years and again, it's such a neutral sound that it brings the best out of the effects pedals. I also have an old Session amp that makes the Yamaha sound really clean.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
As this was second hand, I can't comment on the original setup. It wasn't set up well when I bought it so I sent it off to be setup and checked.It now holds tune really well, even if the trem is used.
I can't find any fault with the setup now, but when I got it, the middle pick up was too close to the strings and it got in the way and sounded too strong compared to the others.
I've since put lighter strings on and adjusted the truss rod and bridge height as the action on the higher strings was too low!
Reliability & Durability — 9
It's an old guitar but it is like new apart from some screws and the metal knobs tarnishing.
This is my only guitar with grover locking tuners and they are a bit strange at first but I'm used to them now. I still prefer traditional tuners but that's because I'm old.
The switches and the pots are all crackle free and really reliable.
This is my go to guitar for everything. The wood seems really solid. I didn't like the neck profile when I got it, but after a couple of hours playing, it's fine. The neck is fine, there just seems to be a part at fret 1 where my hand doesn't sit right. It's not a problem as I don't play lots of open chords.
Overall Impression — 8
I have no doubt that this is a wonderful tool. It makes things easy to play. It is almost too good and doesn't have a lot of soul.
I have a 20 year old Epiphone Casino that I prefer playing because it has soul.It squeaks and feeds back if you stand in the wrong place, vibrates and the pots crackle.
The Yamaha is almost too perfect. It's like owning a Toyota car rather than a Ferrari. The Yamaha like the Toyota will do its job and never break down but other guitars, like a Ferrari, have their flaws but somehow get under your skin and when you play them, they feel alive and this makes you feel alive when you play them. The Yamaha is like one of those sterile youtube videos of a teenager who is technically perfect. Great workhorse.