Different. Interesting. Inspiring.
The Revstar project has revolved around listening to guitarists from the very start – when we asked players what kind of guitar they’d like to see from Yamaha, what we could do to inspire them, we heard the same thing again and again: something just a bit... different.
Our goal was to design a guitar that captured that, but also captured the purest spirit of Yamaha – the meeting point between engineering, technology and innovation. Drawing inspiration from customized Café Racer motorbikes and Yamaha’s 50-year guitar-building heritage, the Revstar design teams in Japan, London and Los Angeles spent 3 years building 40 one-off prototype guitars, drawing hundreds of sketches and travelling thousands of miles to conduct countless hours of interviews with players all over the world. We talked to guitarists about their inspiration and influences; about their equipment and setup; about how they felt about every detail of a guitar from different colours on different shapes, to different scratchplate and pickup combinations. We watched players’ reactions change from an initial on-screen discovery of a guitar through to seeing it up close and then finally playing it. We heard what people thought of different neck profiles, different back contours and different fret widths. We asked people to listen to dozens of different pickups to get the sound right.
When we finally heard that it was just different enough, we took everything we’d heard from hundreds of players to create an 8-model lineup to make sure there is a Revstar that’s the perfect partner for a wide range of guitarists. Our engineers worked with our factories to turn the concept into reality - sourcing the best tonewoods and materials, and developing the bespoke components essential to Revstar’s character. And Revstar’s designers stood shoulder to shoulder with our guitar builders to make sure the guitar that’s for sale is as inspiring and exciting as the original concept.
The final result is a guitar where nothing is by accident and no detail was left to chance or blind tradition. Every curve, contour and edge has been painstakingly crafted. Every component and part has been hand-sourced to look, feel and perform perfectly. Every element of every Revstar guitar is what we heard players asking for. Different. Interesting. Inspiring.
Cafe Racer Bikes
Revstar is inspired by the curves, character and detail of Café Racer bikes.
Born on the streets of 1960s London, Café Racers were stripped down, souped up bikes made for speed and built for fun. By taking away all of the unnecessary features and replacing many parts with high-performance bespoke alternatives, the riding experience on a Café Racer is pure and unfettered – the connection between rider and machine is as close as it can be.
Japanese Artisan Manufacturing
Japan has a deep culture of bringing influences from other cultures and refining and developing them to create something which embodies the spirit of Japanese manufacturing. Japanese denim is the perfect example of this – taking classic American clothing and making a quintessentially Japanese version of it with incredible craftsmanship, beautiful materials and impeccable finishing.
The Colours of Real Japan
The faded, organic colours of Japan’s industrial heritage are everywhere to be seen on the streets of Tokyo, Osaka or Hamamatsu. Hues full of character, depth and texture – colours which tell a story and are shaped by their history.
Handmade, one-off parts are the essence of custom bikes. The drive to push a Café Racer bike to its performance limits leads owners to find a builder to machine the perfect part, just for them and their bike.
Revstar’s shape is totally unique, but inspired by classic Yamaha guitars from the 60s and 70s including the legendary SG2000, the cult classic Super Flighter and the little known, but ultra-desirable SA15. The perfect expression of the Japanese desire to move forwards, but always respect the past.