Yamaha Revstar RS820CR review

Complete with go faster stripes!

  • £807
  • $999

MusicRadar Verdict

A great-looking guitar that packs a punch.


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    Looks fantastic.

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    Rich, versatile tones.


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Right, so the construction here stays the same as the recently-reviewed 502, but the difference is the colour choice and the satin-look top and headface, which Yamaha tells us is achieved by using fine steel wool to cut back the gloss. 

It certainly lends a custom-shop slant, but on closer inspection, you can see two gloss stripes running down its centre. It’s another Café Racer motorbike emblem - evidenced by the CR suffix in the name - like the copper-coloured cut-off scratchplate, which is actually anodised aluminium, and the satin-nickel Tone Pros adjustable wrapover bridge. 

This textured metal vibe continues to the old-looking nickel covers on the YGD V5 humbuckers, which feature heavy Formvar-coated wire and Alnico V magnets under the hood.

Like the 502T, we have the same control functions, but it all comes together to create what is one seriously good-looking guitar. Even the aforementioned control knobs, with their easy-grip knurled industrial-look tops, have been specially created. They look like locking nuts off a motorbike, but function perfectly. 

So far, each Revstar has had its own sonic signature, and the 820CR is no different. It’s very Les Paul-like, with thickness and balance; it’s powerful but not over-hot, and an easy drive to capture some fruity classic rock, or more contemporary gained voices. The Dry Switch here produces some single coil-like percussion without any additional hum as they are still hum-cancelling - almost like a Les Paul meets a Telecaster. 

There’s a meaty feel here from the chunky body - and associated weight - from that quite big neck to its sounds. Girthsome, indeed! 

Dave Burrluck

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.