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Yamaha Revstar RS820CR review

Complete with go faster stripes!

  • £807
  • $999

Our Verdict

A great-looking guitar that packs a punch.


  • Looks fantastic.
  • Rich, versatile tones.


  • None.

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!