Based out of our Yamaha Artist Services Facility in Los Angeles (YASLA), Yamaha Guitars designer & luthier Pat Campolattano is the man behind many of our custom models, as well as the go-to guy for artist modifications.
"YASLA is all about tying together unparalleled Artist support with R&D to make better instruments. It doesn’t matter if it's a repair, a modification, or a custom build, we are like on call doctors that will turn it around at a really fast pace. We aren’t a production facility, we are just here to provide support to our artists, and to use the knowledge we gain from doing all this work to improve the guitars we develop. Everything here is a one off, and totally custom to the project, so it gets a level of detail and precision that is not very common from a company the size of Yamaha."
The latest of Pat's experiments, custom Revstars built as a research and development project, caused quite a stir at the NAMM show, so we thought this would be great opportunity to get nerdy with some specs and details on these models.
I just like to do interesting combinations to get new sounds, and make the instrument feel really comfortable for the player so when someone picks it up, it feels like they have owned the guitar for years already.
The Korina guitar is something I have always wanted to do, I think Korina sounds amazing, and the amber tinted look is super old school. I really love the '59 Explorer and V styles that were all Korina, so I wanted to have some of that mojo, but add my own twist with all the rosewood/tortoise parts and custom inlays. I decided on a 3 pickup version of the RS502T because people were always chatting about it around the shop and I love the old 3 pickup set necks from the 50's-60's being the most deluxe version you could get, so it has some sort of luxury feel.
I also did polished hardware for a more classic look, and carved the back of the lower horn for a more comfortable access to the higher frets; the frets are stainless steel because I think they have the best feel and never wear. The body is also about 2.5mm thinner than a standard Revstar which reduces the weight a bit.
The Bolt on guitar was an exercise in how to change the construction of the Revstar, and still maintain balance and feel. The body is thinner than standard, and has custom contouring to feel very comfortable. I decided to use a full 25.5 scale length to see if it would be balanced, and in doing so, changed the point at which the neck meets the body, and incorporated a 3 bolt dovetail design that means the neck can’t move in the pocket at all. I was aiming for a Tele-esque vibe, so I used the half bridge, and wanted a maple neck, but didn’t want it to be bright bright white, so used roasted maple. Gold foils are also my favorite pickups, so I popped those in to give it a sound I thought would fit best. I don’t want to copy any style or design, I just like to do interesting combinations to get new sounds, and make the instrument feel really comfortable for the player, so when someone picks it up, it feels like they have owned the guitar for years already.
Meet Your Other Half: yamaha.com/revstar