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New Yamaha Revstar range delighting dealers and customers

Daniel Gumble
New Yamaha Revstar range delighting dealers and customers

UK retailers have described customer response to Yamaha’s new Revstar range of guitars as ‘fantastic’, with consumers across the country citing the its value for money and ‘revolutionary’ marketing campaign as its most notable assets.

Launched back in December 2015, the Yamaha Revstar range of guitars was unveiled with the lofty ambition of taking on the highly competitive mid-range market. And early indications suggest that the firm could well be on the way to achieving that goal, with Revstar garnering an overwhelmingly positive response from end-users and retailers in its first few months of release.

Developed from the ground-up in collaboration with London-based design agency Forpeople, Revstar is Yamaha’s first completely new electric guitar in 20 years. Each of the eight models in the range comes with ‘industrial inspired finishes’, custom-wound pickups and optimised neck profiles for enhanced playability.

Speaking to MI Pro, Andy Haldane of guitarguitar said customers have been delighted with the range. “We have had a fantastic response to Revstar,” he said. “Yamaha clearly listened to musicians, bringing them a genuinely new instrument with bespoke features while retaining many of aspects that Yamaha are renowned for; quality, tone and individuality.
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“Prior to seeing the Revstar range I was expecting to be underwhelmed,” he continued, “as it is so hard to bring something new and fresh to the market without either moving too far away from an aesthetic customers are used to or simply rehashing something that has gone before. But, from the first image I saw, I realised they had actually moved guitar design forward and, by taking a fresh approach from the ground up (as possibly only a company with the heritage and skill set as Yamaha have), when you play a Revstar you immediately know that you are playing something new and distinct and not just another throwback to history.”

Haldane also cited the surrounding marketing campaign as a key factor in the positive uptake for the range, stating: “The Revstar campaign has been something of a revelation in our industry, introducing the customers and dealers to the inspiration first and then revealing the actual product has placed the references firmly in all of our minds, allowing us to make more sense of it and giving Revstar it's own place in the array of products in an already crowded marketplace, which is no mean feat.”

Meanwhile, Garry Chapman of PMT, had this to say on Revstar: “It was a very ambitious project for Yamaha to bring out a completely new range of electric guitars in such a saturated market. They spent a lot of time on R&D and packaged it together with a very well thought out marketing campaign. The result is a great new range of innovative electric guitars that have been well received by our customers and selling through at a good pace.”

Also quick to praise the range was Merchant City Music director Drew Sinclair, who said: “Customers have been pretty positive about a new Yamaha guitar shape. Most are impressed at the build quality of the Revstar guitars at each price point. Quite a few customers have come in asking specifically for the Revstar guitars, and were keen to see them in store after the launch date had passed.

“To us it has been a great marketing campaign that has been backed up by excellent instruments,” he continued. “Typical high standard Yamaha build quality. We have been impressed with their new design, too. The Revstars should appeal to a varied customer base, as they can cover many genres due to their innovative low cut/dry switch system and excellent styling.”

Elsewhere, Rich Tone Music’s Mark Gregory was particularly impressed with the quality of the product and its notable price point. “Firstly, there’s Yamaha’s build quality,” he said. “Any other guitar at this price wouldn’t have the fit and finish of the RS, especially when you are talking about the entry-level models in the range.

“The second point is intertwined with the first and that is the playability. And again, it is far better than you would expect at this price point and is solid on tuning stability.  

“The final point and, possibly most noticeable, is the tone of the guitars. The guitars give the impression of sounding like a vintage instrument whose pickups have demagnetised a little and sound softer and more musical even if you are playing with hi-gain. An all-round winner!  

“In terms of the way they are received and the marketing campaign, it is hard to judge. We have had a few walk-in customer who ask to try and then buy. Then we have had a few people who have tried them on our recommendation not knowing what they are and changing path from what they intended to purchase!”

To find out more about the philosophy behind Revstar, you can read our interview with Yamaha international guitar marketing and product planning manager, Julian Ward (pictured, right), and Forpeople associate director, Joohee Lee, here.

Tags: Retail , Yamaha , yamaha revstar , revstar

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