Most of the guitar interest from Yamaha this year lay with the company’s new acoustic models as its Revstar (electric) activity was confined to new finishes. So starting with the former, the company launched two new more affordable FG TransAcoustics, the FG-TA dreadnought and its concert-size counterpart, the FS-TA. The secret behind the TransAcoustic range is an integrated actuator, a small metal device completely hidden inside the guitar. When the instrument’s strings are played, they cause the actuator to vibrate, which is then conveyed to the guitar body and the air around the guitar. This movement creates authentic reverb and chorus effects, Yamaha says, without needing any external amplification or effects.
TransAcoustic guitar technology was first introduced in 2016 in the premium Yamaha LL-TA and LS-TA TransAcoustic models, which earned “Best in Show” honours at Summer NAMM, as well as a “Best of What’s New” distinction from Popular Science magazine.
Also new are the APX600 and CPX600 acoustic electrics, successors to the APX500III and its companion CPX500III; the APX600 continues the company’s thin-body line of guitars, while the CPX600 offers a medium-jumbo profile. While the new models maintain the scalloped bracing and premium electronics of the 500III generation, key new features include fresh finishes for both models, and an upgrade to a genuine abalone rosette in the APX600. In addition, the scale length of the APX model has been shortened from 25 9/16″ to 25” for greater playability.
The thin-body APX600 features a spruce top, eastern mahogany back and sides, die-cast tuners and the Yamaha exclusive System55T preamp, a 1-way piezo pickup with 3-band EQ with an adjustable midrange, and an onboard tuner. The medium-jumbo (Compass) profile CPX600 is the full-bodied sibling of the APX600, and also offers a spruce top; eastern mahogany back and sides; die-cast tuners, and System55T preamp.
Yamaha also unveiled six new colours to add to the Revstar line of solid-body electric guitars. The new finishes and the models carrying them include Ice Blue and Vintage White (both RS320), Maya Gold (RS420), Black (RS502T), Snake Eyes Green (RS620), and Shop Black and Vintage Japanese Denim (both RS720B).
Bass players weren’t being neglected with two additions to the TRBX series of electric basses. The TRBX604FM and TRBX605FM. Both the four-string TRBX604FM and five-string TRBX605FM boast intricately finished flame maple tops and matching headstock veneers to go along with the comfort-contoured mahogany bodies, bolt-on five-piece maple/mahogany necks and premium electronics.