The Yamaha AES Range

Bill Alston

The AES Range


This entire section of my web site is written by Peter AKA Buzzard of the Yamaha forum. I have with his permission copied his work and posted it on my website with only minor additions from me. All credit goes to Peter many thanks.
Update July 2020
I have updated these pages with some additional information and modified it to fit the style of the rest of the site. The majority of the information is still Buzzards work

AES-420 , RM (red metallic) , BL (black) , made in Korea





This Guitar was first seen in the 2005 catalogue and was produced until 2007
Specifications
Body Catalogues say Mahogany but some ads say Nato
Neck Set Mahogany again some ads say Nato 628mm scale C shape
Fretboard Rosewood 22 Frets 350mm radius
Headstock Black Yamaha written on Front Model and Serial Number on Back
Tuners Chrome Sealed Diecast
Pickups 2 Unspecified Humbuckers
Controls 1 volume 1 tone 3 way toggle no coil split
Nut Plastic 41mm
Hardware Black
Bridge Yamaha Wrap around
Pickguard None


AES-500 , silver , gold , cream white , black , made in Taiwan.



Yamaha manufactured the AES 500 between 1998 and 2000
The solid nato AES500 boasts similar sharp looks as the AES800, but with a pair of beefy Humbuckers, a vintage-style stud tailpiece, straight volume and tone controls, and a snappy sparkle-gloss finish. Whilst I am sure Peter got this quote from a Yamaha official source and there are several sources say it is Nato. I have three catalogues all saying it's Alder
Specifications
Body Catalogues say Alder but some sources say Nato see above
Neck Maple Bolt on 628mm scale C shape
Fretboard Rosewood 22 Frets 350mm radius
Headstock Black Yamaha written on Front Model and Serial Number on Back Pearlescent truss rod cover
Tuners Chrome Sealed Diecast
Pickups 2 Unspecified Chrome covered Humbuckers
Controls 2 volume 1 tone 3 way toggle push push tone for coil split
Nut Plastic 41mm
Hardware Chrome
Bridge Yamaha Wrap around
Pickguard Pearlescent

AES-520-D6 , Finishes: Satin Black , Grey/Metallic Black , made in Korea



Specifications
Body Mahogany
Neck Set Mahogany 667mm scale Colour matching Body
Fretboard Rosewood 22 Frets 350mm radius
Headstock Black Yamaha written on Front Model and Serial Number on Back
Tuners Black Sealed Diecast
Pickups 2 Yamaha Humbuckers
Controls 2 volume 1 tone 3 way toggle no coil split
Nut Plastic 41mm
Hardware Chrome
Bridge Yamaha Original AES bridge
Pickguard None
Available 2005 to 2007
Colours Black/Gray Metallic or Satin Black
Usual Tuning Tune: B-E-A-D-F#-B

AES-620 , TDR (translucent dark red) , CG (charcoal grey) , FB (faded burst) (yellow/honey) , RB (royal blue) , made in Korea


 


AES-620 L , (left hand))



AES-620SH , Red Rocker Red , made in Korea.



THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY TO ROCK!
The Red Rocker has enjoyed a charismatic life on the top for more than 30 years. From his days with Montrose to a hugely successful solo career to nearly two decades of Van Halen. Among it all, Sammy has also found the time to establish Cabo Wabo™ – the #2 premium tequila in the world and a group of successful nightclubs of the same name. With the help of Yamaha's custom shop in Hollywood, CA, Sammy has created his signature guitar based on the award-winning AES620 mixed in with a bit of the Red Rocker's own touches. The AES620 SH features a mahogany body with a figured maple veneer top powered by two humbucking pickups including a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge. The set-in mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard are enhanced with the world-famous Cabo Wabo™ logo inlaid at the 12th fret. The custom red color is based on the Red Rocker's favorite translucent red finish.

AES-620HB , BLD (blonde) , OVS (old violin sunburst) , made in Korea.


The AES 620HB was introduced in 2005. A STUNNING NEW LOOK
Building on the success of the award-winning AES620 solid body, Yamaha has created an alternative to those looking for the playability and tone of the AES620 with a slightly different look. The AES620HB is a chambered body version of the popular AES620. A quick glance shows the AES620HB contains the same great specifications as the AES620 with through-body stringing, Yamaha's signature finger tailpieces, and a Seymour Duncan JB bridge matched with a custom Alnico neck pickup. A closer look shows the AES620HB takes the quilted maple top on a mahogany back and adds Yamaha's unique "F" hole design, to craft not only a stunning look, but creating a unique hybrid sound.

Comparison of the 620s
620 620SH 620HB
Body Mahogany with Flamed Maple** Mahogany with Quilted Maple Mahogany with Flamed Maple semi Hollow with F hole
Neck Set Mahogany Set Mahogany Set Mahogany
Fretboard Rosewood 22 Frets 328mm scale 350mm radius Rosewood 22 Frets 328mm scale 350mm radius Cabo Wabo Inlay Rosewood 22 Frets 328mm scale 350mm radius
Tuners Grover Diecast Grover Diecast Grover Diecast
Pickups HH Seymour Duncan JB Bridge Yamaha Alnico in Neck HH Seymour Duncan JB Bridge Yamaha Alnico in Neck HH Seymour Duncan JB Bridge Yamaha Alnico in Neck
Controls 2 Vol 1 Tone 3 way switch no coil tap 2 Vol 1 Tone 3 way switch no coil tap 2 Vol 1 Tone 3 way switch no coil tap
Nut
Hardware Chrome Chrome Chrome
Bridge Yamaha Original AES bridge Yamaha Original AES bridge Yamaha Original AES bridge
Pickguard None None None
Colours Faded Burst, Royal Blue, Trans Dark Red, Charcoal Gray* Red Rocker Red Blonde or Old Violin Sunburst

All models made from 2005 to 2007
*There is a left handed version of the 620 which is just available in Faded Burst or Charcoal Gray
** On all three guitars the catalogues describe the body as Mahogany but I have seen an article on Yamaha's own website saying the 620 is Nato. This is an extract
Designed at Yamaha's USA Custom Guitar shop, the AES620 features a highly contoured, solid Nato body with a Flame Maple veneer top, fast Nato neck and Rosewood fingerboard. Electronics include an Alnico humbucking neck and Duncan JB bridge pickups, plus active and passive volume controls. Other hot design elements include a low-mass Tun-O-Matic style bridge, plus chrome knobs, tuning machines, toggle switch and logo. Color options include Translucent Dark Red, Royal Blue and Faded Burst. "This AES rocks as hard as its older siblings," states Joseph Brasler, marketing manager, Yamaha Guitars. "It looks great, and the sound and feel are loud and tight. Best of all, the price point makes this axe ideal for the younger player, or for the rock guitarist needing a reliable second instrument."


AES-720 made in Korea 2005 to 2007.



For a little more edge, the AES720 offers more aggressive features like direct-mounted pickups, black hardware, and unique finishes.
The AES720 has become a favorite for modern rock artists with its mahogany body, mahogany set neck, rosewood fingerboard, and custom DiMarzio humbuckers.
The real appeal lies in the wild two-tone metallic finishes and jet black hardware.


Specifications
Body Mahogany
Neck Set Mahogany 628mm scale C shape
Fretboard Rosewood 22 Frets 350mm radius
Headstock Black Yamaha written on Front Model and Serial Number on Back
Tuners Grover Sealed Diecast
Pickups 2 DiMarzio Custom Humbuckers
Controls 1 volume 1 tone 3 way toggle no coil split
Nut 41mm
Hardware Jet Black
Bridge Yamaha Original AES
Pickguard None
Colours Black/Gray Metallic or Black/Pacific Blue Metallic

AES-800 , cherry red sunburst , brown sunburst. The AES 800 was made between 1998 and 2000 in Taiwan.

Note from me Peter is correct that the 800 was made in Taiwan but some made in Japan 800s may also exist. There are claims on the internet and I am sure I have seen a picture of one but can't now find it.

Some very new sounds lurk behind the nostalgic detailing.
The 800's unique wiring scheme includes a 5-way switch and extra tone pot that let you combine its pickups in varying out-of-phase combinations. This "realtime phase control" unleashes many captivating colors unattainable on most humbucker-equipped guitars. A mahogany-veneered alder body and super-tight neck joint guarantee maximum sustain.

Specifications
Body Alder with Mahogany laminate
Neck Bolt on Maple 648mm scale C shape
Fretboard Rosewood 22 Frets 350mm radius
Headstock Black Yamaha written on Front Model and Serial Number on Back
Tuners Chrome Sealed Diecast
Pickups 2 DiMarzio Q100 Humbuckers These are High Output Ceramics
Controls 1 volume 1 tone 1 phase reversal switch 5 way toggle see below
Nut 41mms
Hardware Chrome
Bridge T-O-M
Pickguard None
Finishes: Cherry Sunburst, Brown Sunburst

Comments: In position # 2, the inside coils are hot, the phase knob brings the outer bridge coil in and out of phase

There is also an 800B which has a Bigsby available in Shelby Blue only.



AES-820 , 2002-2005 , made in Taiwan.



The Yamaha AES820 electric guitar combines cutting-edge esthetics with explosive tone.

Specifications
Body Alder
Neck Bolt on Maple 628mm scale C shape
Fretboard Rosewood 22 Frets 350mm radius
Headstock Black Yamaha written on Front Model and Serial Number on Back
Tuners Sperzel Custom Locking
Pickups 2 DiMarzio Custom Humbuckers
Controls Neo Retro 2 volume Rotary tone 3 way toggle no coil split
Nut 41mm
Hardware Chrom
Bridge Yamaha Original AES
Pickguard None
Colours Black, Light Brown Metallic or Flat Blue


AES-820-D6 , 2002-2005 , made in Japan.


The Yamaha AES820D6 electric guitar features the same cutting-edge esthetics, explosive tone and components as the AES820. The addition of Yamaha's "Drop 6" 25 1/4" neck design is perfect for ultra low tunings used in modern rock styles.

Specifications
Body Alder
Neck Bolt on Maple 667mm scale C shape
Fretboard Rosewood 24 Frets 350mm radius
Headstock Black Yamaha written on Front Model and Serial Number on Back
Tuners Sperzel Custom Locking
Pickups 2 Unspecified Humbuckers
Controls Neo Retro 2 volume Rotary tone 3 way toggle no coil split
Nut 41mm
Hardware Chrome
Bridge Yamaha Original AES
Pickguard None
Colours Black, Light Brown Metallic or Flat Blue



AES-920 , HB (honey burst) , CG (charcoal grey) , made in Japan.



This is described as the flagship of the AES range in the 2005 catalogue.
Specifications
Body Mahogany Quilted Maple Top
Neck Set African Mahogany 628mm scale C shape
Fretboard Rosewood 22 Frets 350mm radius
Headstock Black Yamaha written on Front Model and Serial Number on Back
Tuners Gotoh Diecast
Pickups 2 Nickle Plate covered Seymour Duncan 59 Humbuckers
Controls Neo Retro 2 volume 1 tone 3 way toggle no coil split
Nut 41mm
Hardware Chrome
Bridge Yamaha Original AES
Pickguard None
Colours Honey Burst or Charcoal Gray*
*Slightly bafflingly the catalogue says that it is available in an array of colour finishes in addition to the 2 mentioned above but does not say what they are and I haven't seen any other than the standard colours.

Update 29th September 2020
Steve Eccles from Birmingham owns an AES920 as well as an MSG here's an extract from an email he sent me.
I was looking with some interest at the two AES920’s you’ve showed and thought you may be interested to hear that mine is indeed a Honeyburst, but, I don’t know whether it’s a trick of the light, but mine seems to be darker towards the periphery where the top starts to roll off. I’ve attached a photo of the body for comparison. It’s a mighty fine piece of work and the Seymour Duncans, to quote a local experienced guitar tech: “Jeez that’s loud!” I can’t make head nor tail of the serial number. It’s clear but I haven’t seen a range that seems to fit.


Steve's 920



AES-1500 , orange stain , pearl snow white , made in Japan.



This guitar is almost the ever present AES first appearing in 1991 and appeared in catalogues until at least 2016, I don't have any later catalogues but it's now discontinued. They come up on Ebay from time to time and make £700 to £800
Specifications have varied through the Years
Body 1993 Curly Maple with Spruce Bracing 2016 Arched Sycamore Top Maple Back and Sides
Neck Set Maple 648mm scale C shape
Fretboard Rosewood 22 Frets 350mm radius
Headstock Black Tuning Fork Logo Motif on Front Model number on Truss rod cover
Tuners Gotoh Diecast Yamaha Branded
Pickups 2 DiMarzio Q 100 Ceramic Humbuckers*
Control 2 volume 2 tone 3 way toggle coil split by push pull tone control at times may have been a push push switch
Nut 41mm
Hardware Gold
Bridge Gotoh T-O-M
Pickguard Black or White according to body Colour
Colours Orange Stain or Pearl Snow White
*The pickups were described as USA made DiMarzio HBs until 1997 so whether there was a change of pickups or a change of how they were described isn't clear


AES-1500B , orange stain made in Japan.



The classic look and tone of the AES1500 plus the famous Bigsby B-6 Tremolo.
Features.
This appears in 2004 and continues through as long as the 1500 other than the Bigsby it is the same specs as the 1500 except that the available colours are Black or Orange Stain


AES-FG , black , white , made in Japan.


PRECISE, ORIGINAL, UNIQUE.
From the 2004 Yamaha Catalogue
Frank Gambale's boundless originality, highly evolved improvisational skills, and ground breaking technique have helped to lay the foundation for a new breed of jazz and rock guitarists. Frank worked closely with Yamaha designers to produce the AES FG, a guitar as unique as the artist whose name it bears. The AES FG model sports a tapered, double-cutaway mahogany body with a carved top and rear-mounted Seymour Duncan pickups. The Fretwaves tuning system insures precise intonation throughout the guitar's entire range, and the exclusive neck joint system provides easy access to all 22 frets of the ebony fingerboard. The AES FG is a one-of-a-kind, finely crafted instrument that will satisfy any playing style.

Specifications
Body High Grade Mahogany
Neck Special Bolt on inserted deep into body Maple/Bubingha 648mm scale C shape
Fretboard Ebony 22 Frets 350mm radius unusual fret markers and Freewave system
Headstock Black Tuning Fork Logo with Unique motif see pictures Model and Serial Number on Back
Tuners Sperzel Locking
Pickups 2 Seymour Duncan Hotrails and 1 Seymour Duncan JB
Controls 1 volume 1 tone with push push coil split 5 way toggle
Nut 41mm ?
Hardware Black
Bridge Wilkinson VS100
Pickguard None
Colours Black or White
Available 2000 to 2004



The unusual Frets, Fret markers and headstock motif of the FG

AES-AD6 , 2002-2005 , made in Japan.



From the Yamaha catalogue
NEW FOR 2002
AGGRESSIVE EXPRESSION.
Close collaboration between Orgy/Julien-K guitarists Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck and engineers at Yamaha custom shop led to the creation of the 6-string AESAD6 and 7-string AESRS7. Together, these Drop6 and Drop7 designs represent the perfect marriage of functionality and aesthetic creativity. The alder body of the AESAD6 is fitted with a 26", 24-fret maple neck to easily accommodate drop-tuning. The sharp angles of the body contours, headstock, and pickguard give these guitars a futuristic vibe while still offering balance and comfort. Custom Schaller locking tuners and a monochromatic color scheme add to the avant-garde look. The simple electronics include a custom DiMarzio humbucker with a single volume control.

Specifications:
Model: AESAD6
Specifications
Body Alder Mahogany
Neck Bolt on Maple 667mm scale C shape
Fretboard Maple 24 Frets 350mm radius unusual bar type fret markers
Headstock Matching Tuning Fork Logo, Yamaha with Unique motif Model and Serial Number on Back
Tuners Schaller Locking
Pickups 1 DiMarzio Q100 Ceramic Humbucker
Controls 1 volume
Nut 41mm ?
Hardware Black
Bridge Yamaha Original AES
Pickguard Sharp Angled
Colours Midnight Blue or Nimbus Gray
Available 2002 to 2005


AES-RS7 , made in Japan.





Specifications
Body Alder Mahogany
Neck Bolt on Maple 667mm scale C shape
Fretboard Maple 24 Frets 350mm radius unusual bar type fret markers
Headstock Matching Tuning Fork Logo, Yamaha with Unique motif Model and Serial Number on Back
Tuners Schaller Locking
Pickups 1 DiMarzio Q100 Ceramic Humbucker
Controls 1 volume
Nut 41mm ?
Hardware Black
Bridge Yamaha Original AES
Pickguard Sharp Angled
Colours Midnight Blue or Nimbus Gray
Available 2002 to 2005


Catalogue Scan



The unusual headstocks and Fret Markers common to the RS7 and AD6

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