Yamaha's new APX Series raises the bar for electric acoustic performance by offering a complete aesthetic refresh and adding the new Acoustic Resonance Transducer (A.R.T.) pickup system, which captures the guitar's true natural acoustic tone while virtually eliminating feedback.
Electric acoustics have long vexed guitarists due to feedback and poor sound quality. To develop the A.R.T. system, available on the APX900 and APX700, Yamaha studied all of the methods for amplifying acoustic sounds and devised a better way.
The improved system eliminates the distortion created when normal piezo pickups sometimes overreact to aggressive string attack by using a six-layer contact pickup with multi-layer dampening that handle excessive vibrations, but are still able to pick up the sweet, natural sounds of an acoustic guitar. A new preamp with a built-in tuner and frequency adjustable controls add to the innovative and unparalleled sound quality of the new models.
"The new APX line offers true-sounding acoustic tone," said Bryan Savage, marketing manager, Yamaha Guitars. "The A.R.T. system represents a breakthrough for accurately reproducing the true resonance of an acoustic guitar, which is one of the most difficult sounds to amplify."
Creating the new contact pickup was half the battle, since pickup placement is vital to getting a full sound. Based on data that Yamaha has accumulated over the last 23 years of designing pickup and preamp systems, the company's designers mathematically determined the absolute "sweet spots" for the placement of these pickups down to 1/10 of a millimeter.
Designed primarily for live performance, the APX line comes with a shallow body, which makes it easier to play, especially for women and smaller players. Yamaha has also radically updated the line's aesthetics. The APX line also includes a lefthanded and a twelve-string model.
The APX900 features a 3-way configuration, consisting of two separate contact pickups mounted on the underside of the soundboard under the bridge and one each along the treble and bass sides (four altogether).
The APX700 consists of a one-way system with two new contact pickups mounted on the underside of the soundboard under the bridge.
The APX500 includes a revamped version of the tried and true System55, a 1-way piezo pickup set-up system that comes with a 3-band EQ and built-in tuner.
The APX500 (MSRP: $609.99), APX700 (MSRP: $909.99), APX700L (MSRP: $979.99), APX700-12 (MSRP: $979.99) and APX900 (MSRP: $1,349.99) performance acoustic-electric guitars ship in July, 2006.