Yamaha began life as Nippon Gakki Company, Limited in 1887, originally producing pianos and reed organs, but has since expanded to become one of the best-loved musical instrument and audio equipment manufacturers in the world.
After expanding their business to include motorcycles, furniture, phonographs and archery bows, Yamaha began mass-producing electric guitars in the 1960s, beginning with the eccentrically-shaped SG range (“solid guitar”), before they settled into more conservative but high spec “superstrat” style offerings – known for their balanced warm tone and strong sustain.
In 1989, Yamaha opened their Guitar Development facility in North Hollywood, California and recruited ex-Ibanez luthier Rich Lasner. Working with Leo Knapp, they launched the Pacifica range of entry-level electric guitars in 1990, which were an instant hit with students and budget rockers alike. The company began to become more experimental in their approach to building instruments, creating six-string bass guitars and bridge-mounted piezo pickups, extending the tonal capabilities on offer.
The full Yamaha product range now includes FX pedals, amplifiers, most band instruments, studio equipment, PA systems, mixing desks, drum machines, synthesizers, personal watercraft and industrial robots.
Musicians who have played Yamaha guitars over the years include Michael Anthony (Van Halen), John Lennon, Bob Marley, Paul McCartney, Carlos Santana and Bob Seger.