Yvette Young YY20 Review
Our Verdict and Review Summary
The second iteration of Yvette Young's signature guitar, a Tele-style Ibanez (the first one was a Strat-style), has a neck with a thick feel despite a lower nut width, and plenty of high-quality parts, including hardware and electronics. It's hard to do it justice, given Yvette's incredibly technical playing style, but it plays beautifully with a clean tube signal and some ambient effects. If that's your thing, this guitar is a great fit.
It's cool to see a signature guitar that features a lower-profile artist that is, quite frankly, more visibly talented that a lot of more mainstream guitarists. Yvette Young's style is very technical, which made me feel a little silly trying to test her signature guitar. I'm a technical player, but not like her.
Either way, I tried to stick to her sound - lots of cleans, some sparkle, and ambient fingerpicking patterns. I liked the YY20 better in that context, because it's certainly not a heavy guitar. We'll cover the details in my full Yvette Young YY20 review below.
You can compare the YY20 to other electric guitars here. Note that we've reviewed the G&L Fullerton but not the other two guitars, which is why their ratings have been left empty. You can add more guitars to the comparison bar below this table.
G&L Fullerton Deluxe Comanche
Ibanez Yvette Young YY20
PRS SE Hollowbody II
Fender Player Stratocaster
Compare More Electric Guitars
We have a ton of electric guitars in our database that you can compare to the YY20 with basic specs and live pricing. We don't have everything, but we have a lot and are adding to it regularly.
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IDEAL FOR: Clean tones, tapping, tuning stability, ambient effects, technical styles
- Bends and aggressive playing don't knock the guitar out of tune.
- Seymour Duncan pickups, Gotoh bridge hardware and Gotoh tuners up the quality of an already solid guitar base.
- Aesthetics are a cool, unique break from the typical Ibanez.
- Body has some nice contour and carving.
- Definitely not a distortion monster
Ibanez Yvette Young YY20 Price Guide
Note that we've included the Strat-style YY10 in this price guide as well. The alert and history follow the lowest price between the two, but they tend to move together for the same price.
Prices updated Fri, December 08th, 2023.
Price History for Ibanez Yvette Young Signature YY20 Electric Guitar - Orange Cream Sparkle
|Current Price||$1,099.99||December 4, 2023|
|Highest Price||$1,099.99||October 9, 2023|
|Lowest Price||$1,099.99||October 9, 2023|
Last price changes
|$1,099.99||October 9, 2023|
Tone and Style Fit
As I mentioned earlier, it feels like I was poorly-equipped to do this guitar justice. But I did stick to Yvette's stylistic leans. Lots of ambience, clean tones, and some technical fingerpicking. I've seen her use several Walrus Audio pedals, but I stuck to my meager Line 6 DL4 (the old version) and TC Electronic Hall of Fame.
I tested this guitar with a PRS Archon 50 that I had for another review, as well as a Boss Katana 50. To be honest, I thought the Katana was a little more accommodating, but the YY20 sounded great with both amps.
As gain increased, I found the tone somewhat less satisfying, but that's not unusual for Tele-style Alnico II pickups/magnets. It's not meant to be a high-gain monster.
The controls on this guitar are pretty straightforward. The blade is a three-way pickup selector, with a master tone and volume knob. As I typically do, I spent most of my testing time with both knobs maxed and the pickup selector in the middle position.
Playability and playing feel
This guitar stays in tune really well, even with the thinner winding that we get from the factory, with less string length wound around each peg. I've always found that more winding around each peg gives you more tuning stability, so I'd have to assume that if I had re-strung it, the guitar's stability would have been even better.
The neck has a very distinct feel. It definitely felt thicker than my 2005 PRS CE 24, but still played fast. I would consider an electric guitar to have a wide neck if the nut width is over 1.68" and the YY20 is only 1.614."
I have a very old PRS SE Santana from 2003. The neck on that guitar and the YY20 feel about the same. I'm a big fan of both.
Overall the guitar plays smooth and is pretty easy to hold. It plays well standing up with a strap and feels light in your hands.
No complaints in this category.
Price and Value
The YY20 is priced as a mid to upper-tier electric guitar, and is pretty firmly in the middle of the Ibanez pricing spectrum. Given the name brand hardware and pickups, it lives up to its price, even before you consider the finish and body carving.
I know that body carving and finish adds a lot of expense to electric guitars, which is part of the reason PRS and Gibson electrics are so expensive.
It's a very time consuming process.
So even the simple contour and smoothing we see in the YY20 is contributing to the cost.
That said, I have no problem with the price tag. It's very reasonable.
Check the price guide above for updated numbers for the YY20 and YY10.
Wrap Up and Questions
To be honest, this guitar is a little outside of my comfort zone and doesn't accommodate my playing style. Hence, I felt a bit ill-equipped to do it justice. That said, it was a great experience and will have a lot of value for those in a style similar to Yvette, especially for fast, complex lead finger picking and tapping techniques.
If you have questions about our Ibanez Yvette Young YY20 review, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I'll get back to you.
We'll see you there.