Are the Smashing Pumpkins secretly road-testing new Yamaha prototypes?

The Smashing Pumpkins perform live
(Image credit: Jeff Hahne/Getty Images)

Since their reformation, the Smashing Pumpkins have been pursuing some major gear switch-ups, with Billy Corgan signing up for a Reverend signature model and employing Line 6’s Helix, and now it seems James Iha and Jeff Schroeder are road-testing an all-new Yamaha electric guitar design.

In a recent Instagram post, the Pumpkins shared a shot of Iha performing live, showcasing the guitarist playing an electric nobody can quite pinpoint.

Conjecture indicates it’s built by Yamaha, based on the band’s existing connections (every current SP member’s rig features an item of gear from Yamaha or Line 6), with a body shape similar to Mike Stern’s signature Pacifica, albeit with a lower horn closer to a Reverend design.

Fellow guitarist Jeff Schroeder has also been spotted playing the same shape; his is kitted out with a single-coil-sized rail humbucker in the neck and humbucker in the bridge, as well as a tremolo and Jaguar-style switch on the upper horn (presumably a coil-split).

The Smashing Pumpkins perform live

(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/WireImage/Getty)

Iha, meanwhile, has his model in both black and white finishes, equipped with dual humbuckers and a hardtail bridge.

The guitar’s tweaked headstock seems to pay tribute to Yamaha’s very first guitars, the SG-2/3, while each model features its own cartoonish design up top.

We’re digging the stripped-back, workhorse look of this design - although, of course, the sound of each model will vary depending on the finish, according to Billy Corgan

We’ll bring you more info from Yamaha as soon as we have it.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.