Yamaha RGX612A
Yamaha RGX612A

RGX612A, ST モデル from Yamaha in the RGX series.

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King Loudness 12/12/2011

Yamaha RGX612A : King Loudness のユーザーレビュー (content in English)

"Underrated shredder"

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The Yamaha RGX612A was built by Yamaha in the late eighties to compete with the Ibanez, Jackson/Charvel and Kramer guitars that were so popular for rock and metal styles of the time. It was built in Taiwan and was a reasonably high end instrument back in its day. It features an alder body, maple neck with rosewood fretboard, 24 jumbo frets, Yamaha RM (Rockin' Magic) Pro tremolo bridge (kind of like a cross between a Floyd Rose and a Kahler). This particular model features an H-S-S pickup configuration with Yamaha active pickups/electronics. There is a master volume control, two tone controls, an on/off switch for each pickup, and a master boost switch, which adds more bite to the sound for thicker tones.


The design of this guitar is fairly ergonomic. It's not exactly the lightest guitar on the planet (weight is probably medium-heavy). The body is sculpted nicely however, and the fact that it uses a neck bolt system that is plate-less (a-la the Ibanez AANJ) makes upper fret access excellent. It's definitely an instrument I'm comfortable gigging with and using, being confident that I can really fly on.

Getting a good sound out of this instrument is not that difficult. The pickups are active and have a similar tonal quality to EMGs of the time. The resulting tone is somewhat dated sounding/compressed, but if you're actively seeking that eighties shred tone, it's a perfect match. The cleans and the drive tones have a certain unique quality that is not for everyone to be fair, but if you're completely not a fan of the electronics they can be replaced.


This guitar was designed/built to capture that shred vibe that so many people were after in the late eighties. As tastes progressed from the era of single humbuckers and modded Marshalls to more complex rigs involving active pickup shred guitars and piles of rackmount gear, instruments like this became more in vogue.

Clean tones are fairly crisp and punchy. There isn't much of that classic warmth that you'd hear in a more typical Strat type guitar, but there's enough extra compression and high end to really sound crisp. To that end, it makes a great recording guitar for someone who needs those kinds of polished tones.

The drive tones have much the same complex. It's not that it's a bad sounding guitar by any means... it is just far less raw and ripping than passive setups. It's quite clear sounding for rhythm work in the hard rock vein, and that polished compression gives leads a certain smooth quality that works especially well for neoclassical type settings where lots of notes are being played.


All in all I think the Yamaha RGX612A is a great guitar for someone looking for a great active superstrat on a budget. It'll blow away any of the cheaper Ibanez or Jackson guitars coming out of China right now and at the same price. They can be had for about $300 used which is a fantastic deal. I've had a few different RGXs in my time and I can say they're just a killer example of a superstrat. I loved my 612A when I owned it. I didn't use it as a main ax because I prefer passive pickups, but it did make a great recording/backup guitar and never let me down. Definitely worth a look!