RGXA2 review by Yamaha

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (187 votes)
Yamaha: RGXA2

Price paid: £ 130

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 8
Its a twin hum-bucker rock machine without a tone control so you wouldn't expect too much range but there is a little more than you might expect - the stock pickups are pretty good and were chosen to give different tones (unlike many cheaper guitars which each setting sounds the same). It has quite a deep voice for such a lightweight guitar too. Overall the sound is pretty good for rock/blues etc and has a nice clean voice too but it is not so good for country. I find the noise suppression seems pretty good. Certainly it doesn't pickup my watch like many guitars do even on relatively high gain rock tones (My Pacifica 112 does even on the humbucker).

Overall Impression — 9
Its a lovely guitar, very playable and great when playing standing up (or sitting down unlike Vs etc). I believe that Yamaha had gigging in mind when they designed it and have made it look slightly different. I like the white colour and the LEDS and the big barrelled tuners or the way the lead sticks out of the back like a rocket. The design features with this Guitar are there but are more subtle than a V, Explorer etc. It feels very high quality when I pick it up and I tend to continue to play it all night when I take it out of its gig bag. Its great fun. One of the negative things is that you have to pull the lead out when not using it otherwise the battery driving the LEDs goes flat so I don't tend to leave it ready on a Guitar stand unlike many other Guitars... I don't play very well but have had a number of Guitars (Squier Strat, Gibson Les Paul Studio, Pacifica 112, Steinberger GT-Pro, Schecter Blackhawk). It is lighter than all of them (except maybe the Steinberger) and less than half the weight of the Schecter (and much lighter than the Mustang sized Ibanez OMRL1 I tried). It is quite a bit lighter than the others but the Gibson isn't as heavy as I would have expected in comparison... The RGX is a lot less noisy than the 112 even when using the Humbucker and overall feels very close to the Gibson in quality (and fairly similar in tone). I would possibly prefer a Guitar with a Tone control and a JB Humbucker (which is much brighter) but its tones are very usable and its a nice guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 7
This guitar is beautifully made and has real premium hardware. They are designed for use live and will withstand that perfectly okay (really nice tuners, bridge etc so I think it will stay in tune even if you are extra rough). However when not performing it will need to be cared for - its body is very soft and dinks easily. Mine came with a soft gig bag and to be honest it really needs a hard one to keep it safe in the back of a van or on the stage before you go on. It is also the first guitar I have bought strap locks for.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I bought mine second hand and it was in fairly good condition. As almost all of these it has a few minor dinks on the front and edges (because the wood used is fairly soft) but worked perfectly electrically - there are a few out there with non working LEDS etc. It had just been restrung but needed a bit of tidying. I would say that the bridge middle strings are perhaps a little high (difficult to adjust without buying a special set of allen keys). The finish and quality of the guitar is absolutely gorgeous - The neck, tuners, bridge etc are all really nicely made and it does feel like a 400 guitar (albeit a weird Ultra light one).

Features — 7
The Yamaha RGXA2 is a very light stat style bodied guitar with two P90 sized humbuckers (it is difficult to change them for regular Humbuckers), a fixed bridge, a three way switch, volume knob and some LEDs to show the audience which pickups are engaged. Unlike most Yamaha Strat copies the tuners are arranged 3 in line more like a Gibson than a Fender. There are other reviews that state what woods this is actually made from but the reality is that the guitar feels like it is made out of Precision plastic (In a good way if you pickup a Guitar hero controller and feel how liberating it is this Guitar is like that). The fixed bridge is very comfortable to rest your hand ob (if you pick like me) but needs very small allen keys to adjust. It is an expensive guitar new and that quality and tone is obvious.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Bought mine from ebay as a gigging guitar so as to leave my beloved fenders safe at home. This guitar however is tonally different from a strat, more like an early les paul with P90`s .GREAT guitar though, harmonically beautiful and spans from Axis style Hendrixisms to heavy Kossof blues. Not a studio metal or country guitar as such but breezes through any gig situation with ease. Light and forgiving, never goes out of tune or lets you down and the sound cuts through without any reliance on pedals [although a little delay and my Tube Screamer do help]. Would feel bereft without it. This lovely guitar has all the advantages of modern spec. with a vintage sound. Very pleased with mine . ps .Also great for Mick Ronson impressions .