February 07, 2006
Yamaha has expanded their line of electric guitars with the recently release RGX-A2, a modern and elegant guitar. I've always wondered why guitar designers don't make more radical changes; there are just too many Strat clones and Les Paul wannabe's, all shockingly similar. The RGX-A2 is not as extreme a design as, say, a 70's era Steinberger, but it does bring something new to the party: a superbly light weight design. The RGX-A2 clocks in at around 5 1/2 pounds, on par with a Parker Fly, at a fraction of the price. The key to Yamaha's design is that it's got a light weight core sandwiched between hardwood surfaces. Yamaha calls it "AIR" standing for "Alternative Internal Resonance" and they can be forgiven for the cheesy acronym.
The guitar also features dual Alnico humbucker pickups, cylindrical barrel tuners, and cool LED die-cast knobs. The guitar comes in white and aircraft grey finish. The guitar lists for $799 with a street price for around $500. Musician's Friend has been offering it with a free Yamaha MagicStomp stereo effects pedal, which is a heckuva good deal.
- Yamaha: RGX-A2 press release
- Immso.co.uk: Yamaha RGX-A2 review
I agree that the guitar world needs innovation and the RGX-A2 is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, guitarists tend to be a rather conservative lot when it comes to instruments. My own interests lie in the area of guitar ergonomics so I was very interested in Yamaha's approach to light weight design. Good post.
Building The Ergonomic Guitar
Posted by: Robert Irizarry | December 30, 2006 at 11:58 AM
thanks for the comments. I agree; for the most part, guitar players seem to be focused on designs that are now 50 years old. Nothing wrong with the classics, but most other areas have seen significant improvements in ergonomics in that period of time. Personally, I would love to see more radical changes than even teh RGX-A2, which is really just a modest incremental change. We need more bold designs; not just changes in pickups and electronics.
Posted by: ZUrlocker | January 31, 2007 at 12:28 PM
I am a guitarist who's into modern as well as classic designs. So I enjoy (at least the looks of), for example, PRS guitars (I am not so fond of "standard" designs such as Strat and LesPaul) as well as Teuffel oder Andreas guitars. I fell in love with this Yamaha guitar the very moment I layed my eyes on it. I'd furnish my living room matching to this guitar if I could afford it!
Posted by: Christoph Cyprian | April 29, 2007 at 10:28 AM
I just found some images of this guitar, I already love the RGX121s and think it's one of the best if underrated guitars out there.
This is definitely a step in the right direction and I shall be purchasing one soon!!
Thanks for the review.
Posted by: Kyle Sevenoaks | October 16, 2008 at 09:23 PM
I purchased one of these (Identical to the one in the photo) from a local Guitar Center. They had two models on hand, the white one, and a black one. They wanted $800 for the black one, and $250 for the white one. Both guitars felt, and sounded identical, and both had similar dings in the body (I assume from usage and mishandling). Since I really can't play guitar, I brought this one to my brother, to let him check it out, and it's been at his house now for 9 months straight. Even though he has an impressive collection of guitars, he refuses to hand over my Yamaha. I guess I'd say that this guitar, while having a fairly utilitarian design, impressed him.
Posted by: Dan | December 11, 2008 at 08:44 AM