Friday, March 27, 2009

Yamaha RGX-312 Guitar

I picked up this guitar in February 2009 and it has a market value of $102.50. Yamaha RGX 312 models were produced from 1987 to 1993. Amazing versatility available from its single coil / single coil / humbucker pick-up configuration. The neck is straight with low action and a wide fretboard. As far as I can tell, this guitar is all original and complete. This guitar is in very good condition but it does have some minor nicks and dings in the finish that don't photograph well.

The RGX312 (1987-1988) is a double cutaway rock style guitar available in Red, Black, or White finish. The guitar is setup with Yamaha pickups as follows:

Original List Price: $429.00
Neck - single coil
Middle - single coil
Bridge - Humbucker
Construction:
*Alder Body
*Maple Neck
*Bubinga Fretboard
String length: 628mm
Nut width: 41mm
*(1)Volume 250k
*(1)Tone 250k with coil splitter
* 5way Selector
* Top mount input jack

The RGX312II (1988-1993) is a double cutaway rock style guitar available in Red, Black, White , or Silver Pearl finish. The guitar is setup with Yamaha pickups as follows:

Original List Price: $449.00
Neck - single coil
Middle - single coil
Bridge - Humbucker
Construction:
*Alder Body
*Satin Finish Maple Neck
*Bubinga Fretboard
String length: 628mm
Nut width: 43mm
*(1)Volume 250k
*(1)Tone 250k with coil splitter
* 5way Selector
* Top mount input jack



P3080357
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P3080355
P3080359

32 comments:

guitar collecting said...

nice looking Yamaha..very eighties!

Glen Doggett said...

I have one of these that I bought new in a store for $325 around the time when these were being phased out for newer models. Recently, after a move, one of the saddles broke. I bought a replacement bridge from Yamaha, but they had changed the design of the bridge and it would not fit, and the saddles would not swap out with the old ones. The case might have gotten squished during a move, but I discovered the damage too late to make a claim. The little adjustable saddle pieces are made of plastic, so be real careful with these, as if you break one you can't replace it, and I am not sure what third-party bridges would fit. If anyone has performed a bridge upgrade or replacement on one of these guitars, please let me know. This is a great guitar for the value, but I question if it is worth spending more money on a replacement bridge than the value of the guitar itself. I would like to bring it back to life and play it again, seems a waste to sell it off for parts.

I like your red model, I have the white one and it looks pretty nice also, the back of the neck is natural maple, not painted. They are very versatile and play really well, for around $300 at the time, these were good value guitars for the money, although now I wish I had spent a little more and got one of those G&L ASATs (Leo Fender) that were in the store at the time.

Guitar Hunter said...

I think they are worth way more than $100, but that's what I've found. You could part it out and sell it on ebay and use the proceeds to buy a complete one from somebody.

Gazza285 said...

Glen,

I've got a bridge unit going spare if you want it.

Glen Doggett said...

Gazza285, I just noticed your post. Many thanks for the offer. I added my contact info to my profile, so click on my name to contact me and discuss details.

Guitar Hunter said...

Hope you guys, Glen and Gazza, work out a deal.

Glen Doggett said...

FYI - here is a close up of the part of the bridge that broke. The newer model has different saddle parts and a total width that does not fit as a direct replacement.

(trying to post the html to embed this image...but won't let me use html tags)

http://home.comcast.net/~glen.p.doggett/pwpimages/RGX312_bridge.jpg

Guitar Hunter said...

Again, good luck in finding the parts you need Glen.

Josh Gregory said...

I have this mode, red with maple neck - had a dream I was playing it last night in fact, hence my search for information on it. Bought it in 1990 for $320. Still plays great save for the tone and volume knobs being a little loose.

Getting that repaired along with a fret dressing this weekend.

Thanks for posting this!

Guitar Hunter said...

Thanks for the note Josh, hope your comes out as good as new after the repairs!

Joe said...

Glen Dogget: I have a Yamaha RGX312 that I purchased 20 years ago in Italy. It seems to be exactly like yours (white with plain maple neck). My story is similar to yours. When I moved away to BC 10 years ago, it was fine. When I returned home to Montreal a few years later, I found my saddle had broken in exactly the same way as yours. I tried to find a replacement but that didn't work, and I'm considering a Floyd Rose. I'm concerned that a new tremolo requires a bit too much machining. The original pins won't work anymore and the intonation and action may be changed, and not for the better. I know the price of the Floyd Rose is higher than the value of the guitar, but it's sentimental. I also own an american made Fender Tele, and my Girlfriend has a Fender Strat. I wouldn't trade my Yamaha for either of those guitars. The action was better, the bubinga fretboard is super smooth, and closer to a Gibson Les Paul. Plus the changing of the pick ups can make the thing sound really sweet. Its been almost 10 years that I haven't played it and I really am starting to miss it.

I'd like to know if you and Gazza 85 made a deal for the saddle? If so, would you consider sending me your old one in the picture? We can make an arrangement. I'm sure I can mix the 2 tremolo systems to make 1 fully functional one. My system was black as the rest of my guitar has black components. I don't mind the odd look if it means I can play the thing again.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you

Guitar Hunter said...

I hope this blog can help Joe and Glen work out a deal.

Anonymous said...

I have yamaha rgx 312 long time ago. I bougth it in Jakarta, Indonesia years 1992. It just for 200 USD. It was a good guitar for playing rock music. Good job, you find that guitar.

Guitar Hunter said...

This is the only one I've ever seen in person but then I haven't tried to search them out.

wvvjoevvw said...

I Noticed the author said it comes in red/white/black finish. I bought my RGX312 from the shop when I was in Junior High (I'm 30 now) and mine is all original in perfect condition. Its Yellow! its pretty 80's looking indeed :P I'd be happy to send a pic if anyone cares.

wvvjoevvw said...

actually, here's a pic of my RGX (off to the right) http://www.flickr.com/photos/46907663@N00/4432508647/

Guitar Hunter said...

I see the picture of your yellow guitar but they weren't offered in yellow based on the information published on the Yamaha Guitar Archive page.

http://www.yamaha.com/apps/guitararchives/guitarchive2.asp?t=el

Enter either RGX312 (made from 1987-1988) or RGX312II (made from 1988-1993). I'm not sure if there is a 3rd RGX312 model that might have come in yellow or you have a custom model.

wvvjoevvw said...

Hey GH, I searched the yamaha archive and saw the models you are referencing. Sure enough, they don't list yellow for some reason. But the guitar is definitely not custom. It was purchased for the list price (425.00), new, from Mill's Music in Snohomish, WA in 1992, if memory serves me right.

A guy in this forum references the yellow rgx312 (http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=66413&page=2) Its definitely stock, not custom. I wonder what year it is and what series it was released in (ie first, second, or a possible third)?

Guitar Hunter said...

Joe,

If you can get me a clear picture of your guitar I'll post it here for others to see.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

I've one as well. However the volume pot is broken...
The knob of the tone pot is easy to remove, just pull off and underneath is a screw. This does not seem the case for the volume pot. Any tips anybody?

Guitar Hunter said...

I hope someone can see this and help you with the volume pot problem.

Sean McGraw said...

I have this exact same guitar except the volume and tone knobs are solid instead of clear, and the tremelo bridge is blocked so a whammy bar couldnt be used. I originally wanted to find the value of it thats how i ended up here. I got it from a pawn shop for around 140$ the merchant said it was a super good deal. And its definetly a shredders guitar considering I am one

Guitar Hunter said...

These are silver and black on this guitar, not clear.

Sean McGraw said...

i guess ur right, but mine was different, im also concerned what kind of pickups these are but im even more concerned if they are good quality or not. Ive had ppl say it was a good guitar, ive had others say it sucked. I like it a lot. and i was told that there was some coil splitter or something by pressing down the tone knob, but its broken

Sean McGraw said...

Yea i guess ur right. But i also am concerned about if this is a good guitar. I would like to know if the pickups on this guitar are supposed to be good quality. I like it a lot, but Id like to know about this gtr even more

Anonymous said...

Best damn guitar series ever... I went from Ibenez and never went back... I own seven Yamaha RGXs... www.robodrum.com

Glen Doggett said...

Here's an update on my RGX-312 bridge replacement. I could not find a replacement Yamaha bridge or saddle, so I decided to get a Floyd-Rose licensed bridge and had a local guitar shop replace it for me.
This is the replacement bridge I found on eBay. Seems to be similar to what you could get at StewMac.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150487247403&ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:US:1123
but it was not a simple drop-in replacement, the pivot posts had to be relocated. By mounting the new posts and bridge a little higher and shimming the neck, and removing the plastic body cavity liner, there was enough room for tremolo up/down action without any additional routing out of the body. The shop charged $140 for the installation job, and now it plays and sounds great again. To cover up the filled in post holes, they put a strip of black pick guard plastic just in front of the bridge and around the new posts, it looks great. If they needed to route, it would have been more like a $300 job, so I was glad that the installation was fairly reasonable and quick. Just don't tell me about resale value, I am thinking more about the replacement cost, so I am okay with shelling out $25+$140 to bring this guitar back to life and keep it out of a landfill, as opposed to buying a new guitar.

Also, on another forum I noticed an RGX-312 refurbished recently:
http://www.thefret.net/showthread.php?t=16585
sanded down to the bare wood and refinished, the body looks pretty nice.

Anonymous said...

From 1987-1990 the bridge on the RGX312 was a RM-Pro and it looks like this.

http://www.fretsonthenet.com/RMPro.jpg

from mid 1990-1993 the bridge was upgraded to a RM-ProII and that bridge looks like this

http://www.fretsonthenet.com/RMPro_II.jpg

some cheaper models had a 3rd generation bridge called a Vintage pro and that looks like this

http://www.fretsonthenet.com/YamVintPro-Trem.jpg



this seller seems to be making replacement parts at reasonable prices.


http://www.fretsonthenet.com/yamaha_parts.htm


Hope this helps

George

Anonymous said...

I bought one of these last year on e bay and it cost me £76.Mine is blue and where you have shown the input jack is where mine has a tiny coil splitter switch,the jack being on the base of the guitar.I love this guitar! It feels good to hold and has a really fast neck.The pickups on this guitar are sweet,for what i spent,the sound blew me away.The humbucker really rocks!
It was in perfect working order when i bought it,but i had to replace the jack plate as the one on it was made of plastic and was broken.
I can recommend this guitar,well worth 76 quid,i wont be parting with mine in a hurry! :-)

Anonymous said...

I have an rgx312 that the serial number says was built 14 feb 1989.Mine's blue and differs from the ones you have listed in that it has the input on the base and a little micro switch below the tone knob for the coil splitter.Has anyone come across this particular model,cos i cant seem to find it? I bought it second hand so i dont know the history,i'm wondering if it could be a custom job. Nigel :-)

Anonymous said...

Yamaha RGX312 whas also available in Yellow color, i don't remember the year of production, but I had one :)

Anonymous said...

i have this same exact guitar! its awesome, but can i put new emg pickups into it? i want this guitar to have a more heavy metal tone to it.id rather not buy a whole new guitar..any advice on making it sound more like what a guitar from say metalica? etc.. would sound like.
do i need new pickups? or is there a way to adjust the ones i have..please let me know
im interested in getting back into playing again but havnt because the guitar just dousnt have that tone to it..thanks email me! penzes102@comcast.net with suggestions! type in rgx312 in email...thanks! alex

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