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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we're in lockdown here in Canberra, Australia, been for about six weeks. I've been working from home since the beginning of last year, so not much going on at all. Getting a little stir crazy now, with not much to do. Having a little look around FB marketplace, and there was someone giving away a free Yamaha guitar, only one picture, covered in stickers. Was close by, so okay for me to go and do a contact-less pickup.

Got it with a free stand too, so that was cool. Brought it home and started cleaning it up, removing the stickers, and oiling the super dry fretboard. Worked out it was a 2004 model RGX121 in stain black. It's in super good condition, and seems to play really nicely. Might start swapping stuff out with things in my parts bin for a bit of boredom busting.

The guitar is missing a whammy bar, and it doesn't take the two Squier ones I have in hand, nor does the US spec one I have on my modified Squier Deluxe Stratocaster (seems a little loose). Can't find any info on what size it uses, and can't go to my local guitar shop to test fit any either, so that sucks. But otherwise, it's a cool guitar with very few nicks and scratches.

There's a little haze from a few of the stickers that I need to get off. I'm assuming I may need to give the guitar a proper buff to get any of that out, but I may also lose the satin look in doing so. Would naptha have any luck with it? I used eucalyptus oil to remove the stickers and residue.

The saddle grub screws are a little too long, and catch your hand while playing unfortunately. Thinking of seeing if I can swap them out with the ones from a spare Squier bridge. I would love to keep the stock bridge for now, although I'm considering seeing how the guitar looks with chrome hardware too.

Anyway, here are some pictures:









 

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Can't go wrong with a Yamaha freebie, and looks like it cleaned up well! Don't know much about these but they've been around for as long as the Ibanez RG. The Ty Tabor model was an RGX, no?

What's the neck profile/size like?
 

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Wow! A free guitar?? Thats is great! I haven't played a Yamaha in a long time, but I had a baby blue Yamaha strat copy back in the late 80's that played very well. Wish I would have kept it, but had to pawn it for gas money to get home from the Army.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Can't go wrong with a Yamaha freebie, and looks like it cleaned up well! Don't know much about these but they've been around for as long as the Ibanez RG. The Ty Tabor model was an RGX, no?

What's the neck profile/size like?
Yeah, Yamahas have been punching well above their price point for decades now. And the RGX has been around since at least the early nineties. Although the headstock has changed to to a 3-3 in recent years. Doesn't look as nice as the 6 inline though, IMO.

The neck profile is fairly slim. I think I worked out the fretboard's about a 12" radius, and the neck profile isn't too dissimilar to an older Wizard II maybe.

Wow! A free guitar?? Thats is great! I haven't played a Yamaha in a long time, but I had a baby blue Yamaha strat copy back in the late 80's that played very well. Wish I would have kept it, but had to pawn it for gas money to get home from the Army.
Yeah, the Yamahas are great guitars. It's a shame you had to give up your one back then. :(
 

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Interesting about the rounder radius, we'd probably expect flatter on a guitar like that! Are the pups alnico or ceramic?

There's a couple of Yamahas I wouldn't mind getting my mitts on. I really dig the Weddington, addresses various traditional single-cut issues. I know, good luck finding one. Big feather in Rich Lasner's cap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, I could be wrong on the radius though, newer ones are 350mm (13.8") , and an old page that someone has put together on the history of RGXs is suggesting the same radius on these older ones too.

I've actually contacted Yamaha to see if they can provide some official specifications on this guitar. They're checking back with Yamaha Japan, so hopefully I'll have confirmation soon.

The old page that I mentioned earlier suggests that the body could actually be alder, or ash, which excites me more than basswood. The page also suggests that the pickups are ceramic. They are serviceable, but not particularly great.
 

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This thread has got me gassing’. I am fighting the urge to look at the current Yamaha Line. My wallet is telling me no. I’ve got two guitars that will supposedly be here tomorrow. Shipping is messed up in the PNW right now. I’ve been waiting 10 days for the one guitar, and nearly two weeks for the other. I’m glad the OP got a project to alleviate boredom. Let us know how the project progresses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
:LOL: NGD threads can be dangerous can't they! I think you are right in holding out for at least a bit, you've bought quite a bit lately! :LOL:

Hopefully I'll get some official information shortly. If this has indeed an alder body that makes me very excited. Alder is my favourite tonewood, and the only thing that could make this better is a maple fretboard. I really have moved towards loving the Stratocaster style in the last ten years, so this is almost a balance between an Ibanez RG and a Stratocaster.

One noticeable issue with this guitar is the break angle on the G string. There's just not enough, so it can slip off the nut easily. I think there's a combo issue of that, and a not so well cut nut. I'd love to try Stew Mac's triple string tree, but if I keep this guitar with black hardware they have no options. I may just go with the Graphtech ones, and add another tree. Considering asking Stew Mac if they could consider making black ones, since I'm sure they'd probably sell a few.

I'm a little wary of going too far down the rabbit hole though. I don't need another guitar, and I no longer have my studio, so there's far less room for my guitars in this new house I'm renting. My son potentially being interested means it may stick around though. Thankfully my fiancé is far more supportive than my ex-wife was, and encourages keeping guitars, so it can stick around if I want it too. Otherwise I may flip it and get something that is a little different to my current stable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I got confirmation from Yamaha on the guitar. It's an alder body, 13-3/4" (350mm) fretboard radius, and the pickups are all ceramic, no split-coil on the five way. Hopefully I can get confirmation on the whammy bar early next week.
 

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@LonePhantom I am just curious about what brands and makes of guitars are popular in your country. Greg Fryer made my treble booster for my Brian May rig. It’s one of the Aussie ones, not the newer English ones. I also used to order guitars for myself and my students as the exchange rate was in my favor and the shipping wasn’t outrageous. But that well dried up when CITES happened.

It’s kind of funny, guys on forums in Australia and UK, want American guitars, and pay more for them, and I’m in USA and most of the guitars I own are Indonesian made. There are guitars made all over the world, and you would hope that guys that live in places where the guitars are manufactured would be able to get some sweet deals. Last I checked BMG guitars sold a lot in your country. They are actually kind of difficult to get here right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't really think there's too much difference in what is popular here. The only real factor is the cost of instruments here compared to the US. The same brands in general are popular, but there's probably more lower and mid-range models that are popular, due to them being more affordable than the upper end of manufacturer's model ranges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A little update on the RGX, ordered a 5mm tremolo arm from eBay, fits nicely, although it is quite a long arm!

Loaded in an old DiMarzio IBZ/USA F2 into the bridge and a Dimarzio PAF Pro into the neck, just some pickups that I've had in the parts box for some time from previous projects. Added some washers in behind some of the tuners to solve the issue where some strings don't have enough break angle to stay in the nut slots. Put on some 10-46 strings and set it up in drop C#.



 

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Almost VBK vibe! and nice MacGyvering with the tuners there. I imagine it sounds pretty good now.

Man, I remember living in Oz and cursing at the prices of imported guitars, exacerbated by the weaker AUD. But about 10 years ago, AUD and USD were on parity, so it was cheaper to buy on Squeebay and get it shipped over. That said, there's several awesome Aussie builders definitely worth looking into when intending to spend 3k+ on a guitar.
 

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A little update on the RGX, ordered a 5mm tremolo arm from eBay, fits nicely, although it is quite a long arm!

Loaded in an old DiMarzio IBZ/USA F2 into the bridge and a Dimarzio PAF Pro into the neck, just some pickups that I've had in the parts box for some time from previous projects. Added some washers in behind some of the tuners to solve the issue where some strings don't have enough break angle to stay in the nut slots. Put on some 10-46 strings and set it up in drop C#.
The F2 is a great sounding pickup... I'll bet it pairs up with a Paf Pro pretty well! Great idea on the tuner washers, never thought of doing that to change the string angle up there.

The "Alice in Chains" tuning... \m/
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Almost VBK vibe! and nice MacGyvering with the tuners there. I imagine it sounds pretty good now.

Man, I remember living in Oz and cursing at the prices of imported guitars, exacerbated by the weaker AUD. But about 10 years ago, AUD and USD were on parity, so it was cheaper to buy on Squeebay and get it shipped over. That said, there's several awesome Aussie builders definitely worth looking into when intending to spend 3k+ on a guitar.
Thanks, yeah it's sounding pretty bloody big and meaty now. Both of these pickups were subject to my experimenting with magnets, half-air, etc way back when on my blog, when I owned an RG20th that just never sounded "right" to my ears. Not quite sure what config they both are right now, but it's a big bold sounding guitar now. The PAF Pro likely has an alnico 8 magnet in it, and the F2 may be an alnico 5 and/or half-air.

Yeah it's a little rough over here, but we've got it great in many other ways, so it kinda makes up for it. :) Back when things were parity or AUD was higher than USD I built a Musikraft San Dimas style custom, and that parity made things a lot more affordable

The F2 is a great sounding pickup... I'll bet it pairs up with a Paf Pro pretty well! Great idea on the tuner washers, never thought of doing that to change the string angle up there.

The "Alice in Chains" tuning... \m/
Cheers, yeah I remembered my old guitar teacher telling me about it when I was a teenager many moons ago. I figured I'd try that for now, and depending, I may get some better tuners later. I'm due to at least try replacing the nut and maybe string tree first.
 
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