The Yamaha MG Series

The Yamaha MG Guitars

This is an MGK one of the Pappaler Kawai models

With the exception of the elusive MG 1C of which more later, the MG range of superstrats was first made in 1989 and continued in production until around 2002. They were all made in Japan and produced only for the domestic market. I have not seen any in western catalogues. It's not surprising therefore that in the last few years of watching Ebay auction completed sales I have only seen one sold. That was an MGK11 with a sustaniac added. It sold for £395.

There are 19 models with often very similar and confusing designations. For the sake of convenience. I have divided them in to three sections. There are 7 Standard models, 8 Artist Signature models and 4 Special editions, there is also the MGS Standard and Custom which are detailed in my Rare and Unusual Yamaha pages

The MG Standard Guitars

Launched in 1989 were the MG11M, MG11R, MG111M, MG111R and the MG1R. The MG Standard followed in 1992 and the MG11S in 1994. There was no production of standard models after 1996. Full specifications detailed at the bottom of this page, but in the first four models mentioned the M at the end indicates a Maple board and the R a Rosewood however the MG1R has an Ebony board. Strangely the archives state that the MG Standard has Gold Hardware but it is black in the catalogues. Equally strange is that for some reason in the first four models the Maple boards are SSS and the Rosewood Boards SSH, the differences between the 11 and the 111 are the bridge and the colours. Some pictures

On the left an MG Standard in Crimson Red the only colour it came in and on the right an MG11R in snow white.

The MG Guitars Special or Limited Editions

The Yamaha Archives refer to three models as special editions, they are the MG11RS the MG111Rs and the MG Special. I am not sure what makes these special editions, the MG11RS was in production for many years although the other two were less than a year. The definitely special edition was the MG1C.

Top Left is an MG11RS right is an MG111RS I suspect the scratchplate and pickups are a modification and the bottom is a MG111RS which is in a colour not mentioned anywhere in the archives

The 11RS and the 111RS differ in the bridges, the finish of the hardware and the colours. Again there is an error in the archives they suggest that the MG11RS has 22 frets whereas the catalogues and the pictures all show 26 frets.

The MG Special released in August 1994 lasted less than a year and appeared only in the 1995 catalogue I have no pictures of this it came in a blue burst and a sunburst.

This is the MG1C

Very little info is available on this guitar, what we do know is that it was a limited edition of 100 units, in the red shown above or a similar design in blue. It was for Yamaha's 100th anniversary so would have been made in 1987 and sold in 1987 or 1988. It didn't feature in any of the catalogues but certain dealers were able to order for their customers. It sold at 220,000 yen had a Clapton style mid boost system and LEDs. I have no information on construction, pickups etc. As it pre-dates the rest it maybe not correct to include it as part of the range.

MG Guitars Artist Models

There are three guitarists who have MG signature models, Hirohuni Korekata the MGHK, Pappaler Kawai who has the MGK and the MGK11 then there is Takahiro Matsumoto with the MGM, MGM11, MGM11G, MGM Custom and MGM111.

This is Hirohuni Korekatas MGHK

It only came in this colour called Lavendar Violet and featured amongst other things Seymour Duncan pickups. It was said to be available from 1995 to 2001 but I can only find it in the 1998 catalogue.

Top pictures are an MGK and an MGK11 it can be seen that the main differences are the pickup configuration and the fretboards. The lower picture is just the MGK in more detail.

The MGK ran from around 1989 to 1992 and the MGK11 from 1990 to 1996 these were only made in white.

An MGM and an MGM11 both apparently only came in Blueburst but we seem to have a red one here. The main difference between the two models is the bridge

The MGM 11G in Neon Light Graphics and an MGM111 and a Custom in Zebra Finish

Above another look at the Neon Lights Graphic.

Below the MGM 111 these pictures kindly provided by Amiskace from the Yamaha Forum

Takahiro Matsumoto rather greedily had five signature models from around 1989 to 1993 and as you can see had some pretty funky finishes the MGM Custom was released at 220,000 yen and featured some spectacular construction and DiMarzio pickups see specs.

Here are the full specs as far as I have them. Specifications

NB There is an error on the specs for the MGKII it says only available in White but some later ones came in Chrome Red.

Back to top