The Yamaha RGZ is similar to the RGX range but with a less pointy headstock. It can be divided into the models made in Japan for the domestic market only and a larger range of models which were exported and probably also sold in Japan. The Yamaha Archives only show the domestic models and none of the export models appear in any of the Japanese catalogues I have seen. They appear to have been made from 1988 to about 1990 and I have not seen any in any catalogues later than 1990. As I can't find official records of some of the models it is possible that some were made later. If anyone can add any information about dates please contact me.
According to the archives there are 6 domestic models, in reality this is three models there being a M version
of each to indicate a maple board, which for some reason commanded a slightly higher price.
Unusually the higher the number the lower the spec. The specs are:
|RGZ 1 and 1M||RGZ 11 and 11 M||RGZ 111 and 111M|
|Dates made||March 1988 to 1990||March 1988 to 1990||March 1988 to 1990|
|Price||125,000 yen 128,000 for M||68,000 yen 70,000 for M||55,000 yen 57,000 for M|
|Neck||Maple Bolt on||Maple bolt on||Maple bolt on|
|Fretboard||Bound Ebony or Maple||Rosewood or Maple||Rosewood or Maple|
|Body||top 2 layers of Maple back 2 layers Mahogany||Basswood||Basswood|
|Frets||24 Jim Dunlop 6100 Jumbo||24 Jumbo||24 Jumbo|
|Bridge||Rockin Magic Pro||Rockin Magic Pro||RMX III|
|Pickups||LIVE-GS 1 (Alnico II USA Made) x 2, LIVE-GH 1 (Alnico V) x 1||FOCUS - SH 1 T (Ceramic) x 1, FOCUS - SS 1 (Alnico V) x 2||FOCUS - SH 1 T (Ceramic) x 1, FOCUS" - SS 1 (Alnico V) x 2|
|Controls||1 volume 2 tone 5 way switch and mini toggle for coil tap||1 volume 1 tone 5 way switch and mini toggle for coil tap||1 volume 1 tone 5 way switch and mini toggle for coil tap *|
|Colours||Violin finish sunburst, see-through black, see-through red sunburst, see-through navy sunburst||Black, Pearl White, Red Black Sunburst, Champagne Gold||Black, White, Italian Red|
Update 14th April 2018
Richard Pope an RGZ 111 owner has written to me to let me know that the RGZ 111 does have a coil tap but in the form of a push/push action on the tone control.
Update June 2022
The 1991 catalogue is now available and the RGZ models are still in there so the archives are slightly out, not for the first time, the RGZ III is shown and does not have a mini toggle switch.
All these models have a headstock as above without the model number displayed the 1 is easy to identify as it has
three controls the 11 and 111 have different bridges and possibly the 111 doesn't have the mini toggle switch.
Information on these models is scarce and not many pictures are about. Anything anyone can add would be appreciated.