Yamaha RGX A2 (A.I.R guitar) pickups

Don’t know if you’ve ever tried one of these guitars, but I’ve fallen in love with them. Plenty of really stupid design decisions but some great ones too.

Yamaha describes the pickups thus:

Developed with the custom shop at Yamaha Artist Services, Hollywood, the A2 pickups perfectly compliment the tonal characteristics of the A.I.R. body. Designed with the input of some of the world’s greatest guitar players, the A2’s powerful tone belies its light weight.


The rumour is that these are Dimarzio pickups (denied by Dimarzio). So I bought a Dimarzio Soapbar Tone Zone to try it out in one of my A2s.

Guess which one is the unique custom pickup designed by Yamaha?

Yamaha RGX A2 and Dimarzio Tone Zone

BTW, the custom pickup string spacing doesn’t even match the custom bridge string spacing.

Posted in Reviews | 7 Comments

7 Responses to Yamaha RGX A2 (A.I.R guitar) pickups

  1. Interesting – so these fir standard P-90 routs too then?

  2. jamesbisset says:

    That’s the interesting thing. I bought a Bare Knuckle bone white P90 soapbar cover which fit the Yamaha rout perfectly. My generic soapbar covers (including a Tonerider P90) won’t fit because their corner radius is too small. They’ve got corners.

    The Bare Knuckle soapbar cover is extensively researched, retro as radio and made with cellulose. (The guys were absolutely great when I complained that it looked secondhand). The Dimarzio pickup template was originally made to retrofit Gibson guitars too.

    It’s almost like the Yamaha was routed to fit this exact pickup style!

    So the Yamaha pickups should fit most P90 routs because they’re generously rounded, but not all P90s will fit the Yamaha for the same reason.

  3. Mauricio says:

    Hi, how the A2 sounds now with the Tone Zone´s ?

    • jamesbisset says:

      I’m on holiday at the moment, and I haven’t had time to do the rewire. I’ll post here when I do though.

  4. Kevin says:

    Hi, i know this was a year ago, however thought I’d try and see if you were still out there. I recently bought the a2, thinking about swapping out with the SD super distortion p90, the alnicios seem a little weaker. Will these fit? And can I use the same white soapbar covers?
    Will it improve the sound, other than that, I dig this guitars over all feel, therefore wouldn’t need to buy an expensive guitar, if I could only get the sound up to par….

    Appreciate the response

  5. jamesbisset says:

    Up to par for what?

    The Yamaha has a wonderful snappy, punchy sound befitting what is almost a semi-acoustic. It makes traditional solid guitars feel rubbery and flat by comparison. The stock pickups sit somewhere between the Fender single coil sound and the humbucking Gibson.

    I tried a Dimarzio single coil P90 (DP167) in the neck position. It sounds very similar to the original Yamaha pickup, except being single coil, it’s noisy.

    In the bridge position I put a Tone Zone (DP210). Frankly, it’s a little too middley for my taste and sounds, dare I say it, a little honky. Works great for a double distortion sound with fuzz and overloaded amp, but lacks the cut for the Funk.

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