The Yamaha Image Series was launched in 1988 and designed by Martyn Booth in the UK who left Yamaha in 1990 and now designs his own custom guitars. Booth once worked for Gibson when they introduced the solidbody ES-335-S. Booth didn't like the Gibson ES-335-S and worked on his won version of it which reemerged when he worked for Yamaha in 1987. Yamaha was looking for a high-end guitar to complement Yamaha's SG line. In the U.S. it was called the Image but in the U.K. it was called the MSG (Martyn's Solid Guitar) because the "Image" name was already taken.
The body of the Image series is mahogany and has a 22 fret glued-in mahogany neck with 25" scale (Think PRS). The maple top came in blond, cherry and orange sunburst.
The Yamaha Image Series consists of three guitar models. There is the Yamaha Image Standard with a bound rosewood fingerboard and a chrome stop-tail bridge with strings running throught the body. The Yamaha Image Deluxe has a bound ebony fingerboard and a chrome Yamaha Rockin' Magic Pro tremolo. While the Yamaha Image Custom has a bound Brazillian Rosewood fretboard and a Gold Vintage Pro needle bearing vibrato. All of the guitars in the series feature an HH pickup configuration.
The Yamaha Image Custom was somewhat special, it featured Yamaha's Hybrid Integrated Pickup system with active/passive options, controled by a mini toggle, as opposed to the Yamaha Live GH-1 Humbuckers on the Yamaha Image Standard and the Yamaha Image Deluxe. It also features Gotoh Magnum Lok tuners to complement the Vintage Pro needle bearing vibrato. Two other mini-toggles serve as coil taps.