This is my list of the 10 Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitars.
So, you’re looking to get your fingers on a Yamaha acoustic guitar? Why? Because Yamaha guitars are like the Swiss Army knives of the music world: reliable, versatile, and there’s one for every kind of picker and grinner. Whether you’re a bedroom strummer or a stage superstar, Yamaha’s got your back (or at least, your hand). Here, we’re going to break down the top 10 in various categories. Brace your bank accounts, and let’s dive in!
Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitar for Beginners
- Main Characteristics: Solid Spruce top, Nato/Okume back and sides, Traditional Western body
- Price Indication: ~$250
- Body and Neck: A beautiful blend of solid spruce and Nato/Okume. The traditional western body makes it a classic pick for any newbie with dreams of guitar stardom.
- Playability: The FG800’s neck is as smooth as butter on a hot pancake. Beginners, prepare to feel like pros with this comfortable grip.
- Electronics and Hardware: No electronics here, pure acoustic magic! But the tuning machines? Solid, steady, and reliable.
- Sound: Punchy lows and crispy highs, this beauty sounds way more expensive than it is.
- Customer Reviews:
- “As a beginner, I felt like a rock star! It’s so smooth.” – Jimmy L.
- “I wish it had electronics. But for this price? Can’t complain!” – Sarah G.
- “Probably the cheapest guitar you can get to have “the” tone. Solid top makes a world of a difference. It really does sound a lot better because of it, no matter if you believe in tonewoods or not.” Thomas G.
- “Punches well above its weight in build quality, playability and tone.” Fingerthumpin.
- Verdict: For beginners seeking quality without breaking the bank, the FG800 is your new best friend. You’re welcome.
- Pros: Affordable, smooth playability, robust sound.
- Cons: No built-in electronics.
Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitar with All-Solid Wood
- Main Characteristics: Solid Engelmann Spruce top, Solid Rosewood back and sides, Luxury abalone inlay.
- Price Indication: ~$1,150
- Body and Neck: Engelmann Spruce paired with Rosewood? It’s like having a Ferrari in guitar form, complete with a luscious abalone inlay.
- Playability: The neck? Superb. The action? Impeccable. It’s a luxury car with no extra charge for the heated seats.
- Electronics and Hardware: This one’s equipped with the SRT Zero Impact pickup. In English? It’s got a killer natural amplified sound.
- Sound: Deep, resonant, and clear. It’s the sound you dream of but rarely find.
- Customer Reviews:
- “After a few months of use I can say that I am delighted and would like to list impressions such as: 1.) the guitar is beautiful and works perfectly, the parts used are great. 2.) the weight alone already suggests that you get more for your money – I like heavy guitars 3.) the sound is brilliant, powerful and well defined, I can hardly imagine that it could be better 4.) perfectly adjusted, beautiful ebony fretboard and wonderful to play 5.) I find the pickup useful, but I can imagine that this is not the ultimate.”
- “I mean, this guitar is an experience, not just an instrument.” – Mark V.
- “Wish it was a bit more affordable, but you do get what you pay for!” – Nancy W.
- Verdict: It’s pricier, but for an all-solid wood experience, it’s unbeatable.
- Pros: Premium build, natural amplified sound, breathtaking inlay.
- Cons: Hefty on the wallet.
Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitar for Live Performance
- Main Characteristics: Thinline body, Spruce top, Nato back and sides, Cutaway design.
- Price Indication: ~$300
- Body and Neck: Slimmer thinline body? Check. Gorgeous cutaway? Check. Stage presence? Double check.
- Playability: Designed for the stage, the APX600 offers smooth access to upper frets and screams comfort.
- Electronics and Hardware: Equipped with Yamaha’s own System65 + SRT Piezo pickup. It’s loud, clear, and everything you want when you’re facing a crowd.
- Sound: Acoustically, it’s bright and clear. Plugged in? It’s like the guitar had a few energy drinks.
- Customer Reviews:
- ” I have been gigging this guitar for 3 months as one of my go-to acoustics ( I keep 2 on stage).
- I was able to (without any modification) play an open-air City festival show with this instrument, literally on the same day that it arrived at my door. The pickup system was correctly installed from the factory on mine (all strings are creating a balanced output). I knocked it on quality because the components could be better. The preamp seems a bit thin in part of the mids; which can be corrected with a 4 band EQ on a house mixer (or you can live with it). The construction is typical asian factory work, with uneven internal wood joints etc etc. Also, the frets are going fast. I will in fact contact someone to ask about the frets and if anything that can be done on that regarding quality of components for warranty work. At least the frets came properly dressed, and the fingerboard was quite playable from the factory.
- Overall, the thing works pretty darned well. For a guy who is used to modifying instruments (due to poor construction choices or workmanship) I literally did nothing, and I have been able to play the thing 3 months straight as a work instrument.
- I would recommend it as a cost-effective choice to get a usable guitar in hand. I have a M. Grand Performance, which I do not like to take to the places I take this Yamaha instrument (due to the rough environments). The cheap price tag also means that if some drunk guy bashes the thing while I’m offstage, then I don’t need to break the bank to replace it.” American Singer.
- “For live performances, this guitar is my go-to!” – Danny R.
- “It’s a bit thin on the acoustic sound, but amped up, it’s a beast!” – Kelly J.
- Verdict: Stage performers, this is your workhorse. And trust us, it’s a thoroughbred.
- Pros: Perfect for live shows, great pickup system, comfortable for long gigs.
- Cons: Slightly thinner unplugged sound.
Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitar for Electric-Acoustic Hybrid Lovers
- Main Characteristics: Solid Spruce top, Nato back and sides, Cutaway design.
- Price Indication: ~$400
- Body and Neck: Featuring the classic construction of the FG series with the added zing of a cutaway, the FGX800C is built to woo both the eyes and the ears.
- Playability: It offers the playability that the FG series is famous for with added access to those upper frets.
- Electronics and Hardware: System-66 pickup and preamp system makes this hybrid shine when plugged in, offering clear and natural amplified sound.
- Sound: Acoustically rich and robust with a plugged-in punch that’s sure to turn heads.
- Customer Reviews:
- “Finally, a Yamaha FG with a cutaway and electronics! Love it!” – Terry M.
- “Sounds good, feels good, looks good. Tuner and pickups work great. Wish I could play it more, bought it shortly before moving out of the family home into an apartment. It’s an acoustic and that means it’s loud. When I feel the need to play at 3AM, I don’t really have a choice but to go with electric. Oh well, I definitely want to keep it. Maybe some day I’ll get to play it more. It’s mine and I like it so much I wouldn’t give it up even if I can’t play it.” Jonas L.
- “Feels a bit bulky, but the sound more than makes up for it.” – Jessica P.
- “The FGX800C is the cheapest electro-acoustic guitar in the Yamaha FG 8xx series. I was looking for an addition to my FG 820 guitar and should have an integrated pickup. The choice fell on the FGX800C. It has a slightly smaller format than my FG820 Dreadnought – but only slightly (not so pot-bellied below).
Purely acoustically, the good sounds quite “pointed” (clear, concise highs). Also typical for Yamaha is a somewhat restrained bass. Despite everything, the FG 820 sounds a bit better acoustically.
Thanks to the integrated equalizer on the pickup, you can adapt the sound on the AMP to your own ideas. The pickup has an additional controller with which you can set the base frequency on which the middle controller acts. It is also positive that 2 mignon batteries are used instead of 9 volt blocks.
The playability is typically good for Yamaha, as is the workmanship and optics.
All in all a typical Yamaha. For the price you get a very decent, versatile instrument.” Harry G.
- Verdict: A perfect choice for the player who wants the best of both acoustic and electric worlds.
- Pros: Versatile sound options, easy upper fret access, reliable electronics.
- Cons: Slightly bulkier feel for some.
Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitar for Mid-Range Budgets
- Main Characteristics: Solid Engelmann Spruce top, Mahogany back and sides, Modified Dreadnought body.
- Price Indication: ~$900
- Body and Neck: The LL6M boasts a solid spruce top and mahogany body, resulting in a guitar that both looks and sounds more expensive than it is.
- Playability: With its modified dreadnought shape, it’s comfortable for long playing sessions and ideal for any style.
- Electronics and Hardware: Though it’s more on the acoustic side, its SRT Zero Impact pickup is a quiet achiever when amplification is needed.
- Sound: Rich mids, sparkling highs, and a clarity that’s sure to impress any ear in its vicinity.
- Customer Reviews:
- “For the price, it’s a steal! Gorgeous sound and feel.” – Ronnie Q.
- “I have had a couple of acoustics and been lucky enough to play a few more and this blows them away. I would expect to pay more for it really, it plays perfectly out of the box with a good set up which i haven’t had to touch. The sound it creates is lovely and for a smallish guitar it gives a very good bass response. Overall its a really really good all round guitar. I’m used to having an equalizer on my last electro acoustic but to be honest i used to set that in one position and not really change it much so i don’t really miss it, although it would be a nice option.” Axewound.
- “It’s a tad heavy, but man, it sounds like heaven.” – Ellie Z.
- Verdict: If you’re seeking premium vibes without a premium price, this one’s calling your name.
- Pros: Great value for money, rich tonal quality, adaptable to many styles.
- Cons: A bit on the heavier side.
Best Innovative Yamaha Acoustic Guitar
- Main Characteristics: Solid Spruce top, Rosewood back and sides, Built-in reverb and chorus.
- Price Indication: ~$1200
- Body and Neck: Traditional looks with an innovative twist. The rosewood and spruce combination is both classic and effective.
- Playability: Familiar dreadnought feel, but with the added magic of onboard effects.
- Electronics and Hardware: The real star here is the built-in reverb and chorus – without any external amps or effects.
- Sound: Imagine your acoustic with a touch of arena-sized reverb or a sprinkle of chorus, all without any external gear.
- Customer Reviews:
- “I “stumbled” across the Yamaha LS-TA on YouTube and was initially fascinated by the Transacoustic effects. Upon closer inspection, I found that it ticks all of the boxes on my list -> OM body shape, solid Engelmann spruce top (incl. Acoustic Resonance Enhancement), solid rosewood back and sides, ebony fretboard and bridge, pickups and even a subtle “Bling-Bling” in the form of the abalone rosette and the inlays in the fretboard. The tests and reviews on the net were also consistently positive. That’s why I decided to buy the Yamaha LS-TA, as opposed to the well-known premium brands.
- I’ve had the guitar for a few weeks now and I’m still happy about my decision! It is impeccably finished, cleanly tuned, looks wonderful and has a beautiful sound (even without the effects switched on). The use of the reverb / chorus effect on top is then also a lot of fun and makes the sound of the guitar appear even bigger. The chorus effect causes the guitar to sound similar to a 12-string guitar – and all without connected external effects or amplifiers. The effects are finely adjustable, not too intrusive and sound realistic and not synthetic. I also like the transparent pick guard, which is almost invisible and doesn’t hide the beauty of the guitar. The guitar neck consists of 5 layers and is super stable.” Stechi.
- “This guitar feels like playing in a cathedral. Just surreal.” – Vince H.
- “The effects are also extraordinary, everyone should have heard this once.” Mike L.
- “The effects are fun, but traditionalists might find it gimmicky.” – Mona L.
- Verdict: For those looking to push the boundaries of what an acoustic can do, this is a game changer.
- Pros: Unique onboard effects, rich sound, innovative tech.
- Cons: Might feel gimmicky to some.
Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitar for Aesthetics and Beginners
- Main Characteristics: Solid Spruce top, Mahogany back and sides, Unique color combinations.
- Price Indication: ~$320
- Body and Neck: Yamaha took aesthetics to the next level with the Storia series. It’s not just a guitar; it’s a fashion statement.
- Playability: Designed with beginners in mind, it’s easy to play and feels light in the hands.
- Electronics and Hardware: Built-in passive pickup system allows you to plug in whenever you fancy.
- Sound: Clear, crisp, and perfect for light strumming or fingerpicking.
- Customer Reviews:
- “Excellent guitar, very well finished, the varnish of the soundboard makes it even more beautiful, I played blues and jazz on it, it has a very good sound, very balanced, the walnut fingerboard is very comfortable and sweet, Yamaha made it very strong.” Luccio.
- “Amazing finish and quality from Yamaha. The first under 400€ acoustic where there is simply nothing to criticize about anything. A guitar with a great sound and great playing feel, which in addition to good features, looks very good. If your budget is less than €400, this is a sure choice that you won’t be disappointed with.” Jonasan.
- “I mean, it’s gorgeous AND it sounds great. What’s not to love?” – Amy N.
- “The sound is good, but I mostly bought it because it’s pretty.” – Alex D.
- Verdict: A perfect blend of form and function. It’s as much a piece of art as it is an instrument.
- Pros: Stunning aesthetics, beginner-friendly, versatile sound.
- Cons: Might be more form over function for some purists.
Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitar for the Fingerstyle Enthusiast
- Main Characteristics: Solid Spruce top, Rosewood back and sides, Concert body cutaway.
- Price Indication: ~$400
- Body and Neck: The FSX830C doesn’t just promise a stellar performance—it delivers with gusto. The spruce and rosewood combo gives it a classy exterior, sure to have heads turning and eyes fixated.
- Playability: With its concert body and cutaway, it’s as if Yamaha secretly whispered to the guitar: “Be kind to the fingers, especially the ones trying to reach those high notes.”
- Electronics and Hardware: Onboard System-66 electronics and an adjustable mid-range frequency control ensure your electrified tunes remain crisp, clear, and entirely in your control.
- Sound: Ideal for fingerstyle with its sparkling clarity, but versatile enough to handle a good old strumming session.
- Customer Reviews:
- “The clarity is just mind-blowing. Perfect for my fingerpicking sessions.” – Jamie C.
- “The sound is perfect and powerful. That’s what I wanted. The body is a bit wide (this is the reverse)
A very nice instrument.” Domi74
- “I wish the low end was a bit more pronounced, but overall, a solid choice.” – Lee G.
- Verdict: For those who love to twiddle, pluck, and caress guitar strings, this might just be your musical soulmate.
- Pros: Clear and precise sound, great for fingerstyle, excellent electronics.
- Cons: Low-end could be more prominent.
Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitar for Stage Performers
- Main Characteristics: Spruce top, Nato back and sides, Medium-jumbo body.
- Price Indication: ~$350
- Body and Neck: This bad boy has curves! The CPX600, with its medium-jumbo body, is voluptuous and proud, promising a sound that’s as big as its silhouette.
- Playability: A performer’s dream. Thanks to its slightly smaller size, it’s comfortable to play, letting you focus on your performance.
- Electronics and Hardware: Featuring Yamaha’s SRT pickup and preamp system, this guitar can rock out hard or serenade softly, all while being plugged in.
- Sound: Rich and resonant, with a boldness that fills up the room.
- Customer Reviews:
- “After weeks of searching for guitar that would suit me, I did end up with CPX 600, and i was right. Great sound (acoustic and electric), great shape (dreadnought is a bit big for me, and apx is too small), affordable, great looking. I can’t find any cons so far.” Dano
- “I was hesitating between the Yamaha APX600 and the Yamaha CPX600, and I do not regret the purchase.
The APX600 may be somewhat more comfortable due to its dimensions, but the unplugged sound of the CPX600 makes up for it. Balanced sound and good finishes. Very nice and light guitar.” Juan M.
- I do not think i’ll need a better or new guitar for some time (we all know that might change very fast 😀 )
- “Every time I’m on stage with this, I feel invincible. The CPX600 really shines under the spotlight.” – Sam T.
- “It’s loud and proud, though slightly bulky for my taste.” – Kira M.
- Verdict: When the stage calls, the CPX600 answers with a roaring encore.
- Pros: Powerful sound, reliable electronics, comfortable playability.
- Cons: Might feel a bit bulky for some.
Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitar for the Studio
- Main Characteristics: Solid Sitka spruce top with ARE treatment, Solid rosewood back and sides, Concert cutaway body.
- Price Indication: ~$1,600
- Body and Neck: A5R combines the craftsmanship Yamaha’s known for with advanced wood treatments. The aged wood gives this guitar a seasoned aura like it’s seen a few legendary studio sessions already.
- Playability: The comfortable concert body with a cutaway begs to be played for hours, making those long studio sessions a breeze.
- Electronics and Hardware: It’s decked out with the SRT2 pickup system, offering a natural acoustic sound when plugged in.
- Sound: Think crisp highs, strong mids, and a bass that’s just the right kind of deep.
- Customer Reviews:
- “I’ve used it in three studio recordings already. This thing is a masterpiece!” – Robin P.
- ” I (amateur guitarist for over 20 years) am amazed by the quality of this guitar with a very sober and versatile look, at ease both acoustically and plugged in (on a computer for me). Impressive sustain, very present bass, punchy treble, all perfectly balanced, bass action, beautiful projection … ultra comfortable neck, really versatile … What more can we say? I have been using it for a few weeks and it enchants me both in strumming and picking, I have kept the original elixir strings for now. For the same characteristics, it is necessary to pay double with the “big” brands … Finally, it is at all massive, so that happiness in perspective!” Pierre.
- “The tonal quality is exquisite. Only wish it had a gloss finish.” – Derrick L.
- Verdict: If the studio’s your second home, the A5R might just be your new best friend.
- Pros: Exceptional tonal quality, fantastic electronics, studio-ready.
- Cons: Matte finish might not be for everyone.
Let’s wrap it up here! Of course, Yamaha has a vast array of incredible guitars. The key takeaway? There’s a Yamaha for every player. Whether you’re playing your first chord or your thousandth gig, Yamaha’s got your six strings covered. Rock on! 🤘🎸
Frequently asked questions on buying a Yamaha acoustic guitar
1. Why choose a Yamaha acoustic guitar over other brands?
- Yamaha is renowned for its consistency in craftsmanship, quality, and affordability. They offer a broad range of acoustic guitars catering to both beginners and professionals. Their reputation for durability and great sound makes them a top choice for many musicians.
2. What’s the difference between the FG and FS series?
- The primary difference lies in the body size and shape. The FG series generally features a traditional dreadnought shape, providing a louder and more robust sound. The FS series, on the other hand, has a concert or smaller body shape, which offers a more comfortable playing experience, especially for those with a smaller frame.
3. Are Yamaha guitars good for beginners?
- Absolutely! Yamaha offers several models tailored to beginners, like the FG800 or the FS800. These models are affordable, have a great sound quality, and are built to withstand the learning process.
4. Does Yamaha make all-solid wood acoustic guitars?
- Yes, Yamaha does produce all-solid wood acoustic guitars, especially in their higher-end series like the L Series or the A Series. These guitars tend to offer richer tones and better resonance than their laminated counterparts.
5. How do the TransAcoustic guitars work?
- Yamaha’s TransAcoustic guitars come with built-in reverb and chorus effects directly within the guitar body itself. This means you can have these effects acoustically, without needing any external amplification or gadgets. It’s achieved through an actuator installed on the inner surface of the guitar back which vibrates in response to string vibrations.
6. Where are Yamaha guitars made?
- Yamaha guitars are manufactured in various locations worldwide, depending on the model and series. While many are produced in factories in Asia, like Indonesia and China, their high-end models are often crafted in Japan.
7. What is the Yamaha ARE treatment I keep hearing about?
- ARE stands for “Acoustic Resonance Enhancement.” It’s a wood aging process Yamaha uses on some of their guitars. The process involves precisely controlling the temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure to “age” the wood, resulting in a mature sound typically found in vintage instruments.
8. Is it worth investing in a higher-end Yamaha guitar, or will a budget model suffice?
- This largely depends on your needs and budget. If you’re just starting out or need a reliable backup guitar, Yamaha’s budget models are fantastic. However, if you’re a seasoned player or are particular about sound nuances, investing in a higher-end Yamaha will provide enhanced sound quality, craftsmanship, and features.
9. Do Yamaha acoustic guitars come with a warranty?
- Yes, Yamaha typically offers a limited warranty for their acoustic guitars, covering defects in materials and workmanship. However, always check the terms and specifics of the warranty upon purchase.
10. How do I maintain and care for my Yamaha acoustic guitar?
- Regular cleaning, using a soft cloth, ensuring it’s stored in a stable environment away from extreme temperatures or humidity, and using a hard case for protection are good practices. Also, periodic checks and adjustments by a professional can keep your guitar in top shape.