Selecting an acoustic guitar was a pretty straightforward task a decade or so ago, because of the limited number of brands available. However, the scenario has changed drastically, and selecting the best acoustic guitar for beginners can be quite confusing nowadays. One has to check the reputation of the brand, the quality of the guitar, its features, and price. Also, one should check out how it compares with other guitars available at the same price range, and what users are saying about it. I shall be covering all of this and more in this Yamaha FS800 guitar review. For those planning to purchase a guitar for the first time, the Yamaha FS series consists of a classic lineup of budget acoustic guitars, first introduced nearly five decades ago.
Priced under $200, the Yamaha FS800 is available in both concert and dreadnought sizes. It is particularly thinner, smaller, and lighter in weight than most of its equivalents in Yamaha’s other lineups. The manufacturer designed this guitar, keeping comfort in mind. Therefore, it is highly suitable for those planning to learn this musical instrument for the first time, for players with small hands as well as guitarists who are always on the road. Yamaha has used Nato for the neck, sides, and back, and Rosewood for the bridge. The top of this guitar is made from a solid Sitka spruce. It means that you are getting a good-looking and well-built guitar at a pocket-friendly price. Yamaha has taken care to ensure that there are no excess glue or gaps around joints. I loved the following features of this model:
• Laminate sides and back
• Solid spruce top
• Black binding on the back and top
• Rosewood bridge and fingerboard
• The sunburst finish on the top
• Tusq saddle
• Black body binding
• Matte neck finish
• Chrome die-cast tuners
• Scalloped bracing pattern
Solid wood-tops have a more significant tone and resonance compared to laminate tops, implying that such guitars cost more. However, this is not the case for this guitar. Among the coolest features of this model is its acoustic-electric configuration. For an extra $100 you can opt for an under-saddle pickup, meaning your guitar will boast of:
• Precision chromatic tuner for optimum sound tailoring
• Adjustable mid-range frequency control
• 3-band EQ
The excellent materials used in the guitar apart, I was thrilled by its profile and size. Because of its small body, this guitar is perfect for women and young players of a small frame. Players with smaller hands will find more comfort as they strum through this model’s shorter neck and tighter string spacing. However, this does not imply that other players will not be comfortable with it. The design is unarguably the greatest asset of the Yamaha FS800 guitar. You will enjoy its compact and light body as well as take advantage of the excellent balance between the body and neck, which makes it easy to play while moving around or while standing. The flat and thin neck, along with the matte finish, allows people with sweaty hands to play this guitar effortlessly. The outstanding sound of this guitar complements its build. It is well-known for its excellent sound quality that is both warm and loud in equal measure. It produces a well-balanced sound as well as a sweet tone, perfect for fingerpicking and recording. The durable materials used to manufacture this guitar ensures that it will maintain its tone and sound for a long time. Yamaha has thoughtfully included a hard shell case for optimum protection when you are traveling or while storing it at home. Durability is a plus point with this guitar. Unlike some other guitars of the same price range, the sturdy materials used for this Yamaha model ensures that it will last for many years.
What to expect from this guitar
As a beginner, you have got to get started somewhere. You require a model that is light in weight, is easy to play, is constructed with sturdy wood, and designed keeping the beginner in mind. If you purchase this offering from Yamaha, you will be getting a real guitar with real sound. As it is small and light in weight, you will face no problems while learning how to play the guitar. It is so addicting that you will never really grow out of it. If you take good care of it, you will still be playing it for 10 to 15 years to come. For a relatively low price, you will get a cool bundle that includes polish cloth, instructional DVDs, pick, straps, strings, tuner, and a sturdy carrying case.
What are other users saying?
Most users say that they are delighted by the price of the Yamaha FS800, its feel, its impressive neck profile, the solid Sitka spruce top, and its excellent sound. You might not be comfortable with this model if you have a big frame. They love the change in bracing style that Yamaha has incorporated in all its guitars, including this model. The new scalloped bracing fortifies the guitar and helps it resonate. It means that when you strum this guitar, you can get quite a bit of articulation and volume from such a small body.
How does it compare with other guitars?
The Yamaha FS800 and the FG800 often confuse many guitarists. They both appear similar as well as are closely-related in every sense of the word. However, there are two differences between them. The former is a full-sized guitar while the latter has a smaller build. The former is ideal for average to big-sized guitarists, while the latter is perfect for younger and smaller players as well as for women. Both of these guitars are the same apart from the two differences mentioned.
PROs & CONs Listing
• Affordable price
• Produces big and excellent sound despite its small body
• Well-made and finished with premium materials
• Perfect for young players and women
• No strap button on the neck side of the body
• Concert sized acoustic guitar may be too small for some players
• No dot or inlay on the neck of the third fret
If you are looking for a pocket-friendly guitar that does not compromise on build or sound quality, look no further than the Yamaha FS800 guitar.