Few guitar makers on the planet can boast over a 100-year legacy, and Yamaha is one of them. And if you’re looking for a guitar that’s high quality, sturdy, easy to play, and fits your budget, then we’re pretty sure there’s a Yamaha acoustic guitar out there that will fit the bill.
To help you choose the perfect acoustic guitar from the brand’s massive collection, we’ve put together this list of the best Yamaha acoustic guitars at each price point. Whether you’re a newbie looking for the perfect beginner’s piece or an expert looking for a high-end option, this list covers models that will suit every kind of guitarist. Without further ado, let’s jump right into our list.
|Name of Product||Image of Product||Description||Price Range||Full Review|
|1. Yamaha APX600 Acoustic-Electric Guitar (Best Value)||Scale length: 25”|
Body: Spruce top with Nato back and sides
|$800||Read Full Review Below|
|2. Yamaha F335 (Best Cheap)||Scale length: 25”|
Body: Laminated spruce top with Meranti back and sides
|$160||Read Full Review Below|
|3. Yamaha LL16RD L Series (Best Overall)||Scale length: 25.5”|
Body: Spruce top, Rosewood Sides and Back
|$1080||Read Full Review Below|
|4. Yamaha LL-TA||Scale length: 25.6”|
Body: Solid Engelmann Spruce A.R.E top with solid rosewood back and sides
|$1080||Read Full Review Below|
|5. Yamaha FG-TA||Scale length: 25.5”|
Body: Solid sitka spruce top, Mahogany back and sides
|$650||Read Full Review Below|
|6. Yamaha A-Series A1R||Scale length: 25.6”|
Body: Solid Sitka spruce top and Rosewood back, sides
|$650||Read Full Review Below|
|7. Yamaha FG800||Scale length: 25”|
Body: Spruce top, Nato back and sides
|$200||Read Full Review Below|
|8. Yamaha FS800||Scale length: 25”|
Body: Solid spruce top and Nato back, sides
|$200||Read Full Review Below|
|9. Yamaha FG830||Scale length: 25.6”|
Body: Solid spruce top, Rosewood back and sides
|$320||Read Full Review Below|
|10. Yamaha APXT2||Scale length: 22 13/16”|
Body: Spruce top, Meranti sides, and back
|$200||Read Full Review Below|
|11. Yamaha FG Series FGX800C||Scale length: 25.6”|
BoYamaha FGdy: Solid spruce top with nato back and sides
|$320||Read Full Review Below|
|12. Yamaha JR2 3/4 Scale Folk Guitar||Scale length: 21”|
Body: Spruce top with mahogany finish back and sides
|$170||Read Full Review Below|
|13. Yamaha STORIA III Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar||Scale length: 25”|
Body: Solid mahogany top with mahogany back and sides
|$430||Read Full Review Below|
|14. Yamaha FSX800C Small Body Acoustic-Electric Guitar||Scale length: 25.6”|
Body: Solid spruce top with Nato/okume back and sides
|$320||Read Full Review Below|
|15. Yamaha CSF1M Parlor Acoustic-Electric Guitar||Scale length: 18”|
Body: Solid sitka spruce top and Mahogany back and sides
|$430||Read Full Review Below|
Here Are the Best Yamaha Guitars
1. Yamaha APX600 Acoustic-Electric Guitar (Best Value)
|Body||Spruce top with Nato back and sides|
My Review: The APX600 Acoustic-Electric truly showcases what Yamaha does best, combining its expert craftsmanship with impressive electronics to produce a superb sounding instrument. The model’s stunning APX cutaway design has been crafted with a spruce top and 3-ply nato back and sides. We appreciate that the brand does its bit towards minimizing waste and encouraging sustainable harvesting of wood by using locally produced tonewood to construct many of its guitars including this one. The acoustic’s crisp and punchy tone stays intact even when plugged in, thanks to Yamaha’s reliable System 65A preamp with a highly sensitive under-saddle piezo pickup. This Thinline guitar with its incredibly comfortable neck scores high on playability, making it perfect for learners and younger players.
Overall Build: The model has a classic APX Thinline shape with a cutaway profile and a non-scalloped X-type bracing, which allows a smooth and breezy playing experience. The cutaway design provides easy access to all 22 frets on the fingerboard including the higher ones while the slim neck with narrow string spacing is a joy to hold and play. The oval soundhole with a beautiful ABS & Abalone inlay enriches the overall sound by providing meatier mid-range tones. The hardware components feature a rosewood bridge with white dot bridge pins and robust die-cast chrome tuning machine heads. The APX600 variant we are reviewing sports a classic natural look with a glossy finish but you have four equally stunning layouts to choose from- black, vintage white, oriental blue burst, and old violin sunburst.
Wood Details: The guitar’s sleek body has been built with high-quality laminated spruce which is responsible for the bright, punchy tone. The back and sides have been crafted with Nato wood which is a less expensive alternative to mahogany and is widely used in laminate construction to keep the cost low. The three-ply nato construction enhances the strength and durability of the guitar. The satin-finished neck is made from a locally-sourced tropical tonewood and features the standard rosewood fingerboard.
Sound Quality: The APX600’s spruce wood top in conjunction with the non-scalloped X-bracing design maximizes the resonance of the unique APX design to produce a full, well-balanced acoustic tone. The overall sound you get is rich, loud with an attention-grabbing lower end. The under-saddle system 65A preamp and SRT piezo pickup accurately captures and reproduces the natural acoustic tone of the guitar. That’s not all, the 3-band EQ along with a volume knob, a mid-range frequency slider, and a super convenient digital tuner offers the players plenty of freedom to shape the tone to suit their musical styles. After playing and testing dozens of Yamaha guitars I would have to say the APX600 is the best Yamaha acoustic-electric guitar for the money.
2. Yamaha F335 (Best Cheap)
|Body||Laminated spruce top with Meranti back and sides|
My Review: Yamaha has prided itself in producing a wide range of great-sounding, high-quality acoustic guitars covering different musical styles as well as catering to the requirements of beginners and more proficient players. What’s great about the brand is that the guitars they make are quite sensibly priced for the value they offer. The F335 is another budget-friendly dreadnought by Yamaha, made with a laminated spruce top and Meranti wood back and sides. With a sturdy build, solid sound, and affordable price tag, this guitar fits the bill as an ideal beginner guitar. For the more experienced players, this guitar can be used as a practice or backup guitar.
Overall Build: This model has a classic dreadnought shape and a 25-inch scale length built with a laminate spruce top and meranti back and sides. The F335’s narrow mahogany neck with 20 fret rosewood fingerboard is easy to navigate and play. The eye-catching tortoiseshell pickguard is a standout feature that works well in protecting the glossy finish of the guitar. The rosewood bridge and corrosion-resistant gold die-cast tuners keep the guitar in tune even after long stretches of heavy-duty playing. While we are reviewing the natural layout here, the F335 also comes in solid black as well as Tobacco Brown Sunburst variants.
Wood Details: The guitar’s full dreadnought shape has been made with a laminated spruce top, while the back and sides have been crafted out of Meranti wood. The neck has been built using Meranti wood and sports a classic rosewood fingerboard. One can argue that a laminate wood construction does not sound or feel as good as solid wood, but it is certainly a more durable and cost-effective choice to make pocket-friendly guitars. The model comes with a glossy finish that enhances the aesthetics and lifespan of the guitar.
Sound Quality: With this model in hand, you will be able to produce bright, resonant, and vibrant tones similar to that of a higher-end Yamaha. For more complex and nuanced sounds, you may need to upgrade the strings. The dreadnought shape renders a rich tone and enhances the overall projection as expected from this popular body shape. The tonal clarity of the low to mid-range end is not that spectacular but is quite good for the price.
3. Yamaha LL16RD L Series (Best Overall)
|Body||Solid Engelmen spruce top, Solid Rosewood Sides & Back|
|Neck||Mahogany and Rosewood 5-ply|
My Review: If you’re looking for a high-end guitar that exudes warmth, resonance, and a rich, balanced tone, then the Yamaha LL16RD is going to check all those boxes. With a body that’s crafted from carefully selected solid woods, its tone is a beautiful blend of bright highs and soft low-end presence. With zero impact SRT pickups, you get the option of playing this beauty plugged in without it tampering with the model’s traditional vintage appearance.
Overall Build: At the very first glance of the LL16RD, you know you’re looking at something special. This jumbo shaped guitar has an interesting non-scalloped brace pattern. This is a well thought-out decision that has added rich layers to its tone and sound. The model also boasts of a new neck design that is more tapered, comfortable and makes for smooth playability. The guitar’s die-cast gold tuners, natural finish, and tortoise pickguard add a beautiful touch to its overall appearance.
Wood Details: This model uses a hand-selected Engelmen solid Spruce top, while its back and sides are crafted from pure, solid rosewood. Its neck is crafted from 5-ply rosewood and mahogany, while the fingerboard is made from ebony. Another standout feature of this guitar is that they’ve used a proprietary wood reforming technology called A.R.E – or Acoustic Resonance Enhancement – to treat the material used in these models. By manipulating the humidity, temperature, and other properties of the wood used, the brand claims to ‘age’ the wood and bring out a better tone.
Sound Quality: Because of the high quality of woods used and the A.R.E technology, you can expect a rich, full-bodied tone with bright high-end and a sweet low-end presence as well. The A.R.E treatment lends a rich warmth, balanced tone, and an open resonance which makes this model sound much more seasoned, instead of a brand-new guitar. In my opinion, this is the best Yamaha acoustic guitar ever made.
4. Yamaha LL-TA
|Body||Solid Engelmann Spruce A.R.E top with solid rosewood back and sides|
|Neck||5-ply mahogany, rosewood|
My Review: We know how inspiring it is to play in a room that has great acoustic properties. Now imagine producing that rich and resonant sound every time you play, anywhere you play with Yamaha’s LL-TA guitar. Equipped with innovative Transacoustic technology, this premium guitar offers powerful unplugged and sonic effects that are hard to beat.
A rippling reverb and lush chorus effects are produced by an actuator located inside the body which mimics the strings’ vibrations when activated. Even without the TA effects, the natural acoustic tone of the guitar is top-notch, owing to its unique bracing style and all-solid body.
The guitar boasts a solid Engelmann spruce top and solid mahogany body, which together produce a warm, articulate tone with powerful lows and highs. When you are ready to perform, the System 70 preamp with a piezo pickup with onboard controls will ensure that the plugged-in sound is true and as fantastic as the natural tone of the guitar.
Overall Build: The model shares the popular L shaped body of the flagship L-series, with a wider lower bout that enhances lows and projection to deliver a bold and versatile sound. This Jumbo body guitar has an all-solid build with a modified non-scalloped bracing pattern which renders a bright tone with extended low-ends. The straighter taper neck together with an ebony fingerboard with hand-rolled edges will have you playing comfortably for hours on end. The neck also features a double-action adjustable rod which makes it stable with increased durability.
The hardware appointments include a maple body binding, a lovely abalone, and black and white rosette and corrosion resistant die-cast gold tuners. The guitar is equipped with Elixir 80/20 Bronze strings with NANOWEB protective coating for a crisp sound and long lasting performance. Finally, like most other high-end models, this too comes with a hardshell case.
Wood Details: Expertly handcrafted with high quality tonewoods, the LL-TA features a solid Engelmann spruce top which has been treated with cutting-edge Acoustic Resonance Enhancement. Yamaha ensures that you don’t have to wait years to get a mature, played-in tone, thanks to the A.R.E treatment you get a rich, aged out-of-box tonal character that is hard to find in brand new models. The back and sides are also made with solid rosewood and the neck is made with 5-ply mahogany and rosewood. The guitar is available in Glossy vintage tint or Brown Sunburst color.
Sound Quality: The guitar sounds fantastic whether plugged in or not. The A.R.E treated Engelmann spruce wood top produces a more mature sound with a rich mid-range and together with the rosewood body’s pronounced lows and crisp highs, you get a wonderfully well-balanced tone. The all solid construction gives the guitar a better sound projection and tonal quality than solid-laminate combination or all-laminate builds. The natural sound of the tonewoods can be enhanced by engaging the reverb and chorus effects. You also get three control knobs to tweak the effects as well as the volume to suit your performance. Yamaha’s System 70 electronics replicate this amazing acoustic sound when you switch the guitar to electric mode.
5. Yamaha FG-TA
|Body||Solid Sitka spruce top, Mahogany back and sides|
My Review: When Yamaha launched the FG-TA TransAcoustic model, it won the hearts of guitar enthusiasts all over the globe. What sets this top-rated dreadnought apart from others is the quintessential acoustic experience it offers powered by the brand’s revolutionary TransAcoustic technology. This state of the art technology uses an actuator to generate a classy reverb and lush chorus effects from inside the body of the guitar. The players can blend the bright, warm, and crisp tone of solid spruce top and mahogany body sound with the transacoustic effects without having to plug into an amp. The magic does not end here, when it’s time to perform live, you can switch to electric mode and enjoy its awe-worthy natural tone reproduced by Yamaha’s proprietary System70 Transacoustic preamp + SRT piezo pickup system.
Overall Build: Part of the best selling FG series, this guitar has a full dreadnought body with a tapered waist crafted from premium tonewoods combination of solid Sitka spruce top and laminated Mahogany body. The dreadnought design with upgraded scalloped bracing acts as a speaker and enhances punch and the overall projection, giving you a superior effects-enriched unplugged sound. The slim nato neck glides through the hand and the action is silky smooth. The 20-fret bound rosewood fretboard is well-finished and comfortable to maneuver. The model has a beautiful Brown Sunburst layout but is also available in Vintage tint and glossy black variants.
Wood Details: Yamaha has used the popular cocktail of spruce and mahogany tonewood to craft this fantastic sounding piece. The top has been made from highly durable and lightweight solid Sitka spruce wood. Cost effective and long lasting laminated mahogany has been used to build the back and sides. The slim, tapered neck has been made using nato wood.
Sound Quality: We have mentioned the wonderful reverb and chorus effects that have been built into this guitar. But even without these Transacoustic special effects, the sound is marvelous. The unique scalloped bracing gives an excellent projection and the combination solid spruce top-mahogany body produces bright, clear, and warmer tones with a clear low to mid range presence. The onboard System 70 preamp and SRT piezo pickup remarkably deliver the natural sound of the instrument even when plugged in.
6. Yamaha A-Series A1R
|Body||Solid Sitka spruce top and Rosewood back, sides|
My Review: Part of the brand’s renowned A-series, the A1R is one of the more economical models which shares the solid Sitka top, amazing playability, and versatile sound with the top-of-the-line A-series. The cost-effectiveness has been brought about by employing laminated body and simpler yet impressive onboard electronics. This vintage looking has a fantastic sound with excellent projection thanks to its full dreadnought shape which has been crafted with high-quality tonewoods. The great acoustic tone is brought alive on stage by the trusty System 72 preamp and highly-sensitive SRT pickup. You also get to customize the sound with a set of standard controls, 3-band EQ, a mid-range FQ slider, and a convenient built-in tuner. All in all, beginners as well as pros who are looking for a dependable guitar with a great sound without hurting the pockets should definitely give this one a go.
Overall Build: The A1R offers a full scale dreadnought shape and western cutaway design which has been made using rosewood. The solid Sitka spruce top with scalloped bracing has a natural binding and sports a tortoise pattern pickguard to keep it scratch free. The dreadnought features a circular soundhole with black and white rings rosette which produces big and resonant sound. The neck with its dovetail joint and 20-fret rosewood fingerboard offer superior levels of comfort while playing even for long hours. The other praiseworthy hardware details include a belly-shaped ebony bridge and die-cast chrome tuners. Like all other A-series, this model too boasts Elixir NANOWEB 80/20 Bronze Light strings to preserve that lively tone for many years to come.
Wood Details: Yamaha has used premium tonewoods to produce this solid performer. The top has been made using solid Sitka wood which adapts well to any playing style be it aggressive strumming or fingerpicking. The back and sides are made from rosewood and sport a glossy finish. These two tonewoods are put together to produce rich, warm, and well-balanced tones with amazing sustain. The highly playable neck has been built using 3-ply African mahogany and sports a smooth fretboard made from rosewood.
Sound Quality: The A1R’s traditional western cutaway body with its full body resonance makes lows and highs sound powerful and clear. The guitar’s solid Sitka spruce top with scalloped bracing produces loud, rich acoustic tones which are nicely balanced by its rosewood body. The cutting edge SRT under-saddle piezo pickup and System 72 preamp deliver the true natural sound of the acoustic during recordings and gigs.
7. Yamaha FG800
|Body||Spruce top, Nato back and sides|
My Review: Easy to play, affordable, and solidly built the Yamaha FG800 carries on the FG series’s 50+ year proud tradition of offering great value for money guitars. The FG800 in particular boasts of an advanced design that provides a loud and punchy with a rich low to mid range. Available in two different body shapes, this model is a good entry-level for beginners that are looking for a budget model with solid playability.
Overall Build: The FG800 comes in both a dreadnought and concert body shape, so you can go for the concert option if you enjoy playing on a smaller body and like a more balanced tone, while the dreadnought will give you louder and more resonant sound. The scalloped bracing on this model allows for the top to resonate nicely, adding to the volume and the richness of sound. The model is fitted with die-cast tuners and a tortoise pickguard. You can pick from a natural brown finish or a rich sunburst red.
Wood Details: The guitar’s top is made with solid spruce wood, which we think is a standout feature since solid wood tops are not usually present in budget guitars. The back and sides are crafted from nato wood, and so is the neck. The fingerboard is made from rosewood. The overall nato wood-heavy construction keeps the instrument pretty lightweight without compromising on the tone it offers.
Sound Quality: You can expect a nice, mellow tone from this guitar which works well for beginners. The combination of Nato wood and solid spruce manages this well-balanced tone, as the brightness of the Sitka is softened by the natural tone of the Nato wood.
8. Yamaha FS800
|Body||Solid spruce top and Nato back, sides|
My Review: If you are scouting for a solid beginner guitar that is easy on the pockets, the chances are high that you would be recommended Yamaha’s FS800 Folk acoustic guitar. The model is undeniably one of the brand’s most popular guitars for students and guitar enthusiasts. Part of the famed FS series which debuted in 1966, the FS800 like its other cousins, has gained quite a following and classic status. A solid spruce top Yamaha at under $200 is reason enough to give this guitar a go, add to that its fantastic Sound Quality, durability, and easy playability, and you get a guitar that is an all-rounder.
Overall Build: This model’s concert shape with a thin and flat neck makes it compact and comfortable to hold and play especially for young players. A robustly built solid spruce top with a scalloped bracing produces bright, articulate, and resonant low to mid ranges. Yamaha has used laminated nato wood to make a strong and durable body as well as in optimizing cost to offer a solid wood top at this price range. There’s a lot to like about this guitar, the signature Y-shaped Yamaha headstock, rosewood bridge with black ABS bridge pins to secure the strings, tusq saddle, and die-cast chrome tuners are reliable hardware appointments for a budget guitar. The guitar model is available in an attractive natural light brown finish with black body binding.
Wood Details: The guitar boasts a solid spruce top which like we said before is a rarity in this budget. The back and sides have been built from nato wood and sport a natural glossy finish. The easy to grip nato neck with its narrow string spacing and the matte finish makes for a breezy playing experience. The fingerboard and the bridge have both been built with the very popular rosewood.
Sound Quality: The outstanding and versatile sound of this guitar is the reason behind its popularity. The great sound can be attributed to its clever bracing style and choice of tonewoods used. We found the sound to be warm, resonant with a well-nuanced, sweet tone. It is bright and punchy especially in the low to mid ranges. The guitar has a good bass response and a sustain. The overall sound projection is loud for its compact profile. All in all, a wise pick for both hobbyists as well as professionals on a budget.
9. Yamaha FG830
|Body||Solid spruce top, Rosewood back and sides|
My Review: With a warm overall tone, easy playability, and a pocket-friendly price tag, the FG830 is the brand’s more modern introduction in the long-standing FG series with enhancements that will appeal to the new-age guitarist. Thanks to good quality tonewoods, a modern bracing technique, and visual improvements, this FG830 has turned out to be quite a good option for intermediate guitarists looking for a value for money model with a solid low-end.
Overall Build: The FG830 has a traditional western body shape and is a non-cutaway. With its specially conceptualized scalloped bracing, this model has a rich and deep low to mid-range tone that’s perfect for lovers of mellow, warmer sounds. With die-cast tuners and a solid matte finish, it comes in three different colors – natural, tobacco sunburst, and autumn burst. Since this is a pure acoustic guitar, you won’t be able to plug this in and amplify its tone, but even then, this is a solid guitar that’s perfect for recording, rehearsing, and playing to an intimate audience.
Wood Details: This model has a solid Sitka spruce top, while the rosewood back and sides are definitely a leg up from its predecessors. The neck is crafted from Nato, while the fretboard is a classic rosewood one. The brightness of the Sitka gets nicely balanced by the mellow warmth of the rosewood back and sides.
Sound Quality: Thanks to the smart blend of Sitka spruce and rosewood, this guitar offers a delightfully low to mid-range, that is rich and warm to play. This model also projects rich overtones and an enhanced sustain, making it quite a luxurious sounding guitar for its price.
10. Yamaha APXT2
|Scale length||22 13/16”|
|Body||Spruce top, Meranti sides, and back|
My Review: With the APXT2, Yamaha has pulled off a masterstroke – they took the world’s best-selling acoustic-electric model – APX500II, and created a solid 3/4 version of it. We love the APXT2 for its compact body, balanced tone, incredible portability, and the fact that it is a sleek, travel-friendly guitar at an impressively affordable price point. With an aRT pickup setup and a built-in tuner, this model is perfect to take with you while on the road.
Overall Build: The APXT2 is a 3 /4 sized version of the world’s best selling acoustic-electric guitar that also happens to be a Yamaha – the APX500II! Built with solid materials, this model has an impressively sleek Thinline body that makes it quite easy to hold and play for hours at a stretch. The action may come slightly higher off the box for some, but that’s easily fixable. It comes with a built-in tuner that lets you quickly tune up while on the go. With its impressively compact size, it can easily fit into the back of any car and overhead cabin on flights.
Wood Details: This model’s top is crafted from Spruce wood, while the back and sides are of Meranti wood. ITs Nato wood neck is fitted with a rosewood fingerboard. We think the choice of wood is a good one with this model since the spruce’s brightness gets softened by the natural, balanced tone of the meranti. Furthermore, Meranti is a more affordable tonewood than others, so this has allowed Yamaha to price this model at an affordable cost without compromising on the tone or sound.
Sound Quality: The APXT2 may be a small-bodied guitar, but it definitely doesn’t sound like one. We were quite impressed with the rich, full-bodied tone that came out of this nifty little thing. This is all thanks to rock solid engineering and smart use of tone woods that balance each other’s properties. Moreover, the model also has an A.R.T (Acoustic resonance transducer) based pickup setup, which is Yamaha’s proprietary technology. This pickup system amplifies the guitar nicely while retaining its natural tone, and also managed to cut unwanted noise and feedback.
11. Yamaha FG Series FGX800C
|Body||Solid spruce top with nato back and sides|
My Review: One of the brand’s best-selling entry-level acoustic-electric guitars, FGX800C blends traditional looks, stage-ready performance, and a pocket-friendly price tag to boot. To make the top, Yamaha has employed a high-quality solid Sitka spruce top which is popular for its well-rounded, lively tone which is compatible with a range of musical genres. The guitar sports a dreadnought shaped body which has been crafted with Nato tonewood resulting in a rich sound with excellent projection. The guitar’s popularity can also be attributed to the impressive System-66 electronics that perfectly amplify the beautiful natural voice of the guitar while a 3-band EQ, a mid-range FQ control, and built-in tuner allow you to customize the sound as your performance demands.
Overall Build: The elegant dreadnought built in a traditional western shape with solid spruce top and nato body plays as great as it looks. With the single cutaway design, players can easily reach the upper frets on the fingerboard. The model sports the well-engineered scalloped bracing and reverse L block neck attachment, giving greater flexibility for the top to sing and move, thereby delivering deeper lows and enhanced projection. A classic rosewood fretboard with dot inlays graces the well built, comfortable to play nato neck. The tortoise pattern pickguard protects the glossy body from pick scratches and the die-cast chrome-plated tuning pegs allow for easy tuning of the strings.
Wood Details: One look at this guitar and you know that Yamaha has certainly not skimped on the quality of the tonewoods used in its construction. With this guitar, you get a clear and powerful sound of a solid Sitka spruce top without hurting your pocket. Durable and economical Nato wood has been used to craft the rest of the body. The thin, matt finished neck has also been made from Nato while the popular rosewood has been the choice of wood in making the fingerboard as well as the bridge.
Sound Quality: This is where the guitar really shines. The pick of tonewoods and the overall design of the guitar deliver a bold, articulate tone with impressive lows to mid-ranges and balanced highs. The dreadnought design lends powerful projection to the sound even when it is unplugged. The guitar has been loaded with System 66 pickup and preamp faithfully reproduce the natural sound of the tonewoods and acts as trusty mates to deliver a great onstage performance. The acoustic-electric also features a 3-band EQ, an adjustable mid-range frequency slider, and a precision chrome tuner that lets you tailor the sound to your liking.
12. Yamaha JR2 3/4 Scale Folk Guitar
|Body||Spruce top with the mahogany finish back and sides|
My Review: The next guitar belongs to Yamaha’s JR series which with their ¾ scale compact profiles have been inspired by the brand’s acclaimed FG series. The JR2 is a small-bodied guitar with a spruce top and visually appealing mahogany Ultra Thin Film finish (UTF) and delivers a nice acoustic tone which is quite good for its price. This lightweight model boasts the brand’s commitment to quality, playability, and affordability, making it a well sought after starter guitar for young learners. This little wonder with its small frame can be stowed away in its complementary gig bag and carried around on road trips or to guitar lessons.
Overall Build: The 21-inch guitar has been designed for comfortable play and easy transportation. The all-laminate construction features a spruce top and well-finished mahogany body which is an excellent tonewood combination for its well-balanced tone as well as durability. The nato neck is lightweight yet stable and sports a 20-fret rosewood fingerboard. The hardware is pretty standard with a light rosewood bridge and open chrome tuning machine heads. The gig bag is a nice addition to especially for a beginner or a kid to carry the guitar around. The model is available in two variants to choose from- a natural and a Tobacco Sunburst layout.
Wood Details: The guitar’s super affordability comes from its laminate construction. While they may not sound as great, laminate guitars are lighter and more resistant to environmental changes compared to solid wood. The top has been made using laminated spruce while the back and sides have been built with mahogany pattern Ultra Thin Film finish. The neck has been made with Nato and the fretboard uses rosewood in its construction. The build and choice of tonewoods make this guitar incredibly lightweight and long lasting.
Sound Quality: The guitar’s sound is certainly a bang for your buck with its resonant and well-rounded tone with a decent sustain. Although it is tiny, the scaled down dreadnought still does its work in delivering a good level of volume and depth. The spruce top offers versatility with its punchy and rich tone which is balanced by a warmer, woody tone from the mahogany body. The overall sound and projection are promising and more suited for casual playing and guitar lessons than stage performances. In my opinion, this is one of the best Yamaha guitars, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
13. Yamaha STORIA III Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar
|Body||Solid mahogany top with mahogany back and sides|
My Review: The qualities we look for in an ideal starter guitar are easy playability, smaller body, durability with a good sound, and pocket pleasing price. The Yamaha Storia III is all this and much more. Geared towards new learners, this absolute stunner has a concert shaped profile with an all-mahogany body and solid mahogany top. Visually, this guitar is a work of art, it has a minimalist design with an eye-catching glossy finish and open gear champagne-gold tuners. The all-mahogany build produces a powerful sound with a warm and balanced tone. The guitar features a passive under-saddle piezo pickup, just plug into an amp and rock out.
Overall Build: The STORIA III has a compact concert shaped body with a 25” scale length which is easy to hold. The neck has a beginner friendly C-shape profile with narrow string spacing which makes it easy to grip and play. The fingerboard is well-made with hand-rolled edges and dot inlays making for an incredibly smooth playing experience. The guitar boasts a dark, solid mahogany top which makes it stand out since we are so used to seeing light colored spruce tops. A beautiful black, wine red, and ivory inlay adorn the soundhole of this looker. The guitar also features a walnut hardtail bridge with brass pins which and along with champagne gold tuners, ramp up the model’s distinctive looks.
Wood Details: It’s not very often that you come across guitars with a solid Mahogany top. The choice of using mahogany tonewood to make the top gives this guitar a rich, warm, earthy tone with good resonance. The dark and radiant grain pattern is captured and preserved beautifully by a satin finish. The back and sides also use mahogany, which is a pretty standard tonewood choice for that purpose. The narrow neck has also been crafted with mahogany while the fingerboard uses walnut in its construction.
Sound Quality: The overall sound produced by this mahogany guitar is rich, deep, and resonant. Some might miss the bright sound of a spruce top but for beginners, this should not matter that much. We found the tone to be balanced with extended low end, clear highs, and robust mid range. The guitar has a solid top, which means that the tone will only get better with time. The no-fuss electronics in the form of a passive under-saddle pickup does well in capturing the acoustic tone which can be amplified using an external amp with good EQ control.
14. Yamaha FSX800C Small Body Acoustic-Electric Guitar
|Body||Solid spruce top with nato/okume back and sides|
My Review: The FSX800C is a small-body guitar that sticks to basics and does it well. The upgraded model to the FS800, this version boasts a cutaway profile that allows its players to easily access all frets on the fingerboard. The new model also comes loaded with System 66 preamp, an under-saddle piezo pickup, 3-band EQ, and a built-in chromatic tuner to deliver a great plugged-in tone as well as shape it to your liking. The enhanced playability and portability of this compact guitar makes it a perfect pick for new learners as well as a solid back-up guitar for more seasoned players.
Overall Build: The guitar boasts a concert shaped body with a single-cutaway design. It has been designed to be 10mm slimmer than the FG body, which works well in offering more comfort and a better playing experience without impacting the tone or the bass. The solid spruce top boasts the newly developed scalloped bracing to ramp up the durability and sound projection. The thin neck with its 20-fret rosewood fingerboard is smooth and highly playable. A tortoise pattern pickguard, a vintage white and black rosette, and die-cast tuners enhance the aesthetics as well as the durability of the guitar.
Wood Details: The FSX800C uses nato for its back, sides as well as neck. The top has been crafted with Solid spruce wood which is the most popular choice to build acoustic tops and for a good reason, the natural volume and tonal qualities of this tonewood are excellent. Like most of its guitars, Yamaha has rosewood to build the fingerboard and bridge. The body sports a glossy finish and is available in three beautiful variants- Sand Burst, Natural, and Ruby Red.
Sound Quality: The solid spruce top with scalloped bracing design produces punchy sound with strong projection. The combo of the spruce top-nato body delivers a warm, rich tone with enhanced mid-range and a good amount of sustain. The onboard electronics featuring Yamaha’s System 66 preamp and under-saddle pickup accurately translate and amplify the acoustic tone when plugged in. The 3-band EQ, mid-range FQ control, and a convenient tuner offer flexibility to tailor the tone as required.
15. Yamaha CSF1M Parlor Acoustic-Electric Guitar
|Body||Solid Sitka spruce top and Mahogany back and sides|
My Review: We have reviewed some great dreadnoughts and small-bodied guitars all of which are testaments to Yamaha’s expert craftsmanship, outstanding Sound Quality: and affordability. The brand’s CSF parlor guitars are equally revered for their tonal qualities and portability. The highly playable and compact CSF1M guitar boasts a solid Sitka top and Mahogany back and sides produce a full-bodied sound with a tone that is warm and rich. A passive SRT Zero-impact under-saddle piezo pickup ensures that the plugged-in sound is as fantastic and authentic as the natural sound of the guitar. The guitar stays protected and travels easily with the included hard case, which is a great bonus since parlor sized cases are relatively hard to find.
Overall Build: Yamaha promoted the CSF series as “modern parlor guitars” and it is easy to see why the CSF1M boasts the heart-winning combination of vintage looks with a modern bracing design as well as a stage-ready sound with its SRT piezo pickup. The unique forward-shifted scalloped bracing technique works impressively well in producing higher resonance and enhanced bass response. The C-shaped neck with its 20-fret fingerboard is a joy to grip and play. The rosewood bridge has a unique offset design and the die-cast chrome tuners are durable and keep the instrument in tune. The standout hardware feature in our opinion is the premium Elixir NANOWEB 80/20 Bronze Light strings which means that you would not be requiring a string change for a long time to come. Finally, the model with its black and white binding and an exquisite abalone rosette is available in a beautiful natural finish as well as an eye-catching Tobacco Brown Sunburst variant.
Wood Details: This good looking guitar utilizes solid Sitka spruce for the top with laminated mahogany to construct the back and sides. The highly playable neck has been crafted with solid nato and sports a semi-gloss finish. The fretboard, as well as the bridge, are made from rosewood. The brand has certainly not cut corners in either the choice of material or the construction quality, which makes this guitar such a great value for its price.
Sound Quality: The combination of solid Sitka top with a scalloped X-bracing and mahogany body produces a resonant, rich, and well-balanced tone. The natural sound is surprisingly loud for a guitar its size. The players will find that the tone is well-nuanced and vibrant which is sure to appeal to most music genres and playing styles. The passive preamp and SRT piezo pickup work well in reproducing the acoustic sound when the guitar is switched to the electric mode.
Choosing the Right Yamaha Acoustic Guitar (Buying Guide)
Yamaha’s over 100-year-old legacy is not the only thing that makes them special – they’re also the world’s largest musical instrument manufacturer! Known for making a wide range of instruments, Yamaha acoustic guitars, in particular, have inspired loyalists from across the world, covering everyone from young beginners to seasoned professionals. Endorsed by the likes of Andy Mckee and Rodrigo Y Gabriela, the brand comes across as the preferred choice for several acclaimed acoustic guitarists.
Yamaha acoustic guitars are widely known for their playability, quality, tone, and value for money. From folk guitars, nylon string classical models to jumbo dreadnoughts, Yamaha’s wide collection caters to musicians of varying tastes, playing styles, and skill levels. So when putting together the brand’s incredible legacy, commitment to quality, and worldwide acclaim,
What To Consider When Buying a Yamaha Acoustic Guitar
Looking at Yamaha’s mind-boggling range of guitars, it can get a little daunting to know what to look for to find the perfect model that works for you. Here are a couple of points that you should look out for and consider before taking your pick:
Overall Build: When exploring different Yamaha acoustic options, do take a close look at the overall body, scale length, and design. Different body shapes work for different sounds – for example, a parlor or small body guitar will give a neat mid-range tone, while a dreadnought is a bigger, boxier design for loud, resonant projection.
Wood: As you may already know, different types of tonewoods add a different sound and tonal character to your playing. For example, while spruce wood gives a brighter, clear sound, mahogany will lend a more natural but punchy tone. So do check out the different types of woods used to craft the body, neck, and fretboard.
Electronics & Controls: If you’re looking at an acoustic-electric guitar, then it’s important to find out the electronics involved. It’s a good idea to check that the type of tone controls, EQ, preamp, and pickup used to ensure that they match your requirements.
Price: Yamaha acoustic guitars are available at a wide spectrum of price points, depending on the features you’re looking for and your budget. While their affordable range is priced as low as $150 onwards, their high-end models can touch $1000 and above. To put it simply, there is a model practically at every price point in a Yamaha, so make sure that you find one that offers your desired features at the price point that works for you.
Finish: Looks aren’t everything, but they do matter. Yamaha guitars come in a wide range of colors to choose from – from natural, dark ebony to vibrant color options as well. You can also choose from glossy, matte, or satinwood finishes. Pick a look that will complement your personal on-stage style and personality.
As you can see, Yamaha acoustic guitars are an entire world within themselves. With plenty of options to choose from, you can easily pick the model that works best for your personal playing style, preferences, and budget.
While we strongly recommend going with the model that works best for you, we’re always happy to suggest options that work for us! So while the Yamaha FG800 is our pick for a great sounding and budget-friendly option, the Yamaha STORIA III will be a good option for those looking for classy features and a good mix of value and features. Finally, for our high-end model hunters, the Yamaha LL-TA TransAcoustic will prove to be quite a beautiful-sounding and inspiring piece to play on. Happy exploring!
My name is Chris and I’ve had a passion for music and guitars for as long as I can remember. I started this website with some of my friends who are musicians, music teachers, gear heads, and music enthusiasts so we could provide high-quality guitar and music-related content.
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13 years old and am an avid collector. Amps, pedals, guitars, bass, drums, microphones, studio, and recording gear, I love it all.
I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. My background is in Electrical Engineering, earning a Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University. With my engineering experience, I’ve developed as a designer of guitar amplifiers and effects. A true passion of mine, I’ve designed, built, and repaired a wide range of guitar amps and electronics. Here at the Guitar Lobby, our aim is to share our passion for Music and gear with the rest of the music community.