If you’ve been looking to upgrade your classical guitar game, the Yamaha CG192S just might be the way to go.
Maybe you’re looking for your first upgrade for yourself or maybe you fancy trying a little spruce top number!
Either way, if you’re working with a budget of under $1000, this guy could be for you!
At a Glance…
✔️ What we like: Affordable spruce top guitar with a punchy sound and bright tone
❌ What we don’t like: Compromises build for sound quality
- Solid Engelmann spruce top
- Ebony fingerboard
Our Verdict: I think the Yamaha CG192S is a fantastic, affordable spruce top guitar for any beginner and intermediate students. It has a really vibrant, punchy sound and good playability. I wouldn’t say it’s the best option for jazz players but it’s definitely one for my flamenco friends. Ultimately, Yamaha CG192S is a great guitar for its price point.
Who is the Yamaha CG192S Best Suited To?
Like most guitars at this price point, the Yamaha CG192S is aimed at student classical guitarists. I think it could make the perfect first guitar or a great upgrade for an intermediate player. If you’re learning in the flamenco style (or you just like the flamenco sound) this model could be the one for you.
It’s probably not the best option for jazz players as it’s quite bright sounding but, other than that, the Yamaha CG192S would suit most styles! If you’re a parent shopping for your little one, I wouldn’t spend over $500 until they’ve been playing for at least a year.
You should make sure they’re serious about learning before taking the plunge!
Features & Benefits
Body & Neck
Okay, let’s talk build. When it comes to more affordable models like the Yamaha CG192S and the Yamaha CG-TA, the craftsmanship isn’t always up to scratch. However, I’m pretty impressed by this guitar. I love the natural gloss finish.
Unlike some other guitars in this price range, the Yamaha CG192S hasn’t been coated in thick lacquer (and we all know how I feel about thick lacquer). Its natural finish gives the body some extra response which is super important when it comes to spruce top guitars. Spruce is a pretty stiff wood so it doesn’t tend to have the same response as cedar but I don’t have any issues with this model! In terms of aesthetics, I think the Yamaha CG192S is a gorgeous guitar.
Its rosewood back and sides and ebony fingerboard contrast beautifully with its light spruce top. I love the colorful rosette as well! I think this guy also has pretty good playability. It has a lovely C-shaped neck and its natural finish makes it pretty easy to change hand positions.
Unlike the Cordoba C7, the Yamaha CG192S has an ebony fingerboard. In my review of the C7, I mentioned that, at this price point, rosewood fingerboards are a nice choice because they give the guitar more warmth and a deeper tone. However, when it comes to a spruce top guitar (which has a much sweeter tone) ebony is the obvious choice as it emphasizes the natural tonal qualities of the wood.
Strangely, it only has 18 frets. I’m not sure what that’s about! I mean, its scale length is still the standard 650mm so it’s not really an issue! In fact, most people probably won’t notice (I had to count a few times to make sure I wasn’t just imagining things).
The Yamaha CG192S sounds quite different from most of the guitars I’ve reviewed at this price point. Of course, that’s mostly due to the spruce top which gives the guitar a lovely bright sound. Oh, let me tell ya, this guitar’s got volume!
The Yamaha CG192S has quite a piercing sound (in a good way). It would be perfect for fast, fingerstyle playing because you can really punch out the notes on this bad boy. In terms of dynamic range, it would be nice if it had a little more volume in the lower register but you wouldn’t usually get that at this price point anyway.
All in all, I think it has a beautifully sweet and very clear tone!
- Body Material: Solid spruce top, laminate rosewood back and sides
- Neck Material: Mahogany
- Fingerboard Material: Ebony
- Pickups: None
- Bridge: Hardtail, ebony
Okay, let me at ‘em! Just kidding, the limitations aren’t that bad. The Yamaha CG192S’s neck is secured to its body with a dovetail joint. I mean, this is to be expected at this price point but it’s not the most durable build.
For any beginner’s reading, a dovetail joint is when the neck is glued to the heel of the guitar, rather than the top and neck being one solid piece (a Spanish heel joint). The only other limitation the Yamaha CG192S has, in my eyes, is its nut and saddle. They’re both synthetic bone which, again, is kind of to be expected at this price point.
I just think real bone nut and saddles make all the difference to the sound of guitars. It doesn’t mean the Yamaha CG192S sounds bad, it just means it could sound better, that’s all!
Okay, last thing… Unfortunately, this guy doesn’t come with a truss rod so you will have to take it to your local luthier if you want to alter the action.
Popular Questions About the Yamaha CG192S
No. The Yamaha CG192S doesn’t come with a case or a gig bag. I know this is a little bit frustrating but at least you know all of your money is going to the guitar. Here are some of my favorite affordable cases:
Best hard case: ChromaCast
Best gigbag: CAHAYA Guitar Bag
Most affordable: Tiger Music Classical Guitar Cover
Confused about the “Engelmann” spruce top? Engelmann is just a species of spruce tree known for its superior sound in instrument crafting.
The Yamaha CG192S has quite high action straight out of the box. I think it might take a little bit of getting used to for complete beginners (beginner models tend to have quite a low action to make playing easier) and flamenco players would probably need to get the action lowered a little.
A Lovely Spruce Top Guitar for Less Than A Grand
I have to say, I’m not usually a huge fan of spruce top classical guitars. A couple of years ago, you’d be looking at paying a small fortune for a great spruce top model. So, the fact that this classical guitar is less than a thousand dollars is kind of blowing my mind.
Beautiful classical guitar models are becoming more and more accessible, meaning even more people can learn to play one of my favorite instruments!
So, whether you were looking for a brilliant upgrade or you just fancy giving a spruce top classical guitar a whirl, I hope I’ve helped you to narrow things down!
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Fiona is a musician and writer. When she’s not working, she’s either playing the ukulele or finding another instrument to add to her collection.