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Brand/Model: Yamaha FG800
Number of Strings: 6
Hand Orientation: Right
Body Material: Nato/Spruce top
Neck Material: Nato
Fretboard Material: Rosewood
Price Range: Under $200
Our Rating: 9.2/10
Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar Review
The Yamaha FG800 guitar is the epitome of “you get what you pay for.” Fortunately, it’s a good buy since you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. So, what are you getting from the FG800 guitar? Let us tell you!
If there’s a guitar that comes in at a great price point, has a solid top, and most importantly, keeps a beginner interested in learning guitar, it’s this one.
It’s praised as a workhorse because it can take an amateur and last long enough to see them through to the pros.
The acoustic comes clad as a dreadnought guitar – “Traditional Western Body.” Nato makes up the back, sides, and neck, and rosewood is expected for the fretboard and bridge. Unlike many beginner guitars that sport a fully laminate body, the FG astounds the entry-level market with a solid spruce top.
Spruce is the most common soundboard tonewood for its strength and compatibility to be played in multiple styles.
Yamaha has outfitted the FG800 with a newly developed scalloped X bracing for the FG series. The neck scale is 25 9/16″, it has a matte finish, and a nut width of 43 mm.
Both the nut and saddle are made of Urea. Since it’s a hard plastic, it will hold up to the wear-and-tear of everyday abuse.
Frets have dot inlays, bridge pins are black with white dots, and the headstock has die-cast chrome tuners that keep the guitar acceptably in tune.
Obviously, hardware is standard, but again, the FG doesn’t pretend to be anything more than what it is.
The FG series is one line of guitars where you can’t complain about sound for the price point. The sound projection of the dreadnought body with a solid top is one of the defining attributes of the FG guitars.
The scalloped bracing helps to ensure a full tone, and balanced performance with well-rounded note intonation is the result of this well-built machine.
- Solid top
- Scalloped bracing
- May require setup
You’ll be pleased to know that there are no legitimate complaints about the FG800 guitar. This news should come as no surprise since it’s a Yamaha. There are a few tweaks that we’d like to see such as bone or Tusq for the saddle and perhaps an upgrade in strings. But, for the price, there’s really no room to complain.
Buyers were surprised with the quality in the guitar for spending under 200 bucks. What was originally intended to be a “porch-only” or casual instrument ended up being the go-to guitar for every acoustic need in the book. Granted, it may not be your stage-playing git, but it will sure help you get there. Do buyers say it’s worth the cost? Hell yeah!
Alternatives to Consider
Another solid top guitar in this price range is the Fender FA-115. It’s comparable to the Yamaha in terms of body shape and size, but it does have a laminate fingerboard. To sweeten the pot, it comes with a few accessories in the mix that the Yamaha can’t match.
If you want to stretch your dollar to include a starter kit, the Yamaha JR1 FG Junior Acoustic Guitar Bundle may catch your eye. It’s loaded with literally every accessory and tool you could wish for in a beginner’s bundle. But, just so you know, the JR1 guitar is a 3/4-size instrument. It’s going to be smaller than the standard dreadnought, and it’s a fully laminate guitar.
Yamaha FG800 Q&A
This is Yamaha’s term for the dreadnought body shape that is full-size and great for many playing styles.
The entire FG series guitars all have dreadnought bodies. They’re excellent guitars for a beginner, but the preference between a dreadnought and a smaller size like that of a concert or parlor is dependent on comfort level, skill, and body stats (height, hand span, etc).
A concert guitar may be the better option for a younger player under 5′ or for a small adult with dainty hands.
Most guitars that don’t have any manual labor for that personal touch will, more than likely, require a setup. Many buyers found that the guitar was playable out of the box, but you may find that a few things will require attention to maximize your guitar potential and comfort.
Taking it in to a music shop may help with finding your preferred action, dressing the frets, and anything else that may help to smoothen out the guitar.
This is a strictly acoustic guitar without any electric pickups for amplification. However, the Yamaha FGX800C is the acoustic electric version with a cutaway that’s in the same price range. Good thing for you, we did a full review on this one too!
The FG800 has replaced the 700 series. The main difference is the new scalloped bracing on the FG800 guitar. This results in an improved tone with an added punch in sound.
This guitar is made in China in a Yamaha-built factory with Yamaha-trained staff. The manufacturing and final inspection process is closely and strictly overseen. This may be the reason why there are no complaints on quality control when it comes to the FG800 guitar.
This is the Natural color option and the body has a gloss finish, however, the neck has a matte finish.
Hardware/Electronics You’ll Need:
Unfortunately, you’re not getting a whole lot with this guitar. In fact, you get nothing but the guitar. This may not be a bad thing since you can buy quality accessories that you can choose yourself. Also, it means the price of the guitar is all in the guitar – you’re buying quality, not guitar accessories.
We’ve compiled a list of stuff you may want and that you definitely need in our “Must-Have Accessories Guide.” But, for starters, we’ll toss a short list of essentials right here!
- Extra steel strings
- Capo (optional)
- Metronome (optional)
- Stringwinder (optional)
- Solid top
- Scalloped bracing
- Excellent build quality
Our Verdict on the FG800
To strum it up, the Yamaha FG Series is the working man’s line of guitars. The FG800 is affordable, has dependable quality, and is a predictable instrument. You know exactly what you’re getting when you get a Yamaha – a workhorse!