Yamaha FG850 Review – Solid Top Acoustic Guitar (Mahogany)

Yamaha FG850 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar

Brand/Model: Yamaha FG850

Number of Strings: 6

Hand Orientation: Right

Body Material: Mahogany/Mahogany top

Neck Material: Nato

Fretboard Material: Rosewood

Price Range: Under $500

Our Rating: 8.2/10

Yamaha FG850 Acoustic Guitar Review

The Yamaha FG850 guitar is Yamaha’s newest addition to the ever-popular FG line. It’s also the new and improved version of the classic hit the Yamaha FG700S guitar! As a side note, the FG series was once the most widely sold acoustic guitar in the world! With an impressive reputation to hold up, the FG850 goes above and beyond!


This acoustic guitar is prized for its Western styled dreadnought body shape, although, it can be purchased in its slim concert counterpart body.

While the look and specs may seem like your ordinary full-size guitar, its humble appearance actually belies its not-so-obvious perks.

There’s nothing laminated about this guitar! It’s a much more expensive instrument because it has a mahogany solid top, mahogany back and sides, and rosewood fingerboard and bridge.

The profile and neck of the guitar is pleasantly comfortable and smooth, but the shine comes from its unique bracing pattern that was put together with Yamaha’s advanced tech software to best fit this guitar.

The sonic trajectory on this guitar impresses for its price! The resonance and sustain it offers are pure and rich for beginners and definitely adequate for intermediate players. Yamaha sure did bring entry level guitars to a whole new level!

  • Price
  • Solid top
  • Diecast tuners
  • Scalloped bracing
  • Various colors and woods
  • Poor strings

Yamaha FG850 Reviews


The Yamaha FG850 guitar is known for its outstanding quality and definitely for its above-average strings. The only, single complaint found about this guitar was one buyer’s bad experience with strings. However, user error is in large part for this complaint.

With that aside, the FG850 literally pleases all buyers – ignorant users aside. It’s priced just right, has excellent craftsmanship, and the sound has bright and crisp impact. Hear, hear to Yamaha, they did it again!

Alternative Acoustic Guitars to Consider

You’ve got quite the options of brand name guitars when you’ve got about $500 to spend on an acoustic guitar.  The Takamine GD93 is a flashy guitar if you like that sort of thing.

Think along the lines of gold hardware (yes, you read that right – gold), a 3-piece rosewood and maple back, and a solid spruce top.

But, there’s also the Seagull S6 Original if you want a little spring in your step with its solid cedar top.  Its bright, chimey (in a good way), and yet down to earth sound is pleasing to the ears and soul just like the masses agree.

Be sure to check out the headstock before you buy since it may be something you may like.

However, our personal fave in this budget range is definitely the Ibanez Artwood AW4000 guitar.  It’s solid all the way around – like, real solid.  You have a solid spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides.

It really is priced this low, and we highly encourage you to check it out if you’re curious about its too-good-to-be-true price.  Get ready to be floored!

Yamaha FG850 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar, Mahogany
110 Reviews
Yamaha FG850 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar, Mahogany
  • Solid Mahogany Top
  • Mahogany Back & Sides
  • Rosewood Fingerboard

Yamaha FG850 FAQ

What are the Other Woods and Colors of the Yamaha FG850 Guitar?

This is the All Mahogany body, but the other guitars all have a solid Sitka spruce top with either mahogany, flamed maple, nato, or rosewood back and sides.

Within those other wood options there are many colors to choose from ranging between variations of black, blues, reds, and natural finishes.

What’s the Difference Between a Dreadnought and Concert Body?

The differences are the body shape. The concert body is smaller and is more apt for smaller, shorter, or petite players. It also offers a more clear, defined sound versus the deep, resonant bass sounds of the dreadnought.

Is there a Hook on the Guitar for a Strap?

Yes, you can use a shoulder strap and the hook/snap is located on the bottom of the guitar.

What are the Best Strings for Yamaha Acoustic Guitars?

While steel strings are the common type of string for a guitar, most aluminum bronze strings will be excellent upgrades versus bronze strings. They offer more clarity, sound projection, and less corrosion.

What are the Main Differences Between the FG800 and the FG700 Series?

Both series feature the solid top, but the FG800 also has the unique scalloped bracing that allows for more bass, deeper tones, and loudness projection. The FG800 line also has a slimmer neck.

Hardware/Electronics You’ll Need

Yamaha FG850 rear view

Buying this guitar solo will keep the price nice and low, and if you’re an experienced player, it wouldn’t be a problem since you may already have some much-needed accessories in your collection.

However, beginner guitarists may need a hand when trying to budget for all the things they’ll need.

This guitar does come as a value pack that includes those essentials you’ll end up buying, but it will push you slightly out of the $500 range.

If you’d rather be conservative about how much you want to spend on accessories, start with these essentials.

Standout Features of the FG850

  • Solid mahogany top
  • New, advanced scalloped bracing
  • Great sound and quality

Our Verdict on the Yamaha FG850

To strum it up, you can’t go wrong with Yamaha, and the FG850 has been designed to be the new and improved addition to the FG series.  Yamaha is a trusted brand and quite often a beginner’s introduction to guitar playing.  Putting your money with this guitar is only investing in yourself.

Strum away loud and proud.

Further Reading: