Brand/Model: Yamaha JR2
Number of Strings: 6
Hand Orientation: Right
Body Material: Mahogany/Spruce top
Neck Material: Nato
Fretboard Material: Rosewood
Price Range: Under $200
Our Rating: 8/10
Yamaha JR2 Acoustic Guitar Review
The JR2 is another FG-Series inspired guitar from Yamaha. The JR line of acoustics are designed as compact models ideal for traveling or for smaller players. Think along the lines of kids, petite adults, small hands, and for those who want a durable guitar for hauling around town. But, with several JR models out in the market, how does the JR2 stand out? In this review, we’ll let it speak for itself!
The JR2 may be said to be small. Well, that’s partly true since it’s a compact guitar, and you’ll immediately be able to tell it’s not a full-size one. Upon box opening, it might look like a 1/2 size Yamaha guitar, but it’s actually a 3/4 scale guitar. You have a 21 1/4″ scale, 20-fret fingerboard, and a 3 1/8″- 3 9/16″ (80-90 mm) body depth.
Who is the JR2 guitar for? Young players aged 8-14 will find the 3/4 size of the guitar ideal for starter lessons. Beginner adults with small hands and short arms will find it appropriate to play. But, really, any aspiring musician on a budget will appreciate the JR2. The low price with all the included accessories is really what draws the potential buyer in.
The low price can be offered legitimately since the guitar has a laminate-machined construction. You have a spruce top, mahogany finish UTF (Ultra Thin Finish) back and sides, nato neck, and rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Despite its laminate construction, it’s been well-made and is ready to handle the abuse of travel and the learning curves that are inevitable with kids.
Sound on the JR2 will be better than expected. Although it’s compact in size, the dreadnought body style is known for its sound projection and ability to enhance dynamic tonal range. It’s great for many playing styles and music genres, and beginners will quickly find their groove with a comfortable-to-play guitar!
- 3/4 size
- Starter kit included
- Similar to Yamaha JR1
It seems the only negative reports on this guitar is due to the size itself. Buyer’s weren’t aware that the guitar would be significantly smaller than a full-size one. While specs may indicate a few inches “off” here and there, you’d be surprised to see how that actually materializes when the guitar is put together – it’s not a full-size guitar!
Positive feedback includes good sound, great build, and overall, excellent workmanship. The guitar performs exactly as expected for those who understand the limitations of a compact guitar. All the additional accessories make the decision to buy the Yamaha guitar a simple one. You can easily spend $100 more on getting all the tidbits you’d need to own, maintain, and play your acoustic guitar. In the end, when you know what you’re buying, you won’t be disappointed. There are several buyers that aren’t!
Alternatives to Consider
If you’d like to check out the Yamaha FG JR1 3/4 Scale Mini Folk Guitar, you might find it’s similar to the JR2. The Natural finish is contrasting to the JR2, and the accessories bundle is also different. Price wise, it’s in and around the same price, but the JR2 offers the Tobacco Sunburst whereas the JR1 doesn’t.
Competing with the JR2, the Hola! Music HG-36N Guitar is another 3/4-size instrument. It’s a Junior guitar intended for kids or for travel. The laminate tonewoods are also very similar to the JR2, but the HG-36N has a Natural warm color with a satin finish. The satin finish on a dreadnought body style may be the more ideal combination if there is one! Check it out here.
Yamaha JR2 Q&A
The JR1 and the JR2 are identical in size, specs, and hardware. The JR1 has only a natural finish, and the JR2 has both a natural and a Tobacco Sunburst finish.
The JR2S is identical to the JR2 in every way save for the solid spruce top.
Laminate guitars are more affordable than solid top acoustic guitars. Because they’re laminate-made, they’re often lighter-weight, and they offer more resistance to humidity and environmental factors.
This guitar doesn’t have any electric pickups for plugging into an amp. It can be played in-front of a microphone for amplified sound. However, the JR2 is a very basic and entry-level guitar. It’s good for practice, casual playing, and beginner guitar lessons. For on-stage performances, you will want to consider a full-size guitar.
The JR2 guitar comes with a gig bag, clip-on tuner, and extra strings. You’ll also receive a string winder, picks, polishing cloth, and an instructional DVD.
The JR2 guitar is made in Indonesia.
Yes. A truss rod is built into the neck to adjust for action if needed.
The guitar is approximately 34-36″ long.
The guitar comes ready to play with pre-strung strings. You will need to tune the guitar prior to playing. You may or may not need to adjust action, but it should be low for easy playing.
Hardware/Electronics You’ll Need:
The Yamaha acoustic guitar comes with some accessories in this bundle kit. While you’re getting it good with a few essentials like the tuner and gig bag, you will need a few more things to complete your set. For a full run-down on the extra essentials that we consider necessities, strum by our “Must-Have Accessories Guide.” For now, here’s a few things you might be interested in buying to maximize your talent!
- Choice of finish options
- Scaled-down guitar
- Great for beginners
Our Verdict on the JR2
To strum it up, the Yamaha JR2 acoustic guitar is a compact champ. Taking it to school, music shop, and practice sessions with the buds is extremely convenient thanks to its size. Small beginners will find it comfortable to hold and play while they can brag about having a real acoustic instrument – it’s no kids toy, it’s a Yamaha acoustic keepsake!