Yamaha APX500ii Review: Acoustics Under $300 Reviews

Published Categorized as Concert Size Guitar Reviews, Grand Auditorium Reviews, Guitar Reviews, Guitar Reviews under 300, Laminate Back and Sides Wood, Laminate Top Wood, Nato Patterned Laminate Back and Sides, Yamaha Acoustic Guitars

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Hello and welcome to my Yamaha APX500ii review. This review is part of my acoustics under 300 series of reviews.

I will cover the following aspecs of the APX500ii

  • The Sound;
  • Playability;
  • The Guitars Materials;
  • Who the APX500ii is most suited to; and
  • The APX500ii’s value-for money

I will also include videos so that you can get an idea of the guitar’s sound for yourself and also user reviews so you can get other people’s opinons of the guitar.

O.k. let’s get into it.

Table of Contents

Guitar Sound

acoustic guitar's tonality

I was actually pleasantly surprised with the sound of the APX500ii considering the price.

I wasn’t surprised with the quality of sound considering it was Yamaha though. They are one of the best at producing decent sounding guitars for reasonable prices.

It is a smaller bodied guitar but it produced a louder, more dynamic tone than the full-sized dreadnought I tried in the same session (The Fender CD-60). It had a great kick for its size and there was some decent bass but the mids and highs is where this guitar excels – and there’s some great tonal definition between bass, mids and highs, especially for the price.

The APX500ii has a unique shape but I would say it’s between a grand auditorium and a concert shape/size but it also has a narrower body depth.

Guitar Materials

  • Top: Laminated Spruce
  • Back & Sides: Laminated Nato
  • Bridge: Rosewood
  • Nut & Saddle: Plastic


This first video isn’t in English but it gives you an idea of the sound when he’s playing it.

And here’s another one

Guitar Playability

The biggest let down for me with this guitar was how it played. Though I’ve heard other reviews say that this guitar is nice to play I found it laboursome to play. This was probably largely down to the action being too high.


Everyone has their own preference in terms of action. For me this was significantly too high for my tastes and made the guitar physically and technically difficult to play.

But others prefer higher actions – either way you can get this adjusted to suit your tastes.

Nut Width

The nut width is 43mm (1.69″). This is narrow enough for small hands but not so narrow that string spacing becomes difficult. The right nut width for this guitar in my opinion.

Fretboard (Fingerboard)

The fretboard is made from rosewood so no complaints there.

Scale Length

The APX500ii has a scale length of 634mm (25″). This is slightly shorter than the 25.5″ you would normally get on a full size dreadnought acoustic. This is great for anyone that likes their frets slightly closer together.

Who this Guitar is Most Suited to

The APX500ii is a great low cost option for playing live with – the shallow depth of the body makes it an easy shape to deal with on stage and the sound is really suited to live playing.

I think it would also be a decent beginner guitar if the action was lowered but you would definitely need to lower the action to give it to a beginner – otherwise it would be too difficult to play and become frustrating for a beginner.

Otherwise it would definitely also work as a sit at home and play guitar if you’re looking for a smaller bodied guitar with a slightly shorter scale length.

Value for Money

Yamaha‘s 500 series are one of the world’s highest selling guitars (maybe the highest).

So they are definitely rated by a lot of guitarists.

You definitely get a quality of sound that belies its $300 price tag. Get that action lowered and it should be a nice guitar to play too. So I wouldn’t definitely say this is a value for money instrument.

Thanks for Reading

Disclosure: Links may be affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you.

I hope you found this review helpful.

If you are interested in this guitar check out: Yamaha APX500ii at Amazon.com.

If you want to check out reviews for some other guitars in this price range check out: Guitars Under 300 reviews


What size is Yamaha APX500II?

Scale Length: Approximately 25.6 inches (650mm)
Total Length: Approximately 40.16 inches (1020mm)
Body Depth: Approximately 3.15 to 3.54 inches (80-90mm) at its thickest point
Body Width: Approximately 15.75 inches (400mm) at its widest point
Nut Width: Approximately 1.69 inches (43mm)

Is the Yamaha APX500 discontinued?

It seems to have been discontinued by Yamaha, as it’s no longer on their website. But you may be able to see the guitar being resold elsewhere.

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)


  1. very nice review Nathan, thank you for it I play guitar my self a bit at home. but I never played a Yamaha yet. I actually were looking for a new one for my self lets say for an upgrade. Is the blue black one as well a Yamaha? I like it. I thing it would be perfect for me. it is really nice that you included some videos so I could listen right away.

    1. Hey Alex

      Thanks for visiting. Yes the blue and black one is also the Yamaha APX500ii. There are few different colorways. In fact there are more colors/finishes than you’d usually find with acoustic guitars.

      There’s the oriental blue burst (the blue and black colored one) and the black color that you can see on this page and there’s also:

      ~ Natural

      ~ Metallic Rec

      ~ Old Violin Sunburst

      ~ Dark Red Burst; and

      ~ Vintage White

      Personally I like the oriental blue burst and the dark red burst. Usually I prefer guitars in their natural wood but for the APX500ii I do like some of the other colors more.

  2. Thank you for the great review. I once became fascinated to learn how to play guitar. Back then I had a classical guitar and it was really frustrating to play it because the fret board was too wide and the action was high. One thing that gave me a hard time wss when I have to take out the saddle to be sanded and even slightly sanded the nut as well. I hope this yamaha will make it easier for the beginners to adjust the saddle.

    1. Hey Raymond

      Thanks for the message. Unfortunately it’s not easier to adjust the action on acoustic guitars these days. It’s still usually a matter of sanding down the base of the saddle and/or nut. But first you should check that the neck is straight. If a truss rod adjustment is needed that should be done before anything is done with the nut and saddle.

      You can also pay someone to adjust the action for you. I have never done but from some quick research it looks like it can cost anywhere between $20 and $70 depending on who does it and what needs to be done. Your guitar’s setup is such a crucial thing it’s definitely worth paying to get the setup right if you can’t do it yourself.

  3. The bridge fell out while I was restringing my apx500 and not sure which way it goes back in, the strings I’ve put back on are gauge 10 – 47 D’Addario phosphor bronze and now the guitar is not performing as it did. Can you answer my ?

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