Yamaha FG700S Review: Acoustic Guitars Under $500 Review Series

Published Categorized as Beginner Guitars Under 300, Dreadnought Reviews, Guitar Reviews, Guitar Reviews under 500, Laminate Back and Sides Wood, Nato Patterned Laminate Back and Sides, Sitka Spruce Top Wood, Solid Wood Top Wood, Yamaha Acoustic Guitars

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My latest look at guitars costing less than 500 is the Yamaha FG700S review.

So what did I think of the FG700 in my latest trip to my local music store?

My first impression was that it was, as Yamaha instruments typically are, a well-made but unspectacular guitar.

What this Review will Cover

The following will be discussed:

  • Tone (including video)
  • Playability
  • Who the guitar is most suited to
  • The value for money of the guitar

Tone


acoustic guitar's tonality

My first impressions of the tone was the nice full volume that I could extract from the guitar. And the clarity of tone at that volume was quite impressive, especially for a guitar in this price bracket.

it’s a dreadnought shaped guitar which are known for good boomy volume and?I felt the FG700S had this even more so than your average dreadnought. But you could also quieten?it down to a whisper. So it has a good wide dynamic range.

Bright or Warm?

On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being very muddy and 10 being sharp and tinny, I would put the Yamaha at a 6.5 to 7 on that scale. SO quite bright and crisp but not excessively so.

The Materials

Top (soundboard): Solid Sitka Spruce. As standard as it comes. But it’s standard for a reason. And that Sitka Spruce is a large reason for the wide dynamic range of the FG700S. it’s also part of the reason for the bright resonant sound.

Yamaha FG700S back and sides

Back & Sides: A laminate material called ?Nato?. I?ve never seen a guitar under $500 with solid wood back and sides so I didn?t expect it here either.

Tuners: Die cast chrome tuners. Sometimes guitars in this price range will save costs by having plastic tuners. Fortunately the FG700S doesn’t.

Saddle and Nut: Plastic nut and saddle. A lot of cheap Yamahas (sometimes even models in the 500-1000 price bracket) have plastic nuts and saddles – a lot guitars under 500 do too. This isn?t a reason not to buy a cheap Yamaha because they have a lot of other great qualities and it won’t cost too much to upgrade them to bone or something like TUSQ.

Bridge: Rosewood. The bridge plays an important role in transferring the sound from the strings into the soundboard – one of the best materials for doing that is Rosewood. Another small key to the quality of sound for the price.

Some Videos of the guitar in action

Check out the videos below to get your own idea of the sound.


Playability


As is the case 95% of the time the action was too high for me. If you like a high action then it will be fine as is but if you prefer it lower, like me, then I would get it setup lowered. If you can’t do this yourself, it is usually inexpensive to have someone do it for you.

The Action

The first thing I would do on this guitar, as with most, is to lower the action. But despite the higher-than-ideal action, it actually played pretty well.

My hands weren?t feeling fatigued and things like sliding, bending, hammer-ons etc didn?t take too much effort. With a lowered action playing this would become reasonably fast and smooth.

Fretboard (Fingerboard)

The fretboard is rosewood so that’s all good. And this would have been part of the reason it was nice to play.

Neck Width

The width at the nut is 1 and 11/16 inch (43mm). This is pretty standard and should be fine for most players.

As you can see from the number of reviews above the FG700S is a very popular guitar! And for good reason.


Who this Guitar is Most Suited to


Yamaha FG700S soundhole

This is a really good option as a beginner?s guitar first and foremost. It has a balanced, even sound and is nice to play which are both very important – and it also won’t break the bank which is also important for beginners who don?t want to make too much of an investment.

To make it an even better beginner?s guitar make sure you get someone to lower the action. This will make it easier and more pleasant to play.

It is a full size dreadnought so perhaps not suitable for young kids.

it’s also a great choice for anyone who wants a second guitar that they can take to the beach to the camp ground or anywhere when they want to leave their more expensive guitar at home.

Even though this guitar is sometimes referred to as a ?folk? guitar, it probably isn?t ideal for folk. it’s a dreadnought with a pretty large sound and it’s too bright for folk in my opinion with that sitka spruce top.

This would be more suited to pop, rock, country, blues, bluegrass etc in my opinion.


Value for Money


value for money tick

This is a no-brainer.

It has a list price of $325 but you?re likely to get it for under $300. For the build quality, sound and playability of this guitar you definitely get your money?s worth.

it’s perhaps in the wrong category here – maybe when I make an under $300 category it will belong in there – but in terms of quality and sound it’s definitely not out of place in the under $500 category.


Final Verdict


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

Yamaha FG700S Solid Top Acoustic Guitar, Natural

Anyone looking for a really well priced guitar for a beginner or as a second guitar should definitely consider the Yamaha FG700S.

For the money you really get value in a nice sounding, nice-to-play and well-built guitar.

Thanks for reading and I hope you found this review helpful. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

>> Yamaha FG700S at Amazon.com

If you’re keen to check out some other options for under 500 guitars check out the link below.


FAQs Yamaha FG700S Review

Does Yamaha still make FG700S?

Unfortunately, Yamaha does not still manufacture the Yamaha FG700S. This means that, unless someone just happens to have a brand new one lying around that they have not used or touched, then you are not going to be able to buy a new Yamaha FG700S. Fear not, though, for in today’s age of internet commerce, you can easily find just about anything you desire. Try checking Reverb or eBay for the Yamaha FG700S. If not, your best bet will simply be keeping your eyes peeled at local guitar stores or at garage sales and the like. Alternatively, you can just suck it up and buy a different guitar.

When did the Yamaha FG700S come out?

Funnily enough, this guitar is likely a lot older than you might have previously thought. Indeed, Yamaha has been manufacturing the FG700S since its introduction in the 1960s. This means that, though they are no longer manufacturing this guitar, you are likely going to be able to source one online in some form, for there will be plenty to choose from in its long and storied history. One of the major selling points of this guitar besides the immensely low price tag is its solid build in relation to this price, hence why it is so highly sought after even after its discontinuation.

Which is the best Yamaha FG Series?

There are so many to choose from, all of which are so competitively priced and sturdy, that it is very difficult to pick. However, the general consensus says that the Yamaha FG830 is one of the best of their FG series. This model gives a whole new meaning to the Folk Guitar which gave the series its name, blending price and quality in an unparalleled way. This is a guitar for the working musician, a guitar that you are going to be able to use frequently but that are still going to be able to keep up. A touring musician should not even hesitate to part with their cash on this one.

Which is the best Yamaha acoustic guitar?

Yamaha manufactures so many guitars that it would be almost impossible to fully do a comprehensive tier list of all the guitars from worst to best. However, the general consensus suggests that the Yamaha A5R A.R.E. is the best all-around acoustic guitar by Yamaha. If you are looking for a classical guitar from Yamaha, then look no further than the Yamaha CG-TA.

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 :-)

7 comments

  1. It was purely “Luck of The Draw” when I picked this guitar. I started taking a basic guitar class last Fall semester at my university. My classmates and I didn’t find out until the first day of class that we could only use acoustic guitars (nylon or steel string), as with those of us that had guitars everyone had electric guitars; I was the only one who had a bass guitar, So, we all had to get acoustic guitars. I did a search and I was going strictly for affordability. Guitar manufacturer wasn’t much of an issue, even though it was something I did keep in mind once I had a short list of guitars. Well, the cheapest one within my price was the FG700S. What made it so attractive to me was that it looked good. And that says a lot because it was a used FG700S. I wasn’t concerned about getting a new guitar because at the time. When you talked about the Action, I’ve been trying to think if it has cause some issue with me playing, as I have issues with my hands due to spinal problems.

    I have to say that the FG700S has been working really well for me. It has been interesting learning to play an acoustic guitar as I have been used to playing a 4 string bass, but I am really enjoying it. It has also help me with my bass guitar playing. I’m hoping to keep this guitar for a very long time.

    1. Hey A.J.

      Glad to hear you are having a great time with this great instrument! It might not be worth a whole lot, but it is one of those guitars that is quite simply a workhorse. May it continue to serve you duly in your musical future.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Nate.

  2. can you get the FG 700s or the fg800 for me without the enormous shipping charge they want to charge a private person?Amazon has the FG800 at $219 American but $409 to ship I cannot afford this I hope you can do something to helpme. thanks russ scott

    1. Hey Russell.

      Sadly I don’t think there is any way to bypass that other than to purchase the guitar from them or a local seller directly. Apologies again.

      Nate.

  3. When starting out in guitar I bought an FG700S and I still love it years later. I can’t believe they can sell so cheap.

    1. Hey Marvin.

      Yamaha acoustics really are the workhorses of the acoustic guitar world, so it’s no wonder they sell for so cheap even when they are exemplary guitars. Never let it go.

      Nate.

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