Hello and welcome to my Yamaha FG800 guitar review.
This review will take a look at Yamaha’s FG800 in terms of:
- The Tone;
- The Playability;
- The Materials the FG800 is made from;
- Who the FG800 is best suited to;
- The FG800’s value-for-money
I’ll also include videos of the FG800 in action so you can get a taste of the sound for yourself and some user reviews to give you more opinions other than just my own.
Even Yamaha’s lower priced guitars tend to have reasonable tone – and the FG800 is no exception. It has Yamaha’s typical nice even tone. It’s nothing exciting or unique but it’s solid and balanced.
This is what makes Yamaha one of the best low end guitar producers around. Though I do have some issues with their playability (more on that below) they typically produce really decent tone.
The FG800 is a dreadnought so you expect a full, boomy kind of sound – but it’s even fuller and louder than you’d expect from your average dreadnought – something else that Yamaha’s are good at.
It’s quite a bright tone I’d say a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being super warm and 10 being super bright. But everyone’s ear is different.
Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
Back & Sides: Laminate Nato
Saddle: Urea (plastic)
Nut: Urea (plastic)
Great to see a solid top on a guitar this price – and this is one of the reasons why Yamaha manage such good tone at this price.
They could achieve even better tone, in my opinion, if they used something better than plastic for the saddle and nut. But this is something that you can replace.
This guitar does not have electronics – it is a straight acoustic guitar.
Check out the video below to learn more and to hear the FG800 in action.
Also check out this video for more on the FG800 and other guitars in the new 800 series.
My biggest complaint with Yamaha’s is that they tend to have a very high action. Some people prefer a higher action so this is partially personal preference but I definitely prefer a lower action.
The FG800 does suffer from this high action so if you prefer it low you will want to get it adjusted.
Otherwise the playability of this guitar is pretty good.
Like I said above too high for my tastes. This is something that can be adjusted. If you like this guitar (and it’s price!) but you want a lower action it’s worth spending a little bit to get it set up lower – or if you know how to lower it yourself.
The width at the nut on the FG800 is 43mm (1 11/16”). This is a narrower width than the traditional width but it’s fast becoming the standard width on acoustic guitars.
The slightly narrower width makes it easier to play physically as you don’t have to get your hand around as much. It can also make it slightly more difficult to play finger style but I found this guitar was fine for finger style.
The fingerboard is made from rosewood. This is by far and away the most common material for acoustic guitar fingerboards – but definitely not a bad thing.
The FG800 is a full size dreadnought with a full size 650mm (25 9/16”) scale length.
The FG800 is a fairly new offering from Yamaha (at time of writing) so there aren’t many user reviews yet. I will add some in here once some start to come out. For now here are some reviews for the FG700S which is the predecessor to this guitar (it was very popular!)
By all accounts the FG800 is an improvement on the FG700 and that gets amazing reviews as you’ll see at the link above.
Who this Guitar is Most Suited to
This guitar is suited to anyone who likes the sound of a sitka spruce top dreadnought and enjoy that size for playing. And of course anyone looking for great tone but don’t want to pay too much for it.
The tone of this guitar is well beyond its price – but it can be difficult to play if you prefer a lower action. So it’s also best for those that prefer a higher action or anyone who doesn’t mind having the set up tweaked. If you like a low action and want a guitar straight out of the box it may not be for you.
I would say it’s a good beginner guitar IF you lower the action. This guitar would be difficult to play physically and technically for a beginner. So I wouldn’t say no for beginners, I would say yes if you tweak the setup to have a lower action.
If you need something that has great volume without plugging in this is also a great option.
Value for Money
The tone is far beyond what you’d normally get with a guitar of this price. And you wouldn’t normally see a solid wood top for this price either.
If you feel you need to have the action lowered and you have to pay someone to do it then it adds to the cost – but it also improves the guitar in my opinion so still value-for-money for sure. And the adjustment shouldn’t cost that much – usually around $20 to $70. Or you can do it yourself if you know how.
The other thing I would change is that I would change the nut and saddle to something else like bone, Nubone, Graphtech, Corian or the likes. So again a little bit of extra cost but not too much and would turn this into a guitar that’s way above its price-tag.
More Info and Where to Buy
- Yamaha FG800 at Amazon.ca (Canada)
Thanks for reading and I hope this has helped you to learn more about Yamaha’s new FG800 acoustic guitar.
If you’re looking for other options in the under 300 range check out the link below.