|Body And Neck:|
Who says just because you’re a beginner you have to learn on something that looks like every other guitar? And while the price is slightly higher than your typical entry-level acoustic model, this quality APX500III Thinline from Yamaha is an electro-acoustic which is perfect for beginners thanks to its body design and easy controls. Let’s find out what’s so good about it.
The first thing you notice with this guitar is the color. Or, rather, color choices, as Yamaha offer this APX500III in a broad spectrum of shades, depending on the marketplace you purchase from. We’re reviewing the classy black version, although the guitar also comes in an equally stylish Oriental Blue Burst, a Dusk Sun Red, a Vintage Sunburst, and – showing off the grain of the top wood – a natural finish, for those players who want a more traditional-looking instrument.
In addition to color choices, the APX500III has a lot to offer beginners. The body, as the name suggests, is thinner than a regular acoustic, allowing for a more comfortable holding and playing experience, although still offers the full-size experience, with a scale length of 25.6”. The body features a generous single cutaway, so the higher frets of the guitar are easy to reach.
As for woods, the top of the guitar is made from spruce, with the back and sides crafted from nato. The neck is also made of nato, with a rosewood fretboard and 22 frets. As the affordable price tag suggests, this guitar is not made in a small American workshop, however the craftsmanship is still commendable.
As we’ve mentioned, this APX500III is an electro-acoustic model, and comes fitted with Yamaha’s System 66 pickup system. This is a straightforward battery-powered (AA) preamp that beginners won’t have too much trouble getting used to, with an under-saddle piezo pickup, simple controls (volume, low, mid, and high), a mid-range frequency control, and a handy built-in digital tuner, which is essential for beginners.
Elsewhere, this acoustic features pretty standard hardware – nothing exceptional, but solid enough to do the job. You’ll see die-cast tuners on the headstock, with a rosewood bridge glued to the body. It comes fitted with strings, although there’s no case or gig bag supplied – not a huge deal when you consider the affordable price.
Acoustically, the APX500III is big in sound with lots of resonance, thanks to the non-scalloped X-type bracing, while the recognizable oval soundhole allows for ample low-end. So it’s naturally pretty bassy, but still clear and relatively well-balanced. When you plug into an amp the tonal range becomes even wider thanks to the controls – fiddling with the highs and lows you can dial in whatever tone you crave.
The APX500III Thinline certainly has a lot going for it – a comfortable playing experience, sleek style, decent hardware, excellent electronics, and a versatile sound suitable for fingerpicking or strumming. It’s no wonder this model is so popular with beginners, although experienced guitarists would equally find plenty of use – stage performances wouldn’t be out of the question. Another winner from Yamaha!