|Body And Neck:|
Even though it’s a relatively new addition to Yamaha’s expansive acoustic collection, the APX600 is already incredibly popular, having built on the legacy left behind by its predecessor, the APX500III. With a thin body, sensible features and a great tone, the APX500III was a mainstay on our chart of the best beginner acoustic guitars – so how will its successor perform? There’s one way to find out…
Yamaha haven’t reinvented the wheel here, instead building upon what made the APX500III so popular. The APX600, therefore, retains the same shape and thin body design which offers a more comfortable holding and playing experience than a dreadnought. However, the scale length has been reduced a tad, from 25.6” to 25”, while the string spacing is narrower – both are changes that further enhance the playability.
The materials used are the same too, with a spruce top and three-ply nato (or ‘eastern mahogany’) back and sides. The neck is also made from a satin-finished nato, featuring a rosewood fretboard and 22 frets, which are easily accessible thanks to the cutaway. As for colors, you can choose from a traditional natural finish or an elegant glossy black, as well as a cool Vintage White and a sophisticated Oriental Blue Burst.
Overall, the craftsmanship and detailing are very commendable, with the APX600 featuring a few upgrades in the aesthetics department too, such as smaller fret inlay dots and a genuine abalone sound hole rosette to replace the plastic version of the APX500III.
If you haven’t already gathered, the APX600 is an electro-acoustic, featuring a Yamaha-designed piezo pickup system with a solid AA-battery-powered preamp that offers good flexibility. It offers simple 3-band EQ controls, volume knob, and separate mid-range frequency slider. In addition, there’s a very convenient onboard digital tuner.
The rest of the hardware is similar to its previous iterations – components that do a good job, but nothing spectacular. These comprise a set of die-cast tuners on the headstock and a standard rosewood bridge on the body.
The APX600 builds on the success of existing models by providing the same big sound with surprisingly good low end for such a slim body. However, there appears to be a bit more oomph and fullness than the APX500III – thanks to the advanced bracing pattern – which is welcomed with open arms.
Through an amplifier, it performs as well as before, with good clarity. Of course, a little piezo quack is present, but it’s an overall solid performer, with the preamp controls offering good onboard flexibility.
Here’s a sample of the APX600 in action:
Due to the smaller proportions, the APX600 is ideal for complete beginners, as well as electric guitar players moving over to acoustic. However, in truth, this guitar is an excellent electro-acoustic with something for everybody. It retains everything we loved about the earlier iterations, such as the slim body, the unique shape, swift playability and the solid electronics, but builds on things in the aesthetics and sound department.