|Body And Neck:|
Last Updated: Mar-07-2018.
The review is updated to reflect our thoughts about the guitar in 2018.
Yamaha’s popular C40 tops our chart of cheap classical guitars, which means it must be pretty good! This sub-$150 full-size guitar – part of the Japanese brand’s C Series – shows off the great build and solid tone that Yamaha are known for, proving a smart choice for complete beginners and guitarists trying out classical guitar for the first time. Let’s check it out.
Just like the majority of classical guitars, the C40 isn’t anything fancy when it comes to design. It sports a timeless non-cutaway body with a simple style – although the soundhole rosette is an attractive one. The smaller 22.8” scale length body itself is made from laminated woods, as you may expect at this entry-level price range.
There’s spruce on the top, with meranti on the back and sides, with a solid nato neck, all with a high-gloss finish. The neck features an 18-fret rosewood fretboard with a traditional 2.06” nut width, offering a spacious surface for all kinds of classical and fingerstyle playing. It’s setup quite well, although not flawless in its fit and finish. Still – for a mass-produced model – it stands up to most of the scrutiny and feels quite robust. Compared to some others in this price range, the quality of the C40’s build sets it apart.
Of course, for this price you aren’t getting any electronics, but the hardware of the C40 is decent and lends itself to a consistent and reliable playing experience. The headstock is typical for a classical guitar and is rigged with a set of chrome open-gear tuning machines with pearloid keys. There’s also a rosewood bridge to match the fretboard. Nothing out of the ordinary here, and all very acceptable for the price.
The C40 is no masterpiece in the sound department, but it certainly delivers a crisp and clear tone with a nice balance that will work as well for classical music as it would for fingerstyle covers of contemporary songs. Although, if you’re a beginner, chances are you’ll simply use it for your first notes and chords, so it won’t matter too much. It projects quite well and is more than ample for lessons and practice sessions, as well as impromptu small performances.
The C40 is the ultimate choice for an individual who’s just starting to play a classical guitar. The superb qualities from all perceptible standpoints make it an unrivaled standout instrument in its respective price bracket.