Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar Review – A Well Made Workhorse Acoustic

Finding a quality guitar with a thousand bucks in your pocket is an easier task than finding a quality acoustic that costs under $300, despite the sheer volume of models available in the budget range. Cutting through the chaff is the FG800 from Yamaha – part of the Japanese brand’s long-running FG Series – which proves a no-nonsense budget acoustic that puts performance first. Let’s look at why it has become one of the most popular acoustic models in the world…

yamaha-fg800-body

Body & Neck

Unlike its slightly more expensive brother, the FG830, the FG800 doesn’t include some of the upgraded aesthetic additions such as an abalone rosette, but it’s still a great-looking guitar. With a timeless, uncluttered 25” scale length non-cutaway dreadnought body, it is made with a mix of scalloped-braced solid Sitka spruce on the top and laminated nato (an eastern mahogany) on the back and sides.

As dreadnoughts go, this is a comfortable model to hold and feels very well made – something which isn’t always the case with budget acoustics. With a decent setup considering the price, the FG800 sports a sleek glossy finish, black and white multi-ply binding, and a faux tortoiseshell pickguard on the face to give it some character. Finally, we come to the neck, which is joined at the 14th fret. Matching the back and sides, this neck is also made of nato, with a hand-friendly satin finish, a rosewood fretboard and 20 frets. Hard to fault the design or the playability here.

yamaha-fg800-neck

Hardware

What about the hardware? Thankfully, it offers the same components as the higher priced FG830, which really enhances the reliability, consistency and tone of this acoustic. The headstock is equipped with a set of sealed die-cast chrome tuners that do their job very well as this guitar stays in tune. There’s also a urea nut and saddle, along with a standard rosewood bridge at the bottom.

Sound

We’ll happily say that the FG800 offers one of the best sounds you can find on a budget acoustic. It’s very loud and very resonant, which is the benefit of a dreadnought shaped body and scalloped bracing. The FG800 is slightly lighter in tone than the rosewood-backed FG830, but it’s very sweet and warm, with a good balance of brightness. Honestly, it’s hard to believe this is a sub-$200 guitar when you hear it!

Conclusion

You don’t need to spend longer than five minutes with the FG800 to fall in love with it. On closer inspection you may find it shows a few flaws in the fit and finish – it is a mass-produced factory model after all – but generally speaking, it blows us away. Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced guitarist, at less than $200 the FG800 proves a hard offer to pass up.

For more info about the Yamaha FG800, click here.
For more acoustic guitars under $300, click here.

Other Recommended Guitars In This Price Range:

ImageAcoustic Guitar / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Takamine GD51-Nat Dreadnought Takamine GD51-Nat Dreadnought

Total of 4.75/5  

An outstanding acoustic-electric guitar for its price.

+ - Epiphone Hummingbird Pro Epiphone Hummingbird Pro

Total of 4.72/5  

Epiphone’s Hummingbird delivers affordable vintage class with modern upgrades.

+ - Ibanez AW54CE Ibanez AW54CE

Total of 4.63/5  

Beautiful and affordable all-mahogany electro-acoustic from Ibanez.


Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Just got my Yamaha FG 800 today and I’m very impressed with the look, the craftsmanship, and most of all the sound. Especially for the price! I’ve owned more expensive guitars, but none sounded this good out of the box. I will try to have the action lowered a bit, then it is definitely a keeper!

  2. Some years ago I had an FG it was a great guitar and I always wondered why I sold it
    Well I got an 800 and wow not disappointed, it’s a great sounding easy playing well built guitar, yes not flashy but it’s great. Sounds as good as my expensive Guitar and plays all as good. Jake Bug toured with a 700 FG so I guess that says it all. Now keep this quite I’d definitely pay a lot more than the asking price and as for beginners guitar, it’s good enough for a working guitarist and reliable. You would have to go a long way to better than this.

  3. I’ve been playing 40+ years and I’ve owned many fine instruments. IMHO if you only have $200 (plus tax) to spend, this is the guitar you want! It sounds like $1000. Properly set up, this is simply astounding. The best value on the market, BAR NONE!

    I bought my first FG in 1973 (an FG200) when I was 15. This guitar puts that to shame.

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