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Yamaha FG830 – Exceeding All Expectations

4.7 out of 5 stars

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Yamaha's FG series is among the oldest and most popular acoustic guitar lines ever made. As a matter of fact, FG was the most sold acoustic guitar in the world at one point, that's a pretty awesome feat.

Yamaha has evolved their manufacturing process for the FG several times since the first one was released back in the mid-'60s. Today, these guitars are built using a fusion of decades-old experience and robotics. When you look at the specs sheet for Yamaha FG830, it appears to be just your average entry level acoustic guitar, but it's a bit more interesting than that.


Body and Neck

Nothing beats a solid Sitka Spruce top. But when you are Rosewood back and sides, this Yamaha starts looking like a much more expensive piece the closer you get. The shape is your standard Dreadnought, which just so happens to be among the most popular body styles at the moment.

The neck and its profile are pretty comfortable, and rather smooth for an acoustic in this price range. This guitar comes with die-cast tuners and a nice Rosewood bridge. While it's not the prettiest bridge in the world, this Yamaha design gets the job done just fine. One thing that really puts the FG830 in perspective is the specially designed bracing.

Yamaha utilized their unique software to figure out what bracing pattern would work the best based on all of the materials and dimensions on this guitar. Needless to say, they've struck gold. With all that said, we need to emphasize that this is still a production acoustic guitar. This means that some work might be necessary once you get it.

A proper intonation and setup are two things luthiers still do better than machines, and that is probably not going to change anytime soon. Just be ready for the possibility that you might have to pay a visit to your local guitar tech for some hardware tuning.


The Sound

While looks affordable, and feels that way to a certain extent as well, Yamaha FG830 definitely doesn't sound cheap. There's a lot of that typical Dreadnought sound going on, but the core of its tone is pure quality. Rich projection combined with a lot of overtones make this Yamaha a force to reckon with in this price range, that is for certain.
One of the biggest fears about this model was the amount of sustain it offered. Thankfully, those concerns were eliminated when the guitar launched. Whether you're a beginner, or someone looking for a beater guitar to play instead of our tier one acoustics, Yamaha FG830 will keep with your requirements.
Overall, we have to add that the sonic impact – which is arguably the most important aspect of any guitar – has managed to pleasantly surprise us, and that is always a good thing. Good job, folks!

The Verdict

Considering how long FG series has been around, it's no wonder that Yamaha delivered one more great successor to this family. By utilizing some pretty advanced tech, they've managed to lift an entry level guitar to a whole new level. While it definitely has some limitations, Yamaha FG830 is a formidable contestant to just about any challenge you can find within the same price range, and a bit above it as well.

For more info about the Yamaha FG830, click here.
For more  acoustic guitars for starters, click here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Doc52 says

    The Yamaha FG830 is a best-in-class guitar in the $300 price range. It is easy to play and the sound projection is near perfect. It did need an initial set-up, but that is the norm for most guitars that cost below $1,000. I have played FGs since the early 1970s and the 830 is the best yet.

  2. Unca Stu says

    I recently bought a FG830 while on 2mths visit in China. I wanted a jamming guitar and bought this model as I was impressed with its looks, finish and tone and price. Yep, I needed to do a Minor set up… not unhappy about that and now its a great music companion.
    Very good Geetah Folks

  3. Cash says

    Sorry to spoil the party.. but there are big problems with the quality control on these latest models in the entire series the sound is good the finish has been cheapened the neck finishing is horrible ive tried all of them they have very good sound but the overall quality of workmanship is sub par I have an 11 year old fg 73o.. much much better they tried to go cheap imo it didn’t work sorry…

  4. ira. neal says

    Spoiling the party can have it’s consequences, just purchased a FG 830..
    I’m impressed. Yes it’s made in china, I have to give credit where credit is due.
    This puppy is pretty, fit and finish is right up there, the nooks and cranny are dang near perfect. I’ll get to the sound. The nut and bridge is composite, good but ?
    I replaced the strings with martin top of the line, the nut and bridge with bone,, lowered the strings. OMG, I looked over at my Taylor 310 and martin d18 and said, there’s a new kid on the block. Better. Not really, mellower, yes, about her tool in my box. # 4 # $ 4 $ 🙂
    Here to stay.

      • Terry says

        Andy…I recommend looking up Bob Colosi, who makes high quality bone nuts and saddles, as well as bridge pins. He has his own website, and if you email him he will be brutally honest with you…even if it costs him a sale. On the Yamaha (I have a FG830) he says all he would replace is the saddle to a bone model. He said you will get very little if any sonic improvement replacing the nut and bridge pins.

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