|Body And Neck:|
Yamaha is a brand that is often underrated when it comes to their guitars. That’s really a shame, as they have many excellent models that are also comfortable on the wallet for what you get. The Yamaha FGX800C electric-acoustic is a perfect example of all that a guitar in the under $300 range from Yamaha can feature.
One hallmark of a good acoustic guitar is the quality of the top of the body. Yamaha didn’t skimp here, as the FGX800C gives you a solid spruce top. That’s much better than the typical laminate that you’ll find in most guitars at this price point. Nato and Okume (which are actually types of mahogany) make up the sides and back, and the single cutaway adds visual appeal along with letting you access the upper reaches of the fretboard.
Speaking of the fretboard…a true rosewood fretboard with dot inlays acts as home to the FGX800C’s 20 frets, and it lays on top of a Nato-constructed neck. There’s no binding, but the fit and finish of the neck, in general, reflect the quality that Yamaha has put into this guitar.
The hardware featured on the FGX800C may fool you into thinking you’re playing a guitar that costs much more than its sub-$300 street price.
Yamaha has loaded it with its System 66 pickup/preamp, which is a fairly impressive setup. The pickup itself is an under-the-saddle piezo unit, and the preamp features a 3-band EQ and an additional mid-frequency adjustment, so you can easily dial in your sound, along with an onboard tuner as well.
Tuning machines are chrome plated and fairly sensitive, so any small adjustments to get your tuning just right are a piece of cake. One thing that’s a bit of a downer – there’s no included case or gig bag to help protect the guitar and make it easier to transport. That’s always a nice feature to have, regardless of the cost of the guitar. And, it would have been nice to have a second strap button on the neck – but that’s a minor detail that any tech could fix.
Dreadnought shaped-guitars, with their larger body size, are meant for enhanced volume and sound projection. The FGX800C lives up to that reputation with ease when you play it unplugged, as the whole dynamic range of frequencies is bold and full. Lows are impressive without being overpowering, and high notes are distinct and sharp.
Plug it in, and let it sing – the System 66 setup works great in a live setting, with the 3-band EQ being very responsive and easy to adjust. It’s a great tool to dial in your sound on the fly without having to rely on a sound engineer to take care of things.
Historically one of the biggest complaints with guitars at this level is the playability (or lack thereof). Back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon to have action that was uncomfortably high – almost borderline unplayable when it comes to barre chords. That’s not the case at all with the FGX800C – the neck feels great, and the action is silky smooth.
The Yamaha FGX800C is simply an excellent example of everything that a good entry-level acoustic guitar should be. It’s a model that players of all skill levels should appreciate, from the very beginner to the seasoned pro that’s looking for a workhorse that won’t break the bank.
For more info about the Yamaha FGX800C, click here.
For more of the best acoustic guitars under $300, click here.