|Body And Neck:|
Travel guitars are becoming more and more popular as of lately. Their compact size is proving to be a real factor for many people. Since affordable guitars are most sought after category, Yamaha found a way to enter the travel guitar market and almost completely take over the affordable range. One of the models which established this foothold is the Yamaha JR1. Cheap and well built, this guitar has proven that quality doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Ever since it first appeared, we have included Yamaha JR1 into our list of top travel guitars. For more info about the rest of our picks, check out our list.
For the most part, Yamaha kept things simple. They’ve decided to go for a 3/4 size dreadnought body, which is many found to be a good compromise. Tonewood of choice came down to spruce for the top and meranti for the rest of the guitar. What really stands out about the JR1 is the fact that the guitar comes with a bound top. That is a feature you usually see in much more expensive guitars. The neck is a plain looking, standard design nato piece. While it’s not flashy, the neck is pretty comfortable to play. Overall, the build quality is better than we could ask for at this price.
Affordable guitars often come with shady hardware. This seems to be one aspect of the entire guitar where manufacturers like to try and reduce the cost. On Yamaha JR1, you get a rather standard set of hardware. In other words, a rosewood bridge fitted with a compensated synthetic bone saddle. The nut is also made of this material. Naturally, cheap synthetic substitutes can’t come anywhere close to a real bone, but they are a sufficient solution. Same simplicity is applied to the tuners. You’re looking at an average set of standard tuning machines. Overall, you shouldn’t expect problems with the hardware. The only thing that is recommended you do upon receiving the guitar, is to take to a shop and get a professional setup done. It will make a significant difference.
Travel guitars traditionally have a weaker volume, and lack the low-end response. That’s one of the tradeoffs for their compact size. With Yamaha JR1, it’s a slightly different story. While the reduction in size is obvious, its dreadnought shape gives it a bit more girth compared to standard concert style travel guitars. Trebles are crisp and clean, while the mid-range does a decent job at compensating for the lower part of the frequency range. Overall, you will hardly find a better sounding travel guitar for the money.
Those who need a compact acoustic guitar, but are working on a tight budget will find the JR1 from Yamaha to be a great solution. It’s well made, offers a great tone and won’t ruin your bank account. With a bit of tune-up and maintenance, you can make one of these sound pretty good.