“Dear, why do you keep buying new guitar while you’re having dozens of them?”, my mom said that when I got my Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar.
Yup, such a good question!
I did consider her words seriously. After a couple of minutes, I told her in a very gentle way
“Mom, it’s just like the way I can’t get why you always complain that you’ve nothing to wear while your closet’s full of clothes.”
Honestly, my mother doesn’t really care about what makes guitars different. So this Yamaha FG800 review – one of the best acoustic guitars under $200 for beginners – is not for her.
I’m writing it for you guys, who really want to take a close look at what makes Yamaha FG800 outstanding before buying it.
Here we go!
Unboxing my Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar
Yamaha is one of the best crafting musical instrument company in the world and they did show their professionalism right in the protective shipping.
Yamaha FG800 came to me in a double thickness corrugated cardboard box. And within the box, my guitar was wrapped up in a thin padded-foam shipping bag.
As you might imagine, it came out the box safe and sound, without any scratch.
I really appreciate something simple so FG800 with its traditional look impressed me immediately. Very simple and pretty!
Its body is gloss finished while the neck is matte. For me, these things do count. Normally, a gloss finished guitar always looks elegant but the glossy neck might make it hard for beginner’s hand movement.
However, Yamaha FG800 helps to solve this issue perfectly with the combination of its satin-finished slim neck and the glossy body.
Another remarkable feature on Yamaha FG800 is the tuners stay in tune. This is quite good for guitar beginners.
How is the action on this Yamaha FG800?
I know that one of your biggest concerns as a beginner when buying an acoustic guitar is its action. So let’s get straight to the point! I have no complaint about this Yamaha FG800’s action.
Although a setup is required for any new guitar, right at the first sight, I can see that Yamaha does build an excellent guitar.
For my taste, the action is pretty nice, the strength can go down a little bit but it’s not going to be any issue at all.
How is the sound of this Yamaha FG800?
As a fingerstyle player, I love the way FG800 delivers rich sounding bass while maintaining the bright timbre and projection in its trebles.
Thanks to its dreadnought size, the bass response is so amazing when I played it right after the first tuning. It’s warm and very powerful. I even feel like its sound will be okay in a very large square.
Plus, my other guitars are still beloved but they can not perform bright tones for some certain songs as Yamaha FG800 can.
By the way, it’s said that besides the capability of enhancing the sound, Yamaha FG800’s solid wood top can continue to enrich the sound over time. I’ll pay attention to this feature and update it to you soon.
It’s over a year since I’ve written this Yamaha FG800 review, and thanks to the mature wood, my FG800 sounds much better now. I can see it mellower, warmer, deeper, brighter and more well-balanced on the frequencies.
Such a great deal! I believe that it will be with me for years.
The sound of FG800 reminds me of Jasmine S35 – one of the best acoustic guitars on low budget for beginners that I once reviewed.
Of course, they are in different ranges so any comparison between FG800 and Jasmine S35 is nonsense.
However, what these two guitars have in common is that: after proper tuning/setup, their sounds are a lot more expensive than other guitars in the same price ranges.
Trust me, guitar beginners could never go wrong with these guitars. Jasmine S35 is the best one in its range just like the way Yamaha FG800 stands apart from other average dreadnought guitars in its range.
Yamaha FG800 vs FG700 – What makes Yamaha FG800 different from FG700?
I think it is mainly the FG800 scalloped bracing.
As we all know that FG800 directly replaces for FG700 with a big change, a new technique called scalloped bracing.
In a guitar with thin top wood (spruce or mahogany), the bracing is specifically designed to reinforce the top. The top and the bracing all together will give the guitar 95% of its sound and tone.
On Yamaha FG800, the bracing is scooped – it means a mass is taken away from the lower half of the brace, while FG700 has a non-scalloped bracing.
The FG800’s scalloped bracing does contribute a lot to the sound quality by let the brace vibrate more.
Therefore, when I play fingerstyle on this FG800, it seems to me that I can get much volume and resonant response than on other guitars with the same effort.
That’s great because I appreciate nuanced expression as much as the power of the sound. With the more stable and louder sound on FG800, I feel more relaxed and controlled as playing fingerstyle. No need to dig too much into the strings!
You can follow this video to see what scalloped bracing means, and how it affects the sound of a guitar.
Another feature that makes FG800 better than FG700 is the playability.
While Yamaha FG800 is playable with a matte neck and rosewood fingerboard containing 20 frets, I always see FG700’s neck uncomfortable.
It may be just personal preference, but for me FG800 is much better.
Yamaha FG800 Acoustic guitar review – The verdict
I would say Yamaha FG800 is one of the best acoustic guitars for beginners. It is more decent and affordable than most of the acoustic guitars in this range that I have played.
When I take everything into consideration, including the great design and good looking, high-quality sound, and the price. The Yamaha FG800 is a great fit for years for anyone, from a beginner to a seasoned player. Of course, it’s not for a person who doesn’t love guitar at all as my mother.
Hopefully, this review will help you in your decision. If you want a review for any guitar, feel free to leave a comment below!