Yamaha FG830

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DavidRDavidR Frets: 148
edited May 30 in Guitar Reviews
Sorry no idea about how to do it so those of you who just like the pics will have to put up with sales details from the, as ever, marvellous Peach Guitars, which is the actual guitar anyway -

https://www.peachguitars.com/guitars/acoustic-guitars/yamaha-fg830-acoustic-natural.htm

I have loved FG's (they're dreadnoughts for those unfamiliar with Yamaha speak) since learning on one in the 1970's. Wanted a cheaper acoustic to leave in our home in Norfolk to avoid always having to shift other instruments backwards and forwards. This FG830 was £386 and in this particular re-incarnation this Chinese-built FG is very well made. The binding which goes all round the instrument (body, neck, head) smartens up the guitar no end compared with other FG's and the abalone/pauau rosette  is not too blingy. No sticky out bits anywhere on the fingerboard. The only miniscule irrelevance in the build is a slight imperfection at the edge of the (solid) Sitka top in places showing where it has been sawn but the top itself looks good. Well matched with nice straight grain throughout. Grain gets wider at the edges of the lower bout but so does the graining on my Spruce-topped Antonio Marin Montero Classical and he knows a thing or two about tops so, so what basically. The action is a little high at the bridge saddle, and the nut too but I quite like that for the fingerstyle playing with fingerpicks which I mostly play. The back and sides are laminated rosewood, I think 'layered' is the current fashionable term. I have had a few laminate sided instruments and I'm not convinced the laminate vs. solid debate for this part of a guitar is conclusive. Anyway, it certainly looks great here. As you would expect from one of the world's top selling marks, this particular FG plays fine with no buzzes or wolf notes. The neck feels nice and is less gloss finish than the rest of the guitar. There is no case for the FG830 which is no surprise at this price.

So, sound. A little plasticy if I'm honest. Certainly not the nice woody brightness of my two other acoustics (FG5 Martin OM28), and not surprising since the nut, bridge and pins are all plastic! Anyway I swapped the nut for an old tusq nut from a Martin 000X1 and adjusted the action there and swapped the pins for some Ebony ones from my FG5, (all of which I had substituted for bone). This poshed up the tone quite considerably, to me anyway, and all of the plasticy tone timbre has gone. I usually put on Monels which will change the tone again but I'll let these PB's wear out first before changing strings and making this trial.

Am I impressed? For this price hugely. For a student going onto maybe their 2nd instrument this would be brilliant. In fact many might regret changing 'up' from it to their first 'posh' guitar. As a backup acoustic for anyone else it's brilliant. 

The difference between this type of low-priced intermediate instrument and the £2-3,000 range just seems to shrink further every year. For anyone with no dosh and a bit of upgrading and fiddling expertise, this instrument is a steal. Thanks Yamaha (and, it has to be said, China).
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Comments

  • GandalphGandalph Frets: 632
    Congratulations, it’s always a buzz getting a new acoustic.
    I tried out an fsx5 a couple of weeks ago. I really wanted to like it and I did but the narrow string spacing was a no go for me. It was very well made with a lovely vintage vibe but I found it to be a lot heavier than I thought it would be. I’m assuming this was due to the onboard electronics but I’ve never played a standard fs5 to compare it to.

    Enjoy your new acquisition
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 2883
    DavidR said:
    Sorry no idea about how to do it so those of you who just like the pics will have to put up with sales details from the, as ever, marvellous Peach Guitars, which is the actual guitar anyway -

    https://www.peachguitars.com/guitars/acoustic-guitars/yamaha-fg830-acoustic-natural.htm

    I have loved FG's (they're dreadnoughts for those unfamiliar with Yamaha speak) since learning on one in the 1970's. Wanted a cheaper acoustic to leave in our home in Norfolk to avoid always having to shift other instruments backwards and forwards. This FG830 was £386 and in this particular re-incarnation this Chinese-built FG is very well made. The binding which goes all round the instrument (body, neck, head) smartens up the guitar no end compared with other FG's and the abalone/pauau rosette  is not too blingy. No sticky out bits anywhere on the fingerboard. The only miniscule irrelevance in the build is a slight imperfection at the edge of the (solid) Sitka top in places showing where it has been sawn but the top itself looks good. Well matched with nice straight grain throughout. Grain gets wider at the edges of the lower bout but so does the graining on my Spruce-topped Antonio Marin Montero Classical and he knows a thing or two about tops so, so what basically. The action is a little high at the bridge saddle, and the nut too but I quite like that for the fingerstyle playing with fingerpicks which I mostly play. The back and sides are laminated rosewood, I think 'layered' is the current fashionable term. I have had a few laminate sided instruments and I'm not convinced the laminate vs. solid debate for this part of a guitar is conclusive. Anyway, it certainly looks great here. As you would expect from one of the world's top selling marks, this particular FG plays fine with no buzzes or wolf notes. The neck feels nice and is less gloss finish than the rest of the guitar. There is no case for the FG830 which is no surprise at this price.

    So, sound. A little plasticy if I'm honest. Certainly not the nice woody brightness of my two other acoustics (FG5 Martin OM28), and not surprising since the nut, bridge and pins are all plastic! Anyway I swapped the nut for an old tusq nut from a Martin 000X1 and adjusted the action there and swapped the pins for some Ebony ones from my FG5, (all of which I had substituted for bone). This poshed up the tone quite considerably, to me anyway, and all of the plasticy tone timbre has gone. I usually put on Monels which will change the tone again but I'll let these PB's wear out first before changing strings and making this trial.

    Am I impressed? For this price hugely. For a student going onto maybe their 2nd instrument this would be brilliant. In fact many might regret changing 'up' from it to their first 'posh' guitar. As a backup acoustic for anyone else it's brilliant. 

    The difference between this type of low-priced intermediate instrument and the £2-3,000 range just seems to shrink further every year. For anyone with no dosh and a bit of upgrading and fiddling expertise, this instrument is a steal. Thanks Yamaha (and, it has to be said, China).
    FFS, pictures or it didn't happen.

    I have some nice guitars but one of the few I sold that I miss was my Yamaha acoustic, it had the most stable neck of any guitar I've owned.

    Really surprised to read the name of one of the greatest ever guitar makers Antonio Marin Montero here.  He's one of my guitar making heroes, for influence.

    What are the specs of your AMM guitar?
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  • DavidRDavidR Frets: 148
    edited May 12
    2007 Spruce/Brazilian Rosewood Classical. 3 piece back. Replaced original Rubner tuners with Irvine-Sloane tuners in 2017. Work done by Luthier Earl Marsh. Guitar signed by maker in pencil on upper aspect of lower back bracing bar visible through soundhole.

    Provenance and proof of sale from Stafford Classical Guitar Centre 17th March 2010.

    I only tell you this because it's for sale. I was going to take it into London Classical Guitar Studio  soon now I've had 2 Covid vaccines. I tried to master classical instrument when I retired a few years back but failed. This instrument is cleverer than I am!

    Although of course, since there are no photos, I may just be imagining the whole thing.  
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 2883
    DavidR said:
    2007 Spruce/Brazilian Rosewood Classical. 3 piece back. Replaced original Rubner tuners with Irvine-Sloane tuners in 2017. Work done by Luthier Earl Marsh. Guitar signed by maker in pencil on upper aspect of lower back bracing bar visible through soundhole.

    Provenance and proof of sale from Stafford Classical Guitar Centre 17th March 2010.

    I only tell you this because it's for sale. I was going to take it into London Classical Guitar Studio  soon now I've had 2 Covid vaccines. I tried to master classical instrument when I retired a few years back but failed. This instrument is cleverer than I am!

    Although of course, since there are no photos, I may just be imagining the whole thing.  
    You should post it up on the DelCamp forum as well, I imagine there'd be a few takers there as well.

    Playing nylon strings is so much more unforgiving that steel strings. A little bad technique and they sound like floppy rubber bands being played! 

    Well mine do anyway!

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  • DavidRDavidR Frets: 148
    That was the precise problem. Yes, I could play it and had a year of lessons to improve classical technique (useful) and brush up my sight reading. But getting the beautiful sounds out of this lovely instrument that were definitely in it? I just couldn't!

    I was playing for a classical ensemble at the time and we would swap instruments sometimes. I would give this Marin to a fellow player and they would get the loveliest sounds off the strings. Many had been playing classical since their youth. In the end I became disillusioned after about 4-5y and went back to acoustic. I think I came to it too late in life.

    A shame though. The sounds of a classical being played by a good player are exquisite. I saw Xuefei Yang play at Binham Priory a few years back and that was playing at its very best. It takes a massive amount of hard work to get that good on a classical. The acoustic instrument does much more of the work for you IMHO. That's why we should all have a decent instrument. A good classical player seems to be able to get good tone off even a student instrument!

    All very annoying!!

     =) 
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