Yamaha AC3R

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This review starts somewhere a little unusual so please bear with me.

A year or so before 1st Covid lockdown, the Liverpool Phil held a series of concerts in their studio entitle "Django's legacy". I only caught the last two but the penultimate one was led by Adrien Moignard. I was gob smacked. He not only played fast and accurate but he got emotion into each note. I wanted to do that so I looked for a guitar that would be able carry it. However, I dislike the tone of the usual gypsy guitar (Selmer / Maccaferri) so I looked round for something to meet the following:

steel strung with pick up

good on single notes

loud and articulate

I hunted all over and got close with the Yamaha A3 but the bass was HUGE and didn't meet the articulate criterion. I asked our local shop to get me an AC3R which they had advertised on their web site. After an exchange of e mails I finally persuaded them to get one in. It was what I was looking for except the action was a bit high - but that's not unusual. Unfortunately whoever adjusted the truss rod to get the action down destroyed the neck relief and it took a number of visits to my luthier to get it how I like it.

Despite my best efforts, I'm never going to make a jazz guitarist like Adrien Moingnard but I use the guitar as an acoustic lead instrument and it fits that very nicely. I have to complement the pick up. It has the option of dialling in mic type sounds and these are really very nice. However, it is not as good when it comes to chord playing, the notes don't seem to integrate into a single chord to my ear.

For the price (I paid £715.00) for a guitar with Torrified top (although I don't particularly go for the colour) and the quality Yamaha build into even their Chinese instruments, I think I got good value for money and I'd recommend it if it would suit your purpose and you find the sound balance attractive.

There are a few drawbacks:

the fretboard edge is rolled a little to much for me so I need to watch my technique or I pull the E strings off the edge off the fretboard

the varnish seems a little soft. There are tiny (almost imperceptible) scratches on the body where the guitar sits on my leg - but I do wear trousers with leg patch pockets. And on the back, but I don't know how they got there. I've not had this with other gloss finish guitars.

the foam case is a bit awkward and I now use a backpack as it's a lot easier to cart it round in that.

For the money, I think this is an excellent guitar to meet its intended purpose - even if the owner isn't up to the job!!


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Comments

  • guitarjack66guitarjack66 Frets: 1989
    Trousers with leg patch pockets? You are either a member of Dexy's Midnight Runners or wear Cargo pants.
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  • TheMadMickTheMadMick Frets: 246
    edited July 2022
    I buy my trousers mainly from Cotton Traders in their sales - 'cos they fit, are hard wearing and cheap. The last lot were cargos.
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  • I buy my trousers mainly from Cotton Traders in their sales - 'cos they fit, are hard wearing and cheap. The last lot were cargos.
    Cargo (or ‘combat’ as we used to call them in the 90s) trousers are seriously back in fashion with the young people. My daughter has a couple of pairs and my two nieces who are teenagers. 
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