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Yamaha FG800 | Full Review (2019)

The Perfect First Guitar

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The Yamaha FG800 sets the standard for affordable acoustic guitars thanks to its great looks, quality construction, and enjoyable, well-balanced sound. If you're looking for your first acoustic guitar and don't have a lot of cash to spend, then this is the guitar for you! Keep reading to see our thoughts about the Yamaha FG800 acoustic guitar and why it's such a great value.

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Features of the Yamaha FG800

  • Solid sitka spruce top
  • Rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets
  • Scalloped bracing for better durability and more natural sound
  • Nato/okume back and sides
  • Satin-finished neck for easy playability
  • 6-pin rosewood bridge
  • Beautiful tortoise shell pickguard

Who is this guitar for?

The Yamaha FG800 is the perfect acoustic guitar for beginner's who are just starting out and are looking for a good quality guitar they can learn on. Intermediate guitar players looking for an affordable acoustic guitar will love its tone and easy playability. For more advanced players, the FG800's tone may seem a bit wanting, but it will make for a great practice or backup guitar. Regardless, the FG800 is a guitar you can learn on and grow with as a musician. Its predecessor, the FG700S, was one of the best-selling guitars of all time! The FG800 is an improvement on an already beloved guitar and is sure to make any musician happy.

Playability

The FG800 is a great playing acoustic guitar. One of its best features is the satin-finshed neck, which we talk about a little later. It makes navigating around the fretboard a breeze.

Many budget acoustic guitars are notorious for having high action - the height of the strings above the fretboard. This can make a guitar difficult to play. The FG800 is no exception to this rule. Whether you like high or low action is something that comes down to personal preference. For the most ideal playing experience, we recommend taking any guitar you've purchased to your local guitar store for a professional setup where the technicians there can adjust the guitar's playability to exactly what you prefer.

Looks

The FG800's appearance doesn't stray far from the mold. While it's not a bad looking guitar by any means, Yamaha chose to keep it simple. The FG800 looks like a traditional acoustic guitar should with its large dreadnought shaped body, tortoise-shell pickguard, and contrasting black binding.

Neck

If you've ever played a guitar with a gloss-finished neck, you know how it can make your hand stick and make your playing more clunky. Thankfully, the FG800 has a satin-finished neck that makes it super easy to play all across the neck without any hiccups. The width of the neck at the nut is a fairly standard 43mm (1 11/16โ€) that will feel familiar to almost every guitar player. You will be able to play finger style with this guitar, but it won't be as easy as it would be compared to a guitar with a larger nut width. Still, with some practice, you should manage just fine. Regardless, the neck is quite easy to get your hand around and will accommodate guitarists with hands big, small, and everything in between.

The neck is made out of nato wood, which may not be familiar to most people. Sometimes called 'eastern mahogany', nato is a cheaper alternative to regular mahogany with similar characteristics: punchiness and good presence without any ugly overtones.

Body

The FG800 is built with a beautiful sitka spruce top lends the guitar a strong, focused and warm tone that sounds at home in all genres. The back and sides are made of nato, the same wood used in the neck.

Yamaha has used their new Scalloped Bracing design in the FG800. Scalloped bracing enhances the durability of the top and allows the sound to project better for even better tone with more fullness.

Tuners and Headstock

Surprisingly, the tuning stability of the FG800 is quite good for such an affordable guitar. Though the tuners are just simple diecast tuning machines, they are very reliable and stable, keeping the guitar in tune quite well.

If you opt for the Acoustic-Electric version, you get a convenient built-in tuner that saves you from having to carry around a separate headstock or pedalboard tuner.

Strings and Accessories

The FG800 comes installed with generic Yamaha 80/20 Brass wound strings that sound pretty good for stock strings. A set of a D'addario Phosphor Bronze Lights would still be a cheap, worthwhile upgrade to squeeze even better tone out of this guitar.

You won't get any extra accessories with the FG800 unless you opt for the Value Pack, which comes with a bunch of great goodies, including a case, a guitar stand, a strap, clip-on tuner, and more!

Sound

The Yamaha FG800 has a well-rounded tone that really betrays its affordable pricing. The guitar leans more towards the brighter end of the tonal range, but it still has that rich bassiness you expect from a dreadnought sized guitar. As the wood matures, it will improve in tone and become even better. Check out some clips below of the FG800 in action.

Public Opinion

The FG800 is the successor to the beloved FG700, another fantastic and well-designed affordable acoustic guitar by Yamaha. There are noticeable improvements, including slightly wider string spacing and even better tonality. Reviewers on Amazon are quick to heap praise upon the FG800, calling out its great value for the money, good quality feel, durability, and excellent sound. Complaints include minor tuning issues and the occasional damaged guitar, but that is something Amazon will allow returns for.

Conclusion

As you can see, the Yamaha FG800 is one of the best affordable acoustic guitars on the market today. Yamaha is one of the best manufacturers of affordable guitars because of how much bang for the buck their guitars provide and the FG800 is no exception.

Yamaha FG800: Final Thoughts

Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar
  • Looks:
  • Build Quality:
  • Sound:

The Good ๐Ÿ‘

  • High-quality construction
  • Very affordable and great bang for the buck
  • Easy to play thanks to great factory setup and satin-finished neck
  • Great tuning stability

The Bad ๐Ÿ‘Ž

  • No cutaway makes it harder to access the upper frets
  • High action from the factory may not be everyone's cup of tea

Overall:
4.4/5