Thinking of buying a guitar? Go for it. Whether you are a beginner, expert or anything in between, Yamaha is always the go-to company for guitars, keyboards, drum sets and a myriad of other musical instruments. The company is reputable for creating some of the best instruments available in the market today. Yamaha is credible, solid and sturdy—no wonder it is the leading manufacturer of quality and affordable instruments in the world.
If you are looking for a nice acoustic guitar for you or your loved one, you might want to check out the Yamaha acoustics. These are the crème de la crème created with you, the customer in mind. Be it classical or electrical guitars, Yamaha acoustics will offer you nothing but the best playing experience.
Yamaha acoustics are vast all with different functionalities, shapes, sizes, and prices. There are a ton of great options out there with excellent functionalities but we particularly love the Yamaha FS series that debuted over 50 years ago. They are a living proof that buying a guitar doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. The FS series is focused on quality, durability, and playability—all in an attractively small and compact design.
The Yamaha FS800 Guitar Review
The Yamaha FS800 guitar is probably the favorite option for many novice and professional players. It is a standard guitar designed to operate like the traditional guitar without the big size and high cost that comes with it.
Many people love the instrument because of its small size and solid construction that caters to any guitarist looking to practice on advanced level fingerpicking styles. It is made from premium materials that last for decades not to mention the well-balanced tones that offer nothing but an excellent experience pulling the strings.
For the most part, the small size attracts women and young players who are rather short and have a smaller frame. However, many other players are driven towards FS800 because it is comfortable, thanks to its lightweight feature. One can play for hours without feeling the weight of the instrument.
The FS800 is a small-size concert-style, beautiful acoustic guitar. Both its sides and its back are made of nato/okume and feature a natural smooth finish. The body of the FS series is slimmer than that of the FG series by 10mm. This offers more comfort with zero loss of bass or volume. With its new scalloped bracing design, the FS800 is great for both solo and band performances.
The Yamaha FS800 has a nato neck complete with a natural and attractive matte finish for smooth playing. The material of construction for the saddle and nut is urea while that of the bridge and fingerboard is rosewood. It also has two chrome die-cast tuners located on the guitar’s headstock, black ABS bridge pins to lock the strings in place, white and black inlay, black body building and a tortoise-patterned pickguard.
• Body shape: Concert (small)
• Top: solid spruce
• Neck: Nato
• Back and sides: Nato/Okume
• Body binding: Black
• Bracing pattern: Scalloped
• Bridge and fingerboard: Rosewood
• Body finish: Gloss
• Number of frets: 20
• Tuning machines: Chrome die-cast tuners
• String spacing: 0.4 inch/10mm
• Neck finish: Matte
• Accessories: Hex wrench
• Scale: 25.0 inch/634mm
• Width at nut: 1.7inch/43mm
• Radius: 15.7inch/400mm
• Scale length: 25.0inch/634mm
• Body length: 19.6inch/497mm
• Total length: 40.2inch/1,021mm
• Body width: 15.0inch/380mm
• Body depth: 3.5- 4.3inch/90 — 110mm
There are plenty of reasons why many guitarists always pick the Yamaha FS800 without giving it a second thought. Some of them include:
• Perfect for Travel Purposes: It is not only small and compact but lightweight as well. If you need to travel across the country for a concert, you can grab it and hop into the bus without worrying about how to contain it on your trip.
• Excellent Protection: The Yamaha FS800 comes with a hard shell case for optimum protection while traveling or storing it at home.
• Versatile: Thanks to its small body, the guitar is ideal for people with a small frame or young players. It offers great comfort for short and smaller hands as they strum through the guitar’s tight string spacing and a rather short neck.
• Strong and Durable: Expect your Yamaha FS800 to stick around for years to come. It has been built from durable materials that will maintain the tone and sound of the guitar for a really long time.
• Perfect Tone and Sound: The Yamaha FS800 is celebrated for its small size and excellent sound quality that is both warm and loud in equal measure. It produces well-balanced sounds and a sweet tone perfect for recording and finger picking.
• Rock-bottom price with great value and offerings compared to other options in the market
• Lightweight and attractive finish for comfort playing for long periods of time
• Can be utilized by beginner to advanced guitarists for practice
Like all other acoustic guitars in the market, Yamaha FS800 has a few cons of its own:
• Too Small For Bigger Individuals: Expectedly, if you have a bigger frame, the Yamaha FS800 might not be comfortable for you. A grand jumbo or a standard jumbo is definitely a better option for you.
• An absence of a strap button on the side of the neck
• An absence of an inlay on the neck of the third fret
How It Compares With Other Guitars
1. Yamaha FS800 vs FS830
Yamaha FS830 has been known to give FS800 a run for its money. Some agree to this but we think it is subjective. The FS830 has 12 strings and is primarily created from mahogany woods. Compared to FS800, the FS830 has a better aesthetic since you are playing premium. However, it can be quite costly. The bottom-line is, unless you are keen on aesthetics, FS800 is a better value for money. You will probably not tell the difference anyway.
2. Yamaha FS800 vs FG800
These two confuse many guitarists. They look similar and are closely-related in every sense of the word. However, they have two slight differences. The Yamaha FG800 is a full-size guitar while the FS has a smaller build. The latter is great for average-sized to big individuals while the latter caters to the smaller, younger players. Otherwise, the two guitars basically have the same functionalities. Your choice will essentially depend on your height and frame.
Yamaha FS800 is a favorite to many upcoming, intermediate and expert players in and around the world. It has an impressive 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon with many customers liking it for its versatility especially strumming and percussion.
Those who bought one for their kids say it is a perfect guitar — size, construction, fit, sound, finish, and price. One claimed that her daughter has played the instrument for the last 20 years with no sign of loss of any functionality.
Only a few customers were a tad dissatisfied with the FS800 claiming that its neck is a little too thick for them. Playing it for them felt like “chopping an axe” instead of the awesome experience of strumming a finely-crafted FS masterpiece.
Over to GuitarCenter and people seem to love the acoustic guitar immensely. The total score here is 4.9 out of 5! Most of the buyers think it is a great buy because of its affordable price point compared to its functionality and playability.
The beautiful sound quality added with the high aesthetics makes FS800 the best deal for all guitarists out there. A few more love it for its scalloped braces, attention to details and the amazing intonation.
Unfortunately, one or two customers didn’t particularly like the tuning machines of the FS 800 saying they need Grover’s on it. Additionally, the instrument does well when light strummed but if one has a heavy hand and is a hard strummer, it can fall short.
Customers, in general, are happy about the instrument. Its low price tag combined with the package including the sound quality, beauty, small size, solid construction, and comfort while playing makes it a great value for money.
The Yamaha FS series has found its place in the industry for some time now especially for players with a liking for short acoustic guitars. FS800 combines the conventional look of a traditional guitar and the beauty of a guitar all at a reasonable price. Regardless of the FS800 size, it is solid top guitar rich in sound and robust strength.
The Yamaha FS800 is more than what any skilled guitar player will ever need. It has solid spruce, a smooth polish, and a rich, authentic tone — all that work to give the player a good experience picking the strings.
If you particularly have a tour coming up, the FS800 will make your travel seamless. You will not have to worry about where to put it as you hit the road. Its lightweight feature will give you the option of practicing your skill without sacrificing your comfort.
While shopping for FS800, keep in mind that the shape and size of the guitar vary by manufacturer. Look for one that is easy for you to play.
George A. Smith received a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Berkeley. George has been teaching music professionally for the past 8 years. George regularly contributes content to several music websites including LoadRecords.com.