Price paid: £ 560
Purchased from: mattchetts-belfast
Features: Came with a "form" case, well that's what Yamaha call it. I have to say it's very good and suits my needs well as it's not too heavy and can be worn on the back but still offers great protection.
The case is constructed of a polystyrene shell within a durable nylon cover and furry liner - looks good for me and my purpose. I'd give it a 10, but for the gear snobs out there I'll rate it 8 as you prob couldn't jump on it (I'm not trying), also it doesn't lock, but a small padlock would go through the double zip if you need to keep the kids off it. // 8
Sound: The tone from this guitar is powerful and well balanced. Before I purchased the guitar, I spent quite a few weeks trying guitars, both in shops and secondhand. I tried as many guitars as I could, in or around the ?500 mark. I tried the low end Martins (secondhand) and I tried the low end Taylors (new), Takamines etc. This guitar blows them all away with its lovely thick sound.
I'm giving it a 10 for it's sound because after a bone saddle upgrade it sounds as good as any fine instrument, guitar snobs will just have to get over it. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: My guitar was received with a full set up done at the factory, a proper one too, good job. It does have that wood grain run off that seems to be pretty typical of Yamaha solid tops, which may be undesireable to some but I'm not bothered, the black, cacky pick guard bothers me more - I'm getting used to it, but will probably end up changing it.
One of my tuning pegs is ever so slightly miss-aligned, almost undetectable without a straight edge though. All other aspects of the fit and finish are flawless, the inlays, purfling, joins etc. // 8
Reliability & Durability: This guitar is built to last and it feels like it, good solid piece of kit. The finish on the top feels thin, but after a couple of slight knocks I can confirm it is durable.
The guitar would handle a live situation without problems, if unbreakable strings ever come along you wouldn't need a backup.
I can't see any reason why this instument would be any less durable or less reliable than more expensive instruments, so I predict a score of 10. // 10
Overall Impression: Before I made this purchase, I did a lot of research and tried a lot of guitars so it's not suprising this guitar ticks a lot of boxes for me. If we were separated, I probably would buy the same again.
The build quality is amazing,it has a great spec and reigns supreme at this price point(the Taylor 114&214 feel almost disposable when compared to this guitar). A bone nut/saddle would have been nice but lets face it that just isn't happening at this price.
This guitar feels alive when you play it, the whole instrument resonates and gives plenty of 'feelback' the more I play it the more I love it. I'm really pleased with my purchase and feel like i got the best guitar i could get for the price.
If you're buying a guitar at this price range (£400-£600+), be sure to try one of these bad boys out. // 10