I'm not sure what's with my area and throwing out instruments, but I swear that well over 50% of my instruments have been found in the garbage. Now, I'm not saying that I go through people's garbage hunting for things, I just take any instrument that is visible as I drive by.

Which is how I stumbled upon this, a Yamaha FG-180. Dirtier than ever, with a thick layer of dust caked on there and an awful stench of cigarettes. After a long while of cleaning it with proper products, the guitar started to really draw me in. I did research on the serial number and I came up shorthanded so I emailed Yamaha the serial and hoped to receive some information. Their response provided me with this:


Year(s) Sold: 1966-1974
Original Retail Price (US$): $130.00
Top: Spruce
Back / Sides: Mahogany
Neck: Nato
Fingerboard: Indian Rosewood

I have to say that the coolest thing about finding this guitar was finding out the approximate age. I've never had a guitar this old.

Now, I am curious to know whether or not anyone here has any experience with these guitars. Should I stick to lower stringer gauges?
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A lot of old Yamahas are much better than they have any right to be. - It could be a nice find.

I would choose string gauge based on what kind of shape the action is in. If the action is low and there is plenty of saddle showing, then I would use lights or mediums. If the action is high and/or there isn't much saddle left, I would go to a lighter gauge. If it is unplayable, it could still make a nice lap steel steel.
Last edited by Tony Done at Oct 17, 2015,
I found my FG 200 the same way as is the case for almost all my guitars. It's old. The sn# is on the crossbrace at the lower bout just inside the soundhole but it's faded it has 21016??? so I can't date it except for early 70's since it's pre Taiwan, the label is:
Solid spruce top, sides back and neck look like mahogany, rosewood fingerboard, closed tuning machines, neck badly bent. I fixed it up with a steel cable from the headstock to the heel and tightened it up with a turnbuckle (this was at a time when I had severely limited resources). Straightened the neck to perfection. It looks nasty as hell but it's the best sounding, easiest playing, most comfortable guitar I still have.
I use medium/light 80/20's.
They do have a reputation for bending necks so medium light at the most.
So why was yours thrown away?
Last edited by skido13 at Oct 21, 2015,
I have an FG180 from that era I bought new in HS. It is still a nice playing guitar. It looks like yours was neglected a bit so If you want to make the most of it, take it to a luthier for evaluation and repair. That one is a keeper!

I always string mine with 11s so no experience with any other gauge.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Oct 20, 2015,