AC3R review by Yamaha

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  • Features: 10
  • Sound: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (2 votes)
Yamaha: AC3R

Price paid: $ 900

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features — 10
Year unspecified (presumably 2012). Made in China.
- Ebony Fingerboard 20 frets
- Solid spruce top
- Solid rosewood back and sides
- Mahogany neck
- Glossy finish
- Dreadnought with concert cutaway
- Ebony belly bridge
- Active electronics 
- SRT System 63 Modeling Preamp, SRT Saddle/Piezo Pickup

  • Volume control
  • High-mid-low equalizer
  • Integrated tuner
  • 3-way mic type selector
  • Mic positioning selector (focused/wide)
  • Peizo pickup blending
  • Resonance control
  • Auto feedback reduction
- Included:
  • Rubber feedback buster plug
  • Leather covered wooden carry case
  • Hex-wrench (for action adjustment)

Sound — 9
I've only been playing guitar for about a year but have played other types of instruments so I would like to say I have a decent ear for musical quality. As a learning guitar I love it. Whether finger style or strumming it sounds great although it doesn't project as much as many other guitars (probably due to the solid top) but it still has a bright, full sound. The lower notes tend not to resonate quite as much as with many other guitars but still has a quality of sound comparable to many guitars that cost twice or three times what this one does.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When I purchased this guitar I did need to adjust the action a little bit (increasing it) but I do personally like to play with a high action since I tend to strum really hard, however this was extremely easy to do since they included the hex-wrench necessary for the task. I really haven't played much with the pickups as I prefer a more acoustic scene but the few times I have, I have found that the controls on the preamp offer a superb range of adjustment and fine-tuning. The body of the guitar itself is just plain phenomenal. It looks fantastic and all the pictures online don't do it justice. I found no flaws whatsoever on it. The back is beautifully bookmatched (the top is just one solid piece) and the bridge is perfectly routed.

Reliability & Durability — 10
As stated above, this guitar feels extremely solid. The wood itself is extremely secure and has a certain thickness to it that makes it feel very sturdy. It will very easily accommodate live playing and is very dependable for use on a gig (even without a backup). The hardware is very well made: the tuning pegs are secure and have no extra play, the preamp and pickup are well mounted with wires well wrapped and off to the side, and the strap buttons are not going anywhere any time soon. I can't say much about how well the finish will hold up long-term since I have only had the guitar for about a year now but if it is on par with the quality of the rest of the guitar then I have no doubt that it will last a very long time.

Overall Impression — 10
I play a mix of strumming and finger-picking and this guitar works very well for both styles. As mentioned above I tend to strum kind of heavily but the it had plenty of room for action adjustment making it work really well for me in that department. I have only been playing for about a year now so I'm still kind of new to all this and this is my first guitar but I have done a lot of research and looked into many other models before settling on this one and in hindsight am still quite pleased with my decision. When I was shopping for a guitar I looked at several Taylors, Martins, Fenders, other Yamahas, etc... many of which were in the two to three thousand dollar range but still settled on this one. If this guitar were to break, or it were to get lost or stolen I would not hesitate to buy another one (although I would like to play around on them for a while first since individual guitars vary even within the same model). The one thing I wish it had is a more artistic fretboard as the one it came with looks very plain when compared to the looks of the rest of the guitar.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Couldn't figure out how to edit the review so I'll just post in comments. I've now owned the guitar for three years and while the guitar itself still sounds amazing, the electronics on it stopped working. Tried a few different things but due to some legal issues, a lot of the local guitar dealers/repair shops can't do work on Yamaha preamps. The preamp is a non-standard size which makes replacing it difficult and Yamaha is quite difficult to reach through customer support in order to find and order new parts. Again, I still feel the guitar itself is solidly built and sounds great. I would highly recommend it if you intend to use it as a simple acoustic, however preamps eventually go bad and when this one does it is nearly impossible to repair/replace. I ended up giving up and buying a new guitar and I now use this one for unplugged and outdoor gigs.
    I have the AC6R Genuine Japanese. Great sound, easy to play, comfortable neck.