Price paid: € 280
Features — 7
The Yamaha APX500II is an entry-level acoustic guitar probably made in Indonesia. Here's some features:
- Top: spruce
- Back: nato (Eastern mahogany)
- Sides: nato
- Neck: nato (very comfortable neck, but the upper fret access isn't the best)
- Fretboard: rosewood with dot inlays and 22 frets
- Bridge: rosewood
- Scale: 634 mm
- Tuners: standard die-cast tuners
- Preamp: Yamaha System 65 with tuner, frequency control and 3 band EQ
Mine has a beautiful vintage white finish. It came with no case or gig bag, just an allen key for truss rod adjustment and two AA batteries for the preamp.
Sound — 8
I've always been an electric guitar player but decided to buy a cheap acoustic to practice with. I play mostly rock, but this guitar would suit any style. It has a rich and full sound but tends to become a lot brighter when plugged in. Some people may not like it, so there's always the preamp EQ. I plug the guitar either directly into my computer through a Focusrite Saffire 6 or into the clean channel of my good old Peavey Bandit 112, and it sounds great through both. I usually add a bit of reverb, delay and sometimes chorus.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
My guitar came with a proper setup straight out the box. The action was very low and there were no fret buzzes or dead notes. It was even tuned! I expected the neck to be somewhat hard to play, but with its low action it's actually easier and smoother than most electrics. The only minor flaw I could find was the tight output jack, but it seems to be slightly better now. The tuners were also a bit loose, but hey, it's a low-end guitar, so I didn't expect Gotoh 21:1 locking tuners or something like that.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This seems like a solid guitar and I'm sure it will withstand years of playing. The finish has almost a plastic feeling and it's similar to the one found in high end Gibson electric guitars, which is a good thing. Everything is well built and the strap buttons are solid, although I always prefer to replace them with DiMarzio ClipLocks (my favourite strap locks, be sure to check them out!). I'm not currently doing acoustic gigs, but I would definitely use this guitar live, maybe even without a backup.
Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing for 7 years, mostly as a rock/metal rhythm guitarist. I bought this guitar to practice with and maybe expand my musical styles and I wasn't disappointed. I've never owned other acoustic guitars so I can't compare it, but overall it's a great instrument for the price and very comfortable to play. If you are looking for a cheap acoustic to start with, practice, or even record and play live, I recommend going for this one. If I could go back in time I would definitely buy it again!