Price paid: C$ 500
Purchased from: Long & McQuade
Sound — 10
Compared to my first classical, a 3/4 fender, this guitar is beautiful. The Cedar top causes it to resonate more deeply, giving a somewhat darker tone, or in other words, a rich and smooth voice. I find it plays best with high gauge strings, I usually just ask for the most expensive nylon strings, today's case, silver plated strings with a composite G. For the price, the tone from this beats all the other classical guitars that I've tried under the $1000 mark, there was a $900 that came close, but even if it did, that's still $400 more.
Overall Impression — 10
I am an advanced classical guitarist, and this guitar has served me extravagantly well through my intermediate years, and to show how good this guitar is, I'm looking in the $2000 range for my next guitar, and it will have to have the same features, but more. For $500, this guitar is everything a beginner/intermediate classical guitarist could hope for.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've been playing this guitar since 2003, it's now the end of 2011, it's got one accident induced chip, and the coating is only just starting to dull where my arm rests. The only upgrade I've done on it since then, was to tighten two of the tuning pegs, and replace the strings, that's it. I've been performing live since I got it, and I've travelled everywhere with it, and most importantly, the scent of fresh cut Cedar still flows from it's soundhole.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
My guitar was a perfect model for it's production line, there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. After a decade of playing, I've decided it could have lower action on the higher strings. For the price, this is flawless (that is if you get it new). I would recommend anything from the Yamaha Japan or Korea lines.
Features — 9
This is a standard nylon stringed classical guitar made by Yamaha, this one in Japan, during either 2002 or 2003. I bought mine in 2003, and have played it about 300 days out of every year. The 171 models are an inexpensive solution for most intermediate classical guitarists. This 171C model has a Cedar top, an 18 fret rosewood fretboard, 19 on the high B and E strings, and plastic nut and bridge. It has what appears to be a butterfly pattern inlay in Folk green, yellow, and red colors, aroudn the soundhole and down the spine, as well as a trim along the body's front and back edging, this makes it more of a decorative peece, adding a touch of civility to any maniacally wild guitarist's home.