F310 review by Yamaha

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (381 votes)
Yamaha: F310
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Price paid: € 120

Features — 9
Spruce top, mahogany back and sides, rosewood fingerboard. Well finished, no marks or blemishes, and really nice on the eyes. It's a standard Dreadnought shape and is weighted perfectly in my opinion. It balances very well on the knee while you're sitting, making playing quite comfortable. Mine came with a soft case, a strap, and an essential chord book. It also came with some awful strings that I never even looked at. They'd have probably done for a beginner though. It has 20 frets, a strap hook on the bottom (so you'll need a shoelace or a strap loop for the headstock, unless you use a one piece strap), and chrome tuners, which hold tuning as well as any other guitar I've used.

Sound — 9
Glorious. With heavier strings you get a very full and warm sound, but with lighter strings, you can still get a very bright, sharp tone out of it. As far as acoustic guitars go it's as versatile as you can expect. Because it's so cheap though, I wasn't afraid to install a pickup and EQ in it, and it now sounds beautiful through an amp, as good as a dedicated semi-acoustic worth 5 times as much. That upgrade only cost me 15 euro on Amazon, but the difference it made was stunning and I'd recommend it to anyone getting this guitar, just for the experience if nothing else. Without this mod however, the sound is still plenty loud, even with light strings on, and I prefer the balanced sound to even a lot of LAGs and cheap Takamines that I've played in music stores which always strike me as having a little too much treble for my liking.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Most frets were level and smooth with the odd sharp one here or there, finish was perfect, has been going strong for 5 years with the only hiccups being caused by the occasional drop. Can't blame Yamaha for my (or the previous owner's) carelessness, and considering the punishment it's seen, it stands up very well! At the end of the day though, it is a budget guitar, and won't feel like a 1000 euro acoustic.  Mine seems to be an older model, and comes with a glossy neck, while the new ones comes with satin necks. The new ones also seems to be mysteriously lighter, though from what I can tell from playing in music shops, this doesn't drastically affect the sound.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Would stand up perfectly to a few light gigs, although being an acoustic, it would need to be mic'd up, or have a pickup installed. The hardware is pretty standard, but doesn't feel cheap. The strap mounts are solid and have never failed me. A spare might help because of how easy it can be to snap strings when trying to push an acoustic a little harder (even when practicing, I always find myself trying to push it a little bit louder with the result that I snap a string). The finish hasn't worn any over the years it's been played and apart from the damage I've done to it, it's still looking pretty clean. Even with the wear and tear that it's taken from me, it still looks great, and if anything it adds character. It all depends on whether you like a guitar to look used or not.

Overall Impression — 9
I play lots of different styles, with a mix of chords and picking, and it suits me down to the ground. In the search for more versatility, I installed an EQ and undersaddle pickup, and it sounds fantastic, and this gave it a whole new dimension. Having played for 2 years now, I'm glad I had a cheap but very capable guitar like this to thrash away on and experiment with without worrying about causing hundreds of euro worth of damage, while still having a great sound. Even having played MUCH more expensive guitars, the familiarity with this guitar still leaves me longing for it. It isn't the most beautiful guitar in the world (though for 120 quid, it's pretty slick), but it has a special place in my heart, and god forbid something happened to her, I'd buy a new one tomorrow and install a pickup in that too. As a started guitar, or a cheap guitar to slice open an put a pickup in, I'd recommend it to anyone.

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