FG-75 review by Yamaha

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (3 votes)
Yamaha: FG-75

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Used Guitar Store

Features — 8
- Year(s) Sold: 1968-1974 - Original MSRP(US$): $109.50 - Top: Spruce - Back / Sides: Agathis - Neck: Nato - Fingerboard: Indian Rosewood - Bridge: N/A - Notes: Folk Guitar Classic Type - Upper Bout - 11-1/8" - Waist - 9-5/8" - Lower Bout - 14-5/8" - Depth at tail - 4" - Depth at neck - 3-3/4" - Body Length - 19-1/8" - Total Length - 39-1/8" - 14 frets to the body Those are the specifications of the guitar, other than the tuning machines which I had to replace. The original tuning machines were a 3-on-1 which I had a hard time finding to replace with. Instead I went with individual tuning machines which worked out nicely. The guitar stays in tune a lot better now and makes it much more desirable to play.

Sound — 8
The sound is very nice. Being that it is a smaller bodied guitar, the sound is rather bright and you don't get the overpowering sound off of the bass stings. That being said, it does lack the bass when playing in drop D and trying to get a drone off of the low D. However, it is a great guitar to learn on, which is what I did. I play mostly Irish and Scottish folk music and it seems to be a great guitar for that. It isn't too loud so it is also great for accompanying other players as well. When the strings get old, it does tend to sound pretty boxy, but with a new set, the sound brightens up nicely.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action on the guitar it extremely low, which makes it easier for me to play the bar chords. Everything seems to be lined up properly and plays nicely on any fret. The only thing I had to do was replace the tuning machines, which were about 40 years old when I did so. That did make a big difference and now it stays in tune after not being played for days and even weeks on end. The finish looks pretty nice, there are a few dings, and some wear and tear on the guitar, but what do you expect from a 40 year old starter guitar? I am very pleased with this guitar and won't be getting rid of it anytime soon, if at all.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This is my campfire guitar. I take it with me everywhere I go and it plays great in any venue that I perform at. I do play in bars with other people and it stands it's own just fine. It is very reliable and it being smaller, makes it easy to transport. I have had many others play the guitar and they all say it is a nice play/sounding guitar. Looks like I picked a good one for my first guitar 11 years ago. Being that it is 40 years old, I probably will start taking it easy on it and find a replacement that I can enjoy just as much. I would hate to damage a fine vintage instrument.

Overall Impression — 8
Playing Irish/Scottish folk music, this is a great guitar. The sound is not over powering so you can sing along with it without the need of a mic. It stays in tune well and is very durable. The only thing missing is the deep sounds from the bass strings. That being said, it makes the drop d tuning not as desirable for the low D drone. Other than that, it's a great instrument and I am very pleased with being able to play this instrument at my will. I have 4 other guitars, yet I still find myself going back to this guitar very often for that classic folk sound.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    My dad bought me one of these new when passing through Nashville Tennessee in 1972. Still have it, still playing it, still loving it. I can't believe that was over 40 years ago. This old guitar gave me my lovely lady...
    My wife got an FG-75 when she went away to university.  It now serves as the house Nashville or highstrung guitar.  I use the higher pitched strings from a 12-string set to string it.  We use it for jams when there are too many guitars.  It's just perfect for this use.
    I've bought a Yamaha FG-75 on eBay few years ago. Since it's a smaller body guitar which has a higher tune, I've tuned it in Orkney Tuning (CGDGCD) which gives lower 1st, 5th & 6th strings than Standard Tuning (EADGBE). The sound is fantastic with a lot of resonance while playing non-linear guitar solo as taught by Steve Baughman. I love it!
    Hi, Thanks for your review ! I have a Yamaha FG-75 Guitar that needs the tuning Machines. It didn't come with any when I bought it and after 10 years I finally want to fix it up. Can you tell me what to order for it? I see all kinds of them on Ebay but not sure what to order? Thanks, Kim
    I just went to Guitar Center and bought their cheapest tuning machines, which were about $80. I didn't want to put a whole lot of money into it, and they work just fine. They are individual machines and not the 3-on-1 style like the original ones I had to replace. Hope this helps!
    I have an FG-110 and I gave one to my daughter as well. I think the headstock is the same size as the 75. I put Grover mini Rotomatics (406c?) on both. Schaller, Gotoh and others make minis. Regardless of brand, you'll have to ream out the holes for the replacements. Good tuners turns those red label Yamahas into first-class guitars.
    The FG-75 is a great guitar if you like small bodies. The sound is good, and if you are like me, short arms, small hands, and small fingers, it is great for reach. Over all the yamaha fg-75 is a good quality built guitar for sure.
    The Yamaha FG-75 is a great guitar if you like small bodies. it has good sound, and if you are like me, short arms, small hands, and short fingers, it is good on reach.