FG160 review by Yamaha

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (65 votes)
Yamaha: FG160

Sound — 10
I'm generaly a player who likes to experiment. The guitar doesn't have much in the way of the flashy stuff you get with ovations or the like. But it still sounds perfect. Dad described it as a low-end of the range Yamaha. If this is the low-end, what must the top-end be like?

Overall Impression — 10
As I've said, I like to experiment. The FG doesn't have much in the way of frills, but that's part of it's charm. You find that you have to work at it to get the sounds you want. If I wanted to play something really clever, I'd probably have to get an electric with a trem and mother-of-toilet-seat pick-guard and all the usual frilly bits. But I love this guitar and if anyone ever comes across one that they can get cheaply, and that they'd class as matching what I've said here I'd advise them to buy it ASAP.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I love this guitar and, if I ever join a band, I'll invest in a clip-on mic to avoid needless D. I. Y. It sounds great as an acoustic and I'd hate to risk losing that fresh, yet aged sound.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The only flaws in the body have been inflicted due to the odd slip or knock. There's a few small scratches at the base of the body and one on the head, but they merely add character.

Features — 10
This is a '77/78 FG160 that's seen it's fair share of travelling and playing. My dad bought it when he was a penniless student (ah, the days when student's could afford guitars). He's since been lugging it around with him all over the place and, subsequently, it has the odd knock on the body. Dad, when he realised I was serious enough about playing to want to buy my own guitar, gave the FG to me. It now rarely goes for more than a day without me murdering the odd Bob Dylan or Pink Floyd song. The neck's a bit rough from all those years that dad's been using it, but it's the perfect guitar for me to learn on. It has absolutely beautiful tones and the harmonics really ring out. You can play a harmonic, put the guitar down, come back about two minutes later and it'll still be sending out those amazing sounds! It's true that they don't make 'em like they used to.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I got mine through a trade for a bunch of misc. guitar parts from a partscaster I was working on with a friend back in the early 90's. It had sat in a friend of a friends storage for god knows how long before it ended up in my hands. I love this guitar and have had countless offers from other to buy it from me. I have been considering picking up a couple more just for back ups. Like others have said, this is a low cost guitar with a high value sound that seems to get better with age.
    This was my first guitar. I purchased it new for $99.00 back in the mid seventies. Throw a new set of phosphor bronze strings on it and it sounds as like a $1,000.00 guitar. I replaced the original tuners with Grovers years ago. Other then some open chord fret wear and some dings and dents, this is still a great sounding and durable guitar.
    Price paid: Unknown Purchased from: Unknown Features: This guitar doesn't come with lots of features, but its simplicity is what makes it one of the best acoustic guitars out there. It's a workhorse, can take a lot of bumps, and still sound like an aged wine tastes. All I have to say is that this guitar will impress you time and time again for its incredible sound. Sound: Great bluesy sound! I play a lot of Tommy Emmanuel stuff and it doesn't disappoint for those tricky things which Tommy throws in such as quick harmonics. It has great sound, period. It can do everything (within moderation here people)! Action, Fit & Finish: I am not sure how this guitar looked initially, considering it's been passed through the family. However, based on its condition now, I'd say they did a good job. It still looks great despite a large number of bumps and scratches. Also, bridge and tuners are still in great condition after much usage. Pretty sturdy little companion. Reliability & Durability:This is the most durable guitar you'll find. You can drop it, bump it, scratch it, play it aggressively and expect the same from it every time. I love this guitar's durability! Impression: If you have the chance to get your hands on this, take it take it take it! It sounds so much better than all the new ones (my friends always try to trade me for their guitars just so they can play mine instead =] ) and I just love it. It's mobile, durable, and will probably outlive you because it is such a strong instrument. I imagine that I will have this guitar long after I go through a number of others. It's an incredible guitar. My score: 10 on all levels. This guitar is the best acoustic guitar that doesn't cost a fortune (or so I hear) and still sounds as good as any you throw at it.
    I paid $125.00 for my FG-160 at Manny's Music Shop, New York City, in 1972. I was a struggling student so this was the only good-sounding guitar I could afford at the time. Since 1972, this guitar has traveled many countries, and played in many venues. I own a Taylor T-5 which I run through a Fender Jazzman Junior with the added effect boxes. I still prefer to mic my Yamaha FG-160 through an acoustic amplifier. The deep, rich sound is amazing. My score: 10 all the way. You can't beat this guitar for sound, price, and ease of use.
    I just bought an FG-160. It sounds fantastic. I bought it today and wrote two songs on it tonight. It is absolutely what I wanted. It plays good gentle for subtleties and harmonics and it sounds rich and energised and full when played hard. It really is a treasure to have found it. I did not expect to leave the shop with a yamaha, yet having tried about twelve guitsrs it was another yamaha and then ultimately this guitar that sounded the best and felt the best. Mine is a black label FG-160-1. I paid in 's that must be $250. So I paid quite a bit more than these guys. Yet I still say its totally worth it, it is the best steel acoustic I have heard and felt for a long time.And they had some big names on their wall that did not compare.The age of the guitar has also improved the sound I recken, although for all i know it sounded this good in '76. It sounded better than the others.
    I bought my first guitar at a pawn shop on Lower Broad in Nashville in 1976. It was an FG-160. $60. I took it to college in Memphis and loved it for 4 years until it was stolen out of the frat house with a bunch of other instruments of our "band." With a job and extra money I could afford to buy what I wanted, but three months later I bought another FG-160 for $90. I've had a lot of guitars since then, and I love a lot of my Fender and Gibson guitars. But the sound and feel and hard working vibe of my Yamaha -- nothing beats it.