FG335 II review by Yamaha

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (10 votes)
Yamaha: FG335 II

Price paid: C$ 200

Purchased from: Dave's Drum Shop, Ottawa ON

Sound — 8
It has a very deep, very mellow, "sweet" tone. Full and resonant bass but somewhat muffled treble. On the whole, a pleasing tone, although not very well balanced. Good for rhythm playing and accompanying a group of singers, though I've also used it for finger-style and classical. As I say, the sound you most likely grew up with. I bought this guitar after comparing several other, brand new guitars (some of which solid tops) and this one jumped out at me as being superior in sound despite being half the price of the new guitars.

Overall Impression — 8
I bought this guitar because I had recently broken my old one and was in the market for a steel-string acoustic. I tried a number of different models, but both to my ears and fingers, this guitar was far superior to all the others I tried - even the ones with solid tops. I especially like the meaty neck, which is very friendly to people with average to large size and reasonably flexible hands. I recently installed a piezo-electric pick-up in it which sounds very nice, though I have yet to go gigging with it (I usually reserve the electric for that honour). Since I recently bought two other guitars that I like just as well, this guitar is currently for sale. Anyone want to buy it?

Reliability & Durability — 8
As many others have pointed out, the guitar is a tank. Mine has obviously been bandied about quite a bit, but has only minor cosmetic damage - a couple of nicks in the finish and that's it. The tuners were badly damaged when I got it and I didn't notice until I changed the strings. Mostly this is because the previous owner never checked the screws for tightness, but on the other hand the stock Yamaha tuners were pretty cheap so I'm glad I changed them. Part of this durability is no doubt in the use of laminate woods - especially laminates that are also quarter-sawn. This is the perfect guitar for hauling around - to your friends place, on summer vacation, to the camp-ground etc. It's made it this far, hopefully it should keep on trucking for another thirty years or so!

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Considering that the guitar is over thirty years old, I'm not sure one can expect too much. I've had to replace the tuners and the bridge and shim the nut. I also installed a spacer in the truss-rod so that it doesn't bottom out. No problems with high frets or any other problem that couldn't be fixed with standard adjustments. Yamaha has a well-deserved reputation for producing durable, well-made guitars. Top and back are very nicely book-matched, despite the fact that both are laminates. Kind of makes you wonder - must be at least as much work to make quarter-sawn laminates as to have solid quarter-sawn wood. But perhaps that's part of Yamaha's secret to quality.

Features — 8
Mine is left-handed. Dreadnought body-style, spruce top, mahogany neck, back and sides. Rosewood fingerboard, saddle looks like ebony, but may be painted rosewood. High-gloss finish and the neck and back are stained a deep chocolate brown. The top has also yellowed to quite a dark colour. While the construction is all-laminate, the guitar nonetheless has the appearance of being all solid as both the top and back are perfectly book-matched. Classic Yamaha guitar from the early '80s - the sound that most of us grew up with. If a group of people got together to sing and play music and one of them had a guitar, it was probably a Yamaha.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I also own a FG 335, the serial number has 7 digits. I try to find out in which year it is build. Number is 7120320. Can anyone help me?
    acoustic and flamenco guitars from china are the best relation quality- value. I had a suzuki guitar, not too expensive, and its sound was something of piano sound, with all strings at the same time, and very good bass sound
    doesn´t sell this guitar, its value is now 800 dollars( if it´s of the 80´s, but that is).
    I have this guitar as well, and it is a beautiful guitar, i was wondering if your serial number was simply 8 digits?
    30709174, which according to a website means it was manufactured in '82 or '83.
    I own a Fg-335ii. The top of my guitar is not laminated. It is solid Spruce top with laminated Mahogany on the sides and back. It was manufactured in 1982. I put a new set of Grover gold tuners on it, a bone saddle, with a K&K mini Western pick-up under-saddle, and it sounds as good as my Gibson. IMHO, this is far and away the best "value" of a guitar I have ever heard or played.
    I own an FG335-II as well...have had it ever since I can remember. It really loves lower tunings...Eb, D and I have even been so bold as to put a set of 7's on it, with the B replacing the E, and tune it up a half step to C. No major rework; I modified a Fishman NEO-D Single Coil with an end-pin jack for the electronics and my sound guys love it! I used to think of this as a "student" model but from my experience, this thing can hold its own against the best of them.
    My Father gave me my First guitar which was his Yamaha FG-335 ii. Iv played guitar for over 10 years now, I played 100's of different guitars And not one compares to the fg-335ii Best acoustic guitar i ever played smooth,soft touch,sounds great. It's a great Guitar despite it's age AND ITS VERY TOUGH!