FG720S-12 Review

manufacturer: Yamaha date: 04/16/2012 category: Acoustic Guitars
Yamaha: FG720S-12
It has 20 medium sized frets on a rosewood fretboard. It has a lovely solid spruce top, which the tortoiseshell scratchplate complements very well.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.7
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
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reviews (3) pictures (2) 4 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
FG720S-12 Reviewed by: Quantumdriven, on april 16, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 175

Purchased from: Music store bankrupt sale

Features: Okay, so much to my surprise I walked in on the end of a music store bankruptcy sale. This and 9 other "beaters" went last for like $600 and I bought this in the parking lot from the dude for $175.00. The mofo wanted $250 but I walked and he pestered me to empty my wallet and said screw-it you can have it for $175 when he seen I only had $183. Of course I had $450 under my socks, lol. But let's get serious now. If this is a "solid top" then it's surely a book-matched one. Or maybe a book-matched two laminate top. And whatever it is has been sealer coated and then a wood grain is roller painted on. Golly let's have some honesty in guitar talk ya'll. It's a no frills 12-string. No cutout. No electronics so you know you're actually paying for all guitar here. If it's a "solid top" then it's certainly a two piece one (bookend). No neck heel strap button, so I'll be venturing into the realm of getting my first headstock tie on strap; as I don't dare to take a chance of cracking the heel on this sweet baby. The nut with is 1' 13/16" at the top and its spacing is supurb and just right for my funky bony fingers, but be warned you Roy Clark guys with Joe Construction paws. The tail block strap button is securely screwed on from the inside of the guitar. The bridge appears to have been varnished, or perhaps it's of a composite material. But anyway it glistens and doesn't seem to be the sort of material that would need to be wiped down with boiled linseed oil for conditioning. The lower bout is 16 1/2" wide and the upper bout 11 1/2". The thickness being 4 1/2" on the lower and 4" on the upper which is thinner than I'd have liked but how can you complain, I mean you're not gonna get a huge beefy acoustic unless you got out $2600+ these days. And the scale is 25". The 25" scale and the rather thin thickness I'm sure goes in hand with the beefy bracing and purfing inside this guitar to make it a rather battleship sturdy sucker. But fear not the bracing has been generiously scalloped and has been milled to a pointy peak rather than just like blunt rails. If you're like me and had only experience with laughable faulty China 12-string guitars that have to have a severely back-bowed neck in order to bring it straight under tension, then this one will make you happy. They for sure have a quality neck on this baby with the right tolerances built into the neck-set and truss rod and neck materials. It's the first 12-string I've had that doesn't get a funky HUGE "relief" curve in the neck from the 5th fret to the nut no matter how I mess with the truss rod. // 10

Sound: It's fine by me. But I'll admit to never having had my hands on a $1500 + priced acoustic. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Hey it's great. I could get the action closer but it might rule me out tuning a whole note down. I've got it 2 whole notes down now without buzz and that's with a set of .009 - .46 strings on it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I find nothing wrong with this guitar. I bought it for $250 + $38.95 postage on e-Bay from a guy that had bought it from a failing and mothballed music store bankrupt sale. He and I agree that it was surely "setup" by a tech at that store, but for all we know it really comes out of the China box this good. When the dude bought it it was in DGCFAD (one whole note flat tuning) and I've left it that way until I can find the exact right truss rod wrench for giving it a bump if it needs it when I go to EADGBE tuning. By the way the truss rod nut is at the base of the neck inside the sound hole. As I said this guitar had been in a music store as a courtsey demo and then in the hands of the guy I bought it from and was always tuned 1 note flat. But even at that it had only a 3/32" "belly" which might actually just be the built in natural belly of the guitar. That "belly" remained after I removed the strings, and I'm certain that there is no forward canting of the bridge. And both those measurements shall remained locked in, because I've installed the JLD bridge system. My only minor complaint would be that the China factory had failed to remove the inner bridge backer splinters after they drilled the string pin holes. // 10

Overall Impression: The top is thin and quality whatever it is. And if you put a mirror inside you'll see VERY beefy braces on the top that are rough hewn and not scalloped at all. Maybe mine was a "second"? Who knows, but I like it anyway. I've had other built like a battleship guitars that were sturdy although really just sounded like cigar boxes. // 10

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overall: 8.4
FG720S-12 Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 27, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 350

Purchased from: PMT

Features: My guitar was made in 2008, in China. It has 20 medium sized frets on a rosewood fretboard. It has a lovely solid spruce top, which the tortoiseshell scratchplate complements very well. The body is medium sized but puts out a good amount of bass for its size. It still has the stock tuners, nut, and bridge. These are still functioning brilliantly. Overall it is a pure Acoustic with no controls at all. I managed to get a free gig bag and plectrums as well. // 8

Sound: I probably spend about half of my guitar time playing Acoustic stuff and this handles the Acoustic sides of The Who, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd really well. The 12-string sound is perfect to fill out a room, and give that extra depth to songs. As with any 12-string, you can be limited to playing sparser guitar parts and chords, but this guitar does that role admirably. If you have never played other than 6 strings before, pick this guitar up and prepare to be amazed at the richness of sound you can get from it. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: As far as I can tell, there were, and continue to be, no flaws with this guitar in terms of finish or set up. I bought it directly from the shop after a few minutes of playing it, and as such it was already set up and ready to take home. I spent the whole afternoon playing it! // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have taken this guitar with me to many peoples houses, to school, and to parties, and it has become worn in with a few scrapes. Luckily I like that sort of thing as it adds character to it. The tuners are always solid and reliable and the finish is not easily blemished and having played it almost every day for nearly 18 months it still sounds and looks as good as it always has. However it can go out of tune with very heavy playing. It is in a word, dependable. // 8

Overall Impression: I got this guitar for my 16th birthday and up until then had been playing electric, and some classical for a couple of years. I knew that I wanted this guitar as soon as I saw it because I knew it would give me a unique sound, which it certainly did! If it were lost or stolen I would definitly track another one down, or something similar to it because it has become a huge part of my playing. I love the fact that I can always go over and strum it and be constantly impressed with how good it sounds even when playing regular stuff. In the shop there were some cheaper 12 strings, and some more expensive 12 strings, but I could not find one that looked, sounded or felt as good as this one. If you are looking for a 12 string guitar on a reasonable budget, then I would definately recommend this guitar be one you look at first. // 9

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overall: 9.2
FG720S-12 Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 15, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 298

Purchased from: Best Buy

Features: Made in 2010 in China. 20 Frets (14 clear of body) Solid Spruce top, laminated nato (eastern mahogany) back and sides, nato neck, rosewood fingerboard, bridge, and headstock overlay. The finish is gloss on back, top and sides, satin on the neck. Although classified as a dreadnought body style, it is actually more of a mini-jumbo since the lower bout is about 1/2-inch wider than the "standard" dreadnought size. The neck, while wider than a 6-string, is not so wide and clubby as to feel awkward to play. The only reason I am rating this in a high end of the average range is because it has no special features or cosmetics that make it stand out in terms of appearance. In all other attributes: sound, quality of construction, this is an outstanding guitar in its price range. // 7

Sound: This suits my musical style very well. The larger lower bout dimension gives this a little fuller sound on the bottom end than a standard dread, a necessity for a 12-string given the over-emphasis on the treble end with the extra strings. The nato wood in the back and sides also help to give the sound some warmth and balance. I find the sound of this guitar to be very pleasing: warm and full, not tinny like some lower-priced 12-strings tend to be. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Since I purchased this at a box store, I am assuming the only set up was done at the factory. Yamaha did a great job setting this up. The action was very easy all the way up the fretboard. I checked the insides with a dental mirror (every guitar player should take one with them when they go shopping for an acoustic). I found no misaligned bracing or evidence of loose joins on the inside. The kerfing was even and no signs of sloppy gluing. The fit of the saddle in its slot was perfect. The frets were filed perfectly, no overhang or burrs. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I purchased this for a "beater" to take on picnics and outings so I would not have to get out my Breedlove. The tuners seem to be well-made: Grovers, Gotohs, or clones of such. The strap button is well made. The construction of the guitar is such that I believe if I needed this for a gigging guitar with no backup, it would suffice. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing guitar for over 40 years now. I've been playing 12-string off and on for over 35 years. This will be used as backup for my Breedlove (a 6-string). I've owned several 12-strings over the years, from Ovations, to a Fender CD160S-12, to a Dean. My first 12-string was a Conn copy of a cross between a Martin D-35 and a D-41. So I compared this primarily to what I had owned before. But I also compared it to a Samick, an Epiphone, and an Alvarez. This won hands down especially since it evoked the sounds I was getting from the Conn I played in college all those years ago. If this was lost or stolen (God forbid!), I wouldn't even hesitate before replacing it with another Yamaha 12-string. // 10

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