FG730S review by Yamaha

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (84 votes)
Yamaha: FG730S
8

Sound — 9
Okay. I'm a bass player first and foremost. I picked this acoustic up wit the intention of using it as a songwriting Tool and possibly the odd open mic night, instrument swap arounds in my band, et cetera. My band plays a blend of modern/alternative rock, 80's and 90's Indie and some random covers. For this, the 730 nailed the sound I wanted from it straight out of the box. Very jangly, but with strong mids and a warm bassy end to give the tone weight. It doesn't have the big "thrummmm-thrummm-thrummm" sound of a true dreadnought, the FG730 apparently has a slightly shallower body and this cuts some of the bass out and projects the highs much more. I like it that way. I find this guitar is very responsive, you don't need to work the guitar, you just need to play it. A true pleasure to own and to play. It's not a Martin. It's not a high end Takamine. It's a Yamaha, mass produced and aiming at that end of the market where the piggybank is broken whenever you need new gear. With this in mind, and comparing it to it's competitors, this is a good nine again. You will be hard pressed to find a better acoustic for 200.

Overall Impression — 10
As said before, I play alternative/indie/Britpop et cetera with this guitar, and yes, it suits it beautifully. I've been playing bass for nigh on three years now. I own and play a Warwick Rockbass Fortress, that I have also reviewed here. I run it through a (brand new and soon to be reviewed too) Laney RB-8 300w combo. If this were stolen or damaged, I would truly be heartbroken. Partially because it's Brand New, but mostly because I've already poured my heart and soul into this little buddy, feel at home playing it, and really feel like it's my guitar. You know, that feeling you get when you try out a ton of instruments, and then you pick one up and something stirs inside of you? And not the vindaloo you had the night before, either. What do I love? The tone, that wonderful, bright, jangly, crisp, yet mellow and rounded sound from each and every string. The feel of the neck and the pure value and quality of it for the price. I love the smart mother-of-pearl inlays and wonderful decor and finish to the guitar. Simple, subtle touches that make all the difference. What do I hate? Honestly, putting it down! So, overall, and breaking my rule (more of a guideline), ten. I really, honestly feel I have made the best purchase I could possibly have made, and one of the best purchases of my musical "career" thus far. The second best, in fact. The best being the amp I will review at a less insanely late time. A big round of applause for Yamaha, bringing quality instruments to those of us who just can't afford the insane prices the big name brands demand.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I have No Doubt this guitar can withstand a Live set and would undoubtedly be fine without a backup, well, assuming you don't hammer the hell out of your strings and bend up octaves or something crazy, but that's your fault, not the guitar. Treat your gear right, and your gear will never let you down. I will not comment on the durability/longievity of this guitar, as I have not owned it long yet. Should anything arise that I feel is worthy of your attention, I'll post it. However, from the feel of it, I don't expect anything to happen that I don't cause myself. Seven from first impressions, though. It looks like it means business.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
From the factory, the action was better than most electrics I have seen. Smooth, playable and not straining from fret 1 to 14. From 14 onwards, reaching the frets gets tricky because of the slab of dead tree blocking you, but there is no buzz, no difficulty fretting cleanly. The wood is nicely matched and the grain is beautifully polished up. I can spot no visible flaws, and feel no weak joints or icky bits. Everything is clean and as expected.

Features — 9
I am unsure where the FG series are produced, but they're likely from Indonesia or somewhere around there. It's a recently produced one, freshly ordered for me. 20 (very comfortable, very playable) frets set very evenly and smoothly into a rosewood fretboard. The dreadnought-style body top is made out of solid Sitka Spruce, with rosewood back, sides, bridge, fretboard and a neck of unknown origin that seems to be some kind of mahogany. Either way, it's well finished, playable, and tough. The whole thing has a very thin but tough satin like finish over it that lets your hand glide up the neck. The tuners are a no-name factory stock brand, but they feel tight and secure, it was in tune when it came out of the box and after a few hours pretty solid, vigourous jamming on it the strings still kept their tuning. For features? What can you give an acoustic for features? It's just an acoustic. The parts are all quality, well assembled and well finished. For its price, because I don't give tens out on principle that there is always something out there that could be better.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    jcs5234
    this guitar is ok if youre just gonna play chords and stuff, but if you want to do some acoustic soloing, there are better guitars to get.
    Caustic
    There will always be better guitars out there. For what I paid for this, I couldn't ask more of it. Yes, if you play a lot of high-up-the-neck stuff, you may want to look at a higher ended guitar, possibly with a cutaway. But good luck finding one that can do it in this price range.
    b_rad2cool
    If you have done your homework and played everything in the $300 to $500 price range, this guitar is a winner. The string action right out of the box sets this guitar apart from many or the other name brands out there. Sound is very good making this guitar a must consider when looking for a guitar.
    guitarguy182
    omg...how mature was i makin da previous comment lol Mustve been excited ...This guitar should be priced 800$ plus....I love IT
    nkurkjy
    This guitar is amazing, it far surpasses anything in the same price range in quality. Yamaha makes their guitars in Taiwan by the way
    blind guitarist
    i love this guitar, ofcourse there are better ones, but in the price range of 300 to 350 it takes the cake! at first i thouhgt it would be just ok, but it proved me wrong.
    BeePapa
    A 40 yr-old newbie, this is my first guitar and I love it. Learning to strum so I can someday play tunes with my newborn daughter. I don't have much experience or "ear" for axes, but I love the sound, the tone and the feel of it. I bought it after 2 close friends with 40 yrs of playing between them said this guitar was the best they'd heard/played anywhere near the price. After 6 months of playing, I love the thing. At the price, I'm not scared to play and let my girl plonk the strings, so I practice more than I would with an expensive instrument I'd be afraid of damaging. All around, a great guitar!
    badstue
    ive had mine for 4 months now, and i love it! super nice guitar for chords, and i love the sound of it, super guitar for the price!
    coke_bottle
    I finaly picked up my daisy rock starter kit that my parents bought me a couple years ago, but lately I have been really playing every night and I was looking online to see what was out there and this will definately be put on my list of guitars to consider.
    demole
    yeah i picked this up as my first guitar ever still sounds great no matter whats on it