Price paid: $ 299.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
This guitar works really nicely for country. Bright, rich sound. Mine is a bit buzzy up past the 15 fret, but then again the hunk of wood gets in the way of fretting and is probably the cause. It works well for a lot of styles, though- I've played a bit of hardcore rock on it as well and it really holds up.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this one is the leader of it's price range. I snagged the last one in stock at my local guitar center. I'd buy it ten times over if it were stolen- and it's nice enough to be stolen! I love the feel and sound of it. A cutaway might be the only thing it could be improved by, but if you're not playing up that high, it's perfect the way it is. Long live Yamaha!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will definitely last. And last. I feel like I'd depend on it, no backup needed. All hardware's nice and sturdy. The strap button is actually a bit big for most straps and you'd have to tie it up behind the nut. Unlike most, the finish isn't wearing down were my elbow sits on the top.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Right out of the factory, this guitar is just stunning. There's no need to adjust anything on it. Everything's fitted quite nicely; the pearl inlays really add to the overall look of the axe. The nut is just a tad misaligned, but it doesn't impact the sound at all.
Features — 9
Though I really don't know where Yamaha produces their axes, but this one is definitely high quality. 20 frets, solid Sitka Spruce top and Rosewood back and sides. The top, back, and sides have a nice, even gloss coating, while the back of the neck is smooth satin (a feature I'm in love with). The gloss really brings out the natural grain in the woods. The tuners are your standard tuners with some nice shine. They stay in tune really well, too.