- Portable and compact
- Electronics offer nice plugged-in tone and EQ settings
- 20-fret neck may restrict the ability to hit higher notes
- Body made with cheap Nato wood; may negatively impact sound
- Abrasive fretboard may interfere with bending of strings and vibrato
Neck & Body
The neck, back, and sides of the guitar are made from Nato wood. Nato is a very cheap wood and is considered to be an affordable alternative to mahogany due to its similarity in color. While it is a very dense and durable construction material, it lacks in terms of tone when compared to more expensive woods. Any redeeming qualities surrounding the tone of the Yamaha FSX800c come from the Sitka spruce top wood. The fretboard is made from Walnut, which is a relatively soft wood and rather coarse-grained; it’s comfortable enough to play when matched with the Nato neck, but could feel a tad abrasive on the fingers. The neck itself has 20 frets, which could be considered standard given the price point; this isn’t an issue for beginners learning open chords and first-position notes, but more advanced players who enjoy shredding on an acoustic guitar might feel restricted without having the extra 2-4 frets. Overall, this small-body acoustic-electric guitar is durable and playable – but maybe not something to write home about.
The defining component of the Yamaha FSX800c is the System-66 pickup and preamp electronics. The preamp features a tuner, 3-band EQ, and a volume knob. This makes for a great plugged-in tone with plenty of mid-range; the System-66 is what makes this guitar ideal for that plugged-in solo coffee shop gig, a local open mic, or your kid’s recital. The saddle is made of Urea wood and the tuning pegs are die-cast chrome, which is standard and stable for a guitar of this nature.
Sound & Tone
The Nato wood in the neck and body with the Sitka spruce top gives this small-body acoustic-electric guitar a tone with plenty of mid-range. It has a decent amount of sustain and warmth, especially when plugged in. The natural volume of the guitar is also something to note; purchasers of this guitar can expect big sound. However, the full tonal potential of the Yamaha FSX800c may be slightly lost when playing unplugged. Having a small acoustic amp would be a good way to keep the tone from sounding too flat. Overall, the plug-in capabilities of this guitar give it an advantage for live performances and studio applications. The natural unplugged sound of the guitar might be nothing particularly special, but that isn’t necessarily abnormal for the price point; with all its practical applications, the Yamaha FSX800c is still a good value.
Action, Fit, & Finish
The Yamaha FSX800c comes playable upon purchase. Yamaha guitars have a generally positive track record for being well set-up out of the box, due to their quality control process. The action comes relatively high from the factory, which could easily be an issue for new players. Having the action lowered at a local guitar retailer may be a desirable course of action for those who have difficulty playing. Minor issues like this can be expected from lower-end guitars in general; Martins, Taylors and the like don’t tend to compare.
Reliability & Durability
The durability and density of the Nato wood give the Yamaha FSX800c a long, reliable shelf life. This is the acoustic guitar that will sit in the homes of families for years to come. The small size makes this Yamaha portable and compact, and therefore optimal for travel. Musicians can wholeheartedly rely on the Yamaha FSX800c for their writing and practicing needs.