I originally bought a Yamaha FG720S acoustic guitar to learn on. They are about $500 in Australia, but I bought mine on special for about $450 from Allans Music in Queen Street Mall in Brisbane.
I got the FG720S home and found that I was not using it. I have a three-year-old daughter, and unfortunately I had to store the guitar out of her reach. This meant that it was not easy to pick up and play whenever I felt like practicing. I had to plan to practice.
Unbeknown to my wife, I therefore bought a second guitar, a Yamaha F310P acoustic for around $200, again from Allans Music, this time from their Spring Hill store in Brisbane. I felt comfortable leaving a $200 guitar lying around without worrying too much if my daughter got hold of it while I was not watching.
This review is about the Yamaha F310P acoustic.
As a learner guitar, I think the F310P is pretty good. It sounds fine, but not as good as the FG720S. But if I did not have the FG720S guitar, I would not have anything to compare the F310P against. I do have a few niggles with the F310P though.
My major concern is the action. It is fairly high towards the bridge end of the neck. It is fine at the headstock end. However, the high action will make it very difficult for a learner to access the high notes without deadening the adjacent strings. I have since seen other examples of the F310P which have a much lower action. Obviously the quality control in Yamaha’s Indonesian manufacturing facility is not as good as it could be.
The other concerns I have with the F310P are more minor and do not affect the playability.
The finish on the back of the guitar is marred by what appears to be paint roller marks. The high gloss finish is spoilt by what appears to be a roller that has been applied to the finish when it was half dry.
I attached the strap to the guitar, and took it off for the second time today. In the process, the button on the base of the guitar that the strap attaches to also fell off. Again, not a big deal, but the button should be fixed to the guitar properly. If the button fell out at the wrong time, I may have dropped the entire guitar and badly damaged it. A small amount of glue will no doubt fix the problem.
The guitar comes with a few different sizes/types of picks, which are fine. However, the pitch pipe is useless. Throw it in the bin and get yourself a decent electronic tuner. As a beginner, this will save you a lot of grief.
Finally, the F310P guitar gig bag is not particularly well padded. What do you expect for a $200 guitar? The Ashton gig bag I bought for my FG720S is much better.
Overall, the Yamaha F310P is a great acoustic guitar for beginners and for use as a “camping” guitar — those situations where the guitar is likely to get some rough treatment. If it were not for the high action, this guitar would be perfect for a “cheapie” and would have scored a nine for value for money.
Value for money 7/10
Overall rating 7/10