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
Yamaha have made excellent guitars for years, but like all guitar companies they start in one country and eventually go offshore to cut costs. Sometimes it shows, in the finish especially. Jap-made Yamahas are great, especially the spruce top models. Regarding the action of your guitar, most of them are set up like that so they are playable by anybody. Once you have worked out your style and where you play on the fretboard, any reputable luthier can set your guitar up to suit your playing style. I have a lovely Ibanez which has an action as low as it can go – I have it set up for fingerpicking only, and it sings. Hit it with a plectrum, and it just doesn’t have it. Your guitar setup depends on how you play and such things. Find a good guitar repair man and talk to him about it. Cheers!!
I’d take care of the action issue if I were you. This doesn’t just influence how enjoyable learning is; it can be outright bad for technique in the long term and can lead to some bad habits. It took me a year to fix up my own issues in terms of excerting too much pressure on the strings. Better to pay a bit extra and get it fixed I think.
I have in my possession a Yamahar classical [model G-225A]could anyone enlighten me as to what year this guitar was made and also what components were used and,what level of instrument it would be ?..I would be grateful to anyone who has this information.
CHEERS LES .
G-225 is about 1977-1980 I used to have one. Nice cedar top. Very good for fingerstyle playing while singing.
I have an old YAMAHAR classical guitar,model[G-225A] could anyone tell me what year this guitar was manufactured, what components were used.e.g [spuce top]sides rosewood or nato etc. I would be grateful for anyone who could enlighten me…….cheers les
since it’s a cheap guitar you can remove the saddle yourself and just get some sand paper and tape it to a table, then just sand down the bottom of the saddle a bit at a time to lower the string height. If you screw up, you can just get a new saddle, like one out of bone (about $5), and make a new one yourself or pay a luthier to do it for about $20-30 (which is about how much a regular set up costs or a few dollars more).
hello! Can I ask what theme are you using in your blog? thanks!
I am using the WordPress default theme — based on Kubrik.
I don’t rate Yammy’s that much. Prefer Indie Custom 🙂
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I would advise anyone buying a guitar and expecting to play it may want to get the setup adjusted.
It’s not the quality of manufacturing but something that should be done after purchase especially if string height is an issue.