Yamaha FSX820C Guitar
Yamaha’s FSX series of guitars were designed to fulfill a very niche role. This company’s FG series is already known as the be-all, end-all of entry-level beginner acoustic guitars. So where does FSX fit in? Well, the whole 800 range was meant to be even more accessible than the FG700 series, and come at an even cheaper price. The real question is, what kind of compromises had to be made in order to make these guitars happen? Today we’re going to try and find out. Stick with us as we take the FSX820C apart and look at every little detail it offers.
Yamaha FSX820C Guitar Review
One of the things that differentiate the 800 series from the rest of Yamaha’s range is the fact that they have used their proprietary software to tweak the design of the guitar to the max. The idea was to achieve better performance both in terms of volume and definition, as well as make the guitar as cost-effective as possible. In a way, they have achieved just that. Aside from a highly optimized body, Yamaha has also decided to stock these up with a nice set of accessories. All in all, this series of guitars are supposed to be the perfect choice for beginners all around.
Design and Body
The very first thing people tend to notice about the 800 series is the size of these guitars. FSX820C, in particular, feels compact compared to most other dreadnought designs. It’s not quite a ¾ scale model but it definitely feels like it. In other words, FSX820C might be a good option for those who struggle with full-sized dreadnoughts, kids and users who prefer a more comfortable guitar.
As mentioned before, this is a dreadnought. However, it also features a cutaway that gives the player more room to reach those higher notes. The model designation of 800 series will let you know what kind of tonewood is used for the body. Mind you, all of these guitars come with a solid spruce top that is quite well made. With that said, 840 will have a flamed maple for back and sides, 830 features rosewood, while 820 series are all mahogany.
It is worth mentioning that all of the 800 series guitars use laminate wood for back and sides. That is to be expected in this price range. Quite honestly, the use of such materials that many find to be subpar doesn’t really impact the overall performance of this guitar that much. More on that later.
Moving on to the neck area, we find a slim nato profile that runs a rosewood fretboard. It’s comfortable for smaller hands, but not too tight either.
As far as hardware goes, there’s a lot of things you’d expect to see and some extra. Yamaha has used rosewood for the bridge, while the saddle and nut are made of Urea. When they were designing these guitars, Yamaha wanted to make something compact that would speak to players who have trouble with full-sized guitars. That means that the bridge is going to be a bit more cramped than most people are used to.
The quality of the hardware is pretty decent all around, starting with the bridge. Despite not being real wood, but rather one of the numerous synthetic alternatives, Urea has proven to be a decent choice for the nut and saddle. Sound-wise, you won’t notice any massive differences.
The same goes for the tuners. While they aren’t a Grover set or anything similar, they work just fine. You will find that your guitar holds the key quite comfortably without you having to retune the whole thing after each playing session. Naturally, they will fall out from time to time.
This guitar comes with a System 66 preamp system that runs an under-saddle piezo pickup that is linked to a 3-band EQ. It’s Yamaha’s in-house design that has proven to work rather well in the past. System 66 features low, mid and high controls along with a volume knob and a built-in tuner.
Sound is what this guitar is all about. Yamaha has somehow managed to deliver a full, rich sound in a compact package. Once plugged in, you’ll notice the distinct signature of its piezo pickup, but other than that, it renders well without any kind of tone shaping. In case you decide to play with the sound a little, you can definitely fine-tune it to sound quite impressive.
With all that said this is still very much a beginner-oriented guitar. Those looking for a refined tone of solid, exotic wood, should look elsewhere for their fix.
Last but not least, we have to mention some of the accessories that come with this guitar. Since it was made for beginners, FSX820C come stocked up with all the tools you could possibly need to get started. You’ll get a gig bag, a clip-on tuner, a set of picks, a set of spare strings and a strap. Those who had no experience with guitars prior to getting their FSX820C will also appreciate the instructional DVD that comes with the package. It contains all of the basics you’ll need to get started right away.
The only thing we would add is that you should get a better set of strings if this isn’t your first guitar. In other words, if you’re at least somewhat confident in your skills and you don’t go through strings too fast, a better set of quality strings will definitely improve the way this guitar sounds.
Is Yamaha FSX820C Guitar Good?
For what it’s worth, Yamaha FSX820C has managed to fill in a role that standard FG series just didn’t cover completely. Not only that, but Yamaha has decided to completely address the needs of beginners when it comes to what the guitar should sound or feel like, but also the accessories they might need to get started. It’s not without its flaws, however, those can be easily forgiven considering the pros it brings to the table.
Yamaha FSX820C Guitar