You either raided the piggy bank and looked at the high end of the market, which was the expensive imported USA ranges from the likes of Gibson and Martin, or you took your chances at the more affordable end of the price range. The action could be set slightly lower - but not by much. Yamaha FGX5 Acoustic Guitar Review . (Acoustic Resonance Enhancement) process, which gives your guitar a broken-in and aged tone. The body is finished in semi-gloss finish, while the neck has a matte finish for smooth playability. Bath The finish on this instrument is referred to by Yamaha as being ‘semi-gloss’, but, by all accounts, could easily be dubbed ‘satin’ to our eyes. In fact, we compared the spec of the FG models here with Martin’s standard dreadnought size and Yamaha is correct in that, for instance, a Martin has a slightly longer scale length and a mite more body depth, whereas the Yamaha has a smidge more body width and the body is a whole 3.1mm shorter... and so on. The new FG/FS Yamaha Red Label folk guitars – in what seems like almost every release of Yamaha guitars these days – claim to harness the style of classic guitars, with a few modern additions. Thank you for signing up to Musicradar. The projection and tone is beautiful, whether you are gently strumming chords or finger picking. The key features in regards to construction material that is consistent across this series is the use of a solid Sitka spruce top, solid mahogany back and side, African mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard. The larger bodied FGX5 test model seemed to have ever so slightly higher action than the smaller concert FSX5, but both exhibit quality workmanship. Visit our corporate site. When amplifying, the pickup sound would be ideal when used in a band or ensemble environment for its ability to cut through, whereas dialling in more of the mic tone would suit the solo performer for its full-bodied and natural sound. The above mentioned models all feature the new Atmosfeel electronics system, which includes the combination of your standard undersaddle pickup with the addition of a body contact sensor, as well as being able to blend in the sound of an internal microphone. The action is slightly higher than we’d like, however. Note attack cuts through, yet it maintains a certain warmth – probably due to its aged solid top and mahogany body. The cheaper Chinese-made FG3 test model while in isolation is still a great guitar, but in comparison to their Japanese brethren lacks a little of the projection, with action seeming a little rougher – probably due to the use of urea instead of bone for the saddle and nut. It’s a difficult one to describe, but this instrument just feels comfortable under the fingers - sleek, grown-up and mature, somehow. Well made, versatile, all-solid woods acoustic pitched at a satisfying price point. Yamaha’s new FG/FS Red Label lineup visually evokes those early red-label FG Yamaha steel-strings. Anyone who went to buy an acoustic back in the swingin’ 60s would’ve been met with the same problem. Receive news and offers from our other brands? A bass EQ dial allow you to control the amount of low frequency output, whilst the bass centre frequency changes depending on how much you dial it in. This series in particular pays homage to the first of the Japanese built Yamaha production acoustic guitar model dating back to 1966 – the FG180. The bridge pins are ebony, meanwhile. CLA EchoSphere: Waves’ free Black Friday VST plugin is a slap delay and plate reverb from Chris Lord-Alge. In addition, there is the more economical FGX3 and FSX3 – these models are made in China, and whilst still feel like solid guitars – use the cheaper urea material for the nut and saddle, along with plastic pickguard and bridge pins, plus come with a Yamaha soft-bag. The finish on this instrument is referred to by Yamaha as being ‘semi-gloss’, but, by all accounts, could easily be dubbed ‘satin’ to our eyes, The FG5 has Sitka spruce top, which Yamaha tells us is sourced from either Canada or Alaska, and it has been subjected to Yamaha’s Acoustic Resonance Enhancement - ARE for short - which is the company’s take on the practically universal torrefaction process where the wood is heated, and, in the company’s own words: “The ARE process gives the instrument a rich, vintage-quality tone, producing a sound like you’ve been playing it for years.”. Suddenly there was hope - a range of guitars that not only sounded perfectly reasonable and stayed in tune, but were a relative breeze to play. It felt and sounded so good that I decided to take a chance and ordered an FGX5 from Sweetwater. This quite often meant sundry anonymous torture devices from far-flung lands or, if you were lucky, you’d discover Yamaha’s early FG range. Plugging this guitar into a PA yields an incredibly natural sound that as an audio engineer I haven’t come across before. While the pickup and body sensor output a sound that is sharp and detailed in attack, blending in the mic via the blend knob gives the sound incredible warmth. But the modern incarnations add up-to-date features like a new scalloped bracing pattern, Yamaha’s “Atmosfeel” pickup and preamp system, and tonewoods “aged” through the company’s pressure-, humidity-, and temperature-treating process. Neck continues the mahogany theme, scarfed just under the Gotoh tuners and finish with the slight V-shape at the top of the headstock, which was a characteristic of those early FG models. Finally, because Chris McKee of Alamo Music liked the new Yamaha Red Label guitars so much, I went to one of my favorite local shops and played the FSX5- the smaller grand concert version- because no one had an FGX5 in stock. In terms of model variations, there is the FGX5 and FSX5 – Japanese crafted instruments with all the bells and whistles: bone nut and saddle, solid ebony bridge-pins, wooden pickguard and hard-case. The fretboard is ebony, with 20 well-seated medium frets with pearl dot position markers in the accustomed places. These guitars aren’t cheap, and they don’t sound it right from the first note. After quietly celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic red label acoustics in 2016, Yamaha decided it was time to revisit the range, employing some modern tweaks and upgrades along the way. The controls – while simple, provide a great amount of control over the output tone. MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Overall, these guitars are very impressive and well-built acoustic instruments – with the FGX and FSX pickup-equipped models taking their great tone to the stage or studio. Acoustic Resonance Enhancement process – which also contributes to a tone similar to that of naturally aged guitars. We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices. Yamaha FGX5 Acoustic Guitar Review. Chords have an appropriate amount of shimmer; using either fingers or a pick, single notes ring out clearly.