Yamaha FG800 Review


Yamaha makes many different types of guitars. For the most part, they all tend to fall in the affordable category. Their electric guitars are not at the top of everyone’s shopping lists, but the Yamaha FG800 is a different story.

This acoustic guitar has been a top seller for quite some time now. Part of the success has been the price tag. Now we have decided to focus on the other aspects that make this guitar versatile and appealing to fellow musicians.

There are quite a few things that make this acoustic six-string model so popular. If you are already familiar with previous series, you will notice the differences faster. If you are not, bear with us, and you’ll understand what sets this guitar apart.

Key features

  • Right-handed model
  • Weighs only 5.5 pounds
  • Warm sound
  • Balanced tone across low and high frequencies
  • Durable due to the use of solid spruce wood
  • Smooth rosewood fretboard
  • Affordable
  • Beginner-friendly fretboard
  • Scalloped bracing pattern

Some of these features may seem standard or not too important, but when put together, they outclass almost anything in the 700 series. Let’s have a look at some of them in more detail. This way, you will be able to better tell if it has what you’re looking for or what you need.

Build and design

The dreadnaught shape is good if you want to make a statement of power. Even if it isn’t as loud as more expensive models, the Yamaha FG800 delivers more than enough. The use of solid spruce also makes it quite robust.

The 25” scale length can be intimidating for beginners. However, the rosewood neck and slight curvature of the frets make for a good starting instrument. 20 frets on such a long neck will help newcomers improve their accuracy faster.

The chrome tuners usually keep the guitar tuned long enough, and are nothing new for Yamaha. We can’t say we’ve noticed any significant improvements here over the previous models and series. Of course, not everything needs changing.

The glossy finish is not something you can see across the entire 800 series. This gives the Yamaha FG800 a cool classic look. If you’re not a fan of flashy things, this can be just the right instrument to have.

As with all acoustic guitars, maintenance is also very low cost for the Yamaha FG800. Because there are no electronics and metal hardware installed, all you need to do is clean the wood from time to time and make sure your strings are in good condition.

Tone and sound

Even out of the box with stock strings, the notes have good clarity to them. If you want to eliminate the excessive metallic chiming, you might just enjoy the Yamaha FG800. The main goal of this model, as well as the entire series, is to provide quality sound to beginner and intermediate guitar players.

A big change from the older models is the addition of the scalloped bracing on the inside. These can bring out the base sound and make it stand out. It can help you achieve that richness in sound that you were looking for.

The tone is really balanced on both high and low frequencies. This is interesting because it makes the guitar a good choice for teachers, too. It is affordable enough for students, easy to learn on, and even experienced players can appreciate the tone it produces.

One drawback that we saw was that the Yamaha FG800 isn’t all that compatible with different tunings. You might want to adjust the settings on the bridge and try out a few string models before changing from standard. Even then, there may still be the occasional unwanted metallic ring.

Unlike the FG850, this model is not as versatile when it comes to sound customization, but it still performs as good as any other while in E. It all depends on what you set your sights on as far as music is concerned. If you plan on keeping things simple and close to the classics, the FG800 can deliver.

Picking vs. fingerstyle

An interesting comparison can be drawn between the Yamaha FG800 and the FS800 models. The bulky shape of the FG guitars can be a bit uncomfortable if you need more control for your picking hand. Sure, you can rest your hand, but it can get tiresome after a while.

The FS guitars are a bit thinner, and are thus a better fit for fingerstyle guitarists. Because of the slimmer design, you can also get a more even resonance, one that doesn’t emphasize the bass as much.

Who is it made for?

The power behind the YamahaFG800 will not be enough for big stage performances. It can do well in bars or small events, but there are better options for professional purposes. However, the warmth of the tone can make it useful in certain recording scenarios.

If you enjoy playing your favorite tunes at home or perhaps entertaining your guests, you don’t need something more powerful. There’s good clarity in the tone which can help you express whatever mood you’re in while playing.

If you’re just starting out and are not sure about which brand to go with, the Yamaha FG800 offers everything you need from your first instrument. Because of its dreadnaught shape, you get enough power on strumming. The rounded fretboard can also help you when pressing the strings.


The Yamaha FG800 is a popular beginner- to intermediate-friendly acoustic guitar for a number of reasons. The ease of playing and warm sound combined allow for a pleasant learning experience. While Yamaha is not the most impressive brand name that offers this service, this is one of the most efficient products if you’re on a budget.

It is a well-rounded instrument designed to offer quality to those that can’t afford to splurge on big-brand items. The durability and quality of the Stika spruce wood can help you learn guitar at your own pace. What’s more, there will be little need to worry about changing it for a different model a few years down the road.