Yamaha FG830 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar Review – 2018 Edition
When I was searching for my first acoustic guitar, I felt overwhelmed with the endless options available to me. I finally found a guitar that worked for me, but looking back, I wish someone had helped me narrow my search. That’s what I’m here to help you with. If you’re purchasing a new guitar, it’s comforting to buy from a reputable company.
That’s how I feel about Yamaha guitars: they’re great quality and they’ll last you for many years to come. The Yamaha FG830 Acoustic Guitar might be exactly what you’re looking for if you want great sound quality for an affordable price.
Things to consider before buying a Yamaha FG830 Acoustic Guitar
The Yamaha FG830 Acoustic Guitar solves the age-old problem of finding an affordable instrument that still produces high-quality sound. This model is quite a good choice considering its price, but that’s the thing: it’s not an expensive guitar.
I’d recommend this guitar to beginner musicians or experienced musicians that don’t perform professionally. If you’re a performer, this guitar might not cut it. If you want to check out upper range performance guitars, I’d suggest Martin’s Performing Artist Series
Before purchasing a guitar, ask yourself how much you’re willing to invest and what your goals as a musician are.
The Yamaha FG series is extremely popular. In terms of the FG830, Yamaha promises rich tones and improved sustain. You’ll have the choice of purchasing a Natural, Autumn Burst, or a Tobacco Brown finish.
Like I already mentioned, this guitar is a dreadnought, meaning you can expect a larger sized guitar. Additionally, a case isn’t included with this guitar, but this is very common with many major companies
- Great sustain
- Custom designed bridge bracing
- Clear and strong bass tones
- Dreadnought models may be too large
- No cutaway may limit some players
- No pick-up
In terms of the materials Yamaha has used, you can be confident you’re getting a bang for your buck if you choose to go with this model. In my opinion, the wood that this guitar is made of is something worth investing in.
The FG830 has a spruce wood top, rosewood sides, and a rosewood fingerboard. Rosewood is known for its ability to create resonant bass tones, so I’d definitely recommend it if you’re searching for more texture in the sound your guitar produces.
In addition to the rosewood, the spruce wood top is truly the definition of a smart investment. Spruce wood gets better with age. While many guitarists worry about keeping their instruments “as good as new,” a spruce top guitar is one that will, as many say, “open up” as it gets older.
I personally have a spruce top guitar and I’ve been so impressed with how it ages that I always recommend spruce to everyone. Here’s a link to a blog that will outline some positives of spruce wood so you can do some reading yourself
That being said, you may not want a guitar that sounds as bright as a spruce top guitar will sound. Another commonly used type of wood for guitar tops is cedar, which is known to be slightly more subdued sounding.
Is one better than the other? Not in my opinion. This is all just personal preference, so head to your nearest music store and give a few spruce tops and cedar tops a strum to compare them.
One thing, though: if you decide to go with a cedar top guitar, don’t expect the same blossoming effect that occurs with spruce tops as it ages.
The fact that this guitar doesn’t have a cutaway may be either a pro or a con for you depending on what you’re looking for. Some say that cutaways take away from the resonance of a guitar because the body is smaller, and therefore a less powerful sound is produced.
This may be a good point, but I have definitely heard some beautiful, rich sounds come from guitars with cutaways. All I’m saying is: don’t knock a cutaway until you try it.
They can be quite helpful when playing in the upper register, which brings us to why you may actually want to consider a guitar with a cutaway instead.
Some guitarists prefer cutaways to non-cutaways because it opens up the neck past the twelfth fret, and who doesn’t want to create all those beautiful high melodies with relative ease?
Like the spruce or cedar top issue, this is something that all comes down to personal preference. Ask yourself if you think you’ll be using those upper frets often, or if you can see yourself sticking to chords in and around first position.
The sound created by this guitar is pretty excellent considering the price range. I’d say this is more of a mid-range guitar (not too cheap but not too pricey either), but the sound rings more like an upper range guitar. One of the things guitarists often rave about when it comes to this guitar is its ability to sustain sound.
With low- to mid-range guitars, sustaining notes can be a big issue. Notes that decay quickly can often result from the cheaper woods used on lower end guitars.
You won’t have that problem with the FG830, though. Long, sustained notes are something you’ll be guaranteed to hear if you choose to go with this model for your next purchase.
Additionally, Yamaha also custom designed the bridge bracing for this guitar. You don’t typically see unique bridge bracings on guitars in this price range, so I would definitely include this on your list of positives when considering this model.
The custom bridge bracing will allow for both louder and stronger sounds in the mid- to low- ranges of your guitar, which will contribute to that richness in the bass tones resulting from the rosewood sides.
Remember, the strings you use will also affect your sound. For more information, check out our article on good quality strings
I’ve scoured the Internet and found many online reviews that have raved about how good the sound quality of this guitar is considering its mid-range price. Some reviewers even say the Yamaha FG830 Acoustic Guitar is the best model in the entire FG line. Here are some comments from buyers:
The L1XE Little Martin may be a good fit if you find dreadnought models too cumbersome because you have a small frame.
If you think the FG830’s frets may be too large for you, you can also check out this article on the best guitars for small hands.
The L1XE is less in price (less than $600 USD), and does not have a custom bridge brace.
If you’re a performer, you may want a guitar that comes with a pick-up.
The Yamaha FSX830C is great for performance settings, but is more expensive than the Yamaha FG830 Acoustic Guitar.
This guitar also includes a cutaway, which is useful for high register playing.
You may like the FG line-up, but are looking for something of a better quality.
The Yamaha FG850 comes from the same popular line, but steps things up in terms of the quality of the wood.
This guitar is made with mahogany, which will create a warm sound and rich middle frequencies.
Image Credits: Amazon.com
This is a guitar that will ring true to Yamaha’s claims. You’re guaranteed resonance, strong bass tones, and a bright sound from the spruce wood top. Additionally, you’ll also be able to hear you guitar improve with age as the spruce begins to open up. Click here to check it out: