Yamaha FG-460SA Reviews
I bought this guitar at the Music Loft, a music store off of 9th Street, Durham, North Carolina, circa 1991 for $397.49. My first acoustic guitar. I really did not have any strict criteria in mind when buying the guitar except my price range. This fit perfectly and it came with a semi-hard case. I also thought it looked and sounded nice to my inexperienced eyes and ears. Also, the salesman taught me the difference between a flat top and solid guitar, which anyone can clearly hear. This was solid spruce.
Starting with the tuners, these are gold, have a solid feel when twisted, and they hold the strings taut for quite a while after tuning. There is a nice flowery inlay which looks like mother-of-pearl; i don't think it is, though. The neck has worn a bit and the wood is not as dark anymore. Again there are fleur-di-leis inlays at the fret marks which are nice.
The body is a solid spruce top. The solid top results in a rounded, full sound especially when used with heavy steel strings. This guitar is not the loudest by any means, but works well when performing and singing unmiked amongst friends. Open chords resonate well, and I can get good chunky percussive rhythm from the bass spectrum, but the sound does thin out when picking the high strings.
Made in Taiwan. Also, I had to return the guitar after it split down the center seam below the sound hole. It took Yamaha almost 6 months to replace the guitar. Luckily the Music Loft let me have a loaner.
As mentioned above, the sound of this guitar is great for a beginner/intermediate and for unmiked singing and performance. The bass notes can be chunky, but the sound thins on the higher notes.
When new, this guitar had no obvious flaws. But it did deteriorate as above. Also, my replacement's neck got pretty warped when I let it lie flat under my bed during a New York City Winter. I had a luthier raise the action a little, and that has worked out ok. The final bit of trauma resulted when I took all the strings off my guitar, again the seam split! I realize that some of the subsequent damage was my fault, but I know that that better construction may have prevented some of the problems.
I still play this guitar. I hope to replace it soon with an upscale Larivee, Martin, Gibson, or Taylor.
Overall, this was a wonderful guitar to start playing with. I thought it had a great sound for its price range, and I still love to play this guitar even with its flaws. I am pretty sure that the contempory equivalent from Yamaha is much more expensive even if the price is inflation adjusted, and from what I've seen the ornamentation of today's Yamaha guitars is not nearly as nice. Unfortunately, my experience with the Yamaha service department was terrible, and I do have questions about the quality of its construction.
I'd give this guitar a 2.5 if I could.
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