Yamaha FS800 Review & Prices

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Yamaha FS800 Review
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  • From Yamaha's 2016 FG / FGX series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25"'' scale
  • 15.75" Fretboard Radius
  • Solid Spruce top
  • Nato/Okoume back
  • Nato/Okoume sides
  • Nato neck
  • Walnut fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: (/)
  • Walnut bridge
  • Acoustic C Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Die-Cast Chrome (TM29T) tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Yamaha's 2016 FG / FGX series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25"'' scale
  • 15.75" Fretboard Radius
  • Solid Spruce top
  • Nato/Okoume back
  • Nato/Okoume sides
  • Nato neck
  • Walnut fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: (/)
  • Walnut bridge
  • Acoustic C Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Die-Cast Chrome (TM29T) tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 85
Sound 80
Build quality 62
Value for money 86
Overall Score 76
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Yamaha FS800
  • Solid Top Wood
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Electronics
  • Low-Quality Material Saddle
  • Laminated Side Wood
  • Laminated Back Wood
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Videos

Best Small Body Beginner Guitars: Yamaha FS800 vs. Fender CC60S
Yamaha FS800 ★ Guitar Review
Yamaha FS800 Acoustic Guitar Demo
The Best CHEAP Fingerstyle Guitar?! - Yamaha FS800 Review
Yamaha FS800 // Review (Small Body Acoustic)
More Videos

Price: is the Yamaha FS800 a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $460, which means that the Yamaha FS800 is around 55% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in China.

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Your feedback

Not all guitars are created equal, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the guitar you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our visitors who have played this guitar say. If you've played it before, help others by voting for your experience below.

Weight

Vote
Heavy
0
Slightly heavy
0
Lightweight
0
Very lightweight
0

Tuning stability

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Won't stay in tune
0
Sightly unstable
0
Not bad
0
Holds tune well
0
Won't get out of tune
0

Neck speed (thickness)

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Chunky
0
Slightly chunky
2
Balanced
0
Fast
6
Herman Li fast
0

Neck access to high frets

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Very Hard
0
Hard
0
Normal
0
Easy
0
Very Easy
0

Neck profile shape

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Baseball / U
1
V
0
Asymmetrical
0
C
2
D
1

Fret edges

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Very sharp
0
Slightly sharp
0
Smooth
0

Explore All Yamaha Guitars >

Is The Yamaha FS800 Easy to Play?

The Yamaha FS800 meets 5 out of our 9 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

Yamaha FS800
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Wide nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Locking tuners
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Soft Strings

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Yamaha FS800's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Yamaha FS800's 25" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Yamaha FS800 Scale Length Comparison
Yamaha FS800's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the scale found in most PRS guitars, and it's right between the length of most Stratocasters and Les Pauls.

The scale length will affect the separation of the frets, the string tension, and even the tone of the guitar. The longer the scale, the more separated the frets are, which makes it a bit harder to move fast on the fretboard. Also, the higher tension of the strings will make them feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength. However, a longer scale also allows you to lower the action of the strings and make them closer to the fretboard, which makes them easier to press. Finally, the tone will also sound brighter with a longer scale.

A 25'' scale makes all of this feel right between a Stratocaster (longer scale) and a Les Paul (shorter scale).

Don't forget that you can also affect the tension of the strings by changing your string gauge.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Yamaha FS800 Neck Profile
Yamaha FS800's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More guitars for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Yamaha FS800 has a 15.75" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Yamaha FS800 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Yamaha FS800's fretboard radius compared to other guitars

It's a radius that makes playing single notes (and bending, vibrato, sliding, etc) easier than on a classic Les Paul guitar. However, it's still more curved than some baritone and 7+ strings guitars.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Yamaha FS800 has the same radius across the board.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Yamaha FS800
This model
25'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.75'' Fretboard Radius
25.6'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.75'' Fretboard Radius
25.6'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.75'' Fretboard Radius
25.6'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.732'' Nut Width
15.75'' Fretboard Radius
25.6'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.732'' Nut Width
15.75'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Yamaha FS800 Nut Width
Yamaha FS800 Nut Width

The Yamaha FS800 has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This size is also known as 1 11/16'' and it's the most common size. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More guitars with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Yamaha FS800 Fret Size Comparison
Yamaha FS800's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Yamaha FS800's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 90
Playability 85

Does the Yamaha FS800 Sound Good? Tone Analysis

The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.

Wood Used in the Yamaha FS800

Spruce wood pattern used for guitar building
Spruce Top
Okoume wood pattern used for guitar building
Okoume Back, Sides
Nato wood pattern used for guitar building
Nato Neck
Walnut wood pattern used for guitar building
Walnut Fretboard

Spruce Top: This wood has a light color with tight grain patterns. It's very stiff but relatively light. It's known for producing a well-rounded tone with a broad dynamic range.

Okoume Back and Sides: It's an affordable wood and it was one of the first to replace Mahogany when prohibitions started. It's generally softer than Mahogany and the tone has warmer lows.

Nato Neck: This wood is also known as Eastern Mahogany because it's very similar to Mahogany, although it is cheaper.

Walnut Fretboard: It's a hard wood with a chocolate color that is often used to give an elegant finish. Since it's quite expensive and rare, it's mostly used for guitar tops.

Pickups

This acoustic guitar doesn't come with preamp pickups, so you won't be able to connect it directly to an amplifier. Instead, you'll need to use an external microphone.

Sound Score

Sustain 70
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 80

How well is the Yamaha FS800 Built?

Where is the Yamaha FS800 Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Yamaha FS800 is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.

More guitars made in China

Bridge

Walnut: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Yamaha FS800 has a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 66
Features 65
Quality Control 55
Build Quality 62

Most Popular Comparisons With The Yamaha FS800

Yamaha FS800 Specs

General
Brand: Yamaha
Year: 2016
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: China
Series: FG / FGX
Colors: Natural
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Solid Spruce
Bridge: Walnut
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Die-Cast Chrome (TM29T)
Fretboard: Walnut
Neck Material: Nato
Decoration: Dots
Scale Size: 25"
Shape: Acoustic C
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 15.75"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls:
Tone Controls:
Bridge Pickup: ( / )

User Reviews of the Yamaha FS800

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