If popularity is your favored indicator of quality, Yamaha’s FG series is where it’s at. In this Yamaha FG700S review, I’ll show you what makes this guitar so popular and desirable and how it stands up to competition.
Every guitarist wants something different from their guitar. Therefore, a simple but versatile and dependable guitar is often the best option. While low prices are preferable, they often come at the expense of quality. Most of us wish there were more options in between the substandard budget guitar category and the costly higher-end tiers. This is the niche that the Yamaha FG700S and its siblings strive to fill. Let’s look at how the Yamaha FG700S delivers.
The Yamaha FG700S is a typical dreadnought. What sets it aside from most guitars in this price range is that it has a solid spruce top, which produces a better tone than laminated tops. The rest of the body is laminated nato. Its neck is solid nato with a rosewood fretboard and die-cast tuners. With a fretboard width of 43mm, the neck is a little bit slimmer than average.
While the nut and saddle are plastic, the general selection of materials is better than what’s normal in this price range. The Yamaha FG700S is built to last, and the sound will mature the more you play it. That’s what’s great about real wood. Unlike the newer Yamaha FG800 series, the Yamaha FG700S has non-scalloped X-bracing. The bracing improves durability and provides a deeper tone.
The Yamaha FG700S has a natural wood high gloss finish. It’s sleek and simplistic, with black and white bindings, a simple rosette, and a red tortoiseshell pickguard.
How the Yamaha FG700S Plays
The slim neck and hard fingerboard make this guitar easy to play even for small and untrained hands. If you’re a young beginner, you’ll really appreciate this. If you want an even faster neck, rub some scotch-brite on the backside to reduce the glossy grip. Anyway, if you love hard pitch bends or barre chords, the Yamaha FG700S won’t let you down.
You’ll find that the Yamaha FG700S responds beautifully to both fingerpicking and strumming. You won’t get the rattling and dampening that’s notorious among entry-level guitars. Like its peers, it may suffer from somewhat high string action, but it varies with each guitar. Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, you’ll find the Yamaha FG700S great for growing as a guitarist.
It doesn’t sound how you’d expect a guitar this cheap to sound. It’s smooth and responsive, with a warm and twangy timbre. It suits any genre that hinges on a steel acoustic. The sustain is long enough for graceful fingerstyle ballads. And there’s plenty of resonance for solos.
While it has a somewhat jangly tone out of the box, it’ll round out and grow more bass when you play it more. Together with the general versatility, this makes the Yamaha FG700S an ideal choice for intermediates and beginners who want something to progress on. It invites and encourages you to play more.
What People Say
Guitarists give the Yamaha FG700S high ratings. They say it’s an excellent guitar for beginners and advanced players and that it has an unbelievable price-to-quality ratio. As for negatives, some people find the action somewhat high, and others wish it had more features.
For a solid-top dreadnought with a lifetime guarantee, this is a steal. You’re unlikely to outgrow it. And if you do, getting a tune-up and replacing the plastic parts will take it to new levels at a fraction of what a medium-range guitar would cost.
Pricing & Availability
New Yamaha FG700S guitars are no longer generally available. You can check Reverb for used guitars, local guitar stores, or garage sales.
Yamaha FG700S VS Alvarez AD60
Let’s compare the Yamaha FG700S to a similar competitor to get a better feel for its performance. When it comes to the build, there are two main differences. The Alvarez AD60 has mahogany instead of nato, and a forward-shifted, scalloped bracing pattern. This adds some loudness. It also has a bone nut and saddle, and pre-installed strap knobs. But overall, they’re very similar.
As for the sound, it’s somewhat brighter and more jangly, not quite as smooth. The neck is slightly wider, so barre chords may be more challenging for young guitarists. Like the Yamaha FG700S, it costs a similar amount. Take a closer look here.
Pros & Cons
After all those details, a simple refresher is in order. Let’s round up the best and worst things about the Yamaha FG700S.
- Superb quality for the price
- Strong sound projection
- Easy to play
- Very versatile sound
Given its price point and high performance, it’s hard not to love the Yamaha FG700S. You won’t find many budget-friendly guitars that can stand up to it.
- Some report high string action
- No cutaway
I can’t think of any noteworthy drawbacks, except perhaps the minimalist design. However, if you want more bells and whistles, you must either step up a price range or sacrifice quality.
Is Yamaha FG700S Right for You?
Solid top guitars don’t come much cheaper than this. It’s one of the most basic guitars in Yamaha’s FG series, but the quality and price are commendable. If all you need is a traditional steel-string acoustic, you can’t go wrong with a Yamaha FG700S. I recommend it to beginners and intermediates who want an affordable entry-level guitar but want to avoid the cheap junk. Whatever genre you aim to play, a Yamaha FG700S will handle it with style. Check Reverb for used guitars or get the newer version, the Yamaha FG800 on Amazon or Sweeetwater.
4 out of 5
Last update on 2023-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API