Yamaha makes guitars in every category. Although they may be known for their budget acoustic guitars, they also deserve attention for their acoustic-electric hybrids. If you want to play on the stage with a great acoustic guitar, then look into their impressive APX series to see all of the models available. This line was first introduced in the 1980s when musicians had very few options in this category. Most were poorly made, resulting in multiple problems that were simply embarrassing for performers. They had to deal with length sound checks that tested the patience of audiences. While playing, they might hear high-pitched feedback that made everyone cringe. Yamaha guitars solved these problems with the original Yamaha’s APX guitar.
In this article, we compare the Yamaha APX600 vs APX500. The reality is that these two models are more similarities than differences given their kinship. The APX600 is the successor to the APX500 in this line of Yamaha products. The designers and sound engineers didn’t change much from their winning formula, which is good since there is no reason to fix what isn’t broken. They only made small deviations to improve comfort and evolve in terms of aesthetics. As such, it would be helpful to discuss the things that they have in common so that potential buyers know what they will be getting regardless of what model they choose.
1. Thinline Body
One of the best things about these APX guitars is that they have a thinline body. Unlike dreadnoughts that are large and bulky, they are slim and easy hold as a result. It’s a logical design choice. The reason why you would want a big guitar is to generate more volume and fuller tone. Since acoustic-electric guitars will be going through an amplifier, the volume is no longer a major issue. The pickup system will also allow you to play with the frequency response so there is a lot of flexibility. If you have ever felt that the pure acoustic guitars are too massive for your liking, then check out any APX model to enjoy the thinner body.
2. Cutaway Design
You will also notice that the APX series has a different shape. This does not have the traditional hourglass figure that you might expect from most acoustic guitars. Instead, it looks a lot like electric guitars with its cutaway design on the right side when you are facing the strings. When playing the guitar, this corresponds to the position of your left hand. It’s not just for aesthetic purposes. The curvature allows players to reach the lower frets with ease for better playability. It suits some people’s playing style well. This certainly makes it friendlier for beginners who do not have to strain themselves to get the chords right.
3. Materials Used
You will find the same materials used in both models. The top features solid spruce wood which is recommended for excellent tone. It is not common for an affordable guitar to have such a luxurious material for arguably the most important part of the body. Many companies choose to save a few bucks by using laminated wood. As for the rest, the back, sides, and neck all have nato wood which is also known as Eastern Mahogany. It’s a budget option but not exactly a deal breaker. Nato holds up well and gets the job done. The fretboards and the bridges have rosewood.
It’s hard to find fault in the craftsmanship of any Yamaha product including their guitars. The brand has made a name for itself by producing high quality instruments for less. It continues with this legacy today on all of its lineups such as the APX series. You can check all of the reviews on Amazon and other online sellers to see how much people love these guitars. They look and feel like premium guitars despite the relatively low prices. They may not be as fancy as some models from other brands but they are highly refined from all angles.
We have often mentioned just how amazing these Yamaha guitars are for their price. Meanwhile, the brand’s pure acoustic models are around $150 to $200 for the base models and a little more for the flashier siblings. These prices are a bargain when you compare them to what you might have to shell out for an entry-level acoustic or electro-acoustic unit. Some will ask for double the money or even more. You will have to determine whether you are satisfied with the Yamahas or you are willing to pay more for others.
1. Enhanced Comfort
Now we come to the things that set the APX500 and the APX600 apart. Their scale lengths are 25.6 inches and 25 inches, respectively. The string spacing has also gotten narrower. These modifications are minor but they can make a world of difference in terms of comfort when playing the guitar. Along with the thin body, the reductions will make you love the APX600 even more. These are particularly attractive to small persons who find the traditional dimensions too large and unwieldly.
2. Better Bass
The top gets a lot of the vibrations and is prone to damage. Bracing is usually introduced to improve structural integrity and improve sound quality. While both have bracings, the APX600 has a new design that produces better bass response. The difference is subtle but highly appreciated if you want a fuller tone. Resonance is excellent and a trained ear can really hear the distinction.
3. New Pickup System
You will also notice that the APX600 has a new kind of piezo pickup system with an equalizer to shape the sound the way that you want to. Change the volume and the EQ settings on the fly. The battery powered preamp works well and the mid-range frequency slider is a nice touch. The onboard digital tuner is a great addition as well. This is slighter improved from the one on the APX500.