With millions staying in their homes more often than usual, people are thinking of ways to make use of their time in the best ways possible. Many have turned to baking, gardening, reading, binge-watching, house repairs, organizing, and other activities.
Others have turned to music, revisiting their old records or playing an instrument. If you have ever wanted to learn how to play the guitar, this is a perfect time. Make the most of your idle hours by getting a decent entry-level model online. This article compares two excellent acoustic guitar options: the Yamaha FD01s vs FG800.
The main difference between the Yamaha FD01s and the Yamaha FG800 is the materials used to build each guitar. The FD01s is made almost entirely of Mahogany quality woods with a rosewood fingerboard, and the FG800 is made from both Mahogany and Nato wood. This gives each guitar a slightly different tone when playing it.
Why the focus on Yamaha acoustic guitars? Simply because it’s a trusted brand supplying a steady stream of finely crafted guitars for several decades. It’s the name to turn to if you don’t have much to splurge, but you want a high-quality instrument. Their sensitivity to pricing has to be commended. Their products look refined and sound incredible, allowing them to compare favorably with the premium guitars of other brands without burning a hole in your wallet. The two models we mentioned are particularly suited to novices in both pricing and design.
The Comparison & Difference In Materials
With the same manufacturer and roughly similar price points, you can expect the materials to be reasonably consistent across the board, with only a few notable differences. For example, both of these models feature a solid spruce top. This is rare in the sub-$200 acoustic guitar category as most budget guitars have cheaper laminated wood to manufacture. The top wood has the most significant impact on the guitar’s acoustic sound, so it’s nice to see Yamaha making an effort to ensure high-quality material. Both also have rosewood on the fretboard and the rosewood bridge, which provides smooth glides.
As for the other areas, such as the back of the dreadnought body, the sides, and the neck, Yamaha chose to use Nato, also known as Eastern Mahogany. This is a low-cost option that also produces a crisp tone emphasizing the mid frequencies. However, it lacks the punch that solid mahogany wood can provide. Beginners are unlikely to notice the difference, so this should not be a deal-breaker. As for the nuts and the saddle, the company chose to go with “urea,” a form of plastic. More experienced players might want to replace this with bone as soon as possible to improve the looks and the tone.
Both also have die-cast chrome tuning machines which are excellent have had no tuning stability issues.
The Build Quality Of The Body & Acoustic Guitar Woods
Japanese manufacturing has a reputation for being consistent, efficient, and reliable. That is apparent in every excellent guitar produced by Yamaha and is a big reason why they have such a loyal following. Unlike cheap guitars, you will not see any rough edges or excess glue. The finish may be plain, but it is delicate and smooth. There won’t be any odd bumps and other signs of unevenness. Guitarists can use the guitars frequently without breaking down or getting out of tune right away. You will love having any of these guitars in your hands.
However, the FG800 has a slight advantage over the FD01S. The former has a scalloped bracing underneath the top. This reinforces the structure to give it added strength and durability. You can be more confident about taking it anywhere you go for practice or touring. The bracing also enhances the resonant sound by increasing the response for low frequencies and producing richer harmonics around the mid frequencies. If you have a nearby store selling these models, then give these two a strum to appreciate the difference.
As for their playability, these beginner guitars feature slightly slimmer neck profiles than the average guitar, so they feel great in the hands. Even smaller individuals will have an easy time reaching the fretboard with their fingers. Many beginners complain about straining too much when trying to wrap their hands around the neck to form different chords. It’s challenging to do, especially when you aren’t used to it. A slim neck eliminates a common problem so that students can focus on developing their skills. The nut width is also significant at 43mm for excellent accessibility.
One thing that people might not like so much is the high action. It is common for Yamaha to ship these out of the box in this manner. High action means that you will need to press down harder on the strings to get in contact with the fretboard. This will require finger strength which beginners might be lacking. You can take the guitar to a luthier if this bothers you and have it set up in such a way as to improve playability. As for intermediate to advanced players, this might not be an issue. They can use these guitars right away and be happy with how it feels.
Playing these guitars brings a comfortable playing experience over many acoustic playing styles – aggressive and continuous playing.
The Sound Quality For The Cost & Price
The solid spruce (Sitka) top alone makes these Yamaha guitars sound quality better than the rest of the affordable guitars within the $150-$200 price range. They will sound rich and warm with tones comparable to products that cost well above a $1,000 price. Both are dreadnoughts, so you can also expect the sound to be loud and heavy on the bass compared to smaller instruments. The FG800 is a little bit bigger, so it can project a slightly more audible sound. If you aim to use it for performances, later on, it’s a better purchase than the FD01S. However, if you are only trying to learn in your home as a hobby, the affordable, cheaper model should be perfectly adequate.
Check them both out on Amazon today.
As we have already discussed, the scalloped bracing is a plus in structural integrity and sound quality. If you like better bass and mid-response from your guitar for beginners, then the FG800 is the way to go. If not, then save some money with the FD01S. Either way, you will get high-quality guitars for less.