Yamaha has been making sweet music for several decades. The brand is associated with instruments that provide excellent value for money. They have proven that consumers don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars to get high-quality guitars.
The main difference between the Yamaha FG800 and the Yamaha FG820 is the build quality and the materials used. The FG800 is made from Mahogany, Nato, and a solid spruce top, while the FG820 is made of Mahogany with an Alder top.
Beginners don’t have to practice on cheap items that sound terrible due to their limited budget. They can get a Yamaha acoustic to start their musical journey with a reliable companion. There are plenty of options, from acoustic guitars to electric guitars to hybrids. Most will probably want to get an acoustic to learn the basics, and Yamaha’s FG 800 Series offers incredible choices.
In 1966, Yamaha came out with the FG180. It’s a high-performance dreadnought guitar with a low price tag. It quickly became a hit selling countless units and spawning a devoted fan base. The best thing that the company did was to keep improving their products with each succeeding generation. As great as the FG180 was, the FG800 series is even better. The eighth-generation models include the FG800, the base configuration, and the FG820, which is a step up in material, styling, and variations. In this article, we make a head-to-head comparison of the Yamaha FG800 vs FG820.
The two models come from the same mold. They have more similarities than differences, so any buyer should know what remains constant across this series. First is their size and shape. The FG 800 series are all dreadnoughts, one of the most significant guitars. The body is a traditional hourglass figure, while the proportions are large enough to generate substantial volume without amps.
Consequently, you don’t need to strum so hard just to be heard when playing for others. Even soft fingerpicking can be easily detected. If you plan to go acoustic all the way, this is a good option. Those who want the same models in a smaller form can look into the FS series, which contains concert-size guitars.
The overall look is identical as well. It’s rather basic compared to the more expensive guitars with inlays, graphics, strategic holes, cutaways, unique heads, and other things that tend to get a double-take. This is as plain as it gets, but that’s not bad at all. There’s a certain charm about an honest guitar that focuses on the music and does precisely what it’s supposed to do. With Yamaha, you can be confident about the quality of these products no matter what you pick. The craftsmanship is better than you might expect. You can take them anywhere and play them every day, knowing that they will hold up.
The Differences Of Each Choice
The Price Points
The first thing that will jump out at you when comparing these models is the price difference. Some might think that the difference is negligible, but others might consider this a massive gap. If they are going to leap, they want to make sure that it’s worth the money. Whether it is or not depends on the individual and what he values. The FG820 is a bit flashier for sure, and there are substantial upgrades that are worth a look. However, these are nice extras rather than necessities.
Guitar Finish Options
Among the reasons for the higher price tag for the FG820 is the range of colors that people can choose from. The FG800 is usually found in a natural finish, although you can hunt for the rare variant online. Meanwhile, Yamaha FG820 comes in multiple official finish options: natural black, turquoise, ruby red, autumn sunburst, and brown sunburst. Some of these might be hard to visualize with only their names. Try to look at pictures of these so you can see exactly how they look and what shades you can expect. Maybe you will like some more than others.
Go for a natural look with a cream-colored top and darker brown sides. It never runs out of style. If this is too boring for you, then go for autumn burst for a bright orange screamer. If you want to express your individuality, then go for something reasonably rare such as turquoise, which matches the color of clear waters at tropical beaches. If that’s a bit too bold for you, then consider sunset blue, which is the same except for the fading black trim around the edges. You could also go for a classic look with the all-black finish.
12-String and Left-handed Guitar Options
The FG800 only comes with a 6-string configuration, which most people will want anyway. The FG820 has a 12-string variant which is quite rare. This would be six pairs of strings to create a chorus effect. It’s handy when you want a fuller tone and a louder sound. It’s hard to replicate this with only six strings. In electric guitars, this effect is achieved by using chorus pedals. This is for advanced guitar players such as those who wish to mimic the style of early blues musicians. The FG820 also has a left-hand option so that lefties can strum in comfort.
Guitar Neck, Back and Sides Of The Bodies Wood Material
The material used in building a guitar significantly influences its sound. You will see a solid Sitka spruce solid top acoustic guitar for both models instead of the cheaper laminates that tend to permeate this price range. You will also get rosewood at the fingerboard and the bridge. They only differ if the back and the sides as the FG800 uses nato while the FG820 boasts of Mahogany. Some might dismiss this as a minor divergence, while others will mark it as a game-changer. Nato is a combination of different types of wood that are glued together like plywood. It’s a budget option for those who don’t mind. Mahogany is considered a superior wood in guitars.
The Playability, Tone, And Sound
Both the Yamaha FG800 and Yamaha FG820 have similar tonal characteristics. Both offer a warm, rich tone suitable for playing soft chords. However, there are differences between them. The bass response of the FG800 is better than the FG820. The latter tends to lack low notes. On the other hand, the high end of the FG820 is brighter than the FG800. The midrange of the Yamaha FG800 is slightly warmer than the FG820.
Conclusion On These Acoustic Guitars
Yamaha provides compelling options of affordable instruments for those who want quality guitars for less. The FG800 is good enough for most, but those who can splurge a bit more can go for the FG820 for exciting colors, better materials, and additional options.