I don’t know what’s up with Yamaha’s marketing and whether they invest millions and millions to have become a household name even among people who do not even know guitars and instruments that much but I definitely know one main reason why they are that renowned – quality. The amazing craftsmanship that stays pretty constant at all times and throughout almost all products is what takes Yamaha from a good company to one of the most trusted ones on the market. Their CGX122MCC is a mid-priced model that would be a great choice for an intermediate musician or a beginner who is trying to move up on the guitar quality ladder and put their first affordable guitar to the well-deserved rest.
The CGX122MCC is a nylon string acoustic-electric guitar that combined good quality tonewood and top notch electronics to be up to Yamaha’s standards. The top is solid western cedar that boasts the looks as well as tonal range. Back, sides, as well as the neck, are made of Nato which is responsible for good resonance and playability, especially for the classical style. The cutaway is a big advantage for any player, no matter their level of knowledge. Due to the construction this guitar is also more lightweight which is a great thing no matter whether you are a beginner or not.
Yamaha focused on bringing the best of the classical guitars to the CGX122MCC while also not overdoing it. The wide urea nut is perfect for classical technique. The saddle is also Urea while the bridge is made of rosewood. The chrome tuning machines are nice quality and pretty simple to use. The body finish on this model is matte which not only gives it a really nice look but is also more comfortable to hold. That being said I think the finish could have been better. It scratches off a bit too easily.
I do not actually own the CGX122MCC (unfortunately, I cannot own every single guitar I review) but I have tried it out on several occasions. Once, when I try it in a shop I liked it but I was not head over heels in love with it. The next time I was at my friend’s house who has this model for several months. It was set up very well, the strings were changed and broken in and that is when I realized the importance of the strings and breaking in period. The tone was excellent, very well balanced. Great projection and resonance due to the cedar top and overall mesmerizing sound definitely proved to me why Yamaha is a household name.
The ART 2-Way System 61 preamp and built-in tuners are decent quality. This system reproduces the tone and dynamics of nylon strings very well. So you will have a beautiful acoustic sound not only unplugged but also plugged. The A.R.T. pickup is fitted directly under the top board so that the system reproduces the sound to perfection. The system is also easy to use with intuitive controls.
Overall, the CGX122MCC is a well designed and build a classical guitar with decent electronics and basic hardware. I would recommend this model to an intermediate player on a budget or someone who is trying to get a better quality model than their basic under $200 guitar. There are small problems with the finish and strings but nothing too major. So if you are into classical techniques and classical guitars this Yamaha model should definitely be in your top choices.