Yamaha is renowned for high-quality guitars and have tapped into all markets. Whether you are looking for a more high-end guitar in $1000 price range or something under $200, Yamaha has got you. Their CS40 II 7/8-Scale Nylon String Guitar is one of Yamaha’s affordable smaller-sized models that is great for beginners, kids and everyone more comfortable with smaller-sized guitars.
This guitar has a spruce top and a meranti back and side. Although meranti is a more affordable mahogany, the quality and durability of this tonewood is surprisingly good. I would not say it is as great at the highest quality mahogany or cedar but if we are talking beginner guitars, this is a great option. The neck is made of nato with a rosewood fingerboard. Nato is also very affordable, not the top-notch material but for the price it does a decent job. Overall, the materials used for this guitar might not be the top notch quality but then again getting a guitar under $150 sometimes means you have to turn a blind eye to some issues. Fortunately, this issues are not that big and will not ruin the sound of the guitar. The 7/8 size of this model makes it a great fit for beginners, kids or anyone more comfortable with smaller-sized models. The neck is also a bit thinner, making it easier to play with and easier to grip.
When it comes to the hardware on this model, I think that is where Yamaha economized the most BUT that does not mean that this guitar is lacking anything. You are getting the basic stuff that a beginner might need without having to overpay for the extremely expensive nut or saddle or some other hardware that, in the first place, might not make a big difference for a kid who is just starting off.
Yamaha CS40 Sound
The sound is surprisingly good. Do not get me wrong, it is not the same as some of Yamaha’s highest quality guitars but for a beginner, it will fulfill most of your requirements. One thing you might consider doing to improve sound and playability is to change the strings. If you are a beginner, maybe go to a local shop so that a professional does the proper changing and teaches you as well.
A great option for beginners, kids and people with smaller hands. There are a couple of issues, like the fact that this model might need a bit more tuning than other guitars but when you are looking at models in this price range there is not avoiding certain issues. Although it might not be the highest quality model, it definitely is not bad for its price range.