With developments in manufacturing companies seem to crunch out more and more affordable guitars all the time so it is not a big surprise or a big deal when a company has a range of under $200, anymore. The key to getting the reputation, like Yamahas’, is in making the affordable guitars that you are not going to say are good just because they are affordable. They are good because they are good quality and as a bonus, they are quite cheap. The FG800 solid top guitar is one of their affordable models that yet again manages to draw the very distinct line between cheap and affordable and always be on the affordable side.
The FG800 is a dreadnought model, one of the most popular and used styles on the market. The top is made of solid Spruce, providing great durability and sound to the guitar. The back and sides are made from Nato which might not be the best and highest priced material on the market but I do not think that it affects the sound, beginners, especially, will not be able to notice any difference in the sound of a Nato back and sides. Also, you have to take into account that this is an “affordable” guitar. Company has to prioritize certain details and compromise others. That is why some tonewood might not be of the highest quality. Fortunately Yamaha knows what how to properly economize on a material to still create a guitar with good sound . The neck is made of Rosewood, a great tonewood that accentuates the sound that the spruce top creates. The length of the neck as well as the nut width are great for the comfort of beginners.
Yamaha has equipped this model with basic but good quality details. The fingerboard and the bridge are Rosewood and Die-cast chrome tuning machines will provide as much comfort and ease as possible for beginners. The saddle and nut are made from Urea. I have personally never had a guitar that specified Urea nut or saddle so I cannot speak from my personal experience but I have not heard anything bad about it either. Of course there are going to be hundreds of guitar purists who will say that the nut has to be real bone but I do not think synthetic materials worsen sound of your guitars that much. Also, taking into account that this guitar is aimed more at beginners who are looking for affordable models, I do not think it would be possible, unless a person has extremely good ear, to notice a difference between synthetic nut and real bone. And if you do, then it is possible to tweak the guitar, maybe change the nut and then you will get the sound that you want.
If you are a beginner it is always important to consider the overall sound of the guitar but to also keep in mind the comfort level. How easily you hold the guitar, is it simple to form chords, is the neck the right size for you, etc. That is the case with most guitars but especially for the ones aimed more towards beginners because, although the sound is an integral part of your guitar, you will not be getting any of it unless you are comfortable learning how to play the guitar. AND Yamaha a FG800 definitely offers that comfort. That being said, I think for the price you are giving this baby offers great, loud sound that is bright and warm at the same time.
There are very few companies that have lasted for decades and still can uphold their reputation. Yamaha is definitely one of those companies. Their dedication to craftsmanship but also ability to create great models at great prices is what keeps them going for so many years. The FG800 is just one of the examples of their dedication and I would say, whether you are a beginner or a little bit more experienced, this model will give you all the necessary tools to develop your skills.