My review of the Yamaha CS101C Classical Guitar
Intro: Or should that be Prelude?
I teach guitar sometimes. Not so much as I used to but a few students just won't let me retire... obviously they're gluttons for punishment :-)
One of my students picked up a cheap classical guitar from a friend of a friend for only £15 pounds and asked me to set it up for him and restring it. I try to avoid doing much guitar work these days as I don't have the time any more, plus I set up enough guitars in my music shop days to last me a lifetime; I once had to restring a whole school's collection of cheap and nasty nylon strung classical guitars... Brrr I still have the flashbacks -lol!!
Anyway as you've already guessed being the smart bunch that you are; the guitar my student bought was a Yamaha CS101C Classical Guitar. Well if I've got to spend time setting up a guitar and giving my opinion of it to the person I teach then that's got to be an ideal opportunity to do a dooyoo review hasn't it? :-)
You're body is an eighth too small!
Now for starters I've got some slightly bad news for my student who is an adult male (at least as far as I can tell; I understand that Joan of Arc fooled a lot of people once but I'm pretty sure that my student isn't French, doesn't lead armies and is a man -right; now we've got that straight lets move on ;-).
The bad news is that this isn't quite a full size guitar. It's larger than a 3/4 size but it's not quite a full length scale I feel it in my poached egg on toast... or at least in my fingers. This is a 7/8 sized instrument if ever I saw one.
There's nothing wrong with a 7/8 size guitar -especially if you're not particularly tall; but why compromise tone, projection and that bit of extra string tension if you can possibly avoid it by having a full size 4/4 model? So for starters the CS101C Classical Guitar is not an ideal instrument -though it's fine for smaller adults and teens who struggle with a 4/4 classical.
When being the 'top' still isn't good enough!
My opinion of the build quality is that for a student/first guitar it's fine, though by no stretch of the imagination is it great. The top (the piece of wood with the sound hole in it that lies under the strings) which is responsible for a lot of the tone of the guitar is a laminate design rather than single piece.
Most cheap acoustic guitars have laminate tops so no great surprise there but it does limit the sound quality slightly to my ears.
Like a lazy squirrel; the nut needs to be deeper!
The fretwork and fingerboard are reasonably good with no dead notes. The nut work is a little more sloppy and I had to deepen the nut slots slightly to bring the action (height of the strings above the frets) down to stop the bass strings pulling sharp when fretted.
The tuners (tuning pegs on the machine heads) feel a bit creaky and cheap. They are the typical plastic headed variety. They work well enough though... but I suspect that sooner or later one of the plastic heads will fly off or crack (easily remedied/replaced but annoying all the same).
The CS101C Classical Guitar looks nice; in fact it looks better than it really is, if you know what I mean -lol!. Still, as a first time student guitar it's perfectly good.
CS101C are all gone; Yes the CS (has been sent to Room) 101!
You are unlikely to find one of these new in a shop -though it is just possibly that a shop still has one gathering dust in a storeroom somewhere -as it's been superseded by other Yamaha classical guitar models and is now discontinued.
Don't worry if you're buying one second hand as guitar parts are pretty standard on these sorts of generic designs. So if you break anything like a tuning peg you won't struggle to find a replacement even though the guitar isn't being made any more. It uses normal classical (nylon) guitar strings so again no problems getting replacement strings. Incidentally it doesn't matter if a guitar is 2/4, 3/4, 7/8 or full size (4/4) you can use bog standard classical guitar strings; you just trim them to length once fitted.
The 1970s Generation Game
So back to my student's purchase of a CS101C Classical Guitar; to reverse-paraphrase Bruce Forsyth (now there's a line I don't use every day -lol!) ...did he do well?
Well the CS101C Classical Guitar sounds quite good for a student guitar, it plays quite well, wasn't much trouble to set up and other than the fact that the body is slightly less than ideal at it's 7/8 size... Yep!
... Considering it only cost £15 (second hand) the CS101C is not too bad at all. I've seen these guitars sell for up to £40 second hand, so getting the guitar for almost a third of that price is a pretty good bargain I think...
Now my guitar student will have more money for his trip back to France and for some nice shiny armour to lead the French army.... oops I've said too much!!)
Thank you for reading my review, I hope you found it interesting and useful - and forgave me my daft sense of humour!!
This is the model of guitar that 5 years or so ago I learn to play guitar on.
Having received advice that a classical guitar was easier to play (and hurt less to play) I decided to buy one and seeing how much cheaper one of these babies was than it's steel strung counterparts I bought one straight away.
Opening it up it's quite a beautiful sight. Very simple design and for the price I was surprised at how well finished it appeared, it didn't look it's price tag. It came with a Yamaha guitar book incidentally which was quite good for songs but not for actually learning the basics.
The tone of the guitar is nice, with classical guitars I have little comparisons but it sounds lovely and warm and a million times the tinny little jobs I've played on before.
Given it's age this guitar has last quite well. Around the edges there is a little wear and tear wear it's been carried around and noced against things but it is in as playable a state as when I bought it. And it was perfect for learning on. Just buy yourself a good book!
the CS101C clasical guitar is a great musical instrument to learn on. The simplistic design doesn't make this instrument the show off type, but allows you to build on your technique so that you are able to take centre stage and show off all the new found skills that you have learnt.
Having been build by yamaha, this classical guitar is a very reliable instrument and will last a long time, so is worth the money. If you are a beginner I would advise you to invest in some new strings just incase the ones on the guitar snap because that can unfortunatly happen at anytime on any guitar around.
But overall this is the perfect beginner/learner classical guitar allowing you to get perfect sounds for the music that can be played on this CS101C classical guitar. Every person who is starting to take lessons in acoustic or classical guitar lessons, I say that you should have one of these because they are quality built for you.