* Prices may differ from that shown
I have reviewed a few of my guitars on here and by now it should be apparent that I am a) a collector of instruments and b) a guitar tart. I love them and have many types and styles all over the house. Before I became ill I spent any spare cash that I had on instruments, mainly old violins to do up and guitars. It got to the point that I had so many of the latter that I had to let a few go but in the end I decided that with a few guitar stands and some wall hangers I could get away with having loads of them. Training to be a luthier of course is an even better excuse.
My first guitar was a Yamaha dreadnought. I learned to play on this when I was a teen and then progressed towards electro-acoustic and electric guitars. As of now I have 5 Yamaha's in the house (classical, acoustic and electro) and this is the one that I have been playing a lot lately.
An electro-acoustic guitar has the benefit of being built like an acoustic instrument (with all of the tone and wood quality that you would expect from a good acoustic) and the ability to be connected via the jack to an amp of your choice. This makes an electro a good choice for versatility and fun. Most of the electro-acoustic guitars that I own have this lovely cutaway shape which makes for ease of playing and stylish looks. The CPX is a very attractive guitar with an impressive range of features and sounds.
The CPX is based upon the very popular APX series of guitars, they share similar electrics and build structure with the CPX coming in slightly larger than the APX. It is still easier to handle than a bulky dreadnought and the extra size gives it a tonal push. It has a tight grained top crafted from spruce which is braced underneath in a specific fashion, the bracing being X type in position, non-scalloped and close to the sound hole to bring out deep and resonant low tones and lots of volume.
This guitar has contrasting abalone around the sound hole and cream and black binding. There are the usual mother of pearl dot markers on the rosewood fingerboard and headstock. Yamaha's logo is tribal in appearance and it looks attractive on the front of the headstock, the chrome machine heads are well built and it suffers from no string slippage over time therefore it stays in tune even when you mess about with different tunings like I do.
I have never had a problem with any Yamaha, even the cheaper classical guitars that you can often pick up on Ebay for 20 quid. What I do like about them is the build quality, the choice of woods used and the little details. The fretboard for instance is as smooth as you could get it and easy to move around on. The fretwire is brass and not plated either. The finish is perfect and shiny and the shape is very appealing. The nut and bridge are both perfectly aligned and formed and these have no shabby rough edges.
Of course looks are not everything but this guitar matches its looks in terms of sound and manages to be many things in one guitar. It seems to be a hard wearing guitar too as it has been all over the place with me and not scratched or shown any signs of damage even at a slightly wet festival and when busking.
TONE AND RESPONSE:
A new CPX will be bright sounding with rich lows. Over time like any good guitar (and beer) the wood matures and mellows as does the tone. Having played mine a lot and owned it a fair while my CPX sounds voluptous and sweet, it is a really beautiful sounding instrument. Of course the choice of woods are essential to the tone of any guitar and the spruce top and nato sides are top notch. If I were to describe the tone in 3 words they would be SWEET, RICH and POWERFUL.
The 3 band EQ has a tuner and features Yamaha's A.R.T (Acoustic Resonance Technology) pre-amp. This feature is designed to bring out the best in the guitar in terms of sound, projection, distortion and dynamics. At the time this was brand new technology from Yamaha who moved away from traditional Piezo pickups to this type which gives more control over the acoustics. The A.R.T has 6 layers which dampens vibration and reduces distortion. It is highly sensitive and balanced and picks up a whole range of sounds easily. The pickup lives under the top plate and there are two main pick ups under the saddle. In addition there is a bass and treble pick up (on the corresponding side of the body) which enables the final sound to come together in the full and impressive tone that makes this guitar sound so pretty and loud.
If you fancy something completely different and unexpected from a guitar that looks like an acoustic, then use a distortion pedal and add some reverb. That confuses people :)
Despite being fatter and larger than the dinky APX, this is still easy to carry and play. The guitar fits snugly on your lap if seated and is comfortable to wear with a guitar strap as it is not heavy. It is a guitar that can be played gently or bashed about through an amp. The fingerboard stays smooth even with lots and lots of playing and shows no sign of wear, if anything the more you play it the smoother it will be due to the oils from your fingers. It stays in tune even if left for weeks and weeks and the intonation is spot on up the fingerboard.
The action on the CPX is excellent, I like the action on my guitars to be somewhat loose as I like to stretch the notes a lot and this guitar works beautifully whether strummed or plucked. I tend to use a lighter gauge string to be able to stretch them around. The guitar projects well and does not need an amp to make itself known but if you hook it up it can really make some noise. It has none of the rawness of an electric guitar, instead it purrs along with a real darkness to the lower register. I love the sound of this guitar and my favourite way to play it is either acoustically or rigged up through a 10w amp and maybe a pedal or two. I use a 10w because the thing is pretty loud especially when I wire it up via the Line6 delay modeller. This guitar lends itself to retro sounds and I love bouncing it off the walls by using reverb and delay (think John Martyn "Inside out" but not quite as skilled and without the facial hair)....
* Solid spruce top
* Nato back and sides
* Nato neck with rosewood fingerboard
* Rosewood bridge
* Die-cast chrome machine heads
* Available in a range of colours, finishes and a 12 string
* Pre-amp System A.R.T. with inbuilt tuner
* Bindings - cream
* Abalone and mother of pearl dots and embellishments.
There is a nice vid on Youtube where you can get an idea of the sound:
This model is now discontinued but is still available online through a few guitar and music shops. You are most likely to pick up one on Ebay pre-owned. They vary in price from £380-600.
I give it 10/10 for beauty, tone, playability and design.