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A couple of years back I owned a Taylor Big Baby acoustic. I loved that thing, it sounded so great for the money and considering the size of the body, it had so much character. I did not play it enough, however, and ended up selling it so I could afford a new iPad! I then borrowed an old acoustic from a friend, just to keep up with some practice every so often and write a couple of songs on. It was nothing compared to my Big Baby, but it did the job..
So I finally got around to wanting my own acoustic again, something with a nice tone and slim neck, for song-writing etc, and started doing some research. After a while I found this Yamaha F310 that seemed amazing value for money, almost too good to be true! I listened to some examples on YouTube, looked at various prices online and decided that it was too good an opportunity to pass up, when I found it for sale at my local Argos store as a pack (including tuner, picks, strap, DVD etc) for £120! I took a chance and bought one..
- First Impressions -
Upon unpacking the guitar, I quickly decided that its looks definitely belied its price. The body is very clean, smooth and a lovely light wood colour on the front, complemented by the dark wood around the sides and back, with a black fingerplate. The neck is slim and smooth, strings a little rough but nice to play. I was immediately impressed with the instrument as a whole and felt that I really had got a bargain.
- The Sound -
After tuning the guitar and giving the strings a stretch, then tuning again (using the included electric tuner, which was a welcome addition to the pack and worked very well) I began playing one of my own songs that I had recently written. I was pleasantly surprised by the loud, but nicely-rounded tone the body was producing -- not too boomy or boxy, not too much high end -- just a really solid, bold, lovely rich tone, again totally belying the guitar's price.
My Big Baby Taylor was gorgeous, but the tone was quite treble-heavy. I think a lot of people may actually prefer the tone of the Yamaha, as it's more rounded, bold and loud but without being harsh. In fact, it's so loud and clear compared to the cruddy old acoustic I had been practising with lately, that I had to use my fingers on the strings instead of the plectrum, as this gave a slightly softer and more mellow result, that I was more accustomed to. Using a pick steps up the crispness and loudness of this guitar even more, but it still doesn't sound harsh or nasty in any way.
- Build Quality -
The guitar feels solid, but is quite lightweight. It does feel like a high quality instrument, with good build quality and a nice finish. If I were to see it in a music shop, feel it and play it, I would assume it to have a retail price of somewhere around £300. You could easily fool people into thinking you paid a lot of money for this guitar, if you were so inclined and wanted to impress them or something! I find it impressive that this acoustic can look and sound so good for only £120 (or maybe slightly less if it's for the guitar only, without the accessories)
- To Sum Up -
I urge you to have a play on one of these! In fact, if you're in the market for a nice acoustic on a budget, then just buy one! You cannot go wrong at this price point, this is simply a bargain and a great example of brilliant value for money. Some guitars cost two or three times as much, and don't sound as good.
Well. This acoustic guitar is definetly a treat. For this review i will say about the playability and sound before going on to the main parts of the guitar.
Playability -The first thing I noticed when picking up this guitar, was it was extremely easy to play, as the strings are quite close to the fretboard. This is perfect for beginners, and was certainly pleasant for me to play.
Sound- This guitar has a very nice sound for a guitar of its price range, it isn't "bassy" like a lot of other guitars i have played with this price range, and actually gives quite a nice, crisp tone. it can also go pretty loud, so it would be adequate for playing acoustic gigs.
Sturdyness- This guitar is very sturdy, I have had it more than a year now, and not one piece has even started to come loose. I have never had a problem with it.
Nut- This is of a standard strong plastic, and I have never had any problems with it. Unlike my other acoustic guitars, it doesn't cause a "buzzing" noise.
Neck- Now, this neck is one of the reasons its cheap, the back of the beck is made from nato, which is a replacement for mahogany, and it has quite a dark dull look to it, but doesn't really take much away from the guitar as it has a glossed polish finish. The fretboard is rosewood, which gives a nice natural look to the guitar in my opinion, as it is not got a glossed finish. Like most guitars on frets 5-7-9-12 and 15 their is a dot, to show milestones of the guitar neck.
Bridge- The bridge is also rosewood, which adds a natural look.
Front- The front of the guitar is made of spruce wood, which has a glossed polished finish, which gives a nice shine to the guitar.
Back and sides- The back and sides of this guitar is made out of meranti, which is quite a dark wood, Again it has been given a polished look, which makes the guitar look great.
Pick board- This stops you scraping your guitar with your pick, and is a plain black, it does what its meant to do as i have no scratches on my guitar!
-Looks quite nice, even though people may not like the polished look.
-Very easy to play
-Sounds nice and it is also loud.
-Although its sturdy, some of the material is cheap, and then has just been polished.
Would recommend this to a friend who is looking for a beginners guitar. But wouldn't recommend this to experienced guitar players.