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Yamaha is probably best known for its pianos and other keyboard instruments. However, this company has its hands in the creation of many different instruments outside of pianos.
In fact, Yamaha guitars should not be overlooked, as they boast quality craftsmanship at a reasonable price.
Here are some of the best Yamaha guitars that money can buy. This list is broken down between both electric and acoustic guitars.
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Best Yamaha Electric Guitars
PAC612VIIX – Best Overall
This solid-body guitar is crafted from Alder and has a nice satin finish. You can get the PAC612VIIX in a number of different colors, including:
- Natural yellow
- Fired red
- Matte silk blue
- Teal green metallic
The PAC612VIIX’s neck is crafted from Maple and has a scale length of 25.5”. This neck has a C-shaped contour, which should feel quite familiar if you’re used to playing Fender guitars.
Rosewood is used for the PAC612VIIX’s fretboard. It has a 13.75” radius, with 22 frets outlined by dot inlays.
For pickups, the PAC612VIIX has an SSH pickup configuration. A pair of Seymour Duncan SSL-1 single-coils can be found at the neck and middle.
At the bridge position of the PAC612VIIX is a Seymour Duncan Custom 5 TB-14 humbucker pickup.
A 5-way switch, as well as a master volume and tone knob, are provided for tonal control. The tone knob even contains a coil-split function, turning the humbucker into a single-coil pickup.
This means that you have a seriously wide variety of tones to work with on the PAC612VIIX.
The PAC612VIIX features a Graph Tech Tusq nut to deliver excellent resonant sustain from the neck. This guitar also has a Wilkinson Vibrato bridge as well as Grover locking tuners.
You won’t have to worry about tuning stability issues at all when using this vibrato system. The locking tuners ensure that your strings will never go out of tune during a performance.
What’s So Great About The PAC612VIIX?
The PAC612VIIX is a worthy contender if you’re shopping around for a Stratocaster-style guitar. You’ll have the traditional Strat sounds here, with Yamaha’s craftsmanship and playability.
This guitar’s neck is also quite comfortable to play, with its C-shaped contour. However, you’ll find that this neck is just a bit slimmer than traditional Stratocasters.
The slim neck design will definitely allow you to play much faster than you would on a regular Strat. Technical players will especially love the PAC612VIIX’s flatter fretboard radius.
Having a trio of Seymour Duncan pickups is definitely a massive plus. All of your favorite single-coil sounds will be readily available.
Not to mention, the coil-splitting function to turn the humbucker into a single-coil is a great touch. This means you’re not limited to just having a humbucker at the bridge.
Guitarists need a wide array of tonal options for any musical situation. The PAC612VIIX seems to provide that at a fairly reasonable price.
Item Weight: 12 pounds
Package Dimensions: 44 x 16 x 6 inches
Revstar Professional RSP02T – Best Premium
Yamaha’s Revstar series is full of eclectic designs that double function as art and working guitars. The Revstar Professional RSP02T (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) is definitely worth looking at if you have the budget.
This guitar features a double-cutaway design with a chambered body crafted from 2 pieces of Mahogany with a Maple top. It has a gloss polyurethane finish and comes in the colors of:
- Swift blue
- Sunset burst
The RSP02T’s neck is crafted from 3 pieces of Mahogany and has a scale length of 24.75”. This guitar has a set neck joint, allowing for easier playability and more resonance overall.
Rosewood is used for the RSP02T’s fretboard. This fretboard has a 12” radius and 22 jumbo-sized frets made of stainless steel.
The fretboard has ornate Pearloid line inlays that really help to make the RSP02T’s aesthetics pop.
For pickups, the RSP02T is stocked with a pair of P-90 pickups. These pickups are VP5n Alnico V single-coils and certainly deliver quite the punch.
A 5-way selector switch is provided, as is a master volume and tone knob. One interesting this is that the tone knob has a push/pull “Focus” function to deliver a higher-powered tone.
The RSP02T has a PPS nut, die-cast tuners, and a Tune-O-Matic bridge. A large racing tailpiece is added for heightened aesthetic value.
Also included with the RSP02T is a hardshell case, making it gig-ready right out of the box.
What’s So Great About The Revstar Professional RSP02T?
The RSP02T might be fairly expensive for some budgets. However, this guitar seems to provide an incredible amount of value, even at this price point.
For starters, the RSP02T’s neck is reinforced with carbon. This ultimately gives the neck much more secure stability than if it was built purely from wood pieces.
Adding to the durability of the neck are the stainless steel frets. These should hold up much longer than traditional frets, plus they are resistant to corrosion from sweat.
The shortened scale length adds quite a bit of flexibility to the strings. It’s also a great option for small-handed guitarists looking for smaller fret spacing.
Another thing about the RSP02T is that, for a chambered solid-body guitar, it has quite a bit of resonance. You’ll be able to use this in a wide range of different musical genres.
Jazz guitarists will especially find value in the RSP02T. Its push/pull tone knob can really achieve those nice, breathy jazz guitar tones.
If jazz isn’t your thing, the RSP02T has enough power and growl to make your signal cut through the mix. You’ll have no issues arriving at overdriven territories on tube amps with these P-90 pickups.
Let’s not forget, the RSP02T is a very stylish guitar. While it has a very retro look, it is packed with modern playing sensibilities.
The hardshell case is a definite plus if you’re a professional looking for a new tool for the job. Sometimes, a hardshell case can be an expense that pushes a guitar purchase outside of your intended budget.
Item Weight: 8.16 pounds
Package Dimensions: 45 x 18 x 6 inches
PAC012 – Best Budget
This guitar comes from Yamaha’s Pacifica line of guitars. These guitars have been highly revered by even professionals as guitars they wish they had as beginners.
The PAC012 is a solid-body S-style guitar crafted from Agathis. It has a gloss polyurethane finish and comes in a number of color options, including:
- Metallic blue
- Metallic red
- Old violin sunburst
Maple is used to construct the PAC012’s neck, which has a 25.5” scale length. This neck has a C-shaped contour, which aims to provide comfort and familiarity for any type of guitarist and style.
Rosewood is used for the PAC012’s fretboard. It has a 13.75” radius with 22 frets outlined by dot inlays.
Electronically, the PAC012 has an SSH configuration. In the neck and middle are Yamaha Ceramic single-coil pickups, with a Yamaha Ceramic humbucker at the bridge.
The PAC012 has a 5-way switch and a master volume and tone knob for tonal control. You’ll have no issues finding your favorite tones with this setup.
For hardware, the PAC012 features a nut made of Urea, sealed tuners, and a vintage-style tremolo. Vibrato and light dive bombs will be easily handled expressions by the PAC012.
What’s So Great About The PAC012?
In terms of sheer value, the PAC012 definitely packs the most bang for your buck. It is hard to find a guitar that performs better at this price point.
One of the best things about the PAC012 is the quality of craftsmanship put into the guitar. Generally, low-priced guitars tend to have quite a bit of quality control issues.
The PAC012, on the other hand, exceeds expectations, in both craftsmanship and playability. In fact, a beginner likely couldn’t ask for a better instrument to learn with.
Tonally, the PAC012 manages to cover the entire gamut that most single-coil players are looking for. Having a humbucker at the bridge is helpful for adding extra thickness without too much harsh bright treble qualities.
Furthermore, the vintage-style tremolo is definitely a nice addition. Tremolos can be quite the tricky beast, especially when it comes to tuning stability.
The PAC012, however, manages to stay in tune quite well with moderate tremolo use. You can’t ask for much more than that!
There are legions of PAC012 owners who swear this guitar rivals guitars in higher budget ranges. Don’t take their word at face value, try one out for yourself!
Item Weight: 12 pounds
Package Dimensions: 43 x 18 x 4.5 inches
The Yamaha PAC112J (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) is another Pacifica guitar that is absolutely loved by guitarists. If you have a little extra to spend, you might consider this over the aforementioned PAC012.
This guitar’s body is crafted from Alder and has a gloss polyurethane finish. You’ll be able to choose from a number of colors, including:
- Old violin sunburst
- Lake blue
- Metallic red
The PAC112J’s neck is crafted from Maple and has a 25.5” scale length. Its C-shaped contour provides the perfect meeting point between comfort and playability.
Rosewood is used for the PAC112J’s fretboard. It has a 13.75” radius with 22 frets outlined by dot inlays.
Like the PAC012, the PAC112J has an SSH pickup configuration. Yamaha Ceramic single-coils are at the neck and middle, with a Yamaha Ceramic humbucker at the bridge.
To make the most of these pickups, Yamaha has provided a 5-way switch and a master volume and tone knob.
This guitar also has a vintage-style tremolo system equipped for adding vibrato and dive bomb expressions.
Elsewhere on the guitar can be found die-cast sealed tuners, and a nut made of Urea.
You might wonder what the difference is between the PAC112J and the aforementioned PAC012. After all, they are almost identical in nearly every regard.
The biggest difference lies in the fact that the PAC112J is crafted from Alder, with the PAC012 made from Agathis. You also have more color options to choose from with the PAC112J.
Item Weight: 11.25 pounds
Package Dimensions: 43 x 18 x 4.5
Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitars
A1M – Best Overall
This guitar has a dreadnought body design with a single-cutaway. You have a couple of options when it comes to how you wish this guitar to be built.
One option is to have Mahogany back and sides or you can opt for Rosewood instead at a higher price.
Either way, the A1M will feature a top made of solid Sitka Spruce for an exquisite resonant profile. The body is constructed using scalloped bracing architecture for enhanced projection and sustain.
You even have a couple of color options with the A1M, including:
- Vintage natural
- Tobacco brown sunburst
The A1M’s neck is crafted from 3 pieces of Mahogany and has a 25.5” scale length. Rosewood is used for the fretboard, which has a 15.75” radius and 20 frets outlined by white dot inlays.
Matching the fretboard, the A1M’s bridge is also crafted from Rosewood. A Urea saddle is affixed to this bridge, with Urea also used for the A1M’s nut.
This acoustic guitar also comes equipped with an under-saddle pickup and an SRT system preamp. The preamp itself has controls for EQ and volume and also has a built-in tuner included.
Die-cast chrome tuners are also installed on the A1M for a distinguished look and superior tuning experience.
The A1M is quite a beautiful guitar aesthetically. It features Mahogany binding around the edges of the guitar as well as a decorative soundhole rosette.
What’s So Great About The A1M?
The Yamaha A1M is the perfect solution for an intermediate player looking for a worthy acoustic candidate. This guitar has everything it needs to likely last you well into advanced stages of playing.
Firstly, it’s a welcomed sight to be able to choose the material for the back and sides of the guitar. Typically, you only have one choice, which is what the guitar comes with, and that’s it.
If you desire to have a bit different tonal character, the Rosewood and Mahogany choice really gives you options.
It is also an ideal guitar for a performer who regularly plays on stages and in front of audiences. The guitar is luxurious, but not so pricey that you have to worry about its cosmetic condition too much.
Tonally, the A1M has a very large sound, as you would expect from a dreadnought guitar. The pickup and preamp manage to preserve the A1M’s natural tone for amplification.
Having a cutaway design definitely lends itself to a very easy playing experience in the upper fret ranges. You’ll be able to pull off your acoustic solos without any sort of issue whatsoever.
Overall, the A1M is really just a solid acoustic guitar for any purpose you might need it for. Yamaha has managed to provide a very dependable guitar that you can rely on for years.
Item Weight: 6.8 pounds
Package Dimensions: 42.5 x 21.7 x 6.1 inches
Red Label FGX5 – Best Premium
Are you looking for an acoustic guitar that has a vintage feel and sound? The Yamaha Red Label FGX5 is the guitar you’re looking for, without a doubt.
Yamaha’s Red Label series aims at reproducing some of Yamaha’s best guitars from years past with modern enhancements. The FGX5, in particular, resembles one of the first acoustic models that Yamaha ever produced.
This guitar features a body comprised of a Sitka Spruce top, and solid Mahogany back and sides. Modified scalloped bracing architecture is used to construct the body pieces together and add a bellowing sound profile.
The FGX5’s neck is crafted from African Mahogany and has a scale length of 25”. Ebony is used for the FGX5’s fretboard, which has a 15.75” radius and 20 frets outlined by dot inlays.
To match the fretboard, the FGX5’s bridge is also crafted from Ebony. Affixed to this bridge is a saddle made from real bone (from which the nut is also made).
The FGX5 is also equipped with Yamaha’s Atmosfeel electronics. You’ll have 3 different methods for picking up signal here, including:
- An under-saddle piezo pickup
- An internal microphone
- A sheet sensor
You’ll be able to blend the inputs to your tastes and control the EQ and volume with the preamp.
For a premium tuning experience, the FGX5 has Gotoh open-gear tuners installed.
This guitar also comes equipped with a protective hardshell case. You’ll be able to gig with this guitar right out of the box, and travel knowing your guitar is safe.
What’s So Great About The Red Label FGX5?
Yamaha has pulled out all of the punches with the FGX5. You really will be getting the closest thing to a vintage instrument with this guitar.
All of the wood involved in the FGX5’s construction has undergone an aging process (called Acoustic Resonance Enhancement). This dries out the wood and age the wood as if it came from a guitar out of the 1960s.
And really, the FGX5 really does have that warm and balanced character that so many vintage acoustics possess.
Of course, with an acoustic-electric, vintage tone means nothing if it isn’t amplified correctly. Fortunately, Yamaha has equipped this guitar with not just 1, but 3 methods of signal capture.
The Atmosfeel preamp allows you to shape and control the mixture of signals into a sound that you desire. This is a massive step above the typical 1 pickup setup found on most acoustic guitars.
Sure, the FGX5 might be quite a steep cost for some budgets to handle. However, it is clear that Yamaha has not held back any reservations when crafting this guitar.
Whether you’re a regular performer or recording in studios, the FGX5 is going to be the guitar of choice.
Plus, you get a hardshell case with the guitar, which is always a nice and welcomed addition to any guitar. It definitely saves you any additional time and money from having to buy one yourself.
Item Weight: 15 pounds
Package Dimensions: 47 x 20 x 6 inches
APXT2 – Best Budget
This acoustic guitar has a single-cutaway design, with a thin body. Its bottom (the hips) is much wider than the shoulder area.
As such, this lends the APXT2 to having a very comfortable playing experience. The APXT2’s body consists of a Spruce top, with Meranti used for the back and sides.
You can choose to have the APXT2 in the color options of:
Meranti is also used in the construction of the APXT2’s neck. This neck has a shortened scale length of 22.81”, making it especially ideal for those with small hands.
The APXT2’s fretboard is made from Rosewood and has a 15.75” radius. There are 21 frets on this fretboard, which are outlined by dot inlays.
Providing consistency, the bridge is made of Rosewood to match the fretboard. Affixed to this is a plastic saddle.
The APXT2’s nut is also made from plastic. Covered tuners are also installed on the APXT2 for tuning stability and easy tuning.
This guitar is also equipped with an ART contact pickup and a System 68 preamp. You’ll have controls for EQ and volume within the preamp, plus it comes with a built-in tuner.
Aesthetically, the APXT2 might have an odd shape to some, but it is definitely an attractive guitar. A thin binding outlines the APXT2’s edges, with a 3-ring rosette outlining the soundhole.
Topping off the entire package, the APXT2 comes included with a gig bag. You’ll be able to head to your next gig right after taking the guitar out of the box.
What’s So Great About The APXT2?
The APXT2 is a perfect guitar for someone who frequently travels and needs a reliable guitar. Not only is it a smaller guitar, but you can depend upon it for performance purposes.
You’ll find that, while the shape is a bit odd, its small size is extremely accommodating and comfortable. There won’t be any discomfort from long periods of play with this guitar.
Furthermore, the APXT2 is a worthy guitar for anyone with smaller hands or those who enjoy short-scale guitars. This 3/4 size guitar might be small, but it does have everything you need for the stage.
In fact, the APXT2’s built-in electronics are perfect for those who actively gig. Plug in and play, and save some space in your car during your travels.
Not to mention, having an included gig bag essentially primes the APXT2 for the stage right from the get-go.
Why is this guitar so great? Because you get this entire package at a seriously low price.
It’s hard to find a better value when it comes to acoustic-electric guitars.
Item Weight: 5.29 pounds
Package Dimensions: 36.22 x 16.46 x 4.53 inches
AC5R ARE Concert Cutaway
The AC5R has a smaller body in terms of top width, which should fit more snugly against your body.
Like the aforementioned FGX5, the AC5R has undergone Yamaha’s ARE aging process. This is designed to create a guitar that has vintage characteristics, despite it being a new guitar.
The AC5R’s body is comprised of a solid Sitka Spruce top, with solid Rosewood used for the sides and back. Scalloped bracing architecture is used in the construction of the AC5R’s body to provide enhanced resonation and sustain.
African Mahogany is used to craft the AC5R’s neck, which has a 25.6” scale length. This neck has a straight taper contour, which gets thinner up the neck.
The AC5R’s fretboard is crafted from Ebony and has a 15.75” radius. There are 20 frets here, which are outlined by snowflake inlays.
Matching the fretboard, the AC5R’s bridge is also crafted from Ebony. Affixed to this is a saddle made from Tusq.
Tusq is the material also used in the AC5R’s nut. For increased tuning stability, the AC5R has Gotoh chrome open-gear tuners.
The AC5R is equipped with an SRT piezo pickup and a System 71 SRT2 preamp. You’ll be able to blend your signals, control the EQ and volume, and tune directly from the preamp.
Aesthetically, the AC5R is a beautifully pristine guitar. Mahogany binding outlines the AC5R’s body edges, with a decorative rosette around the soundhole.
Also included with the AC5R is a hardshell case.
The AC5R might be pricey, but it definitely plays and sounds like a high-end guitar.
Item Weight: 15 pounds
Package Dimensions: 47 x 20 x 6 inches
FSX800C Concert Cutaway
This guitar also has a concert shape, giving it a smaller body size. Plus, it has a cutaway for easier access to the higher frets.
The FSX800C’s body is comprised of a Spruce top with Nato used for the back and sides. Scalloped bracing architecture is used in the FSX800C’s body construction for deeper resonance.
You can get the FSX800C in the color options of:
- Ruby red
Black (or Cream if the color is ruby red) binding wraps around the guitar’s edges. A decorative rosette is also featured around the soundhole.
Nato is also used to construct the FSX800C’s neck, which has a scale length of 25”. Walnut is used for the fretboard, which has a 15.75” radius and 20 frets outlined by dot inlays.
Matching the fretboard, the FSX800C’s bridge is also made of Walnut. Both the saddle and nut are made from Urea.
Die-cast chrome tuners are installed on the FSX800C for a superior look and tuning experience.
You’ll be able to plug in and play without any issues, thanks to the System 66 pickup and preamp system. EQ controls, volume control, and a built-in tuner can be found within the preamp.
Item Weight: 6.49 pounds
Package Dimensions: 41.6 x 19.1 x 6 inches
Top Yamaha Guitars For The Money, Final Thoughts
As you can see, Yamaha has a wide range of guitars available for every budget and type of player. They manage to pack in an extreme amount of value per cost, no matter what the price of the instrument may be.
Yamaha’s reputation is built upon that, as players have found their instruments to be on par with any other manufacturer. Be sure to try these excellent guitars for yourself to see what the hype is all about.