Yamaha Acoustic Guitars: Music is the reflection of its creators

In the true spirt of founder Torakusu Yamaha, Yamaha’s leaders kept a sharp eye on the changing times. The Acoustic guitar was rapidly growing in popularity, gaining steam by the decade. If Yamaha’s leaders are to follow Torakusu Yamaha’s dream of giving the people a way to grow with music, making an affordable guitar of quality was the perfect choice. If ever there was an instrument of the people, the guitar is it. In the decades since the turn of the 20th century, the exceptionally portable guitar grew louder, and more refined. Along with the guitars expanded roles and uses, so to comes demand-more people are playing the guitar than ever before.

For more on the rich history of Yamaha brand, check out our Gear Guide, Yamaha Musical instruments: Bringing the power to create music within reach of everyone.

Dynamic Guitar No.20 1963 Natural (Courtesy of Akira's MIJ Guitar on Reverb)

Pre-export Yamaha Acoustic guitars 1946-1965

Yamaha began making guitars for domestic Japanese consumption in the 1940’s (nearly 20 years before worldwide interest in the guitar leaped from quickly growing, to explosive). Yamaha’s level of commitment to making high quality guitars is in sharp focus from the very beginning. Yamaha built an additional factory in Hamamatsu, dedicated to guitar construction in the late 40’s. The foresight applied to the up-and-coming instrument, gave Yamaha’s guitar division had an enormous advantage, over the wave of guitar builders to come.

1966 Yamaha Acoustic Guitars come to America

The 1960’s is the decade the Guitar catapulted from extremely popular, to the voice of generations. The Guitar had indeed become the instrument of the people, but Americas biggest names in Guitars didn’t get the memo. Martin, Guild, and Gibson made only professional grade acoustic guitars, with a professional’s price tag to match. Finding a quality guitar for an intermediate or beginning player at an affordable price, was like trying to find toilet paper in the early days of the pandemic. Fortunately, Yamaha was ready with 20 years of experience building quality guitars, designed for up-and-coming new wave of players.

Important Yamaha’s Acoustic guitars models of the 60’s

1966 Yamaha Classical model Guitars

The “GC” (Grand Concert) series nylon sting guitar line resembles the Spanish Classical, more so than the American style steel sting Flattop. Though the Classical style guitar was not as popular with modern style American guitar players, it was common to start playing on a Spanish style guitar, due to the Nylon strings soft touch. Yamaha’s first year of export Classical guitars include the budget GC-60 ($59.99), GC-80 (69.99) and GC-100 at 79.99. The GC-120 featured a Mahogany Body and Spruce top for 99.99 and the GC-150 featured a choice Rosewood body and Spruce top at 109.99.

1966 The Yamaha FG

The FG (Folk Guitar) line is just what the doctor ordered for the legions of fans that grew up listening to Folk, Blues, British invasion, Folk-Rock, and Country music.

Early Yamaha FG models like the now famous FG-150 and FG-180 guitars were affordable enough to attract anyone who wanted to begin playing the guitar. It’s clear that Yamaha’s entry/intermediate level offerings are not quickly throw together, slickly promoted junk. Yamaha is clearly ahead of the pack, taking full advantage of 20 years’ worth of guitar designing, and 80 years of music instrument building knowledge, skill, and innovation.

Both guitars feature Yamaha’s own original body shape. While familiar to western design favorites, the FG-150 Grand concert, and Jumbo style FG-180 are just a bit smaller in dimension than their western counterparts, making for an extremely comfortable experience for people of all sizes. Even a quick glance is enough to spark instant recognition. This is a bold move on Yamaha’s part- why risk change of any kind? In retrospect, it seems to be the right move on the part of Yamaha. Looking back on this period shows how Yamaha instantly set themselves apart from the pack, highlighting Yamaha’s unique personality, quality, and voice.

1967 GC “Classical” series makeover

Just a year after successfully exporting guitars to America, Yamaha put the finishing touches on the new GC professional series Nylon string models, built in collaboration with Master Luthier Edwardo Ferrer. This is Yamaha’s first collaboration with builders outside Yamahas regular staff, but Ferrer is no ordinary Guitar maker. Ferrer learned his craft only one generation removed from Torres himself-The Father of the modern Spanish Guitar. Yamaha and Ferrer worked together closely. Ferrer spent time at Nippon Gakki/Hamamatsu, and some of Yamahas lead builders spent time at Ferrer’s shop in Spain. The result of the collaboration yielded a more refined set of Classical and Flamenco Guitars, better suited for the devoted student of Spanish style guitar.

1966-1969 Additional Yamaha FG models

GC5, GC, GC7 Classicals, and GC5F, GC7F GC10F fire breathing Flamenco’s.

1966-1969 Additional Yamaha FG models

By the end of the 60’s Yamahas FG Line expanded with the introduction of the FG-110, FG-75, FG-140 Mahogany Jumbo, FG-300 Rosewood Jumbo and the FG-230-12 string.

Yamaha Acoustics impact on the 60’s

Yamaha guitars (especially the FG steel string models) sold as fast as they Yamaha supply them. It didn’t take long for Yamaha’s distinctive offerings to become a common and welcome fixture in the world of Guitar players. Yamaha attracted all kinds of guitar players: from first time buyers, Intermediate acoustic guitarists, and even pro-level guitar players. The slim tapered neck is comfortable and fast. Its tone sounds balanced and bright, but never shrill. The fact that these guitars are still in great playing condition today-well over 50 years later, is testament to their high quality of design and craftsmanship. The Yamaha Red label “Nippon Gakki” (Hamamatsu factory) FG models first introduced in the 60’s struck the magic combination of quality of sound, playability, originality, affordability, and durability. These budget model acoustic overshot the mark by miles in every way, clearing the path for growth.

In the late 60’s and even the early 70’s, “Made in Japan” generally conquered images of cheap tin Robots to the average American consumer. Yamaha escaped this unfortunate evaluation upon arrival. The Yamaha brand gained a reputation for quality, value, originality, innovation, accessible to everyone. These days, vintage “red label” models and are being snapped-up on used and Vintage instrument platforms by new generations of players, and also by collectors who got off to a great start-thanks to Yamaha.

Yamaha no.150 grand concert classical guitar Nippon Gakki Flamenco

Yamaha 1966 GC-150 no.150 grand concert classical guitar Nippon Gakki Flamenco (Courtesy of Worthpoint)

Yamaha 1966 FG-150 (Courtesy of Pinterest)

Yamaha 1966 FG-150 (Courtesy of Pinterest)

Country Joe (Courtesy of Jim Marshall

Country Joe (Courtesy of Jim Marshall

1972 FG-1500 (Courtesy of Vintage & Rare)

1972 FG-1500 (Courtesy of Vintage & Rare)

Hand-made L-52

Hand-made L-52

Yamaha’s Acoustic Guitars of the 1970’s: Advancing alongside the needs of the musician

By the early 70’s Yamaha acoustic guitars are already an institution in the USA. It’s no exaggeration that Yamaha’s acoustic guitars are never far from anyplace guitar players gather. One example is the famous Country Joe McDonald’s solo set (1,2,3 what are we fighting for? ) featured in the concert film of the 1969 Woodstock music festival. Not expecting to play, a surprised Country Joe had one small problem- he didn’t have his guitar, or band with him. With only minutes to prepare, Joe needed an acoustic guitar fast. The borrowed Yamaha FG-150 Joe used in the now world-famous performance was quickly located and fitted with a strap made from twine within minutes. Yamaha acoustics haven’t just arrived, they have become part of the musical landscape.

The success of Yamaha’s early FG models proved their capability of creating exceptional value guitars. The next step in Yamaha’s guitar export evolution will prove Yamaha can create Acoustic guitars enticing enough to attract and hold the attention of the worlds the most decerning players.

Defining 1970’s model Yamaha Acoustics

Yamaha FG-500 and 550: Short lived, but important models, representing Yamaha’s first Acoustic export model with a solid spruce top. Both the 500 (6 string Jumbo) and 550 (12 string Jumbo) are fantastic sounding guitars, with breathtaking Jacaranda (aka Brazilian Rosewood) veneer on the back and sides. Yamaha’s exceptionally light, unique style of rear shifted X bracing helped provide an exceptionally open tone. There is no reason Yamaha had to discontinue the 500 and 550, aside from the desire to provide an even more advanced and attractive addition to the FG family, soon to come-

(1971-74) Yamaha FG-1500, FG-2000 and FG-2500: If Yamaha built the 500 and 550 to highlight their ability to produce a world class Steel string guitar, the handmade FG1500 , FG2000 and FG2500 showed the world Yamaha stands tall next to any acoustic Guitar builder. Each Guitar features a solid Ezo Spruce top, (grown only in the high mountains of Japan, China, and Korea) and fantastically figured solid Brazilian Rosewood back and sides. These three masterwork guitar models drew quite a bit of attention. Country Joe and the FG-150 was a happy accident, but the fact that Bob Seger choose to make the FG-1500 his No. 1 acoustic guitar during the height of his fame, speaks volumes. Anyone old enough (and who also remembers the 70’s) can tell you that Seger was beyond ginormous, with accesses to anything he desired. James Taylor, John Lennon, Paul Simon and more all bought Yamaha guitars, after hearing Yamaha’s high-end creations in action. Though short lived, the FG1500, 2000 and 2500 guitars established Yamaha as a world class acoustic guitar manufacturer.

1974 Yamaha shifts gears….again. The “L-series” Steel string Guitar-“Were Art meets performance

Constant change is a constant part of what defines Yamaha. Feedback from players, innovative technology, experience gained, failures and successes all drive the road of innovation. Yamaha does just about everything but stand still- The FG 1500, 2000 and 2500 reached soaring heights in tonality, but lack the diversity and ornamentation of the beautifully appointed L (Luxury) series guitars. The L-51, 52, 53 & 54 (aka “The Four Divas”) are all show stopping feasts for the ears and eyes.

Each model featured elaborate, but unique shape, inlay, tonewoods, headstock shape and adornment. The most famous of the lot would likely be the L-53, commonly seen in the hands of John Denver at the panicle of his success. The “Country Boy” entertainer was so enamored with his L-53, he ordered a second for a backup. Some say Denver jealously protected his Hamamatsu masterwork to a fault- both from his “Rocky Mountain” high neighbor, Dr. Hunter S. Thomson, and Kermit the Frog, who is featured with Denver on the 1979 Emmy wining Holiday favorite “John Denver and the Muppets Christmas together” special, watched by over 40 million viewers.

An entire line of L series guitars became available by 1975, starting with the L-31.

GC/30 A/B &C Handmade Classical guitars

The same year, Yamaha introduced the new Classical line. Experience, gained skills, additional know how and collaboration with Spanish Master builder Manuel Hernandez (two generations of apprenticeship away from master Torres). The Yamaha GC/30 A/B and C Nylon string guitars of this era, led to the designs used for high end, intermediate and entry level Yamaha Classical Guitars made today (with a few stops along the way).

1978 Yamaha CJ-7, CJ-10 and CJ-15B

The boys in Hamamatsu don’t rest much. The Voluminous CJ “Country Jumbo” has a familiar and attractive “super jumbo” style body, in a slightly smaller, more manageable style. Like the later FG, L, and Classical models, a few handmade custom shop models preceded the more affordable versions of the CJ.

The L-52 that inspired the CJ-52, and CJ body style. Today this guitar is on display at Yamaha’s city of music museum in Hamamatsu, Japan, where it all began.

Yamaha's Impact and accomplishments of the 70’s

Yamaha Acoustic guitars arrived in the USA in small batches during the mid to late 60’s. In fact, many sources site 1969, 1968, 1967 or 1966 as the first import year. The truth is….it’s not all that important, if it was the FG-150, FG-60 or GC-60 Classical that opened the gates to America, or if it was in 1966 or 1967. Although Yamaha has a long and fertile history helping people make music, Yamaha’s name was virtually unknown to American guitarists upon arrival. By the end of the 70’s It would be hard to find a Guitarist that hasn’t played, owned, or admired a Yamaha guitar. Surviving the fierce competition created by booming demand for guitars was not easy. Only the cream of the crop survived the 70’s intact. Yamaha’s quality, and relevance and is no illusion, created by a remarkably crafty Artist/Relations team, or glittering Star power- It came from teamwork, sweat equity, craftsmanship, traditional and leading-edge designs that reflect Yamaha’s connection to the needs of players, in real time.

Although we are only exploring Yamaha’s Acoustic guitar contributions here, Yamaha also delivered the goods with an explosively popular Electric Guitar, and Bass guitar division. Furthermore, Yamaha’s is still a highly respected Acoustic Piano maker. Electric Organs and Pianos, Synths, Brass, Winds, and a near endless list of musical instrument categories have joined Yamaha’s growing contributions to the musician’s world- and Yamaha is just getting started.

Yamaha’s well-loved FG models swelled to over 100 individual models (including the ahead of its time FG-350E Acoustic./Electric) before remodeling the line in 1981. Yamaha’s L-series and custom order guitars like the CJ-52 define Yamaha’s top of the line offerings. Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon all favored models from this category, though the everyday player drives Yamaha’s popularity, more than the Super-Star. Yamaha’s GC Classical models are extremely popular with students, and ardent seasoned performers.

The FG, L and CJ models all continued to evolve and expand, and each category is still available today. Yamaha not only survived the brutal 70’s but shined-standing ready for the dawn of another new era for the guitarist.

Yamaha Acoustics of the 1980’s: The Acoustic/Electric decade

Today, Yamaha’s Acoustic guitar division touts the statement “Your music doesn’t stand still, why should we.” The simple statement was especially true in the 80’s. Keeping up with the changing needs of the Guitarist, requires developing innovative technology constantly. On the other hand, satisfying the tastes of the notoriously Traditional-minded guitar players is equally essential. It’s a tight rope to walk if Yamaha wants to stay relevant, and desirable- Yamaha makes no bones about pushing guitar tech, and innovative ideas forward. Changing only what’s essential, and beneficial is part of the Yamaha way. Yamaha 1980’s A/E models clearly illustrate the level of commitment, that backs up their words.

Up until the late 70’s, mixing an acoustic guitar on the same stage as a loud electric guitar didn’t usually yield useable results. The problem that comes along with amplifying an instrument constructed for resonance and vibrations that generates acoustic power, makes electrifying it a master challenge.

Yamaha had avoided using the industry (sub)standard magnetic pickup system on earlier Acoustic/ Electric Guitars, opting for an internal mic instead. On the 1981 L-10E, Yamaha used a unique design “under-saddle” transducer style pickup system, like the pickups that helped put Ovation and Takamine on the map. Transducer tech provided game changing fidelity, although unwanted feedback was still hard to avoid, especially in high volume applications-Naturally, Yamaha had a plain.

1983 Yamaha CWE series

Yamaha’s teamwork is among its greatest assets. Design specialists, Craftsman, and a close-knit bond with the guitar playing public, has kept the brand fresh and vital. Nowhere is this more evident than the development of Yamaha’s Acoustic/Electric models conceived in the 80’s. Yamaha’s CWE (Country/Western Electric) will serve as the template for Yamaha’s CPX and APX Acoustic Electric guitars today, some 40 years later. The CWE Body has a much slimmer depth than most non-electrified acoustic guitars, built only for acoustic projection. The CWE also utilizes a medium sized jumbo-shaped body, that is comfortable to perform long sets on. An oval sound hole adds strength, and reduces feedback generating vibrations, along with the CWE’s smaller, comfortable dimensions. The neck is slim and fast. An improved neck angle makes playing easy, all the way up into the cutaway. Ease of play is a crucial factor when playing in front of a live audience, where you don’t want to make any mistakes.

1987 APX models

Yamaha’s CEW/APX models are often a source of confusion with buyers looking for vintage or used Yamaha guitars. The new for 1987 APX series are simply a refined, updated CEW. The changes are not drastic, or easily recognizable at first glance.

The Yamaha APX-50 pictured here has an even slimmer, smaller size body- further reducing unwanted feedback, and adding comfort. The APX features an entirely new pre-amp, and Hexatonic pickup system, that allows each string to be “picked up” individually, making mono and a two styles of stereo amplification possible. Yamaha’s APX models enjoyed by just about everybody that played or attended a concert -from the late 80’s and well into the 90’s. To say the Yamaha A/E design was a hit, falls far short of the true impact of this brilliant design. A sometimes-overlooked feature of Yamaha’s CPX/APX series, is the curb appeal. This is now the 80’s. Mocha, Beige, Walnut, and other Earth tone colors were more popular in the bleak, drab leisure suit era 1970’s. These built for the stage Acoustic/Electric models came in an array of bold, bright color options that represent the optimism of the 80’s. Many higher end models feature Abalone purfling, and/or elaborate rosettes and fancy inlay choices. Like they say, the Yamaha CWE/APX looks fast, standing still.

The GC70/60 and 50

Handmade in Hamamatsu, Japan by Yamahas master builders, with cooperation with Span’s master builders Manuel Hernandez, and Herman Hauser. These three masterworks serve as template for Yamaha’s entire CC classical line up to today, including the GC71 “Segovia” (pictured) to the modest CGS102 ½ size starter guitar.

The "L" Series

1985: Yamaha also made-over its Luxurious “L” series of gorgeous looking and sounding guitars. Models introduced during the 80’a include the LL (Yamaha jumbo), LA (Luxury Artist), standard L (concert size) and LS (Small body) series.

In 1987 Yamaha unveiled the LL-00, crafted in celebration of Yamaha’s 100’th anniversary- In order to enjoy 100 successful years, Yamaha needed to be capable of navigating the twists and turns the fastest paced Century humankind has ever known. The late 90’s not only represent 100 years of Yamaha, but 30 years of Yamaha guitars success in America- The world’s largest consumer of guitars, and most competitive guitar market in the word.

CWE 58 a.k.a. the Country/Western Acoustic

1983 CWE 58 a.k.a. the Country/Western Acoustic


Late 80's APX 50

Yamaha Acoustic Guitars in the 90's

The "APX" Series

1994: Yamaha introduces APX-T1 travel size version of the popular APX acoustic/electric guitars that’s dominated the stages of the late 80’s and 90’s.

The "CPX" Series

1998: Yamaha introduces the CPX “Compass” series. The CPX shares the shallow feedback busting depth of the AXP models, with a larger, rounded jumbo sized body that delivers more unamplified acoustic power. The CPX also features a traditional round sound hole, with a stunning and tasteful “magnetic compass” inspired Rosette-Perhaps representing the CPX’s ability to take you anyplace in the musical world.

Yamaha Acoustic Guitars in the new Millennium: “Sharing Passion & Performance”

Yamaha grew from a one man and helper operation, into massive company with over 10,000 employees. Home base remains in Hamamatsu, Japan, but Yamaha has grown into a Global entity, operating 34 locations around the world. Even in the worlds most isolated outposts, if there is even ONE guitar player present, you’ve got even odds of finding a Yamaha.

Yamaha has changed only in size. Torakusu Yamaha’s vision of bringing music to the people hasn’t changed at all. The proof is in the instruments, the faithful Yamaha Acoustic guitarists, and the words of Yamaha’s leaders: "I engage in activities for the global stage and want to bring the richness of music to people around the world." - Andre Kentaro Agese (Latin America).

High quality, high value, instruments that are practical, timely (inspiring) and accessible, is what really defines Yamaha. While that sounds simple enough, it’s not that easy to put in practice-especially with the consistency Yamaha maintained for the past 55 years.

Yamaha’s most important Acoustic Guitar models and innovations of new Millennium

2001: The Yamaha SLG100N -The Silent guitar arrived with the new Millennium. When used in a live setting the silent guitar removes all worry of runaway feedback driven by vibrations. It’s state of the art electronics create a full, warm acoustic guitars tone, despite the lack of a traditional sound board. Treble, Bass, and Volume and amazingly for the time-built in digital reverb on board. A line-in allows the player to perform along with prerecorded music though a full range amplifier or PA System on the concert stage, or silently at home, with headphones. Though the SLG is a completely radical new kind of guitar, it maintains the ergonomics, and silhouette of a Traditional acoustic guitar. Additionally, the SLG breaks down for easy to manage travel. The Silent guitar is a perfect example of Yamaha being Yamaha- Standing at the crossroads where Technology and Tradition intersect.

Yamaha’s ongoing enhancements

2006: A.R.T. (Acoustic Resonance Technology) The next step in producing a truly natural sounding acoustic/electric guitar means stepping outside the box-or is that stepping inside the box? Either way, driving innovation is a hallmark of Yamaha. The under-saddle, Hexatonic pickup transducer that made the APX and CPX so popular is due for an upgrade.

In effort to amplify more of each individual Acoustic Guitars unique character, Yamaha developed a transducer that works more like a mic, than an under- saddle transducer. The ART pickup system features a pair a crystal style transducer pickups that contact directly under the soundboard, inside the body of the guitar (one on the treble, and one on the bass side). Unlike the under saddle-pick up that transmits the sound of the string, the “contact” transducer transmits the sound of the air moving inside body, allowing more of the guitars unique tone and character to shine through. The player can blend the under-saddle and inner body contact pickups, to taste. A giant leap forward in amplified acoustic guitar tone.

2008: A.R.E. (Acoustic Resonance Enhancements) Like leather boots, Alnico Blue Speakers, or a baseball glove, somethings are best after the break-in period. A well-built acoustic guitar will mature with age, if properly cared for. As the wood divests its remaining moisture, and the soundboard has been vibrating for years, the guitar will begin to open up, and reveal its complete character and potential. That’s what Yamahas A.R.E wood treatment is all about. How do we deliver a guitar that already is already well on its way to maturity? Until A.R.E, the only sure-fire way is to wait about 20 years.

Yamaha isolated several factors to accelerate tone wood maturity. What sounds like science fiction can analyzed and recorded electronically, but your ears will supply all the proof you need. The technique requires special kiln drying, and other factors, but absolutely no chemical agents are employed in the A.R.E ageing process. In addition to the torrefied soundboard, A.R.E technology guitars employ a new, thinner bracing system, that helps with ageing and opening the tone. A re-designed neck joint improves playability on every Yamaha acoustic equipped with A.R.E technology.


APX-T1 (Courtesy of Carousell)


SLG100N (Courtesy of Carousell)


Acoustic Resonance Enhancements

2011 A Series

2011 A Series

2014 L Series

2014 L Series

2011 "A" Series: The high-quality working players line of guitars

As If Yamaha’s acoustic line didn’t already have something to satisfy every taste and budget from the worthy but humble F series to the Majestically boastful L series. The “A series” represents Yamaha’s wide range of experience, gained knowledge and skill to offer a road worthy companion for any player of any level, who boldly takes a spot on the bandstand.

The A5/A3/A1 models

A5 models: All solid wood, Scalloped braces, on A.R.E aged Spruce soundboards, for a big, wide-open tone, and SRT2 electronics package for superb sounding and easy to manage amplification. Available in traditional western D style body, or smaller concert size (each with cutaway for easy upper fret access), and a sleek, fast neck profile. Choose Rosewood back and sides or Mahogany. Made in Hamamatsu, Japan, where it all started.

A models: All solid wood, Scalloped braces, on A.R.E aged Spruce soundboards, for a big, wide-open tone, and SRT2 electronics package for superb sounding and easy to manage amplification. Available in traditional western D style body, or smaller concert size (each with cutaway for easy upper fret access), and a sleek, fast neck profile. Choose Rosewood back and sides or Mahogany. Made with great skill and craftmanship in Taiwan.

A1 models: The most affordable A series “working musicians” choice. The A1 features a solid spruce top, and choice of Rosewood or Mahogany body (Western D style or Concert sized, with cutaway) and SR1 Electronics.

2014: New L series makeover

The new for 2014 L series feature the same flashily, but classy visual appointments, L, LL, and LS sizes, with a new, more comfortable rolled-in edge neck carve. A re-designed asymmetrical X style bracing system delivers a more potent low-end response, while retaining Yamaha’s signature sparkling highs. Yamaha’s A.R.E tone wood ageing prosses is a common feature to all L series acoustics, and the zero-impact high fidelity pickup system is common to all electrified L series models. Despite all the tonal, and visual character, applied to the L-series, Yamaha maintains commitment to value, as much as it’s commitment to inspire.

2016 "FG" Series makeover, FG/180 50th

The Yamaha FG series is without question the design that started the worlds attraction to Yamaha acoustic guitars. The price tag got the attention of fresh players, but the quality is what made players of all kinds continue to choose Yamaha. 50 years after the first FG’s hit dealer shelves, and stages as big as the one built on Max Yasgur’s farm in Woodstock NY, the Red Label FG-180, got a makeover to celebrate 50 years of success.

The 50th anniversary of the to classic “Red-Label” design benefits from Yamaha’s 50 years of R&D, skill, and experience. Yamaha recreated the appearance of an Old-School Red Label, right down to the semi-gloss finish, unique body shape, and V-notched headstock with truss rod cover, but the new FG-180 is a lot more guitar. The new “Red-Label” FG-180 features an all-solid tone-woods upgrade: A solid Sitka Spruce top, with scalloped bracing sits atop solid mahogany back and sides. If that’s not enough, The reintroduced Red Label models feature a bone saddle and nut. The Old Red Label FG never sounded better.

2016 Atmosfeel 3-Way Pickup and Preamp System

The revisited FG has been reintroduced at a time when Acoustic/Electric guitars outnumber acoustic guitars with no electronics package. Under the hood of the classic Red Label FG is the new Atmosfeel multi-pickup and preamp system. The “Atmosfeel” pickup is actually three pickups in one: A traditional internal mic, under-saddle transducer, and directly connected soundboard transducer. A remarkably simple control layout lets you blend the tones to complement strumming, or finger style techniques while staying focused on the music, not the dials.

2019 TransAcoustic system

Obviously, the acoustic guitarist draws inspiration from within, and without. The sound and feel of a guitar often manifest itself by inspiring the player. Inspiration also comes from the environment that surrounds us. As silly as it sounds, people love the natural Reverb that occurs when “singing in the shower”-Naturally occurring effects, are natural favorites.

Before TransAcoustic technology, the only way to experience the Reverb created in a large room, or chorus effect that occurs when many voices join together as one, was in the natural world, or electronically duplicated with studio gear or an amplifier. The TransAcoustic system, discreetly tucked away inside your guitar does it all, without the need of environment, or studio electronics. Controlled by three small dials that allow you to experience Hall style reverb, out by a campfire, or chorus on the park bench.

While the TransAcoustic won’t radically change the world of the acoustic guitarist, it’s another contribution and part of Yamaha’s well-kept promise to inspire the music makers and music lovers of the world.

Yamaha Acoustic guitar of today

Yamaha acoustics of today? A question seldom heard at Yamaha, who have proven they are more concerned with the guitar of tomorrow, and the large wake created by their own legacy. Imagine what the world would be missing if Yamaha didn’t continue to innovate, adapt, and inspire? Perhaps something like this?

The FG180? Perfect! That’s a wrap. No need to change a thing, ever again. What’s good in 1966 will still make sense in 2022-maybe even 3022, right?

40-year Yamaha employee and head of Yamaha’s USA acoustic division Ken Dapron would definitely disagree. Mr. Dapron probably summed it up best: “Working for Yamaha means constantly anticipating the needs of the future, accompanied by the spirit of the past.

Yamaha continues to innovate, inspire, and make waves, and never stands still. The FG series that started it off has expanded into the newRed Label” Folk Guitar, FG, FGX, and FX models. The “Four Divas” that kick started the luxurious L series, have evolved into the L, LL, and LS models. Starter packages like the Gig Maker, FG JR, Storia, and new Keith Urban guitar and lessons package keep new generations inspired and connected to music. In fact, all of Yamaha’s best loved acoustic guitar designs continue to evolve with the times, while retaining the individuality that made them favorites. It’s no mistake that Yamaha supplies roughly half of the world’s musical instruments today. All of Yamaha’s acoustic guitar creations inspire-from the introductory models, designed to get you started with ease, up to models fine enough to be the crown jewels of your collection. Yamaha’s complete line of acoustic guitars are proudly offered by Altomusic right here: Acoustic Guitars (altomusic.com).

FG-180 Red Label

FG-180 Red Label

Atmosfeel controls

Atmosfeel controls

Transacoustic line-up

Transacoustic line-up

Transacoustic controls

Transacoustic controls

For more on Yamaha’s amazing history...

Yamaha’s home in Hamamatsu Japan, is a place where the centuries collide. Visitors can tour Yamaha’s “innovation road”-A place to discover all of Yamaha’s advancements in design, as well as new building techniques developed over the past 130 years. Alongside innovation road is the Yamaha museum of musical instruments. All of Yamaha’s history unfolds with displays of every musical instrument that bears the Yamaha name, and tuning forks logo. Also on display is 300 years’ worth of musical instruments built enjoyed and by people from all over the world- just like Hamamatsu Yamaha’s dream of a “City of Music”-Because music unites all people, and always has.