Yamaha FS800 Guitar Review – Our Expert and Unbiased Opinion

If you’re looking for a great starter guitar, the Yamaha FS800 is a great one to look at. After so many years of teaching guitar, this is actually one of the guitars I consistently recommend to my students. It has quality sound, won’t kill your wallet, and is built with the beginner in mind.

I know buying a guitar can be hard. And being new to playing, you don’t know where to even start looking. Furthermore, you don’t want to spend a whole bunch of money, not for your first guitar. I assure you, finding a guitar is not going to be as hard as you think.

In this article I’ll walk you through some of its features, and what they could mean for you if you decide to make this your first acoustic guitar.

Yamaha FS800 Acoustic Guitar

YAMAHA FS800 Small Body Solid Top Acoustic Guitar, Natural, Concert
  • Solid sitka spruce top
  • Nato back & sides
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Rosewood bridge
  • Diecast tuners
Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Folk Acoustic Guitar - Natural Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strings, Strap, Picks, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth
  • Solid Spruce Top
  • Nato/Okume Back and Sides for a rich, warm sound
  • Newly developed scalloped bracing for stronger sound!
  • Traditional Western Dreadnought Body
  • Traditional looks and outstanding quality

What is it?

This is the Yamaha FS800 Acoustic Guitar. It’s their standard acoustic model, combining traditional looks with great sound that won’t hurt your wallet. It has a small body style and thin fingerboard, making it easy to carry around and travel with.

It uses a new scalloped bracing design developed recently by Yamaha to help players produce a more natural sound. With such quality materials and design, you wouldn’t believe how little this guitar costs. It’s easily one of the best acoustic guitars under $300, but you’ll feel like you just got a thousand-dollar instrument.

Who made it?

Yamaha has been creating quality instruments since 1887, when the founder made his very first organ. Since then they’ve grown to be the top name in pianos, woodwinds, drums, guitars, and many more. Their number one priority is making excellent instruments that musicians love.

About 50 years ago, Yamaha first released the FS series with the idea that quality guitars don’t have to break the bank. The FS series focuses on making sure the guitar is playable and durable, especially for new players.

Small and Travel-Friendly

One of the biggest differences between the FS series of guitars and others that Yamaha makes is the small design. It’s very lightweight and portable and comes with a hard case to protect it during travel.

You can easily take your guitar learning with you on your road trip and it won’t take up that much space.

Made with Quality Materials

What sets the Yamaha FS800 apart from other cheap guitars is the quality materials Yamaha uses to make it.

Sitka Spruce Top

First, the top is made from Sitka Spruce, which is a type of spruce evergreen you can only find in Canada and Alaska. It’s light-colored and a bit harder than the average spruce, so not only does it deliver a rich mid and low range sound, but it’s extremely durable.

Nato Back and Sides

Nato wood, which is used for the back and sides of the guitar, is used as a cheaper replacement for mahogany. It’s sometimes called “Eastern Mahogany”, and it helps give the guitar great looks and tone, while not breaking the bank.

Using Nato wood is what helps keep the price point so low, but it doesn’t decrease the quality of the guitar by any means.

Rosewood Neck and Fingerboard

Lastly, the neck and fingerboard are made from rosewood. Rosewood, found in India, is a dark brown with gorgeous reddish hues. It’s very porous but extremely durable, making it a top choice for most necks and fingerboards.

Its natural oily texture makes it easy to hold and play, and it seems to adjust better than other woods when changing or tuning the strings. Additionally, rosewood delivers delightfully warm and spacious tones when played.

The Most Versatile Guitar

The familiar design combined with quality materials makes the FS800 a great choice for beginners. However, just because it’s a starter guitar, doesn’t mean that skillful players won’t also enjoy playing.

In fact, there are some guitarists that needed a replacement guitar after 15 years of playing and a very happy that they went with the FS800 instead of a much more expensive design.


Most cheap guitars are nothing more than cardboard boxes, and they sound like it, too. But the FS800, although easy on the budget, is built with sturdy materials that won’t fall apart in a few months.

What Can You Get from The Yamaha FS800 Guitar?

I get it, you’re still new to guitar lingo. We all started somewhere, so it’s okay. What does it mean when a guitar is made with sturdy wood, and designed for the beginner in mind? What does it mean that they used a new bracing design?

What all that boils down to is, if you decide to buy this guitar, you’ll be getting a real guitar, with real sound. Because it’s small and lightweight, it’ll be easy to learn how to play on. But the best part is that you’ll never really grow out of it. If you take good care of the guitar, you’ll still be playing it (and sounding amazing) in 10-15 years, or longer.

For very little more money you can get the Yamaha FS800 with a super cool bundle including gig bag, tuner, strings, straps, pick, instructional DVD’s and polish cloth.

What are Customers Saying?

Overall customers are saying that they love the feel sound of this acoustic guitar, and especially the price. The majority of the reviews were from people who are new to playing and are glad that they started this guitar.

One downside to the Yamaha FS800 is because of its small body, anyone with larger fingers or a larger frame is going to have a hard time playing on such a small and lightweight guitar, even if they are beginners. If that’s you, you may want to look for something that maybe has a thicker neck and a wider fretboard. This will increase the space between the strings, making it easier to play.

Another possible downside is that it’s acoustic only, so if you need something that can plug into an amp, this guitar won’t work for you.

Verdict – What to Do Now

I know you’re stressing over buying a guitar that you can learn easily on, which is why I reviewed the Yamaha FS800 Acoustic Guitar for you. It’s super cheap so it won’t kill your budget, but it’s also built with quality materials to create a deep, rich sound as you learn.

This guitar was also built smaller than some of Yamaha’s others to make it a great choice for beginners and those with smaller fingers. If that appeals to you, then I highly recommend you give this guitar a try.

Remember that it doesn’t have an electric hookup, so that’s something to consider if you ever want to take your gig on the road. But for such a low price, you can learn and improve on this guitar, and buy an acoustic-electric later.

Whatever you do, I hope this review helped you know more about the Yamaha FS800 Acoustic Guitar. If you decide to purchase it, I promise you won’t regret it.

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Yamaha FS800 Guitar Review - Our Expert and Unbiased Opinion