Yamaha FG800 Review 2024 – Should You Consider Getting This Guitar?


Editor’s Note: Some beginner guitar players cannot decide whether to get an entry-level acoustic axe with a laminate top or pay a bit more for a solid wood top. In this review of the Yamaha FG800, you will learn that there really is no point choosing between an awesome guitar sound and a good price. You can always have both.

Editor's Pick
Sweetwater – Yamaha FG800 Dreadnought – Natural

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Design and Construction

Yamaha started producing its FG series of acoustic guitars in 1966. Now on its eighth generation of FGs, Yamaha introduced quite a few innovations on the FG800. First, it ditched the conventional bracing of the guitar body. In its stead is a new scalloped bracing that aims to do two things.

One is to safeguard the durability and integrity of the solid top board. Two is to bring out a more natural sound from the FG800. The scalloped bracing improves sound projection and bass frequencies. You will have a more enjoyable time playing the blues, jazz, and classical songs with this baby on your lap.

The FG800 is available in a dreadnought body shape. It features laminated nato back and sides. The bridge and fingerboard come with rosewood construction. The choice of rosewood for the fingerboard makes it easy to slide your hand and fingers across the fretboard. This can be invaluable when mastering the sliding technique of guitar playing.


The top board features a solid Sitka spruce. It is quite rare for a guitar in this price range to have a solid top board. Most of the budget guitars on the market come with wood laminate. The result is a warmer, fuller, and richer sound that is quite unusual for a guitar this affordable.

Its price suggests that Yamaha will have to use inexpensive materials. You get a plastic nut and saddle and a laminated body. These are minor issues if you focus more on the amazing sound that the FG800 can produce.

Playability and Performance

The only thing that beginner guitarists may find quite challenging about the FG800 is its action. It is a little higher than some of the acoustic guitars on the market. High action tends to require finger strength to push the strings straight down against the surface of the fretboard.

yamaha fg800 acoustic guitar full

It can cause fatigue and diminish your enthusiasm for playing the FG800. You will also need to bend the strings a lot more than usual because of the greater distance between the fretboard and the strings. The issue with overbending is that it can produce problems with intonation.

The good news is that a high action allows you to strike the strings a lot harder without having to worry about fret buzz. You can also strike the strings to cause back-and-forth vibrations (not up and down) without the annoying fret buzz. Such a technique can create a warmer and fuller sound.

The combination of a slick rosewood fingerboard and a narrow 1-11/16-inch nut makes the FG800 so delightful to play. Sliding your fretting hand will never be an issue. The glossy varnish on top of the satin finish makes the neck a fast one. The nut has just the right width to make it easy to execute even complicated chords. You will never have to stretch your fingers. This is perfect for young and women guitar players as well as those who may have short digits.

Overall, the playability and performance of the Yamaha FG800 are beyond what the price tag suggests.


The very first FG guitar, the FG180, offered a sound that is warm and loud. Eight generations later and the FG800 vastly improved on the sound quality of its predecessors. This generation of Yamaha acoustic guitars provides a stronger and louder sound, especially in the low- and mid- range. Yamaha acoustic engineers utilized a state-of-the-art acoustic analysis technology to give the FG800 its remarkable sound characteristics.

We cannot emphasize enough the impressive tone of the FG800. If this Yamaha acoustic guitar had a higher price tag, its tone quality would have been as expected. To get this kind of tone at a very affordable price is something that is very rare. The tone is both well rounded and warm. It is perfect for rough strumming or even for precision fingerpicking.

You can take the Yamaha FG800 to a local bar that showcases live and unplugged acoustic performances. You cannot do that with other inexpensive acoustic axes. The sound is never too booming nor too bright. It has a thick, consistent, and loud tone that requires no amplification or the addition of effects. This is a performer that any budding guitarist can depend on.


Editor's Pick
Sweetwater – Yamaha FG800 Dreadnought – Natural

We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you.

No guitar is perfect. However, if you consider the sound quality and playability of the FG800, you would think that it deserves a much higher price tag. This makes the FG800 such an exceptional buy. It offers unbeatable value that very few guitars in this price range can match.

Of course, it also has its own set of drawbacks. The cheap materials in some of its components are notable. However, one cannot deny the excellent performance of the Yamaha FG800 – something you rarely see in an entry-level acoustic guitar.

The Yamaha FG800 is a wonderful acoustic guitar that any beginner guitarist should definitely pick. It produces an excellent sound in a beginner-friendly playable design. Its construction is also good enough to last you several years until you have saved enough money to buy a C.F. Martin or some other premium quality acoustic guitars.

Other Guitars In Same Price Range

Body and Neck
Sound Quality
Value for Money
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Hi there, I’m Charles, chief editor here at The Guitar Junky. I'm a professional guitarist, and have over 10 years experience in playing guitar, piano, and other music instruments. When not working, I love playing with my two lovely kids. Read more about our team of music experts here.
yamaha-fg800-reviewThe <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-FG800-Solid-Acoustic-Guitar/dp/B01C92QHLC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01C92QHLC&pd_rd_r=9f4336a1-48b1-44b8-a503-eb08d06448f3&pd_rd_w=iib7x&pd_rd_wg=z7e1r&pf_rd_p=7b36d496-f366-4631-94d3-61b87b52511b&pf_rd_r=TPXTGKDC2WW9MM5EMHGV&psc=1&refRID=TPXTGKDC2WW9MM5EMHGV&linkCode=ll1&tag=theguitarjunky-20&linkId=3b2eba4dda5f14c4218825c8ff73a468&language=en_US" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener"><strong>Yamaha FG800</strong></a> is a solid wood top acoustic guitar with beginner guitarist-friendly playability, a beginner-friendly price tag, and a sound that can rival some pricier brands. It is the perfect choice for anyone who plans on getting serious with his guitar playing without necessarily burning a hole in their pocket.


  1. Could anyone please tell me are all the yamaha FG800 and FG820 has Bulging belly (Top won’t be flat) below the bridge area . I got my new FG820 and i could notice it has got bulging belly and when i checked with all the guitar at the store , all the FG series got belly …. please advice…

  2. I just got of fg800 brown burst from Kraft music received it on June 1st 2019 it has an arched back and arched top below the bridge to the strap pin and bass side to high side. There is no gap between the bridge and surface of the guitar, hopefully yours doesn’t have a gap either if it did then you could take it back. Most acoustic guitars are built this way. If you have a wood ruler or songbook hold it up to the back of the guitar and you’ll see how much of a Arch there is. I think Yamaha Builds an excellent guitar no matter what price point you buy it at good luck to you.

  3. This is excellent, as described. I mainly play classical and electro -classical and this is my acoustic guitar. I have a second one as well for nashville tuning.


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