Yamaha FD01s Review: Introduction
Yamaha, established in 1887 in Japan, has grown to become the largest manufacturer of musical instruments including pianos, guitars, organs, drums, violins, cello and vibraphones. The brand has a reputation for making one of the finest guitars in the world. It has continued the trend of making affordable quality guitars with the FD 01s.
The Yamaha FD 01s is a solid spruce-top guitar suited perfectly for your front porch or a campfire. Made with a combination of Rosewood and Nato, I could see clearly why the Yamaha has a good build quality for its price. This guitar was launched for retail around 2006-07 and has been a very favoured starter guitar ever since.
Though this solid top acoustic model has been discontinued as per the Yamaha official website, it can be bought from online retailers like Amazon for less than $200. A Yamaha for this price sounds to me like an excellent deal – especially for a beginner. All in all, the guitar, on paper looks wonderful. But I’ll go deep and show you how this guitar is, in reality, a perfect choice for you.
Yamaha FD01s Review: In-depth Analysis
Playing guitar is always a great stress-buster and an awesome way to impress your friends and family. Yamaha FD 01s is a great guitar to start off with. Yamaha is a brand that has always been known for their product quality, and the reason can be seen from the FD 01s.
It weighs 6.2 pounds and feels like a well-made, expensive guitar, ready to be played and practiced on. It is a different instrument used by many, and I am sure you will love it too.
How Yamaha FD01s Looks
Featuring a light brown front with dark chocolate-brown sides and back, and a black pickguard, I fell in love with the guitar as soon as I laid eyes on it. The tuners are die-cast chrome and of decent quality. The tuner provided with the guitar kit will come in handy if you find the lowest two strings getting detuned after leaving the guitar untouched for some time.
The body feels solid, and there are very few areas where I could feel Yamaha trying to cut corners to lessen the price.
The FD 01s has a plainer headstock without the distinctive ‘Y’ logo. The back is also a clear Nato laminate whose polish gives it a feel of plain wood. The grain on the spruce top on this Yamaha measures around 11 grains/inch. Not to get too technical on this, grains are the patterns that appear on the guitar body because of the wood, and an 11-grain count is great and indicates that the tones of the guitar are going to be rich.
Overall, the guitar looks fantastic, and I could find myself going “Not bad” with a big grin. It looked expensive and coupled those Yamaha-branded steel strings; it is easily comparable to the expensive $1000 guitars used by professionals on stage.
Build quality of Yamaha FD01s
The guitar is made of high-quality wood, and there is no extra glue, splinters or loose screws to be found anywhere, though the finishing could have been a little better. Though the bridge pins feel like they were made of a low-grade plastic, they are cheap and easy to replace if a problem ever arises.
I found the Nato neck and the Rosewood fingerboard to be fast and smooth. It felt perfect for both strumming and fingerpicking. If you are a beginner, this fast neck will surely be a splendid reason for you to buy this guitar. The spruce top is also tight and firm, and this adds immense quality to the build of the guitar.
The only thing missing is a pickup (required if you want to play with an amplifier) and an electronic tuner, which can now be found on some guitars with similar prices. But all these are trivial flaws, and can always be added separately if required.
The advantages of owning this guitar are numerous. At this price point, it certainly holds its own with the competition and plays very well. With a great composition regarding wood, the guitar has vibrant tones, and I found myself not wanting to let go of it very soon.
Sound Quality of Yamaha FD01s0
This is perhaps the most important aspect of any guitar and the one which should affect the buyer’s decision the most, and the FD 01s does not disappoint.
The sound quality of the Yamaha FD 01s is excellent for all general purposes and has a richness to it which is always missing from cheaply-made guitars. I highly recommended it for beginners, and I am sure it will help them grow as a player.
The Low-E and B strings have a good treble, with the bass being heavy, though not too heavy. Some buyers may find the sound of the strings to be a tad bit too bright, but all these minor discrepancies can be easily fixed by adjusting the neck or strings (although not needed for a beginner), although I believe these problems won’t arise unless you adjust the neck harshly.
Overall, the guitar is perfect for all players, whether beginner or semi-pro.The only complaint that I’ve often seen pop-up here, and there is that the neck and string gap (the action of the guitar) requires adjustment now and then and that the bridge pins need to be replaced.
Other than these two very minor faults, the guitar is certainly great and worth a buy. The guitar is very well made and its tones will make sure that you don’t need to buy another more expensive acoustic for quite a few years. I have used guitars of many brands including Fender, Gb&a, Pluto, Ibanez, and I can say without a doubt that this Yamaha is better regarding sound than most of the acoustic guitars, even the more expensive ones.
My Personal Opinion – And My Rating Card For Yamaha FD01s
Go for it.
If this is to be your first guitar or a gift to a beginner music-enthusiast, this is a perfect choice for you. The Yamaha FD 01s will be one of my highest recommendations. The sound quality and the solid spruce top at this price point is a good deal, and will be a good starter guitar for all, whether it be practicing alone, jamming with other instruments or even playing at a live acoustic session.
Aside from a few faults – which are easily fixed – this Yamaha-branded acoustic guitar is balanced and good value for money.
Having previous experience with Yamaha instruments, I can say with credibility that you cannot go wrong with this one. There are very few deals which give a branded guitar with good sound and wood-craftsmanship like this one. I have also referred to many professional guitar-users and my peers who have a similar opinion and have been impressed by this acoustic guitar in the below-$200 categories.
The Yamaha FD 01s will last you years and prove to be a good backup even when you decide to buy a more expensive guitar for very advanced needs.
But even after this in-depth review, you as a buyer should try to get a hands-on experience yourself and get a feel of the instrument. No one can be a better judge of your needs than you. Trying out the guitar and comparing it with other guitars of a similar price will enable you to make an even better-informed choice.
Editor’s Rating Card
Yamaha FD01s Acoustic Guitar Editor's Review
- Body & Neck - 8.5/10 8.5/10
- Hardware - 8.5/10 8.5/10
- Sound Quality - 8.7/10 8.7/10
- Value - 9/10 9/10
Yamaha FD01s Review: Pros and Cons
For a short summary of my views, go through the following Pros and Cons list of this acoustic guitar’s ultimate review and decide what features you will be better off with:
What I like
- Great sound quality with an excellent treble.
- A fast Nato neck which will help in easy sliding and bending (which a beginner will surely have to learn if he wants to get better).
- A solid spruce top with a good grain measurement, which gurantees rich authentic acoustic tones with good action and capable strings.
- The Yamaha guitar universe, which will provide excellent options for a future guitar upgrade once you get the hang of a guitar and move to an adanced level.
And What I dislike
- The bridge pins may have to be replaced very soon. Also, frequent adjusting of the neck may be required to control the action sometimes.
- A Nato laminate at the sides and at the back reduces the bass by a small amount. Some people may also find the laminate to be a bit too shiny.
- There are no electronics attached. The absence of an electronic tuner and a pickup will disappoint users who want to play on-stage and keep changing the tuning of the guitar.
Yamaha FD01s Review Conclusion
The Yamaha FD 01s is a solid spruce top acoustic guitar with a price less than $200. It features a Rosewood fingerboard and a Nato laminated neck, sides, and back. The guitar looks to be of a decent quality and promises to last long.
The build and sound quality of the guitar are much better than most others for this price. Though it has some drawbacks like low-grade bridge pins, fluctuating action of the neck (though it isn’t a serious change), neither a pickup nor an electronic pickup built-in and no heavy bass.
The drawbacks are very few and easily fixed – if at all a fix is required. The problem of the slightly changing action is present in most guitars, and can be solved once you get the hang of your guitar. The sound quality is what matters, and the Yamaha guitar delivers excellent results with a touch of refined treble.
The Yamaha FD 01s acoustic guitar is an excellent value for money and is a fine choice for a beginner or an experienced player looking for a backup guitar.
The Yamaha FD01s is a perfect choice for beginners and even for more experienced players. It has excellent looks and a great body, which only adds to the already excellent sound of the guitar. It should certainly be among your top considerations for a guitar, and I believe it will be a good buy.