NAMM 2020: Are Yamaha's new NX models the perfect classical guitars for electric players?

(Image credit: Yamaha Guitars)

NAMM 2020: Yamaha's NX  guitars have been go-to options for electro classical players in the acoustic market since the series' launch back in 2009. Consisting of NCX and NTX models, the latter have ways been about wooing electric players over to the nylon-string cause with sleeker neck and body design. So it's great to see the company paying the line attention this year with a number of additions for a range of budgets.

The NX series is defined by two lines; the NTX and NCX and there's three new models in each for 2020. 

The NTX models will be a surprise for players used to traditional classical guitars; they feature slimmer bodies and shallower and narrower profiles.

The NCXs have classical-style neck profiles and fingerboards and target more experienced classical guitarists who demand superior live capabilities. But both lines are packing some seriously impressive technology for the stage.

The new Yamaha NCX5 (top) and NTX5 models offer distinct approaches to neck design but both feature the innovative Atmosfeel electronics (Image credit: Yamaha Guitars)

The NTX3 (£929 / $1700), NCX3 (£939 / $1700), NTX5 (£1785 / £3020), NCX5 (£1785 / $3020) in the new line NX lineup include Yamaha's Atmosfeel preamp and pickup system. 

This combines the traditional approach of an undersaddle piezo pickup but with two additional sources; individual string sensors and a mic too. These sensors only capture the mid and low frequencies to help eliminate the brittle piezo 'quack' character all players dread.

Additional Atmosfeel controls include Mic Blend, Treble EQ, and Master Volume. 

Yamaha NTX1 models

Yamaha NTX1 models (Image credit: Yamaha Guitars)

The entry-level NTX1 (£422 / $740) and NCX1 (from £422 / $740 depending on wood top option) include the same piezo pickup but without the Atmosfeel sensors. Their preamps have a 3-band equalizers with additional adjustable mid frequencies.

The new NX models will begin shipping in the Spring. For more on the specs across the MX Series visit Yamaha Guitars

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar. I've currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with my own songs and I am enjoying playing covers in function bands.