Yamaha CG122MS nylon-string acoustic review

  • £219
Much more than just a classical guitar

MusicRadar Verdict

Here's a perfect nylon-string for beginners and an ideal inexpensive guitar to have kicking about at home for more experienced players.


  • +

    Quality spec, build and sound. Price. Matt finish.


  • -

    Slightly rough topped frets.

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Earlier this year Yamaha re-jigged its line of affordable CG 'classical' guitars, but you don't need a footstool and a Spanish repertoire to appreciate them.

The Chinese-made CG122MS kicks off the new range and with its understated classical style, solid, albeit wide-grained, Englemann spruce top, laminated nato back and sides and three piece-laminate nato neck with a tidily-fretted and bound rosewood fingerboard, it's a good place to start your classical guitar journey.

But it isn't just the specification and price - not for the first time, Yamaha's obsessive attention to detail creates an instrument that plays, feels and sounds like something more expensive.


With its full, classical-style 52mm (2.05-inch) nut width and 58mm spread at the bridge, married to a very comfortable neck profile, the CG122MS plays well straight out of the box and is only let down by slightly round-topped frets.

Sound-wise it has a nice clear, dry high end, robust mid-range and only slightly light bass. It's nicely in-tune (not least thanks to a compensated saddle) and we get position markers at the fifth and seventh frets. Great quality for the price, impressive sound and projection, and nicely in-tune with easy playability.

Dave Burrluck

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.