Yamaha FG830 review

Classic spruce/rosewood dread on a budget

  • £360
  • €379

MusicRadar Verdict

With a suggested selling price of £322 in store it's dangerously close to being a real game-changer.


  • +

    A sound that comes in way above its price point.


  • -

    No case or gigbag.

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Jumping up very nearly 150 notes from the recently-reviewed 800M, the FG830's increased price tag is certainly reflected in its looks - it's a much more classy proposition with its thinly gloss-finished body, deep chocolate coloration of the rosewood laminate back and sides, and satin neck (though less 'open pore' in feel than the FG800M), all topped off with old- looking, cream-coloured edge binding.

There's a little abalone bling in the soundhole décor and headstock motifs, too. Like the FG800M it's near-perfect in execution - inside and out - and if asked the retail price, we'd undoubtedly suggest a substantially higher figure... and that's before we play a note.

Perceived thought says that solid rosewood back and sides, compared to mahogany, should create a little more definition sound-wise and although the laminate construction here will narrow the differences, we certainly hear some of that: there's more sparkle added over the roomy dreadnought character of the FG800M.

That smoother neck finish does tell your hand it's a more upmarket proposition even though the shaping is near-identical and again comparing the FG830 with a much more expensive USA solid wood spruce/rosewood dread (a new Taylor 410) we're hearing a guitar that on all levels, not least sound, punches way above its price.

Okay, we don't get a case or gigbag in the deal and the cutaway electro 'X' versions ramp up the price to £536 but as a pure acoustic dreadnought this is one you simply must try whether you're just starting out or are a lot more experienced.

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.