Yamaha is doing more than most right now to get its acoustics into the hands of a wider range of players.
From its Transacoustic models with onboard reverb and chorus, the compact travel-friendly CSFs and the recent FGs that mix vintage and cutting edge preamps, we’ve been really impressed by the company’s diversity – and that includes price.
The new Storia series was a surprise announcement and seems to be aiming for the heart of the casual house player with stylish look and a wallet-friendly price point. Except we found more than we bargained for.
There are three numbered models with different finishes in the Storia line. Same price point for all but we took to this II more readily. It’s got the highest potential appeal with the natural mahogany finish along with a calling card of the Storia - the coloured interior of the inside back that adds a unique contemporary touch. In this case it’s a dark blue. The brass bridge pins are another surprising touch and we like the understated circle inlays.
But it’s when you get touchy feely with this guitar that it really sells itself. The bevelled body edges matter far more than you might think when it comes to a first impression; couple these with the low action and it makes this guitar feel welcoming and familiar.
It reminds us a little of our first play on Taylor’s Academy model; a guitar designed to make life easier for beginners. The Yamaha FS concert size here is a little closer to 000 than dreadnought dimensions, furthering comfort for smaller players.
So far so good but how does this Storia play? Really, really well actually. It’s like the unfussy semi-gloss finish, that actually feels more towards satin, allows this guitar to sing.
There’s some of that sparkle and resonance in the higher end that we always hope for but rarely get under a grand. A little Martin-esque magic even. It has the hallmarks of a mahogany guitar; notes in the mids ring strong and clear with a pick but a low action encourages fingerstyle too. And the dynamic response to the gentler touch gives it the edge that makes this guitar hard to put down.
The low-end is no slouch - it has depth while allowing that lovely high-end to shine bright. This guitar can project. It’s got a piezo too - passive so no onboard controls but some compression and EQ will see you right for open mics.
As a beginner’s guitar, this is a must-try because it plays as good as it looks. But really we think the Storia II is for anyone who fancies an affordable acoustic in their lives that performs well above its asking price.