My wife correctly judged that an upgrade from the fair-to-middlin' dreadnought I had been playing for 10 years was overdue. She sent me to Mars Music for Christmas and I came home with this nice thin-body.
The on-board electronics aren't overly complicated. I was quickly able to cut back just right on the midrange and got a nice sound the first time I plugged in.
Overall, I'm pleased. There are just a couple of issues that arose in my first weeks playing this instrument.
- This guitar doesn't have a pick guard. While I admire the finish on this instrument, including the ornamentation around the sound hole, my playing is sometimes percussive enough that I worry about destroying the finish under the sound hole. I still haven't decided whether to have a transparent pick guard installed. I'm worried about disturbing the performance of the sound board.
- I have a minor problem with the strap button on the bottom of the heel of the neck. The heel, by design, isn't flush with the back of the body -- it comes to about an eighth of an inch short of the body's back side. So there isn't as much clearance on the strap button, which has me worrying that end of the strap might unexpectedly pop off while I'm playing.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $449.99 (new)
Where Obtained: Mars Music
Spruce top. Back, sides and neck are nato. Fingerboard and bridge are Indian Rosewood. Chrome hardware. Available in Natural (mine), black, violin sunburst, and translucent blue.
Has 22 frets and a cutaway body.
Mono, bridge-mounted piezo-electric pickup. Electronics include 3-band equalizer with a knob that lets you adjust the frequency that's affected by the middle slider on the equalizer. Mute button.
Built in Taiwan.
Decent action. The neck is easier to get around on than on the dreadnought I had been playing. Chords that had often vexed me were noticeably easier to play.
I'm almost always plugged in, so the thin body wasn't an issue for me (probably even a plus -- lighter, easier to hold, and less prone to feedback).
However, this guitar resonated better than I expected when unplugged. NO, it's not a dreadnought. But it's good to know that this guitar can work in a smaller room with no amplification.
I haven't been playing this long enough to provide much information in this area.
It is a slim and fairly light guitar.
Bought for ease of transport and stage reliability.
Main reason for choosing above other electro-acoustic was the clean sound and the suitability for amplification.
Model Year: 1995
Price: $375.00 pounds (new)
Where Obtained: Dawsons music
Lovely when thru a P.A.
No feedback problems ever.
Chrystal clear - high ringing tone.
Good enough without PA but when thru a good amp like Trace - superb.
Bit of digital stereo chorus completes the sound.
Hardly ever goes out of tune.
In nearly 10 years only had it "maintained" once, 4 years ago to correct slight buzz on 2nd string, 10th fret.
Superb build quality.
I chose this guitar mainly because it was on sale - it was $300 marked down from $450 I think. I was looking at a few Takamines and some other Yamaha's, but the shape and playablility of the APX series drew my attention. I was hesitant on buying the lowest one, but the sale quickly changed that. I suppose the guitar could be better if it had a pickguard, but it wouldn't change much. My favorite things about this guitar are the shape/feel, the cost, the finish, and the pickups. My least favorite is - nothing! IF you are considering a nice, cheap guitar that shines both live and at home, has a great feel and sweet action, I would strongly consider this or any other APX-series guitar.
Model Year: 2001
Price: $299.99 (new)
Where Obtained: Mars Music (Web Site)
I am not sure where this guitar is made, sorry. The body is mostly nato, the fretboard is rosewood. It has 22 frets I believe, and with the cutout you can easily reach them all. It is a 6 string with a sweet-preamp. It has low, mid, high, volume, mute, and an adjustable mirange frequency knob. locking battery compartment (9 volt included). It just has one pickup and no mic, but with the right amp the pickup is incredible. The finish on mine is a glossy transparent blue sunburst - it is UNBELIEVABLE. It is a transparent blue in the middle and fades to black. Excellent features FOR THE PRICE!
The factory action is great, as long as it plays I'm never too fussy about action. The neck is kind of thin, which makes it easier to move around on. The fretboard kind of feels like an electric - some people think this is bad but I think it is the right blend of acoustic feel with electric action. The playability is once again, excellent for the price range. The body style as great - it really seems to fit my body well.
Since it is my first electric acoustic, I don't have a good amp yet, just my 1x12 Peavey Studio Pro. It sounds like crap through it, but in the Fender acoustasonic at the store, it sounded GREAT. I'll play pretty much anything, and the preamp can match it quickly. It has a nice balanced sound unplugged that is not too bright or not too bassy. This guitar does lack volume, but that isn't really a negative - it still sounds great for a thinline. As others have said, complared to a $2000 Taylor it would be a 1, but compared to a $300-500 thinline cutaway, it definitely gets a 5. It seems like it prefers the stage, but can work well in a studio, too.
The tuning on this guitar is great, the tuners are nice and tight. It seems to be well built, I haven't owned it enough (only 3 hours) to fully comment. The lack of pickguard is an issue, but I've heard that it isn't too bad on the finish, and I figure that if the guitar couldn't take it they would've put a pickguard on.
When I bought this guitar, I was looking for an acoustic that could play lots of different styles, so I could fool around with everything. I also didn't have thousands of dollars to blow on some godly guitar. I love the scaled down proportions that make it extremely easy to play. Only thing I could wish is that the strings were a bit lighter/thinner, but other than that it's great. I'd really give it a 4.5, but it's not selectable.
Model Year: 1999
Price: $400.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Manny's Music Shop
Back / Sides: Nato
Fretboard: Indian Rosewood
Bridge: Indian Rosewood
Style: Single Cutaway
Finishes: Black, Natural, Violin Sunburst, Translucent Blue
Electronics: 3 Band EQ with AMF(adjustable mid-range frequency), volume, battery light, mute
It's got one piezo pickup which sounds pretty nice. It is sized well; it curves with your arm for a comfortable feel and it's nice and thin bodied. Frets aren't too big either.
I love this guitar. I can't compare it to much, but it's got a great sound and no flaws. The neck is thin so it's easy to get your fingers moving around. I'm a rock/alternative guitarist, and it plays great for that as well as any other style you could want.
It's got a nice full, crisp sound that fits most styles. If you want to play some serious electric and/or metal stuff, this guitar isn't for you. It sounds great for any acoustic song you could want to play, and plugged into an amp with a little distortion it's great for any rock, jazz or blues. It plays really loud acoustic sound, too.
This guitar has been great for the years i've had it. I haven't broken a single string within 7 months and i've never needed to get it adjusted. Controls and everything work great, and climate changes just mean you need to check if it's tuned alright.