When I bought this guitar in 1970, I was 15, and I didn't have a big budget to spend. So I tried a lot
of instruments, as I wanted the best price/quality ratio. The Yamaha simply sounded best (for an affordable price, even in 1970). Experience has proven that it was also build to last.
The best models currently sell at up to $500 on eBay, and they're certainly well worth it.
Model Year: 1970
Price: $150.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Music store
This has been my first (and only) acoustic folk. I played on several other brands though, which allows me to compare.
It was made in Japan (Nippon Gakki): mahogany body, spruce cover, redwood fingerboard.
I replaced the original tuners with Schallers, but apart from that, everything is original.
The guitar plays very smoothly, even with medium gauge strings, with a rich upper mid-tone bite. The only problem is the action: anything above the fifth string is significantly harder to play than on other instruments.
This can be addressed by a competent repairman, although I got used to it and never had this fixed.
The sound is HUGE. I had a chance to compare it with $2000 Guilds or Martins, and they sounded pretty wimpy!
The sound is also very BIG. You don't want to flat pick with this guitar, because it's just too LOUD! This guitar was dreamed by finger-pickers, and made for them!
Although I never tried it myself, it seems like the FG-180 doesn't like to be mic'ed - you better pick up it's natural sound.
Duarbility?? After more than 30 years, this guitar still plays like a dream! There are few scratches in the body here and there, and I am considering changing the frets (for the first time!), but apart from that, it's still like new. I never brought it in for repair, the truss-rod did not move, and once in tune, this guitar remains in tune.