Yamaha FG800 VS FG830 – Which Is The Better Guitar?

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While they may not be the most popular name that comes to mind when you think of acoustic guitars, Yamaha acoustic guitars can be some of the best on the market. And no two guitars exhibit that more than the Yamaha FG800 and FG830.

Both of these guitars are in a relatively affordable range, which makes them great for beginners and experienced players alike. They each offer clear and unique tones, and while they may have similar appearances, each of these models have unique features that set them apart.

So if you’ve been wanting to know which one of these models is the best for you, keep reading as in this article, we compare the Yamaha FG800 vs FG830.

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Yamaha FG800 VS FG830 – The Similarities

  1. Size & Scale

One of the first things you’ll notice about these two models is that they are offered in the same size. Both guitars are available in grand concert and dreadnought size.

This is about standard for acoustic guitars and gives you variation when it comes to tones. Grand concert guitars are recommended for beginners since they are thinner, shorter, and reaching the frets will be much easier. Dreadnought ones, on the other hand, are more recommended for experienced players because of their size. But since they are large, they have a better low-end response and a large and deep tone ideal for fingerpicking and strumming.

Both of these instruments have a 25.6’’ scale length, which makes them full-sized. These are guitars more designed for adults as they may be too large for most kids.

  1. Design

Since both of these instruments share sizes, it should come as no surprise that they have similar designs. While the F830 is available in more colors, if you compare an F800 model with an F830 0ne of the same color, you would barely be able to tell the difference.

They both share classic acoustic guitar designs. They have the same bridge, nut, saddle, and rosette designs. Both guitars also have a pickguard to protect the top tonewood from damage.

That being said the F830 has a slightly different headstock, but that’s a difference that will only be noticed if you take a very close look at the instruments.

  1. Electro-Acoustic Options

Another thing shared by both these guitars is the electro-acoustic options available. While the best way to get a pure acoustic tone is to keep all electronics out, that isn’t the most practical option sometimes.

As guitarists or students learning the instrument, most of the time, your performances will require you to plug into a sound system, and having a piezo pickup attached to your acoustic guitar is a simple and convenient way of getting a great amplified tone from an acoustic guitar. 

As one would expect, this variation of the instruments would cost a bit more, but if you see yourself performing with your instrument, then the investment will be more than worth it.

  1. Fingerboard & Topwood

One more thing shared by these two models is a rosewood fingerboard. This is a standard material in this price range as it is affordable. But just because it isn’t expensive, doesn’t mean it’s not a great choice for the neck.

The rosewood fingerboard gives off a very dark and classy finish. This contrasts the spruce top wood shared by both models very well. Having a Sitka spruce top gives the instruments a very bright sound. This is a great tone choice for beginners as you can hear the notes very clearly and it sounds very good when strummed.

Both of these guitars share a lot of features that contribute to their very great tone, but now it’s time to look at their subtle differences.

Yamaha FG800 VS FG830 – The Differences

  1. Tonewood

While both of these instruments share the same Sitka spruce top, the wood used in the bodies is very different.

The FG800 uses nato wood for the neck, back, and sides of the guitar. This is a fairly affordable material, which is why Yamaha was able to keep the price of this guitar down while still maintaining quality. With this combination of spruce and nato, you get a very bright sounding guitar with decent sounding mid-range frequencies.

On the other hand, the FG830    uses Rosewood on the sides, back, and bridge. This is a more premium material than nato, which is why the FG830 has a more balanced tone. Rosewood back and sides resonate very well with the mid-range frequencies, which is exactly what some customers have said was missing from the FG800. This makes the FG830 a great-sounding mid-range guitar made with very high-quality materials.

  1. Price

This is where the guitars differ the most. The FG800 is a guitar more ideal for beginners. This is because aside from the size and tonewoods being ideal for starters, using these materials was able to keep the price down significantly. This is why this one of the best beginner guitars for under $300.

On the other hand, since the FG830 uses more premium materials, it demands a higher price. This is why it’s more recommended for experienced players. So if you’ve been looking for a high-quality and average priced guitar with a great tone for strumming, we highly recommend you check out the FG830.

  1. Colors

Lastly, the FG830 is available in a large collection of colors. It comes in brown sunburst, autumn burst, tobacco sunburst, dusk sun red, black, and in a natural finish.

This is much more compared to the F800. This guitar is only available in a natural or ruby red finish. While colors aren’t the most important aspect of a guitar, having more color options can be a great plus.

Pros & Cons Of The Yamaha FG800

  • Affordable
  • Decent tone
  • Stable and durable construction
  • Easy for beginners to pick up and learn
  • Fret inlays make playing the guitar much easier
  • Not the most premium model out there
  • Only available in two colors

    Pros & Cons Of The Yamaha FG830

  • Great tone
  • Available in a lot of colors
  • Balanced mid and low frequencies
  • Comfortable feel
  • Ideal for advanced players looking for a premium guitar without busting the bank
  • Fairly pricey
  • Might be harder to play for beginners


Are Yamaha Guitars Good Quality?

Yes, guitars from this brand are considered by guitarists all over the world as a great brand for instruments. The brand has instruments in a very wide variety of ranges.

They have products for absolute beginners, experienced players on a budget, and even expert instrumentalists looking to make a big investment.

Who Uses Yamaha Guitars?

A lot of different artists out there have been seen using Yamaha guitars. Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Bob Marley, and Paul Simon are just some of the names on the extensive list of professionals who use Yamaha guitars.

What Type Of Guitar Should A Beginner Buy?

If the beginner is a child, then it’s recommended to either get a ½ size guitar and if the child is a bit bigger, then a ⅞ size would be ideal.

But if you’re an adult beginner, then it’s best to get a full-size guitar. Also, make sure the neck is comfortable in your hands and the strings are spaced at the right level to allow you to play and learn comfortably. 

Where Does Yamaha Make Their Guitars?

This depends on the type of guitar. Some Yamaha models are still made in Japan, but this is something reserved for the more premium and expensive products. Most of the budget-friendly guitars from this brand are made in China, just like most of the other major brands out there.

What Is The Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitar?

This will all depend on what you’re looking for exactly. But if you want to know what the most premium model is, then we would have to say the Yamaha LL16. It is one of the best sounding models the brand has and it’s still relatively affordable, especially compared to other guitars of the same quality.

Our Verdict

Now that you know all the features of these two great Yamaha models, you probably want to know which one is better. And our answer to that is that it depends.

If you’re a beginner, then we recommend that you get the FG800. It’s a more affordable model, has a decent tone, and would be a great instrument to start learning the guitar on.

However, if you’re an experienced guitar player looking for a balanced tone and well-made guitar without putting a huge dent in your bank account, then the FG830 might be the one for you.

So if you think you found the right model for you in this article, then all that’s left to do is get one for yourself and strum away!

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