Yamaha FG800 vs FS800

The Yamaha FG800 vs FS800: Which Should You Choose?

Yamaha FG800 vs FS800

The Yamaha FG800 vs FS800: Which Should You Choose?

When it comes to acoustic guitars that deliver great quality at an affordable price, Yamaha is often the go-to brand for many musicians, beginners and professionals alike. Two models that frequently catch the attention of guitar enthusiasts are the Yamaha FG800 and FS800.

Both these models offer excellent sound quality, impressive build, and great value for money, making the decision between the two a challenging one. So, let’s dive into the specifics to help you determine which one is the right fit for you.

Design and Build

Both the FG800 and FS800 belong to Yamaha’s FG series, known for its superior build quality and exceptional durability. These models feature solid Sitka spruce tops, which are known for their excellent tonal balance and ability to improve in sound quality over time.

The FG800 sports a dreadnought body, a design favored by many for its robust, rich, and loud sound. On the other hand, the FS800 comes with a concert-style body, which is smaller and more comfortable to hold, particularly for younger players or those with smaller hands.

Sound Quality

Sound-wise, both guitars are known for their clear and vibrant tones, thanks to the solid Sitka spruce tops. The FG800, due to its larger dreadnought body, produces a fuller, louder, and more bass-oriented sound. It’s an excellent choice for strummers and players who want a full-bodied sound that can fill a room.

The FS800, with its smaller concert-style body, produces a more balanced tone with emphasis on the mid and upper range. It’s a favorite among fingerstyle players for its clarity and precision. The FS800’s sound is also well-suited for ensemble settings, where the guitar has to blend well with other instruments.


Both guitars feature a smooth, slim neck with a rosewood fretboard, making them easy to play. The FG800’s dreadnought body might feel bulky to some players, especially those with a smaller frame. However, its powerful sound can be worth the trade-off.

The FS800, being smaller in size, offers better playability for beginners, younger players, or anyone with smaller hands. It’s lighter and easier to manage, ensuring comfortable playing sessions.


The FG800 and FS800 are similar in terms of price. Both are budget-friendly options that deliver far beyond their price range in terms of sound quality, build, and reliability. Choosing between the two would, therefore, depend more on your personal preference rather than cost.

Tonal Woods and Aesthetics

Both the FG800 and FS800 benefit from Yamaha’s use of solid Sitka spruce tops, a high-quality tonewood known for its clear, balanced tone. Spruce is a soundboard choice that’s revered for its broad dynamic range, allowing the guitar to handle both soft and loud playing beautifully. The back and sides of both models are made from Nato, also known as Eastern Mahogany, which contributes to the robust, warm tones.

Visually, the guitars are aesthetically pleasing with a simple, classic design. The natural wood finish lets the craftsmanship and quality materials shine through. Each guitar features a tortoise shell soundhole inlay and pickguard that add a touch of class. For those who want a bit of variety in their guitar’s appearance, both models also come in a range of finishes including natural, black, sunburst, and more.

The Yamaha FG800 vs FS800: Which Should You Choose?

The Scalloped Bracing

One of the primary features that Yamaha introduced with the FG800 and FS800 series is the new scalloped bracing. This design tweak involves carving out the lower part of the braces, allowing the top of the guitar to resonate more freely. This results in an increase in overall volume, more powerful low end, and richer harmonics. This feature helps both these models punch well above their weight in their price range, in terms of sound projection and tone richness.

Neck and Action

The neck of a guitar significantly impacts its playability. Both the FG800 and FS800 feature a matte finish on the neck which reduces the chance of your hand sticking to the neck during long sessions or live performances. This feature is often appreciated by beginners who are building their technique and endurance, as well as professionals who need a reliable performance instrument.

The action of a guitar, the distance between the strings and the fretboard, can also greatly influence the instrument’s playability. Both these guitars come with a reasonably low action setup, making it easier for beginners to form chords and reducing finger fatigue.

Hardware and Accessories

The FG800 and FS800 models come with die-cast tuners that hold tuning quite well. The synthetic bone nut and saddle, along with the rosewood bridge, contribute to the tonal qualities of these guitars. Both models also come with a truss rod for neck adjustment – a feature that can come in handy as the guitar ages or if it needs to be set up for a specific playing style or string gauge.

While the guitars do not come with any onboard electronics, Yamaha does offer the FGX800C and FSX800C models that include a cutaway and built-in electronics for those interested in gigging or recording directly from their guitar.

Yamaha’s Legacy and Reputation

Choosing between the FG800 and FS800 isn’t just about picking a guitar; it’s about becoming part of a lineage. Yamaha has a reputation for producing high-quality, durable instruments and has been a favorite among educators and professional musicians for years. Their commitment to quality at every price point means that even their budget-friendly models like the FG800 and FS800 are reliable instruments that you can count on.

Both the Yamaha FG800 and FS800 serve as excellent choices for beginner to intermediate players, offering great value for their cost. These models are also a good fit for seasoned players looking for a “beater” guitar to take along to casual jam sessions or camping trips.

While the FG800’s larger size and deeper, richer sound cater to those who strum aggressively or perform solo, the FS800’s smaller body and lighter, more balanced tone make it perfect for fingerstyle playing or ensemble settings.

Choosing between the Yamaha FG800 and FS800 is a matter of personal preference, playing style, and physical comfort. By considering these factors, you’ll be able to choose the model that best complements your musical journey. Either way, you’ll be acquiring a quality instrument that stands as a testament to Yamaha’s legacy and commitment to musicians worldwide.


In conclusion, the choice between the Yamaha FG800 and FS800 boils down to personal preference and playing style. If you’re a strummer looking for a louder, fuller sound and don’t mind a larger guitar, the FG800 might be the best fit for you. On the other hand, if you’re a fingerstyle player, or if you have smaller hands or are looking for a lighter and more manageable guitar, the FS800 would be an excellent choice.

Both guitars are incredibly well-built, offer fantastic sound, and are great value for money. No matter which one you choose, you’re sure to have a high-quality instrument that will serve you well in your musical journey.