If you read my Yamaha fg700s review, then you know how highly I think of Yamaha’s FG series. If you have not read that review, then I encourage to you read it, since this – a Yamaha fg730s review – is about a guitar that is essentially a supped up, higher-quality version of the fg700s (an already high-quality guitar).
If the fg700s was a surprisingly well-crafted entry-level guitar, then the fg730s is an even better-crafted, still-affordably-priced, high-quality acoustic that rivals some of the best acoustics out there (even the ones with four-digit price-tags). It is hard to recommend a Yamaha any more than I have already recommended the fg700s, but this guitar comes with a very high recommendation, from me as well as from its many owners.
About the manufacturer
Yamaha was founded in the late 1800s in Japan, but it didn’t begin manufacturing acoustic guitars until the 1960s. Since that time, Yamaha has become a staple in the acoustic guitar world, particularly in folk music. They are known for producing high quality but relatively inexpensive acoustic instruments. They have many six and twelve string offerings at a variety of prices, with their FG series guitars being perhaps the most well known and widely played of their instruments. In addition to offering a large line of acoustic instruments, Yamaha also offers an array of electric instruments, also notable for their value.
The construction of the fg730s is in many ways similar to that of the fg700s, with a few notable differences. Like the 700, the 730 has a solid Sitka spruce top. Sitka spruce is a high-quality tonewood, and solid tops are, in general, better for the sound of a guitar than laminate tops, so this is a great feature of the 730.
Also like the 700, the 730 has a rosewood fretboard. However, its back and sides are also rosewood — rather than, as on the 700, nato wood. This is the most pronounced difference between the two guitars. It makes a difference in weight, and certainly in sound, and it is one of the reasons the 730 is slightly more expensive.
How does it look?
This guitar is very attractive, having not only a quality spruce top, but having, in addition, rosewood back and sides, and featuring a few aesthetic upgrades from the fg700s.
The 730 comes with a sound hole inlay and also an inlay around the binding, making it shine just a little brighter than many competing acoustic guitars. This, coupled with its attractive back and sides, and set against its top, which comes in a variety of finishes, makes for a guitar that is as great to look at as it is to hear.
The 730 comes in natural, tobacco brown sunburst, and vintage cherry burst. The natural finish allows the beauty of the Sitka spruce to come out, whereas the two burst finishes each add classic aesthetic airs to the guitar.
How does it sound?
The fg730s is, simply put, a great sounding guitar. Like the 700, it is clear and balanced, but the addition of rosewood back and sides changes the tonal features considerably, making this guitar uniquely its own.
Westher strumming chords, fingerpicking, or playing single-note lines, it is hard to make this guitar sound bad. It has a fullness and warmth that, in addition to its clarity, makes for a very pleasing sound. Compared to the 700, this guitar is slightly richer, more robust, and more complex in a sort of intangible way.
How does it feel?
Like all full-size, large-bodied acoustics, this is not a small instrument. Holding it feels like you’re holding something big and substantial. It is the kind of thing you have to wrap yourself around a little to play. But it isn’t in any sense unweildy, and it isn’t the heaviest acoustic guitar in priduction.
The action of a guitar is the distance between the strings and the frets, and it is one of the things that makes a particular guitar feel the way that it feels. fg730s’s are widely agreed to have great action — that is, they are capable of having their action set rather low (which is something you usually want a qualified professional to do for you). In general, that is a good thing (although some players prefer high action), making the guitar feel more forgiving. A guitar with lower action is usually easier to play than a guitar with higher action.
The fg730s may be slightly more expensive than the fg700s, but it is not in any respect a worse value. What you gain for the extra money is well worth it — better construction, more quality tonewoods, and more aesthetic features. For not very much more money, the 730 is a reasonably large step up from the already impressive 700. This guitar is a great value, top to bottom. If you can afford the little extra, it is well worth it.
|Color||Natural, Tobacco Brown Sunburst, Vintage Cherry Sunburst|
|String scale||25 9/16"|
|Body depth||3 15/16"-4 5/8"|
|Nut width||1 11/16"|
This Yamaha fg730s review has a simple, brief, takeaway: the 730 is a wonderful instrument, aesthetically as well as sonically, and it is well worth the little bit of extra money. It is still a rather inexpensive guitar, and it is in its own way just as good of a value as the Yamaha fg700s.