Yamaha Apx5a Acoustic/Electric Guitar Reviews

Yamaha Apx5a Acoustic/Electric Guitar

5 ratings (5 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
5 stars
2
4 stars
2
3 stars
1
2 stars
1 star
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

A good general purpose instrument

Feb 11, 2005 (Updated Nov 5, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Looks, stays in tune, well finished, Sound (plugged)

Cons:Sound (unplugged), cheap tuners.

The Bottom Line: The APX5 is great value and will live up to most player's expectations.


I bought this guitar at the end of June 2004 for AU$599 (US$450) with the intention of using it as a utility/silent practice instrument as well as a backup for my guitar students to play during lessons - as they frequently don’t bother bringing their own guitars. The financial year ends in Australia in June, and it’s the best time to buy music gear. The list price for the APX5A here is AU$999, which makes you wonder about the sort of margins they work with if they can offer a 33% discount.

The Fender Stratacoustic was the other guitar on my shortlist - a great looking instrument with a lovely neck. Sadly, everything else about it was most disappointing. Unplugged, it was like a cigar box with a strat neck attached, while plugged-in it started feeding back at very low volume settings. Others have reviewed it on Epinions – read their reviews, then make up your mind to stay away from it!

The APX5A is a good guitar(as opposed to a great one), and I like it (as opposed to love it). It’s one of those instruments which does nothing brilliantly, yet does nothing badly either. Like all the Yamahas I’ve owned and played, it’s reliable, playable and sounds good. I have never paid more than AU$600 for an acoustic or acoustic/electric. Having tried a few Taylors and Martins, I could never justify paying the asking prices - which can run into the thousands. To me, the improvement in quality and tone is nowhere near proportional to the price difference.

The vital stats of the APX5A are as follows: 22 frets, rosewood fretboard/bridge, enclosed chrome tuners, single cutaway, Spruce solid top – mine has the natural finish , Nato back and sides. Piezo-electric pickup under the bridge, a 9V battery compartment, Volume control, EQ controls with Low/Mid/High and a feedback reducing slider Yamaha calls AMF (I think it’s some sort of notch-filter).

As with any thin-bodied acoustic, the unplugged sound will be neither as loud nor as rich as a full-bodied dreadnaught, jumbo etc. The relative lack of volume is actually a blessing for me, as I can play into the wee hours of the morning without waking all and sundry.

Once plugged in, the sound becomes more versatile. The pickup is a bit trebly, so I normally wind back the high and mid on the EQ to below their half way settings, and move the bass to almost full. Using overdrive and distortion pedals brings on the feedback characteristic of most acoustic/electrics, but playing with the AMF control soon gets rid of it. I have GHS light strings on. I had the action set very low. Things get a bit buzzy towards the upper frets, but nothing too obtrusive.

The tuners look cheap, but they manage to keep the instrument in tune even after some heavy duty string bending. The overall finish is typical Yamaha: Too much lacquer, but solid and durable. The oval sound hole looks great, but the plastic rosette is a bit kitsch.

The Yamaha brochure claims that the APX5A is the most popular thin bodied acoustic/electric in the world. I have no way of verifying this claim, but I have seen them used live by many solo musicians and duos. I use it as a working instrument in my studio, and it stands up well to the rigours of
student use and abuse. I highly recommend the APX5A to the working musician or as a general purpose acoustic/electric for the hobbyist. It's a guitar that is sure to grow on you.

For a review of my "other" Yamaha, please have a look at the Yamaha acoustic guitar FG403S.

You might also want to checkout my review on the Ibanez SRX300 Bass Guitar.

If you are in the market for a guitar, you may want to read my review on: How to buy and electric guitar.


Recommend this product? Yes

Read all comments (4)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

Yamaha APX700II 12-string Acoustic Electric Guitar, Black

Yamaha APX700II 12-string Acoustic Electric Guitar, Black

Yamaha APX700II 12-string Acoustic Electric Guitar, Black
Sears
Yamaha Apx500 Ii Acoustic Electric Guitar Dark Red Burst W/ Built In Tuner

Yamaha Apx500 Ii Acoustic Electric Guitar Dark Red Burst W/ Built In Tuner

The Yamaha APX500 is the lowest price Yamaha APX model and has a spruce top with nato back and sides for articulate, crisp sound. A saddle-mounted pie...
eBay

$299.00

+$29.99 shipping
Yamaha APX500III Thinline Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Natural

Yamaha APX500III Thinline Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Natural

The world's best-selling acoustic electric guitar, the 500-series embodies the pure spirit of Yamaha guitars -- the perfect balance of performance, va...
zZounds.com

$299.99

FREE Shipping
Yamaha Apx500 Ii Acoustic Electric Guitar Oriental Blue Burst W/ Built In Tuner

Yamaha Apx500 Ii Acoustic Electric Guitar Oriental Blue Burst W/ Built In Tuner

The Yamaha APX500 is the lowest price Yamaha APX model and has a spruce top with nato back and sides for articulate, crisp sound. A saddle-mounted pie...
eBay

$299.00

+$29.99 shipping
Yamaha APX700II Left Hand Acoustic Electric Guitar BUNDLE w/ Legacy Acc Kit (TunerPicksDVD & More)

Yamaha APX700II Left Hand Acoustic Electric Guitar BUNDLE w/ Legacy Acc Kit (TunerPicksDVD & More)

Yamaha APX700II Left Hand Acoustic Electric Guitar BUNDLE w/ Legacy Acc Kit (TunerPicksDVD & More) - For generations Yamaha has been known for quality...
Sears
Yamaha APX500III Thinline Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Violin Burst

Yamaha APX500III Thinline Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Violin Burst

The world's best-selling acoustic electric guitar, the 500-series embodies the pure spirit of Yamaha guitars -- the perfect balance of performance, va...
zZounds.com

$299.99

FREE Shipping
Yamaha Apx500 Ii Acoustic Electric Guitar Old Violin Sunburst W/ Built In Tuner

Yamaha Apx500 Ii Acoustic Electric Guitar Old Violin Sunburst W/ Built In Tuner

The Yamaha APX500 is the lowest price Yamaha APX model and has a spruce top with nato back and sides for articulate, crisp sound. A saddle-mounted pie...
eBay

$299.00

+$29.99 shipping
Yamaha APX500IIIVS Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Yamaha APX500IIIVS Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The world s best-selling acoustic electric guitar, the 500-series embodies the pure spirit of Yamaha guitars the perfect balance of performance, value...
Sears
Yamaha Ll16r-12 L 12-string Rosewood/spruce Dreadnought Acoustic-electric Guitar

Yamaha Ll16r-12 L 12-string Rosewood/spruce Dreadnought Acoustic-electric Guitar

This 12-string model of LL16 features a jumbo body, a solid engelmann spruce top, solid rosewood back and sides, and a mahogany and padauk 3-ply neck....
eBay

$899.99

+$69.99 shipping
Yamaha APX500IIIVS Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Yamaha APX500IIIVS Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The world s best-selling acoustic electric guitar, the 500-series embodies the pure spirit of Yamaha guitars the perfect balance of performance, value...
Sears