Author Topic: Yamaha APX 500/600  (Read 1444 times)

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Offline BCDC

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Yamaha APX 500/600
« on: September 04, 2018, 06:13:25 pm »
Hi folks,
 
I am looking for some advice regarding a purchase of an acoustic guitar. I have been learning to play on an electric guitar for the past 20 months. I would now like to dabble a little in playing an acoustic guitar, but I am not 100% sure I will like it long term. So, I am looking to buy a cheap, but not nasty, acoustic guitar to get myself started.
 
My must have specifications are: (a) cutaway acoustic [because I do not like the look of non-cutaway acoustics], and (b) a thin body [because I do not like playing the wider body acoustics].
 
I plan to play the guitar only in my office. I have a Blackstar BEAM Core that I could use as an amp if I purchased an acoustic-electric.
 
At present, I am eyeing off a Yamaha APX-500 or APX-600 (which I believe is just the 2018 ‘upgraded’ version of the APX-500 series. I think the APX-500 has now been discontinued).
 
Do you think this would be a good starter acoustic guitar for me? If not, does anyone have any recommendations that might fall within a USD $200-$300 price range? In my part of the world, these guitars are $299 New and about $199 second hand.



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Offline Gabby84

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2018, 07:05:02 pm »
As you already figured out-Yamaha makes a good guitar for the price range.

I also heard good things about Ibanez from a friend of mine-who loves the sound and feel.  Not sure of the model name, but within the same price range.  Ibanez makes a model called Talisman-has an electric guitar body type but is an A/E.

Also, if you can find any Greg Bennett by Samick guitars-very good bang for the buck.  At the price range you are looking for, they will have solid tops.  I own a Greg Bennett-gold rush series ST9.  It's a 7/8 size guitar.  Solid hog top, laminate sides.   Samick is a guitar maker that produces most of the guitars in the world.  Most of them have other brand names slapped on them. 

Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2018, 08:53:21 pm »
I have played several APX 700s and have been consistently underwhelmed by their acoustic tone. They sound wonderful amplified though.

I would recommend the Taylor GS Mini. It's an overall smaller guitar (7/8 size) with a great neck. It's available in a few different wood combinations and with or without pickup. When handed to an authorized Taylor repair guy it can be set-up really low really easily. I know because I had it done.

But it has no cutaway so there goes that idea.
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Offline close2u

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2018, 07:40:58 am »
The APX series generally play well and are a manageable size. But, iirc, they are not all wood, some plastic in there somewhere. So their acoustic tone, as CZ mentions, is not to everyone's taste.Most acoustics don't need amplifying if playing to yourself in a room - unless you want fx added.

The Ibanez is called a Talman. They are okay at their price point but have been met, matched and bettered by a lot of smaller 'travel' guitars.


Too many to recommend. Based on your budget, I suggest you do a price-parameter search on 2nd hand selling sites and see how many are in your vicinity. Then come back with further questions.
Or, if looking new, find out what your local stores sell, go try some, and come back with questions.
But there are many decent low-mid budget guitars to choose from.


Offline BCDC

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2018, 12:34:22 pm »
Thanks for the replies folks.

I am now also looking at the Ibanez AEG series guitars. Slim body with a cutaway.

@close, and CZ - do you think that the underwhelming tone of the Yamaha APX is likely to be characteristic of all slim body acoustics on the budget end of the price range? The Ibanez AEG series is similar in size to the Yamaha APX series. Intuitively, I would expect that the two guitars are probably not that different in tone. But maybe not?.????


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Offline DarrellW

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2018, 01:03:33 pm »
As a generalisation any guitar that is smaller (has less air volume) will not sound as good as one that has more; what can also add to that is the use of plastics in their construction. If for example you listen to a bowl back guitar it doesn’t sound great acoustically but can sound great plugged in.
As you are primarily interested in a cutaway guitar most tend to be electro acoustic anyway, by using your BEAM (I also have one!) you could get a decent tone with the Yamaha.
To be honest, if you’re really wanting a nice acoustic tone and something not too big Taylor or Martin are the best to look at but won’t be a cutaway model.
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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2018, 03:36:19 pm »
Taylor and Martin both have cutaway models but they go for towards a grand at least. Something like a Taylor 114ce or a Martin GPCX1AE which isn't even really made of wood for the most part.

A smaller body doesn't necessarily sound worse. It will sound different, sure.
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Offline close2u

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2018, 05:43:03 pm »

@close, and CZ - do you think that the underwhelming tone of the Yamaha APX is likely to be characteristic of all slim body acoustics on the budget end of the price range?


No, small body means different sound, not inherently worse.
The APX doesn't sound 'bad' … not at all.
Just it doesn't quite have the deep woody richness of a well made solid-wood acoustic.

But for your needs it will be just fine really.

They haven't sold in the numbers they have because they sound bad.
They have many good qualities, especially at the price point.
It's just that you would notice a difference if you did an A/B test against other guitars.

Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2018, 09:01:50 pm »
Just it doesn't quite have the deep woody richness of a well made solid-wood acoustic.

It's just that you would notice a difference if you did an A/B test against other guitars.
The solid top is the most important.

Then again, there's good and bad sounding (partly) laminated wood guitars and there's also good and bad sounding solid wood guitars. I only have real experience with Taylor in that regard and they sound brilliant. I could never connect with most of Martin's catalog that I've tried so I can't really speak for them.

When buying my first guitar the APX700 was on my list and I compared it to a Seagull S6 and a Taylor 110ce the shop had. I took home the Taylor.
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Offline Labora

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2018, 08:38:43 am »
I have the APX 600. It's well made, comfortable and easy to play. It sounds very nice plugged in. Accustic, it sounds a little thinner than a larger guitar. I also have a Yamaha F310 which is a cheaper guitar but has a warmer fuller tone - it's not as easy to play though.

It's worth trying a few different guitars if you can, but otherwise you can't really go wrong with Yamaha. They make good instruments to a consistent quality.


Offline BCDC

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2018, 01:47:23 pm »
Thanks again to everyone that has commented on this thread. All comments have been very helpful.

An Update.

After researching the Yamaha APX600 and the Ibanez AEG1211, and comparing the specs to higher priced guitars, I decided to first try and find a second hand guitar that fit my needs <USD$250 with a solid top, and if that failed, I was going to buy either the Yamaha APX600 or Ibanez AEG1211 new.

Yesterday, I went to a local small-business guitar store that has a huge array of used guitars. I found a 1995 Epiphone PR6E/AM Acoustic-Electric Guitar for $200. It was made in Korea at the Samick Plant. It has a solid spruce top and is in good condition, but certainly needs a good clean!!

It is like the one in the link below, but this is not the guitar in the shop.

https://www.trademe.co.nz/music-instruments/instruments/guitar-bass/acoustic-electric-guitars/auction-1736316170.htm

Any thoughts on whether this guitar would be better, or worse, quality compared to a new Yamaha APX600 or Ibanez AEG1211?


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Offline close2u

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2018, 05:28:08 pm »
I have zero knowledge of that guitar but it sure looks pretty!
Korean made Epiphones on the electric side are sought after for being of good quality.
The elctronics look interesting. Make sure they work okay.

Offline BCDC

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2018, 05:46:01 pm »
I ended up purchasing the guitar. $180. I spent about 4 hours giving it some TLC. It now looks like new! The electronics seem to be working fine too. All in all, I am happy with my budget purchase as an introduction to an acoustic. I gotta tell you though, I am having trouble keeping the damn thing from moving around when changing chords. I didn’t have to worry about that with my heavier Les Pauls! I still haven’t figured out how to stabilize the acoustic using my strumming hand only., despite watching multiple videos online....including Justin’s. I know I will get there with practice though.


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Offline close2u

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2018, 08:42:42 pm »
congrats - some pics would be good! :)

Offline BCDC

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Re: Yamaha APX 500/600
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2018, 08:51:15 pm »
I just tried to upload some photos and git an error message saying that “the forum has disabled photo sharing from this app”????????? That seems weird to me. Any ideas?


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