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Yamaha has a very nice line of acoustic guitars known as the 800 series. Does this quality extend to their left handed models such as the Yamaha FG820L acoustic?
In this review, I’ll take a quick look with you at this FG820L so you can see if this is the correct (notice, I didn’t say “right”) acoustic-only guitar for you.
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How Does the Yamaha FG820 Compare to the FG800 Model?
As you might expect, the FG820 and FG800 are nearly identical. There seem to be just 2 or 3 specifications that differ from one to the other.
The back and sides are made of different materials, and the binding is a different color – probably because it looks better with the different woods.
The table below shows you all the major specifications, including these few changes.
|Scale Length (in.)||25 9/16||25 9/16|
|Body Length (in.)||19 7/8||19 7/8|
|Total Length (in.)||40 7/8||40 7/8|
|Body Width (in.)||16 1/4||16 1/4|
|Body Depth (in.)||3 15/16 to 4 5/8||3 15/16 to 4 5/8|
|Nut Width (in.)||1 11/16||1 11/16|
|Top Material||Solid Spruce||Solid Spruce|
|Back Material||Mahogany||Nato / Okume|
|Side Material||Mahogany||Nato / Okume|
|Fingerboard Radius (mm)||R400||R400|
|Bridge Pins||Black ABS with White Dot||Black ABS with White Dot|
|Tuners||Die-cast Chrome||Die-cast Chrome|
|Soundhole Inlay||Black and White||Black and White|
|Pickguard||Tortoise Pattern||Tortoise Pattern|
|Body Shape||Traditional Western||Traditional Western|
As you should also expect, the FG820 right handed and left handed versions have the same specifications. It’s just that everything is reversed from one model to the other.
You might see the model number of this Yamaha left-handed acoustic guitar without the “L” at the end. As long as it looks like a left-handed model and the description agrees, you can safely purchase an FG820.
The Yamaha acoustic has a top made of solid spruce. In the overview of left handed guitars, I wondered whether or not this was Sitka spruce. I have additional information now that suggests that it actually is Sitka.
What Equipment Comes with the Yamaha FG820 Guitar?
There is no case or gig bag with the Yamaha, but you do get a hex wrench for adjusting the truss rod. You may need to make a little adjustment after you’ve played the instrument for some time. This is a normal change to make as the guitar ages.
You might be able to find complete kits for sale (see Amazon) that include additional equipment. These listings are great, especially if this is your first guitar and you don’t have any other equipment already on hand.
One such bundle that I’ve seen includes a gig bag, tuner, strings, strap, instructional DVD, picks, and a polishing cloth. Of course, you should expect to pay a little more for these extras than if you got the guitar alone, but it’s probably a good deal if you were going to get most of those items anyway.
What Does the FG820L Sound Like?
As explained in the video below from Kaos, one feature usually reserved for more expensive guitars is one that you can’t easily see. It’s the scalloped bracing inside the body. This different style of bracing gives you a richer tone compared to guitars with standard bracing.
You can hear it if you listen to this video. Note that the guitar in the video is a right handed model, but the sound would obviously be the same.
Conclusions about the Left-Handed Yamaha FG820 Acoustic Guitar
As is the case with many acoustic-only guitars, this dreadnought body is not a cutaway. The vast majority of players will never go high enough on the neck to warrant the need for such a design. Still, if that is something you need or want in your left handed acoustic guitar, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
If you check reviews at Amazon, note that not all of them are for the FG820L model for some reason, even though they are under that listing.
The overwhelming thought on this guitar, though, is that it is an awesome instrument for the price. As mentioned in the video, these guitars seem to get better with age, so it’s likely one that, if you like it at all, you’ll probably keep for many years to come.