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Yamaha A3R - Natural Reviews

4.5 stars based on 10 customer reviews
  • from Del Mar, CA December 28, 2016Music Background:
    Dedicated intermediate

    Best Acoustic for the Money

    I first played a red yahama acoustic/electric at McCabes many years ago and loved the way it played. I've since owned Martins, vintage parlor guitars and several Taylors, including the 800 series, that cost twice as much as this Yamaha. Unlike the Taylors, it's got a great bottom end. Also, the neck is the greatest: narrow and the backside is "dry", not the shiny, highly lacquered variety. I prefer this guitar over all others I've owned and it will remain as my only acoustic going forward.

    You will not regret buying this guitar. The cherry on the top is the price of this awesome guitar.

  • from August 25, 2016

    super nice sounds!!!

    Very impressed!!! It is the best guitar I could find that has solid rosewood back ,sides, spruce top, one piece mahogany neck that joins to the body with a dove tail joint, scalloped bracing, ebony finger board, and onboard electronics. The tone is great with overtones and projection. Wood quality and finish very good...better than I expected.
    First one I had electronics just quit so I exchanged it. Sweetwater and James were great and the process of getting a new one was simply and fast! Seriously the new one was even better fit,finish and tone...no trouble with the electronics now and wow nice tones and flexibility plugged in! Sweetwater service is seriously the best!! Great guitar no regrets and I'm sure this is a hidden gem for players who do not want to shell out $3000 for a comparable studio or gigging guitar just because of the name on the headstock. Setup out of case is good but adjusted action on mine. Case good quality too! IMO Best Bang for the Buck!

  • from Huntingdon, TN November 17, 2015

    Not Suprised

    I was not surprised at all when I pull the case out of the box. The case that comes with the A3R is exceptional, it gives great protection. The guitar inside was a very well built Yamaha Acoustic guitar. The solid spruce top and solid back and sides of Rosewood was just part of the well built guitar. The wood binding around the outside is beautiful and around the hole is so much better than plastic. The SRT pickup system with 3 mike controls makes you think your playing in front of a mike. The mahogany neck with ebony fret board and ebony saddle is another plus. I'm saying its a class act acoustic guitar with AAA Sound and playability! I want the concert body next! Sweetwater is the only place I will purchase a guitar from anymore. Their sales engineers and service personnel are exceptional!!

  • from Pearl River, LA January 3, 2015Music Background:
    An everyday, guitar player! Then some!

    Yamaha A3R

    After trying this guitar in person locally, I decided to purchase this guitar on line through Sweetwater.
    The fit and finish of this instrument is indeed excellent and I'm rather picky. The wood grain on the top just sparkles, I love the wood binding and the grain of the rosewood and you can see the variation of color in the ebony finger board it's awesome. I can't wait for when this guitar ages, it is already great sounding and it will be awesome in a few years! Although it is a Rosewood guitar it has a very distinct growl to it's tone this guitar has a soul of her own. Plugged in: Lovely articulate highs and mid range, the lows are very well balanced. I am impressed with the SRT Electronics, they sound very natural, no harshness what so ever. This guitar is worth every penny and much more. I also own both a Martin and a Parkwood guitar, this one is on par with the likes of both! Many thanks to my sales engineer Zach Neels.

  • from Lancaster, CA January 15, 2014Music Background:
    Hobby Guitarist

    Unbelievable guitar, matched with Unbelievable Service

    Received my A3R today, and it exceeds my expectations. This guitar sounds and feels like one in the $2000-$3000 price range. Im pretty picky and I cant find anything to complain about, set up is perfect, feel is perfect. It is a very well constructed guitar, and its all solid so it will only get better with age. The case is great quality as well. This guitar wont disappoint. As far as buying from Sweetwater online without playing the guitar first, dont even worry. Check out what they do during the 55 point inspection. I have no fret buzz, and intonation is perfect, also there wasn't a single smudge!! Again Im picky so I went over this thing with a fine tooth comb, and am more than pleased with my entire experience at Sweetwater. My Sales Engineer Ryan Wiltermood 's high level of professional service is what led me to Sweetwater to begin with, and believe me when I say I will be a Sweetwater customer for life. They go the extra mile. Again, dont let not playing the guitar prior to purchase scare you off. Prior to Sweetwater I never would have bought without playing. After my dealings with Ryan I will never again by from anyone else. Rest assure Sweetwater will Not disappoint, even you picky folks like myself! Sweetwater and Ryan, keep up the great work! You all are truly awesome.

  • from Jersey February 26, 2016Music Background:
    32 yrs playing rock ,metal ,heavy blues, power ballad etc. toured east and mid west

    yamaha A3C and Sweetwater

    Well, this is very refreshing ,really !!! First, sweetwater rocks !!!!!! this was my second purchase and these cats pack stuff well . My biggest fear was buying a guitar on line due to shipping damages. Today my Yamaha A3C showed up packed well and in top condition ,.They do a multipoint inspection of each piece that ships . this guitar came out of the box darn close to perfect tune . THE AXE this guitar can compete with multi thousand dollar martins and Taylors . In my travels I got to play some very custom and expensive gtrs . this A3C and the SRT system is a true pro quality rig . give Yamaha a chance ,you will be surprised . Solid back and sides ,no laminate !! SWEETWATER - Trent and his staff rock ,nice informed and no B.S. I hate B.S. !! I don't like to review stuff because many things are subject to pure opinion . In this case my experience was above average and so is the guitar . If you like a full tone projecting acoustic ,check this out . NO ONE GAVE ME OR PAID ME ANYTHING for this review . I just wanted to share this with anyone that thought about using an online place for gear ,and Im sure there are other good places to buy from . I just think that Sweetwater was my best experience with mail order venders , so ...when spending your hard earned $$$ these people will deliver the goods ,they have for me !!! thanks for reading my review ,rock on !!!

  • from West Michigan January 16, 2016Music Background:
    43 years and still learning...

    Great Guitar for under $1000

    I bought my first Yamaha guitar 40 years ago. I just had a Luther replace the nut and saddle (a second time) and dress the frets (one last time). I like the fact that this is solid wood and anticipate the sound evolving as it is played and ages. The electronics give you a tuner and quite a bit to play with beyond simple amplification. A fine, well made instrument that is affordable to almost everyone. I took away a half star due to the plastic nut and saddle which I had replaced with bone. Do yourself a favor no matter what guitar brand you buy; have a trusted Luther do a setup. It is ALWAYS a good investment.

  • from East Tennessee August 31, 2015

    A Fine Performance Guitar

    I wanted a moderately priced acoustic electric that could take the rigors of bars and coffeehouses so I could put less wear and tear on my finer instruments. The A3R is the perfect guitar for me. When first played acoustically, the guitar was a bit bright sounding, but after playing it hard for a few weeks, it started mellowing out. In time, I believe the A3R will come into its own acoustically. Electronically, the A3R separates itself from other guitars in this price range. It can sound very much like a mic'd guitar. There are 3 mic models, however, to my ear, there is very little difference between them. The other controls are quite responsive. My only complaint is that the signal out from the preamp is a little weak, but it is adequate. Before settling on the A3R, I tried a lot of similarly priced guitars, but the Yamaha A3R was clearly the best choice for me.

  • from Baltimore January 17, 2017Music Background:

    A four star good to great accoustic guitar

    I just got this guitar today. Paul worked hard to get it to me in two days. My sales guy Paul Eckert really came through as he does every time. The hard case is sturdy and I don't need to buy a stronger case from Gators line of Dreadnought cases. I played the guitar for 6 hours.

    Here's the pros and cons. The Bass notes are starting to open up. But the treble respone isn't quite there yet. I am going to by some NYC strings that bring more overtones out. So I'm hoping for that to improve the treble on open chords

    The action was a little high. But that can be fixed.

    The guitar strums great. Is great for folk rock, classic rock with accoustic guitar as rhythm guitar.

    It's a nice addition to my Fender Stratocaster HH Standard.

    I would have given it a five star. But the famed SRT is really tiny. I mean I have normal size hands and the knobs are super small.

    The open pores on the neck are little hard to get used to. I play an Alder body strat. It plays like dream. The open pore design should just take getting used to.

    But its a fast playing C neck.

    All in all a nice guitar.

  • from Inland Empire, CA September 5, 2014

    This is a mediocre guitar with an outstanding preamp

    I read a LOT of great things about this guitar prior to buying, so I had fairly high expectations going into this deal, yet at the same time, I've owned a Taylor 614 and a vintage Alvarez-Yairi so I knew a $900 guitar wouldn't come close to that kind of quality. So here's my "calling it as I see it" review of the A3R:

    Build - The build quality is pretty good, consistent with what I would expect from a factory in China. There are minor imperfections like exposed glue under the fingerboard at the soundhole, and the body binding is not as straight/even in some places. I wish they had just used plastic binding rather than wood. Frets are good (no jagged edges), the nut is cut well. The plastic housing for the preamp controls doesn't sit flush against the body, I suspect the hole for the preamp wasn't cut big enough. No one should ever say that this guitar is built like a more expensive guitar, because it isn't.

    Materials - What's the first thing you notice with the majority of these A3 and AC3 series guitars? Unmatched spruce tops. That's just pathetic that it's got a two-tone top, but I guess they had to compromise somewhere. The back/sides may be solid wood but it looks more like the jacaranda wood that Yairi uses rather than typical Indian rosewood. I'm sure in some botanical dictionary the wood is a distant cousin to rosewood but when I play it, I don't hear rosewood (more on that later). The overall materials are what I would expect in an Asian-made guitar and are no way comparable to more expensive guitars. The plastic nut and bridge should be replaced ASAP.

    Sound/Playability - The A3 series has a thin neck which many electric players may like but if you dig a '50s Les Paul neck or a nylon classical neck, you will not like this one. The frets are tiny so I find myself gripping the neck more than I normally would. The overall acoustic sound of this guitar is bland and boring. It lacks all of the crystal highs and deep lows that you would expect in a rosewood/spruce dreadnaught, it sounds like an all mahogany guitar IMO. Replacing the strings, nut, and bridge got some of the highs back but didn't help the lows at all. Plugged in, Dr. Jeckyl turned into Mr. Hyde - the pickup and microphone modeling is outstanding! I was floored when I plugged it straight into my recording interface and heard this really nice tone with all the highs and lows that were missing from the natural acoustic tone.

    If you plan to never use the onboard preamp, this guitar is a waste of money. Buy a used Martin, Taylor, Breedlove, Alvarez, etc and be happy. If you plan to record or play live direct to a PA, this is a very good guitar... however... I would suggest one of the less expensive models with the same System 63 preamp because the woods are less of a tone factor in these guitars. If you buy this guitar expecting the big, bold rosewood/spruce tone you may be disappointed.

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