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Yamaha AC3R Concert Acoustic Electric with Cutaway - Solid Rosewood Back and Sides Reviews

4.5 stars based on 22 customer reviews
  • from Brazil June 30, 2016Music Background:
    Music Producer, Musician, Song-writer

    Great guitar!!!

    Well, after 2 years of having this guitar, the only thing I can say is: it only gets better!
    Since the first minute I played, I fell in love with it! The action is perfect, the sound is well balanced, the craftsmanship in perfect! And after I started using Elixir Phosphor Bronze light-medium strings, the sound got even better. The electric part is the best I've seen and played (better than high-end Taylor's and Martin's - my personal taste).It's totally worth the money you spend and even more!
    Everywhere I go, people always tell me how great this guitars sounds!

    You can't go wrong with it!

  • from Las Vegas June 23, 2016Music Background:
    Home player

    Just a dream

    I have owned a Taylor gs mini, and a Taylor Big baby and I truly loved them both so I don't knock those guitars. They a fine guitars,but after reading all the u tube reviews and the ones on Sweetwaters reviews thought I would take a chance on this one. I never played one before but I purchased it anyway from Sweetwater (thanks Michael Eads) as with all my buying. Service is more than exceptional. I love love love this guitar. It plays so good right out of the box. I did make one change after a few days. I changed the bridge pins to bone and put on Ej 16 dadario strings. I like a mellow sound not quite as bright, but thats a personal deal. I chose the 3series because of all wood top,back.and sides. The quality is excellent including all the true craftsmen ship. A hand built guitar. The action is perfect . I have not plugged it in yet only to a Zoom A3 with headphones , it surpasses the Taylor's using the same setup with the Zoom.

  • from February 16, 2016

    2 Thumbs Up!

    Great guitar for the money. All solid and just beautiful.sounds absolutely AMAZING! I was torn between this and a 214ce dlx. I couldnt find an ac3r or any "A" series for that matter in the whole state of SC so i was reluctant to buy it. With Sweetwater's awesome return policy i figured i may as well give it a try because of all the great reviews. Well let me tell you most reviews are spot on. Shipped fast and was well packaged. The ONLY thing that gets me every now and again is the high and low E slipping off the frets every once in awhile.not a deal breaker as it happens less frequently as i continue to get used to it.all in all great guitar and i couldnt be more pleased.saved money and got better electronics than the 214ce dlx.and last but not least if you dont know by now how great the customer service is at Sweetwater, give Drew Owens a call for any questions you may have.he will either know the answer or get back to you in a very timely manner with it! Thanks again Drew! A+++ customer service

  • from Decatur, TX January 15, 2016Music Background:

    Great Guitar!!

    I hope Yamaha doesn't read these reviews, or we're in for a price increase. My guitar was delivered in perfect tune and my first impression was WOW! It just feels right. The neck is awesome and fret board is beautiful. The acoustics are equal to guitars 3 times the price of this one. The electronics are just as nice. I played some blues licks as soon as I got it out was just blown away that a guitar in this price range could make even me sound good. I almost bought a Taylor for $2400.00, glad I didn't. Don't let the made in China fool you. I own a Gibson J-45 that sounds as good as this one, but it doesn't play as well and it cost me twice as much and doesn't have the on board electronics. No regrets on the choice of guitar or supplier. Sweetwater is sweet!

  • from Cow Town Denver January 1, 2016

    What They Said and More

    I find all these reviews to be dead on (except for any criticism of this guitar's unplugged tone). This is a beautiful, excellently crafted instrument worth far more than its ticket price. I love its tone unplugged, especially when wailed upon. When plugged in, I pair it with a Roland Cube and it simply blows me away. I played a quick event in a massive gymnasium for over a thousand people with only the Cube rocking' it out and it filled the place. I was shocked. I especially love the rounded edge of the neck...it just feels right, and I wish all my guitars had it. The Access case sealed the deal, as Musician's Friend lost me forever as a customer because they wouldn't match this deal by including a case. This was serendipitous for me, as it lead me to Sweetwater. If you truly are in the situation to spend $2500+ for a guitar, you're probably convinced to pass possibilities like the AC3R by. Don't. I'd buy it again, even with a hefty budget.

  • from Anoka October 11, 2015

    AC3R Yamaha

    What a great guitar. Love the feel and sound. Yamaha does not disappoint. I needed a sensibly priced guitar that called to me and then encouraged me to keep playing it. A very rich tone and so pleasing to the senses. A home run of an instrument.

  • from May 11, 2015

    Yamaha AC3r

    I needed a solid stage guitar to take pressure off of my 24 year old Takamine PSF 48c. I am very impressed with the AC3r!! The sound thru the PA system with this awesome preamp is amazing. Its crisp, articulate and has a very solid bottom end that can be adjusted thru the preamp in multiple ways (eq, volume, mic voice, and resonance. The Preamp is very tweekable, its just awesome. Fit and finish is excellent, the solid top is matched side to side (Sweetwater provides real images of the guitars to choose from) and the back and sides have a really cool grain pattern, typically not seen in guitars at this price point especially considering its all solid. Overall fit and finish is excellent, however the frets could be a little more polished. Excellent guitar for the stage, really stands out, I like this soo much I plan to get an A3R. Neck feels great and the action is spot on.

  • from El Paso, TX May 2, 2015Music Background:
    Rock, Latin

    5 Stars all over the place

    I've never bought a guitar online. Buying electronic equipment online is not that risky for me, in the sense that it either works or it doesn't. However, guitars are a different matter. With each guitar having a "personality" of its own - soundwise- I had always bought guitars I had a chance to actually play.

    So, buying the AC3R from Sweetwater was a matter of having faith in the seller, which I do (return policy, customer service etc.). Then, having unpacked the girl and actually seen and played it, I am glad I went for it. Ditto to all the other 5 star ratings! Value beyond price, crisp sound, beautiful solid craftsmanship. The part about playing other guitars priced thousands above this one, and actually preferring the Yamaha, is amazingly true. It feels like I've played this one for years.

    I'm still tweaking with the preamp, together with the Loudbox Performer I got for it, and I'm getting very close to dialing it in perfectly. I am so confident in the sound even now though, that I will use it tomorrow to play a song for my daughter in her wedding! (Hopefully my idea of well-rehearsed reflects on the performance!)

    Buy it. Buy it now.

  • from Cape Coral, FL March 23, 2015

    Love it.

    Just picked it up from Fedex friday night and hardly put it down over the weekend. Great sound and playability. Fits perfect in my hands. I have short stubby fingers but have no problem playing any chord I want with this one. Love the built in electronics. Easy to use.

  • from Glendora, CA January 29, 2015Music Background:

    Outstanding Instrument

    When I purchased this guitar over two years ago, I had no intension of buying a new guitar. I have several Taylor acoustic guitars (612, 814 + 12 string 300). So when I came across this Yamaha AC3R for the first time I could not believe the level of materials and craftsmanship that went into it. Then I sat down and played it. It sounded so good I did not want to let go of it, right out of the box. Then I thought I'd have to pay several thousand for it, but 899.99 done deal. I packed it in the excellent case it comes in and took it home. It actually got me into playing more and have recently added two Martins (OMC, 00028 John Mayer) to my collection. I still play it as often as my work life permits. Through an amp it sounds clear and natural. I do not think I will ever give this guitar up, it just gets better with a little age. Highly recommended!

  • from Brasil September 23, 2014Music Background:
    Musical Producer


    I have no words to this guitar! It's simply amazing. Its sound, even plugged in or unplugged, can be really compared to another high end Taylor's and Martin's, costing 2 or 3 times more!
    It worth it!

  • from Fremont, NH August 13, 2014Music Background:
    Always Learning

    For once, it's not just slick marketing!

    I'd read a lot about this guitar, including the A Series PDF from Yamaha's web site. When I finally decided to buy it, Sweetwater didn't have it in stock. In fact, the site said they stopped carrying it. I was heartbroken. I didn't want to have to buy it anywhere else. Then, on a whim, I figured I'd check back earlier this week. So glad I did! Prayers were answered! Every good thing I've read about the AC3R is true. The neck is incredibly comfortable. The action is perfect. It's so playable that I can't put it down - and that's right out of the box with the junk Yamaha strings that it came with still on it! Unplugged, it rivals high end Taylors and Martins in sound and resonance. Plugged in, well, you're not getting a sound that good - and flexible - from anything under several thousand dollars more. If you're looking for an acoustic-electric that's instantly as familiar, comfortable, and yours-for-life as your favorite pair of jeans, pull the trigger and get one!

  • from Grantsville, WV May 27, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Pianist, Preacher, Singer, Songwriter

    Awesome Guitar!!

    Plays extremely well. I usually have to customize a guitar's playability,
    this one is great right out of the box!!! Extremely satisfied. Well worth the wait and the price is great. Plays as good as a high end Taylor or Martin.

  • from Santa Cruz, CA October 31, 2013Music Background:
    Pro guitarist, vocalist and keyboardist

    Excellent Guitar and service

    This guitar is easily comparable to Martin's and Taylors costing 2 to 3 times as much. And service was great!

  • from June 9, 2013

    Amazing guitar

    This guitar rivals guitars double and triple its price.

    Sounds amazing acoustically but shines even more through a PA system. The pickups are phenomenal. Holds tuning like a beast and is so easy to play too. Very thin and fast neck.

    Highly recommended for P&W and live playing and recording!

  • from Edinburg tx December 11, 2012Music Background:


    Perfect action, excellent sound.

  • from Barre, VT November 12, 2015

    Perfect for Live Performance

    I will start with my ONLY minor disappointment - I got the limited addition with the trans-black top. So much for trans. I am thinking that it may become more transparent over time but it's not a big deal if it doesn't because the finish is amazing and here is the thing. I have to take a minute to address Sweetwater and buying blems. Mine was a blem and unlike every other online store, I could actually see HI REZ pictures of MY guitar (the blem was actually in the case so no go there but it really brought the issue home). The fit and finish of the binding and all other aspects except for the neck (see below) are exceptional.

    I love the profile on the neck. It's like an old school Gibson - nice and meaty, and mine has an ebony fretboard that is flawless. Not easy to find. The only issue I have with playability is that the neck is kind of an open grain and it feels like the finish is a tad sticky, like maybe it's a poly instead of a nice higher end lacquer. It does seem to be wearing in very nicely though and I got used to the open grain pretty fast. If you have small hands you may not like this neck but I have ham hands so it's a perfect replacement for my 90s Yamaha that as much as I loved the tone (especially unplugged), the neck was to thin and the fretboard to narrow for my needs.

    The sound unplugged is very good - not great - but based on my experience with upper mid-priced acoustic guitars in the passed, that is because the age of the wood when these guitars are built. That's not going to be any different for any guitar under $1500 and most under $2000. My 90s Yamaha took about 10 years to sound really good and after about 15, it became exquisite.

    But the plugged in sound of the AC3.... HOLY COW! I defy anybody to top the sound of the AC series plugged in, without spending more than twice the coin and perhaps not even then. This is my first "Concert" style guitar and I have to say that I love the focus of the sound (plugged in and live). but it's the versatility of the electronics that make this thing shine. The feedback control is very effective and works in stages. Try option one, which barely effects the sound of the guitar at all, if that doesn't work, try the next. Even at stage three, the sound is still acceptable by live standards. The "focus/wide" switch is very useful, along with the body and piezo blend knob. I use this both solo and with a band and I can easily/quickly tailor the sound for each simply by using those to controls.

    The case is a major upgrade from all guitars in this price range and they even throw in a sound hole cover. Really? Buy this guitar

  • from Lancaster, CA November 7, 2014Music Background:

    Yamaha AC3R

    I have fallen in love with this guitar. It's all real wood, and the sound is sweet. I normally play electrics, but this has become my number 1.
    I even play it when I first wake up, before coffee. For under a grand this is the best guitar I've played at this price point. The staff are all knowledgeable and no taxes, and a 2 year warranty for free. The Chinese have caught up to the Japanese in overall quality like back in the late 70's and early 80's. However Yamaha builds these at their plant with engineers overseeing production and qc.

  • from chicago,il.USA May 14, 2014Music Background:
    self-taught, 50's &60's pop/rock,evrything rock after that

    pleasantly surprised

    I bought this guitar without playing it, or one like it.I was informed it was a great deal for the price; I had played some Taylors and Martins
    expecting big bang for the big buck, but I was not knocked out by anything I tried.A buddy mentioned Sweetwater ,and when i saw the 24 month deal,i was hooked....now, the Yamaha comes with a nice
    hardshell case( the icing on the cake),it's a real pretty guitar;I like the mahogany binding/rosette. I'm getting used to the open-poer neck.
    Out of the box the yamaha was in perfect tune;it resonates beautifully
    all over the fret board.My hands are small, so i think the neck radius might need some getting used to...overall it's the best deal I've gotten on a new guitar.I'm still green on the electronics. Just gotta get more gigs so I can play around(literally).Thank you all at Sweetwater,and keep up the great work...tw

  • from Dallas, TX May 22, 2013Music Background:
    Professional music teacher & performer

    Great Instrument

    I have owned many guitars and for the price point Yamaha always gives what you pay for. The guitar is made from high quality rosewood,spruce and ebony, the neck is dove tailed not bolted on. The only negative is the plastic nut saddle and bridge pins, I had a bone nut/saddle and ebony pins installed. Instant tone improvement, which allowed the guitar to resonate to it's fullest. My friends have bolt on neck acoustics from the famous "T" brand and we all agree the AC3R equaled their 3 series. Sweetwater treated me right and earned my business!

  • from South Carolina November 11, 2013Music Background:
    guitarist for 13 years

    Yamaha AC3R

    Overall, I would say that the ac3r is a good value in a small bodied, all-solid wood acoustic-electric guitar.
    Pros-very nice case, great electronics, great sound plugged in, beautiful finish, good tuners
    Cons-unplugged sound is just average even for a small bodied guitar

  • from July 28, 2016Music Background:
    Lifelong guitar player (45 years)

    Review title? Say what?

    String action too high starting around the 7th fret,
    Making guitar difficult to play.
    This should have been cought @ factory or @ Sweetwater.

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