Yamaha has been producing musical instruments for more than a hundred years already. Although the company had never been aiming exactly the beginners, it has some decent guitars for new players.
Although people usually confuse Yamaha Corporation and Yamaha Motor Company, musical instruments, produced by the first one are still the most recognizable in the World. The guitars by Yamaha are available in all price categories for all types of players.
Check out Yamaha website: https://www.yamaha.com/en/
Yamaha CGS102A is one of the most popular budget guitars among the beginners. Here is why.
The first thing worth doing is taking a look at the guitar`s dimensions, material and strings. It will help with understanding of basic concepts of device`s suitability in your personal case.
There is a wide range of materials used in this guitar. Body top is performed of spruce wood (which is similar to mahogany, that is used in professional guitars of higher class), back and sides are performed out of meranti, then there is a nato wood neck and sonokeling fingerboard. This guitar might feel a little strange at first, because of such an unusual composition of materials, but after getting used to it, you`ll understand that it is comfortable enough.
The guitar is 18.98’’*40.63’’*5.12’’ (which is 482*1032*130 in millimeters). This is a half-sized guitar. It means that it will be a nice pick for teenagers (10-17 years old) and ladies. However smaller children might have some issues playing it, because neck is a little bit to wide.
This guitar comes with nylon strings. They are soft and are really easy to play. It means that children can handle playing it (no scratches on fingertips, which may be caused by harder metal strings). On the other hand, they require a lot of tuning and provide less juicy sound. This is OK, if you are starting, but will need an upgrade as soon as you feel, that you are progressing.
So, summing this paragraph up, I can say that Yamaha CGS102A is a decent guitar for a beginner. It has on original material choice, which is rather durable, soft strings comfortable to play for the beginners and size, perfect for younger players.
Not much was expected from this guitar, as it is still half-sized budget model, but the test results were rather decent. Here are the main pros, I would like to point out:
- Rich tones. Despite the nylon strings can not provide a loud sound, they manage to perform nicely in terms of tonality. It means that the sound is clean and each string can be heard individually, nothing mashes up.
- Nice adjust-ability. Although nylon strings do not stay tuned for longer than several hours, in this very model they sound really nice when tuned in. I mean that whichever tuning you pick, the guitar will sound exactly as it has to.
Although it felt nice to play this guitar, not all the users had had positive experience. They usually claim that it takes too much time to tune this guitar and that this device is not durable enough. I`ve found several negative feedback reports, saying that Yamaha CGS102A was completely spoiled after falls or getting wet.
- Spruce Top
- Meranti Back and Sides
- Nato Neck
- Sonokeling Fingerboard
- Rich tones
- Nice adjust-ability
- Quality of materials
- Maybe: difficult to press down on the nylon strings without buzzing
Other Considerable Picks
Although CGS102A is a nice purchase, the market has a lot of options, so it is worth to at least take a look at them before making the final decision. Here are some alternatives to this model, that you should think about as well.
Cordoba C1M 1/2
The C1M 1/2 is the perfect 1/2 size nylon string guitar for any aspiring guitarist. Part of the protege by Cordoba line, the C1M 1/2 was developed to provide young players with a comfortable, great sounding first guitar at an affordable price. Drawing on generations of Spanish guitar-making tradition, we carefully chose quality materials for incredible sound, and prioritized comfort, play-ability, and attractive aesthetics to create truly inspiring instruments with which students can effectively learn and grow.
Every Protégé C1M 1/2 model is built with the combination of a spruce top and mahogany back and sides, a rosewood bridge and fingerboard, traditional-style mosaic rosette, Gold tuning machines, and a matte polyurethane finish. Like all Cordoba instruments, C1M models feature premium Savarez strings and an adjustable truss rod to ensure a straight neck for the life of the instrument. Offered in full, half, three-quarter, and one-quarter sizes.
- Spruce top
- Mahogany back & sides
- Lightweight 1/2 size classical
- Satin finish
- Sounds pretty good
- Well made
- Maybe: it gets out of attuning
- No gig bag
Yamaha CGS103A 3/4
This is so to say the elder sister of CGS 102A. This guitar is noticeably bigger and is closer to the original classical acoustic guitars. It has juicier and cleaner sound, but is not as easy to play.
- Solid spruce top
- Deep meranti sides & back
- Beautiful rosewood fretboard & bridge
- 3/4-sized for young adults & students
- Shallow body and smaller scale
- Easy to play
- Maybe: the intonation being way off above the 5th fret on most strings
- Build quality
Yamaha CGS102A – Natural
Well, it is the same model, but available in different sizes with different stings. I`ve placed it in the list, because if you are going to be upgrading later on, you`ll have a perfect opportunity to use the same model, but better. ¾ sized and full-sized model with metal strings are available.
- Spruce Top
- Meranti Back & Sides
- Rosewood Fingerboard & Bridge, Natural Finish
- Strings scale 25.6 inches, body depth 3.15 – 3.3 inches, finger board width (Nut/Body) 2.05 inches
There are other models on the market as well, so feel free to choose whichever model you like.
- Easy to play
- The tone is good
- Maybe: problems with strings
- Build quality
Summing Things up
So, in conclusion I would like to say about the most important stuff about this guitar. CGS102A is an OK choice for a beginner, who wants to study playing guitar, especially for children, teenagers and ladies. It has soft nylon strings which are easy-to-play, small body that sits in hands really comfortably and is affordable, so the purchase won`t hurt your budget a lot. On the other hand, it will require upgrading in several months, so consider that in advance.