Yamaha FD01S Acoustic Guitar Review (Best Beginner Acoustic?)

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Yamaha FD01S Acoustic Guitar Review (Best Beginner Acoustic?)
Specifically designed for beginners, the Yamaha FD01S acoustic guitar offers a good balance of price, features, playability, and durability. With this guitar, Yamaha gives beginners everything they need to start their guitar journey.
Offers real value for money for a beginner's guitar
Feels good from the get go and plays very well
Clean and crisp sound is good for practice
Too big for some younger / smaller players

The Yamaha FD01S acoustic guitar was specifically designed for beginners. In other words, Yamaha set out to deliver an instrument that is functional and pleasant to play but at the same time has a price that is attractive to folks that are just starting out.

In a marketplace that is flooded with guitars for beginners, Yamaha has curated a stellar offering in the form of the FD01S.

Yamaha FD01S Acoustic Guitar: Verdict?

The Yamaha FD01S is a guitar that delivers everything you’d expect from a beginner’s instrument. It offers appropriate playability, features, construction, and durability, for a very affordable price. The Yamaha FD01S does a great job of carrying out the difficult task of keeping a low price while still producing a good instrument.

YAMAHA FD01S Solid Top Acoustic Guitar

The Yamaha FD01S is the perfect first guitar; Combining quality woods and outstanding tone at an outstanding value.

Why We Love It:
  • Offers superb value for money
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Clean and crisp sound
View Price On Amazon

Don’t forget to also check out our review of the Yamaha FG830.

Features (8/10)

The Yamaha FD01S is a full-size dreadnought guitar with a solid top. It features a nice combination of woods (more on that later) that help bring out a crisp sound that projects well for this price point.

The nato neck on the FD01S is a bit thinner, which is a smart move by Yamaha, as this can be a great advantage when first learning the guitar. It features a fingerboard radius of 400 mm and a nut width of 43 mm (1 11/16”).

The scale length on the FD01S is 641 mm ( 25 ¼”), which along with the thinner neck makes it very comfortable to play, another important feature for a beginner’s guitar. 

This instrument features a black pickguard to protect from scratches. The tuners are die-forged, which is also nice for such an affordable guitar, making it feel like a more expensive instrument.

Other noteworthy features include gloss finish on the neck and body, black pickguard, urea material for the saddle and nut, and white ABS with black dot bridge pins. 

This guitar ships with Yamaha strings gauged .012/.016/.025/.033/.043/.052.

Overall, Yamaha does a good job with the features on the FD01S, providing a new student with a functional instrument at a very low price. 

Sound (8/10)

This guitar has a good sound for the price. It projects well and can be of great use not only for songwriting but also for the stage and the studio. It produces a clean and crisp sound, thanks in part to its solid spruce top. 

When learning guitar, clarity is another thing that you want to have in your instrument, and this guitar offers it.  Simply put, the FD01S will make it sound just like it should. 

Naturally, this is also a great instrument for just playing some songs on your couch, camping, or while hanging at a friend’s place. 

The FD01S features a laminated mahogany neck that affects the bass end of the instrument. This is not really a problem for a beginner’s guitar, but worth mentioning nonetheless. The upside is that the strings are relatively easy to bend and slide well (but not too well!) on this type of neck. 

As you probably suspect, there are guitars that sound better, but also cost a lot more. The thing to keep in mind is that you’re getting a good sound for such a low price.

Additionally, most beginners won’t be able to tell much of a difference in sound between this guitar and one that costs $500 more. That being said, the FD01S does have a nice tone, especially if you change the strings that it comes with for a more expensive set. For example, you could even opt to put in a set of strings with a lower gauge for even more comfort. 

Besides learning how to play on it, you could also use this guitar as your first guitar for recording. The FD01S will do just fine paired with the right microphone, but if you plan on doing any home recording make sure you have a treated room as this guitar will go quite loud and an untreated room will sound boomy and unprofessional.

(For tips on dampening the acoustics of your room, check out our roundup of the 7 Best Acoustic Foam Panels For Home Studios)

As the FD01S projects well, it would do nicely with a mic placed 12 inches in front of the 12th fret, especially if it’s a condenser microphone. I actually wonder if Yamaha considered this because this guitar does have a sweet sound right at that spot.

Construction (8.5/10)

The Yamaha FD01S features a solid spruce top, nato (eastern mahogany) back, sides and neck, and a rosewood fretboard and bridge.

All of these woods are coated in a natural finish for a very elegant and pleasant look. The solid spruce top gives this instrument a nice brightness and projection that adds to the fun of learning to play guitar. 

The body length of the FD01S is 507 mm ( 19 15/16”), and total length is 1025 (40 ⅜”). The body width is 400 mm (15 ¾”) and the string spacing is 11.0 mm. In other words, it’s a full-body dreadnought guitar that will be a bit gentler for folks with smaller hands, mostly because of its neck. 

One of the most surprising aspects of the construction of this guitar is the use of a non-laminated spruce top. This is a bit uncommon at this price point, and this sort of generosity is another reason why Yamaha has been one of the most respected builders for decades now.

So overall Yamaha does a great job with the construction considering the price of this guitar. As a matter of fact, not many manufacturers will be able to match this level of cost-benefit ratio. 

Playability (7.5/10)

This Yamaha guitar offers everything a beginner instrument should have, and playability is no exception. The FD01S feels good from the get-go and plays very well. Naturally, a beginner is not going to have criteria for what feels good or doesn’t but once they play other guitars they will realize how good this instrument is to play.

Ultimately it is made for beginners not only because of its price point and features but because it reveals exactly what is being played. For instance, when a beginner is finally able to play the dreaded F bar chord, the FD01S will make it abundantly clear and you’ll hear every note.

Another very important aspect that the FD01S delivers on is tuning and intonation, which is ultimately very stable. Naturally, beginners will spend most of their time on the first four frets, and the FD01S sounds just right in this area. But as you play further up the neck you’ll find the intonation is very well balanced across the entire fretboard.

YAMAHA FD01S Solid Top Acoustic Guitar

The Yamaha FD01S is the perfect first guitar; Combining quality woods and outstanding tone at an outstanding value.

Why We Love It:
  • Offers superb value for money
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Clean and crisp sound
View Price On Amazon

So, Is The Yamaha FD01S Worth It?

The Yamaha FD01S is a great buy for those interested in learning the guitar. It offers a good balance of price, features, playability, and durability.

With the FD01S, you’ll be able to buy an instrument with the confidence that it will have everything you need to set you on the right path to learning guitar. 

For less than two hundred bucks you can get started with playing with a guitar by a name brand. That is remarkable, and the FD01S does not disappoint.

You might even get started with recording with this guitar, as it sounds great and projects well enough to capture your ideas. But ultimately, whether you want to write songs, instrumental pieces, get started with recording, or just learn guitar and have some fun, the Yamaha FD01S does it all so well.

By the way, if you’re new to playing guitar make sure to check out 7 EASY One-String Guitar Songs next!