Gibson G-45 acoustics released. Good first acoustic guitar?

Mega Tron

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You should consider going into a store with a range of acoustic guitars you can sit with. I really like the new gibson acoustics and it would be nice to see and read from a member how those instruments are
Went to a local GC and tried out 10+ acoustics a few weeks back. I didn't want to bother the employees to unlock the pricey guitars ($1500+), so I played everything I could up to that price range. Included low end Martins and Taylors and some cheaper guitars from Fender and Yamaha. I was surprisingly unimpressed with the Taylors and Martins in the $1000-1500 range, save one Martin that had a mahogany top (may have been a D-15), but the finish on it wasn't that stellar. They just didn't ring out that much. To be completely honest, and perhaps to my surprise, my favorite sounding guitar was the FG800. I really liked it! They didn't have any FG820 or FG830 on display, and I bet those would be a bit nicer, but the cheap FG800 sounded terrific. The neck and fretboard were just ok. The Yamaha A5R had a really gorgeous neck and fretboard, but it arrived broken and I couldn't play it. I'm sure it sounds like the FG800 but better. Anyway, I've got a FG5 red label on order, so I'll have some impressions on that soon.
 

Mega Tron

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Received my Yamaha FG5 red label yesterday, and I played it for a couple hours. Here are my first impressions:

The guitar is pretty perfect. All the descriptions of this guitar indicate this the FG5 is made in Yamaha's custom shop, and the level of quality is in line with what you'd expect from a custom shop. Everything looks clean inside with no visible splinters or excess glue. Nicely cut bone nut and saddle. Tuning machines are smooth. The mahogany grain in the neck and body is even. I'm particularly impressed with the fretboard- the ebony board is very dark with a tight grain and the frets are the nicest I've ever seen. I wonder if it's been on a PLEK because the fret ends are cut so well such that there is no protrusion and they all appear uniform (suggesting it wasn't done by hand). I've played mostly on an Ibanez Prestige RG and 2015 Gibson LP, so neck profiles are not something I'm very particular about. However, compared to my Gibson, I'd say the neck is very similar if perhaps a bit less thick from the 12th fret down.

The FG5 sounds great. It is very loud and amazingly resonant. One strum with a 1mm pick at night and you'll wake everyone in the house. From my limited recollection, I'd say it's a bit less bassy than a Martin D-28 (rosewood) that I played recently, but it's still quite bassy. I think I prefer the more even tones of this mahogany guitar over the rosewood. Perhaps the torrified top plays a role in this. Finger style songs really ring out perfectly.

I'm not crazy about the finish. It's called semi-gloss and it's the same on the body and neck. I prefer the satin Ibanez Wizard finish on the neck and a gloss finish on the body. This is pretty much the finish on the Yamaha A5 series, but I preferred the specs and shape of the FG5. Also, I prefer a one-piece neck. In my experience, a one piece neck is less stable, but is much more resonant in exactly the same way a solid acoustic is more resonant than a laminate one. Wood grain running in different directions sandwiched together with glue (ie. plywood) is known to be more stable, which is why Ibanez Wizard necks are 5 piece necks. My guess is that a one piece neck would result in a bit of a price increase, but I'd welcome it.

So it's built well and sounds incredible. Very resonant! Recommend!
 
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