Yamaha FG850 Guitar Review

The Yamaha FG850 is a folk guitar and one of the newer additions to the FG series. It has some excellent new features.

There have been Improvements to the scalloped bracing design. This has allowed Yamaha to bring out more sound than any other FG series guitar. But also give it more durability.

Let’s take a deeper look into why the FG850 is a popular choice among entry-level acoustics!


Let’s take a look at some key features of the Yamaha FG850 Acoustic guitar.

  • Mahogany wood top material.
  • Mahogany back and sides.
  • Nato wood neck.
  • Rose wood fret board.
  • Traditional western body shape.
  • 25.56 inch scale with 20 frets.
  • Great Yamaha build quality.
Yamaha FG850 Front.

Who is it For?

The FG850 has been built and designed for beginners. This was Yamaha’s intention behind the guitar. It’s an entry level guitar made overseas. But it’s a well-made instrument that is unique. Even experienced players can benefit from the sound it can produce.

My opinion, is that beginners should start with this guitar. It has a warm sound and is great for country, blues and folk. But even some great rock sounds can be obtained from it.

Sound Performance

This all-mahogany body really adds a thick, meaty low mid-range to the guitar that feels as big as it sounds. This body is incredibly warm sounding. The prized sound is a result of the mahogany top, back, and sides. Surprisingly, while still maintaining top-end clarity.

The advanced bracing to the top allows the sound projection to be quite loud. But it also keeps the top end clear and articulate, so the balance in sound is really pleasing with every strum.

The more aggressively you play, the livelier and adapting the sound becomes. This can satisfy many genres of music. I suggest you watch this video to hear the guitar in real time. You will see just how warm it sounds.


  • Materials and design.
  • Well-balanced sound.
  • Wonderful to play.
  • Stays in tune.
  • Looks great.


  • A Set-up may be required out of the box.
  • Generic tuners.
  • Stock strings may not benefit everyone.

Body Construction

The gloss finish over the all-mahogany body is eye-catching and really stands out. The guitar is unique looking, being all mahogany. There are not many acoustic guitars made of all mahogany like this.

Yamaha’s new scalloped bracing design makes the top more rigid. As a result of this, the acoustic has a louder volume presence but also a stronger mid to low tone. But it’s also stronger and more durable as a result.

The sides and back of the guitar are also made from mahogany. This also contributes to the overtones that are meaty and present in the mid-range. This makes the guitar great for a more modern rock or bluegrass sound.

The acoustic is very beautiful. Especially with the cream binding, which truly adds definition to the look. Here are the measurements of the body:

  • Length: 19.9″.
  • Width: 16.2″.
  • Depth: 4.6″.
Yamaha FG850 Rear.

Neck and Headstock

The FG850 neck is made of Nato wood from Mora trees. It also has a rosewood fingerboard, 20 frets, as well as a 25.56-inch scale length.

This neck has a good string spacing that makes it easy to play and is quite comfortable. Players with small hands will appreciate the 1.7″ wide neck on this acoustic guitar.

The headstock on the FG850 is a common Yamaha shape that is fitted to most of their guitars. This is a result of a simple, great neck that is easy to play.

Yamaha FG850 Neck.


The FG850 comes with a Synthetic Urea nut, saddle, and bridge pins made of black ABS with a white dot. Synthetic Urea is a combo of synthetic ammonia and carbon dioxide. It’s used normally by Yamaha for nuts and saddles.

The pickguard is a tortoise pattern. It wraps around the sound hole inlay of black and white abalone.

These machine head tuners are made of die-cast. But they are decent tuners for this price point. They feel good and hold tune well. The FG850 does not have any electronics on board. This is of no surprise, as the build is already great quality for a China-made acoustic.

Yamaha FG850 Sound Hole.


This acoustic is a full-size dreadnought. But is very comfortable and lightweight. The neck width is standard, but its shape is nice and would be good for players with small hands as well.

The string spacing is nice, which makes it easy to work on the fretboard with ease.

I did have to replace the nut that came with the guitar. It was too high and made the action but a bit uncomfortable. This was a bit of a con. But I’m not surprised, as they are made quickly and don’t spend a great deal of time with the set-up.

I went ahead and installed a bone nut and cut the grooves to offer a better string height. I also replaced the saddle and set it up to better suit my play style. After this, I really appreciated the playability!

Tuning the guitar was easy and consistent. The strings were not too hard to press, and the intonation was perfect throughout. It was easy to feel inspired by the guitar because it does seem like a better than entry-level instrument.

Yamaha FG850 acoustic guitar.

Conclusion And Final Thoughts

There are many great acoustic guitars in the under $500 price range available these days. They play and sound great. The Yamaha FG850 seems like a more expensive guitar once you feel and play it.

Yamaha‘s design, build quality, and tone are quite good for an acoustic at this price point.

This is an amazing guitar for a beginner. It can keep the inspiration flowing, but is also a good backup for even more experienced players.

The FG850 is made in China in order to keep the price point low. But many great guitars are being made there. This allows for a great quality acoustic for an even better price.