11/05/2017

1974 Yamaha FG-75 Flattop Guitar





I fell for the oldest trick in the book: "Jake, could you get this ready for me?" said a friend. "Sure," I said. Then, after she tried it out: "Jake, could you sell this for me? It doesn't fit my hand." Uh-huh! Right!

So, that's how this FG-75 can now be found at Jake's Unhappily Unhoused Musical Critters. This one was made in Taiwan rather than Japan and came in with the usual Yamaha woes -- it needed its bridge shaved, a fret level/dress job done, and a good setup. It got all of that and now it's playing spot-on with 3/32" E and 1/16" ADGBE action at the 12th fret and strung with 50w-11 strings.

These are 00-sized and that means a 14 1/2" lower bout. It has a 25" scale length and a 1 23/32" (hair over 1 11/16") nut width and sports a medium, C-shaped neck profile. It handles sort-of like a Gibson LG-2 or B-25 but the body is all-ply in construction and fan-braced rather than x-braced. It's both louder, folkier, and warmer than you'd expect but does have the sort-of sizzly or glassy high end response that you find on most ply guitars. Overall -- it's a great guitar for what it is and I've had a lot of local customers drag these in for work so they can become their beach, campfire, or back-of-the-truck guitars.

The only iffy area of these Yamaha builds are their truss rods. This one is almost maxed-out but the neck is straight and it's good to go. I wouldn't string one of these with 54w-12 gauges but it doesn't need them to punch right out.


This looks a little prettier in the pictures than in person. There are a number of scratches, scuffs, and general wear-and-tear marks throughout the guitar.


The guitar is 100% original, too.


The neck appears to be mahogany and the fretboard and bridge are rosewood. The dot inlay is faux-pearl celluloid and the nut and saddle are plastic.




Despite having shaved this bridge down to a little over 1/8" off the deck, the saddle has a lot of back-angle on it provided by some string ramps behind it and there's still 1/16" of action adjustment off the top of the bridge on the saddle. I also compensated it a little better, too.


The ply mahogany back and sides show more use-wear than the top.











That number on the brace suggests 1974 production.

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