6/14/2018

1970s Yamaha (Taiwan) FG-170 Flattop Guitar




Need a 00-18 on the cheap? Well, this isn't it -- but it gets you in the ballpark in a very good way... especially if you're mostly playing chords. I worked on this one for a customer and it got a neck reset, fret level/dress, compensation at the saddle, and a good setup with 54w, 40w, 30w, 22w, 16, 12 strings.

I'm continually-impressed by Yamaha's designs from the '70s. The neck joints (as you'd expect on most old guitars) are often compromised, but the lightweight builds with their simplified (but fairly light) x-bracing and all-plywood bodies make really good use of their materials. These tend to be warm and sweet-sounding, though the usual "plicky-ness" on the highs I associate with ply tops endures. As well as the FG-110, these smaller-bodied Yamahas are my favorites in their acoustic lineup from the time.

So, there you go -- need a 00-size beater or camping friend? Find one of these and spruce it up. They almost always need a neck reset or bridge shave, but once that's solved, they're excellent little boxes and, being ply, don't suffer the humidity crises that your "good guitar" will if you're hanging out in the wet.


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