1980s Yamaha FG-340T Jumbo Flattop Guitar

This is a plywood, Taiwan-made Yamaha jumbo just like any other Yamaha jumbo from the '70s and the '80s. The FG-340T seems to be a "tinted-top" variant (with neck binding) of the FG-335. It's ply spruce on the top with light, squarish-cut x-bracing, and has ply mahogany for the back and sides. Fancier trim gussies it up a bit but it's basically the same guitar.

It also sounds as you'd expect -- big, full, warm, and suited to chordal back-up very well. When you're fingerpicking these, you sometimes forget entirely that they're ply, too, as they sound so good. You only really feel truly let down by a Yamaha ply box when you're digging-in hard with a flatpick from the G-string on-up, where it starts to sound a little more zippy/slappy because of the material's innate sound.

Because these boxes are pretty indestructible, sound great, and generally need only heavy-handed setup work after decades of use, I consider them some of the best student/general use guitars out there. I mean -- I've gone ahead and done a neck set and put $60 worth of good tuners on the "big old Yamaha" that I own -- so it's worth putting some effort into these to have a dependable instrument you can lug around anywhere without having to worry about... I dunno -- relative humidity? Playing in the sun in the yard? Playing in the cool by the river?

They do what all instruments should do: get you to play more without the fear of mucking-up a fancy piece of guitar-art when you spill your beer/tea/coffee/what-have-you on it while at a cookout-jam.

I rest my case. Please enjoy some weird brown tint...