Yamaha FG502 models - Where are they? Opinions & Reviews?

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Candy~Apple~Rocker
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Yamaha FG502 models - Where are they? Opinions & Reviews?

Unread post by Candy~Apple~Rocker » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:13 pm

Greetings Yamaholics! :D

I will purchase a sorta new Yamaha FG502M soon, but what really surprises me; infos about that certain model is scarce.
Sure you'll find some offers here and there, which are rather old though and some rather short reviews
by random people and even one video on YouTube, which just shows some strumming, taken with a rather poor
camera, but I see no real discussions and reviews online.

Some sellers said that this model, FG502 as well as FG502M, is rare.
So maybe that is the reason why I find just lose infos?
But since Yamaha lists that guitar on their site and it was sorta the top of the FG line back in 2001,
I can't believe that they just made some and that's it.
http://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical- ... mode=model
http://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical- ... /fg/fg502/

Any guess why there is such a big silence about the FG502 model?
If someone in here actually owns one model or both, it would be really nice to hear a review. :)

Here is a picture of the model I'm getting. I think that's a nicer pic than the one on the Yamaha product page.
Image


Cheers!
My Yamaha gear:
1986 Yamaha SE700M Candy Apple Red
1986 Yamaha SE700HM Candy Apple Red
Yamaha THR10C

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Saul
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Re: Yamaha FG502 models - Where are they? Opinions & Reviews?

Unread post by Saul » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:42 pm

It's a lovely guitar. Solid wood all round and of course built with Yamaha's usual attention to detail. There is a fair bit of info out there but probably more about the spruce top 502 than the mahogony. I'm guessing sales of the latter were not as great. I would certainly have no hesitation in buying one though :)
Saul
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Candy~Apple~Rocker
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Re: Yamaha FG502 models - Where are they? Opinions & Reviews?

Unread post by Candy~Apple~Rocker » Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:46 am

@Saul Thanks for your opinion and thanks for accepting my membership request! :)

Yes, you are right. Most people rather talk about the FG502 with the solid spruce top.
I can use their infos to see how well it is built, but unfortunately soundwise I can't use the infos, to get an impression.

I'm just wondering what happened to the FG502M if sales were not that great.
Does Yamaha produce on demand, means they analyze the market (which I assume every company does)
and depending on the demand, do another run and maybe another run or the opposite?
Sorry if that's a stupid question, but I have no knowledge how guitar manufacturers handle their business.
Sometimes it looks like company XY produces a certain number of guitars (some more, some less), ship them to
different certified dealers and that's it.
Or do they test the waters first and really start their machines if there is a high demand? Maybe without any limit?
If that was the case with Yamaha, back in 2001, I might understand why the FG502M doesn't show up, which give me mixed feelings,
because I just bought and paid the FG502M a few hours ago. :|

On a side note, I read that their Kaohsiung factory in Taiwan had good quality control and such.
But that they closed the factory in the early 00s?
So maybe they decided to keep production low, since that factory came to an end?
A lot of guesswork, but I was hoping that some members in here might know the answers,
which are hard to impossible to find.

Anyway my concerns are rather qualitywise than soundwise though.
Although sound has huge importance (and I guess is part of the quality as well), my most important points would be playbility and reliability/durability.
When I found that model by accident, the specs, look and brand was very appealing, so I thought the time is right to finally get an acoustic guitar.
I only used a nylon string guitar for certain music and I always thought about getting a steel string guitar.

I'm also pretty neutral about what it should sound like.
Some people reported that it's not loud enough(?), but also that it has a bassy and warm character,
but I guess not in a mumbling way.
Overall I would use that guitar for fingerstyles and less for strumming chords
and for my personal pleasure, ergo not to perform infront of a decent crowd.

In case the guitar arrives in one piece, I might do a review myself...just need decent recording hardware first.
But like I said, if anyone has an opinion, It is much appreciated, since the same model can vary.
My Yamaha gear:
1986 Yamaha SE700M Candy Apple Red
1986 Yamaha SE700HM Candy Apple Red
Yamaha THR10C

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Candy~Apple~Rocker
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Re: Yamaha FG502 models - Where are they? Opinions & Reviews?

Unread post by Candy~Apple~Rocker » Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:23 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alJaL_o9VYo
Although this video is about comparing a Taylor spruce top and a mahogany top (hope posting such link is okay and does not fall under advertisement),
I clearly dig the warmer, less bright sounding mahogany top. But I see what people might prefer about the brighter, more brilliant sounding spruce top.

As always, it's a matter of taste, but maybe my experience with nylon strings plays an important role tonewise.
Just thought I share this, so in case someone else with the same question about that certain Yamaha model finds a bit more than I did.
...even though those are not Yamahas, but to compare the character, in a simple and interesting way, it is pretty well done imo.
My Yamaha gear:
1986 Yamaha SE700M Candy Apple Red
1986 Yamaha SE700HM Candy Apple Red
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Re: Yamaha FG502 models - Where are they? Opinions & Reviews?

Unread post by Buzzard » Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:50 pm

Hi Candy~Apple~Rocker, Welcome to the Yamaha Forums. :lol:

Using youtube clips to show instruments and how they sound is perfectly fine.

I hope you'll show your electric guitars as well, Yamaha SE's are cool. 8)

Here's a good FG-502M review found online: http://worlds-best-guitars.blogspot.dk/ ... uitar.html
:idea: Looking forward to read YOUR review of the FG-502M. :idea:

Best Regards
Peter
Yamaholic, Guitars, Amps and Bikes. :idea: My Guitars: http://www.yamahamusicians.com/forum/vi ... =24&t=7004 :idea:

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Re: Yamaha FG502 models - Where are they? Opinions & Reviews?

Unread post by Saul » Sat Oct 15, 2016 3:11 pm

Certainly a mahogany top does produce a warmer sound and probably doesn't quite project as well as a spruce top but if your mostly playing fingerstyle this actually works very well indeed. I don't think you will be disappointed in that respect. Often mahogany is paired with rosewood back and sides for a good compromise such as with the A3R, which is a beautiful sounding guitar.

I have a Taylor 114e ES2 myself which is soldi sitka spruce top with laminated sapele back and sides. It sounds quite bright but the sapele reigns it in a little so that suits me well. It's good for fingerstyle or strumming.

In terms of build quality I can say I have never come across a badly built Yamaha guitars since I have been playing them and we're talking well over 40 years. I'm sure you will find that experience echoed by others here. You can be sure if there were any criticism to level at Yamaha I would be most certainly doing it...if you read any of my keyboard reviews you will soon discover that ;)
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Re: Yamaha FG502 models - Where are they? Opinions & Reviews?

Unread post by Candy~Apple~Rocker » Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:00 pm

@Buzzard Thank you, I hope I can contribute something useful in the future (SE700 as well as FG502). Would be nice to upload something that doesn't exist on the net yet. :)
And thanks for the link, I read that article a couple days ago and thought it's nice side info to see the old street price
and the info about the case. I paid 449€ + 10€ national shipping and the seller put a Warwick gigbag, a set of new strings and a check on that deal.
It is a showcase guitar without any donks, so that's why I called it "sorta new".
I bet the US market would offer such models cheaper and I've seen a private UK seller, who sold it for around 200€,
but that was a true auction about a used guitar with donks and without a seller warranty.

@Saul Your words strengthened my faith! :o Good to hear that it basically wasn't the wrong choice for the style I'm going to use it for.

In the meantime, someone on a Facebook group replied to my post
"I had a 502m it wasn't well built and this one had been through some tough times. The satin finish did not protect it from humidity swings"
I asked for further details what exactly wasn't well built (except the finish that he didn't approve).
I gotta admit that I read "humidity swing" for the first time and therefore haven't given it much thought till now (zero to be exact).
I keep most of my guitars in cases or gigbags and humidity is relatively balanced in my apartement...I guess.
I hope he will reply to my question, since the handful of negative criticism online isn't really detailed to get a clearer view.
My Yamaha gear:
1986 Yamaha SE700M Candy Apple Red
1986 Yamaha SE700HM Candy Apple Red
Yamaha THR10C

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Re: Yamaha FG502 models - Where are they? Opinions & Reviews?

Unread post by Saul » Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:06 pm

I would not worry about build quality. I have heard some peoples opinions about certain guitars that on inspection proved to be completely unfounded. Often a little knowledge is a dangerous thing but in our case it can dissuade you from buying a perfectly good guitar.

Humidity can of course be an issue and one that many guitarists either don't know about or just forget to keep an eye on. Guitars are pretty resilient but where you have exposure to high humidity, typically 80-90% for a number of weeks or over a longer period, maybe months at 60-70% the wood can swell and joints fail. That's an expensive repair, if indeed it can be repaired. Conversly a guitar can dry out especially in the winter when people tend to crank up the central heating. For us humans of course that makes things very cosy and warm but it also removes humidity from the air and drys out the guitar. If humidity levels drop below 45-55% your potentially damaging your guitar! The wood can dry to a level where cracks start to appear, the neck bows and the top sinks.

To combat all of the above you can use things like humidity packs which are small disposable moisture filled packets with a breahtable two way membrane. These can either release moisture or absorb it depending on conditions. There are other types of course but they all do basically the same job. You should be able to find them online or at your local guitar store.

Hope you manage to get a video up of your 502 when it arrives. I will be doing videos myself soon. Written reviews are ok but with things like acoustic guitars people really want to see and hear it.
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Re: Yamaha FG502 models - Where are they? Opinions & Reviews?

Unread post by Candy~Apple~Rocker » Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:09 pm

Yes, I experienced that very often with technical devices like mobile phones or tools for your household.
You see good ratings and then bad ratings as well. Most of the time the bad ratings aren't dominating, but the influence is stronger.
At least in my case, although it depends how the review was written and its content.
But to be fair, some people who rated technical devices might had bad luck and reached for a monday's model (at least that's what we call a model with heavy flaws).
So far, bad quality ratings weren't spot on for me. *knocksonwood*

Thanks for the explanation and the suggestion! I will look it up and buy something, especially since the cold season is already here. :)
And I will try my best to make a decent video. Maybe I will use my digital camera, but that depends on the microphone.
If it's not satisfying enough, I have to get a microphone first.
And yes, video reviews are definitely a bit more helpful if the item depends on sound.
I enjoy a good read, but a video with sound is really satisfying as well.
I think a written review with all the needed information, combined with a video that simply shows the instrument's sound are the best.
Just in case someone owns a blog. If someone only works with YouTube that eliminates that chance.
And I guess on that matter, instruments like keyboards are "easier" to represent since you can really deliver the true sound digitally,
where the sound of an acoustic guitar will be altered by a mic, by its quality and by its spot imo.
I mean some guitars got a lot of video reviews and they are all different.

So in my case I can only tell my opinion, give some close-ups, play somthing and explain the sound,
but it will never be good enough like a visit to a music shop. I guess some people would say that you shouldn't choose a guitar online
anyway and play it by yourself, to see if it fits you and I agree to that, but it's rather difficult in my case.
Music shops around here are not the greatest.
My Yamaha gear:
1986 Yamaha SE700M Candy Apple Red
1986 Yamaha SE700HM Candy Apple Red
Yamaha THR10C

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Re: Yamaha FG502 models - Where are they? Opinions & Reviews?

Unread post by Saul » Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:17 pm

Yeah I think that goes for all video reviews where musical instruments are concerned. They can only offer a guide at best because it not only depends on what you use to record the video and sound but what the viewer is listenting to the sound through.

I would never recommend anyone buys something based on video reviews alone. I have played plenty of guitars that looked great in the video but in reality didn't play as well or were as well made as the reviewer had implied. There are some great reviews out there though so it's a mater of sorting the wheat from the chaff so to speak.

Talking about video reviews you can definitely use your digital camera. Does it record in HD? An external mic is a must but there are plenty to choose from that won't cost a fortune and still sound great. Need to get some kit myself so have been researching it a lot over the last couple of weeks.
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Re: Yamaha FG502 models - Where are they? Opinions & Reviews?

Unread post by Saul » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:44 am

@Candy~Apple~Rocker - Wondering how you got on with the FG502M? Did it arrive ok? Was it what you hoped it would be?
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