Yamaha has long been known for producing the most guitars of all manufacturers and for making high-quality instruments that are built to last. Since they have been producing guitars for 57 years, it stands to reason that they are able to design and manufacture top-quality, durable, great-sounding instruments that will last for a long time.
Our Yamaha APX500 III Review
What Is the Yamaha APX500 III?
The Yamaha APX500 III is a reliable acoustic-electric guitar that features easy-to-use controls. First released in 2004, this guitar has undergone some upgrades but continues to be very popular. While its predecessor, the Yamaha APX600 PL Thin Body Acoustic-Electric guitar is widely available, many people still opt for the APX500 III.
The APX series was created to provide musicians the ability to plug in their acoustic guitars without dealing with loud feedback or volume problems. The redesigned body of newer versions, including the APX500 III, was designed to provide more volume and better bass response. This, in conjunction with the dynamic and responsive tone, resulted in incredible guitars.
Who Is the Yamaha APX500 III Designed for?
The Yamaha APX500 III is a great guitar for beginners and while it is slightly more expensive than other entry-level guitars, the body design and the easy controls make it a great option for new musicians to consider.
Not only can beginners choose from a few different colors, which is great for expressing their personality, but they will also enjoy a thinner body that is significantly easier to hold. This means that new guitarists are likely to have a better playing experience as the instrument itself is more comfortable and a bit smaller.
With a large cutaway, it’s easy for guitarists to be able to reach higher frets without problems, which is great for beginners who don’t have a lot of experience. Since the guitar still produces the same full sound as larger instruments are able to, it can easily hold its own in a group or on stage at church.
The great thing about the preamp is that it is battery-powered. This means that guitarists won’t have problems learning how to use difficult controls. The built-in digital tuner is designed to allow musicians to quickly tune their guitars without problems, which is a feature that has great appeal to beginners.
While designed for beginners, it’s not out of the question that the APX500 III could be used as a stage guitar. It features a big sound that has plenty of resonance but remains very well balanced, which is important when you are performing, especially with a group.
What’s included with the Yamaha APX500 III?
- Spruce top, Nato/Okume back and sides
- Nato neck, Rosewood Fingerboard
- System 66 preamp, 25-9/16" Scale Length
- Rosewood Bridge, die cast chrome tuners
- Kit Includes: Chroma Cast Padded Gig Bag, tuner, nylon Guitar strap, upright guitar stand, acoustic medium-light guitar strings, & 4 Pick Sampler
This guitar requires 2 AA batteries for the electronics to work and it ships with them so musicians can start playing right away. As with many guitars, however, it doesn’t ship with a bag, case, capo, amp, picks, or strap.
You will want to have all of these accessories on hand so that you can start playing music right away. If you don’t have them, then you will struggle to control your guitar and, in the case of an amp, won’t be able to enjoy the louder sounds and tones that will help you stand out on stage.
Primary Features of the Yamaha APX500 III
Designed for beginners, the APX500 III features controls that are incredibly easy to use. These include volume controls but the guitar also features:
- Mid-range frequency control
- Built-in digital tuner
- Under-saddle piezo pickup
- 1/4” jack
- Non-scalloped X-type bracing for full sound
- Limited lifetime warranty on sides, top, neck, and back
There is pretty basic hardware included on this guitar but that doesn’t detract from its playability. There are die-cast tuners on the headstock, stock stings, and a rosewood bridge. While the strings are fine for a beginner, as you improve your playing, you will likely want to invest in a better set of strings that will provide you with the sound you’re looking for.
The rosewood fretboard has 22 frets, which will allow players the ability to play higher notes. Since the body of the guitar is made from nato and spruce, it has a nice and full sound.
Alternatives to the Yamaha APX500 III
The Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat Acoustic-Electric guitar is a great option for players to consider if they want a guitar that is braced for steel strings and will have a different sound. This guitar not only has an attractive finish that helps to set it apart from others that you may see but sounds strong and clear no matter if you have the guitar plugged in or not.
The Yamaha A3M Cutaway Acoustic-Electric guitar is another great option to consider if you are interested in investing in a guitar that offers a little more control and will allow you to learn and grow with it. This guitar has a dreadnought cutaway body that makes it easy to hold and to control as well as a slim taper profile, which is perfect for new or more petite players. Additionally, it has a piezo pickup that makes it easy to find your perfect tone when playing.
Conclusion: Should You Consider the Yamaha APX500 III?
If you are in the market for a guitar that will work well for beginners, then you will definitely want to consider the Yamaha APX500 III. While it was designed specifically for new musicians to learn how to play guitar without a lot of stress, it can work well for more advanced musicians.
Don’t expect this guitar to provide you will all of the control over your sound that you may want as you improve as it simply doesn’t have these features or options. As you improve your guitar playing ability, you may want to invest in a high-quality guitar that has better hardware and more advanced controls.
That being said, due to the exceptional price, durability, and playing ease that you’ll enjoy with this guitar, it is a great choice for anyone who is looking to start playing an instrument and wants to learn how to play the guitar.
We hope our Yamaha APX500 III review has helped you. You might want to check out our list of the best acoustic electric guitars for church worship.