According to Dennis Webster, Yamaha Guitars Product Manager, musicians nowadays prefer guitars with smaller profiles because of their mobility and versatility. The APX600 is certainly a good choice for a small profile guitar designed to suit the needs of players.
Despite being new to the market, this acoustic-electric guitar is already popular and doing far better in terms of sales than its predecessor, the APX500III. Among the features that make this APX600 stand out are its thin body, fantastic build quality, and incredible tone.
So, how does it perform? Let’s find out from this Yamaha APX600 NA Thin Body review…
The sides and back are made from three-ply Nato, which is also called Eastern Mahogany and has the same tonal features and looks of standard mahogany.
The guitar top is made of laminated Spruce, which, although not solid, boasts a great tone. The scalloped bracing system to the underside of the body reduces the number of braces needed for increased flexibility. This, in turn, results in more bass response when playing the guitar acoustically.
The design of the body takes the basic shape of a dreadnought, but it is thinner and smaller, making it easy to hold and play. Meanwhile, the cutaway lets you access the full playing length of the neck, as well as being responsible for the guitar’s bright and treble-heavy sound.
However, this design does reduce the amount of lower bass frequencies considerably. In fact, without the cutaway, the guitar would produce a better bass response and fuller sound. But, improvements made to the scalloped bracing system have to a degree compensated for this, which in turn, has added back some of the bottom end that was lost.
To create a fuller sound, Yamaha included an oval-shaped soundhole, which also improves the response of lower-mids and low end. And the inclusion of abalone rosette, the white dots on the ends of the bridge pins, as well as ivory and black binding, add even more to the superb look of the guitar.
The entire body has a gloss finish.
The APX600 neck is built from locally produced tropical Nato and features a Rosewood fingerboard. The satin finish on the Nato gives it its glossy and attractive look. While the scale length has been reduced from 26 inches to 25 inches, making it easier for most people to play.
The spacing between strings has also been reduced, making it narrower. Again, these are some of the small changes made to the APX500 model to improve playability for younger players and those with smaller hands.
The 22 frets on the fingerboard are easy to reach thanks to the cutaway. The truss rod is easily accessible in case any neck adjustments are necessary. The neck itself is well-built and has a nice matt finish.
The APX600 is an electro-acoustic guitar and features a Yamaha-built piezo pickup system with a battery-powered preamp for greater flexibility. It comes with an easy to use 3-band EQ, a volume, a mid-range frequency slider as well as a digital tuner.
The EQ system is an important addition to the APX600 because, when amplified, it tends to overemphasize the higher frequencies. The EQ, therefore, allows you to minimize the treble and raise the lows and mids to create a more balanced sound.
It also allows you to control any feedback issues, which, although rare, may occur, and lowering the amount of bottom end will quickly sort that out.
Other features, which are common to the previous iterations of the APX600, include a conventional rosewood bridge and six die-cast tuners.
The APX600 is a well-built acoustic instrument. But it is when electrics come into play that it outshines its predecessors. The guitar will sound great, plugged in, and used an amp.
As mentioned, situated under the saddle is a system 65a preamp revamped piezo pickup, which produces a natural and clean acoustic sound regardless of what amplifier or PA system you run it through. This is actually the same pickup as is found in Yamaha’s A series of guitars, which are well known for their crisp and punchy sound.
How Yamaha APX600 Plays
Being a thinner style body makes it easy to play, especially for a starter or a younger player. You can easily pull the guitar close to your body, and players with shorter arms can get around it easily.
We have already mentioned the thin, shorter neck and the issues this can cause. Even though it is perfect for learners, it will require a slightly higher level of accuracy of finger positioning, for adults with larger hands. But with a little more effort, most guitarists will quickly find themselves flying around this fast and comfortable neck.
Despite having a slim body and a cutaway design, the APX600 offers a big sound with a good amount of low end. It also has more oomph and richness when compared to the APX500III, because of the advanced bracing pattern. And it produces a rich, clear sound through any amp or PA system.
- Width: 15 1/8″.
- Depth: (3 1/8″ – 3 9/16″).
- Length: 40 1/4″.
- Scale Length: 25″.
- Nut Width: 1 11/16″.
- Bridge and Fingerboard: Rosewood.
- Top: Spruce.
- Back and Sides: Nato.
- Fingerboard Radius: 23 5/8.
- Tuners: Die-cast Chrome (TM29T)
- Neck: Local Tonewood.
- Nut and Saddle: Urea.
- Bridge Pins: Black ABS with White Dot.
- Soundhole Inlay: ABS & Abalone.
- Body Binding: Ivory and Black.
- Neck Finish: Matt.
- Body Finish: Gloss.
- Controls: Volume knob, 3-band EQ knobs, a Tuner, and Mid FQ.
- Accessories: Hex Wrench, 2 x AA Batteries.
- Electronics: SYSTEM65 + SRT Piezo Pickup.
- Connections: LINE OUT.
- Strings: .012, .016, .024, .032, .042, and .053.
Yamaha APX600 NA Thin Body Pros & Cons
- Comfortable and easy to play.
- Clean, well-balanced sound.
- Cutaway design for easy access to the higher frets.
- The neck is ideal for younger and smaller-handed players.
- A good sound, but it doesn’t sound like a dreadnaught.
- Too much to end when amplified, but this is easily adjusted with the EQ.
- Not the best choice for players with larger hands.
Do You Need an Amplifier For an Acoustic-Electric Guitar?
If you just bought your first electro-acoustic guitar, you are probably wondering if you can use it without an amplifier.
Well, of course, you can, you do not need an amp to play an electro-acoustic guitar because it works just like a normal acoustic guitar.
However, if you do need more volume, for example, when playing with others, then get yourself a small acoustic amp. However, you will require a bigger amp for concerts and other performances, or as long as you have monitors, just run it through the PA.
If you’re not 100% sure that an electro-acoustic is the way to go, you could always stick with a more traditional design. To find out more, check out our reviews of the Best Acoustic Guitars under 500 Dollars, the Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars under 200 Dollars, the Best Acoustic Travel Guitars, and the Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners currently available.
You may also be interested in our review of the Fender CD 140SCE Acoustic-Electric.
Because of its smaller size and being so easy to play, the Yamaha APX600 NA Thin Body is a perfect instrument for beginners and players who would like to try an electric-acoustic guitar. It features everything that we liked about the previous model, such as the unique shape, the slim body, the solid electronics, and swift playability. But has been upgraded where it counts the most, in its functionality and sound.
A great guitar for the money!