If you’re familiar with our page, you’ll know that at KGR we’re big fans of Yamaha’s guitars, particularly their budget models. Even at the entry level, the quality of construction is superb, and as a brand, they’re known for using higher end materials on budget models – the Yamaha GigMaker Standard Acoustic Pack is a great example of this!
This kit comes with a fantastic Yamaha F-325 guitar and all the essential accessories a beginner needs to get started. In fact, we actually named this bundle as our Best Budget choice in our roundup of the Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitars.
In this KillerGuitarRigs Review, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Yamaha Gigmaker Acoustic Kit to bring you more details about its construction, build quality, feel and playability, and of course, its tones.
Keep on reading if you’re in the market for a low cost, high quality Yamaha acoustic!
Yamaha GigMaker Standard Acoustic Pack: Who Is This For?
The Yamaha Gigmaker Acoustic Kit is aimed directly at beginner players. It’s a full size dreadnought, so, we’d say it’s probably a better choice for adult novices rather than younger players.
It’s a reliable model with solid tuning stability at a great price, and of course, it comes with a bunch of great accessories. It’s a real turn key package, making it an ideal solution for anybody who has never owned a guitar before looking to get started with a quality model.
Appearance / Features / Controls
The F325 that comes in the Gigmaker Standard Acoustic Pack is about as simple as an acoustic guitar comes, but of course, it’s very well put together – this being the critical difference between this and similarly priced entry level models from other brands.
The body was all laminate – not a huge surprise given the price point. The top was made from layered spruce and the back and sides were layered sapele. The neck was crafted from nato, sometimes spelled as nyatoh, and had an ultra slim, and extremely forgiving profile. Topping the neck was a walnut fretboard, and characteristically for a Yamaha, it was well finished, with nice fretwork, and good quality wood in use. There weren’t any sharp edges, and everything was properly leveled.
It had a fairly standard array of unbranded hardware, but again, it was all of good quality. The tuners in particular performed well, resulting in good stability and easy fine tuning. The nut and saddle, although both plastic, were well cut, and caused no issues with intonation or tuning stability.
Being a bundle, it also came with a thin, but decent quality gig bag, a strap, some picks, and even a clip on tuner – pretty much everything you’ll need to start playing right away.
Performance / Sound
While this Yamaha may be an all laminate, basic beginner’s model, it still sounded great, and offered solid playability – everything a novice player actually needs. It had a robust voice, and surprisingly well balanced tones.
We found it to be reasonably responsive, especially considering that there was no solid wood in use on the body. Regardless, it performed well with both soft, quiet playing, as well as more aggressive strumming.
It had good sustain, particularly when playing open chords. It had that big, booming dreadnought voice that has made this style of guitar so popular, and it projected very well. It cut nicely through a mix, so you should have no problems playing this guitar in a group.
We found that it was most prominent in the bass and lower mid registers, but there was still a decent bit of shimmer at the top end. It had good clarity whether being strummed or picked, and there was some nice detail in the tone.
Of course, while the use of laminates does tend to numb the tone a little, in a beginner’s guitar it’s not always a bad thing. It makes it a much more reliable model. It can go practically anywhere with you, indoors or outside, and take extreme changes in temperature and humidity without swelling/contracting. This really helps a lot with tuning stability as well as the overall ability to take the kind of punishment new players often inflict on their guitars!
Playability wise, the F325 had pretty much everything going for it. The neck was great – comfortable and pretty fast. The action was a little higher than we’d usually like, but when you consider the cost of this guitar, the quality of the out of the box setup was leagues ahead of what we’ve found elsewhere.
Other Guitars to Consider
The Yamaha GigMaker Standard acoustic pack really is the one to beat when it comes to quality entry level acoustic guitars, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some decent alternative options if you’re still not quite set on this model. Check out a couple of our favorite alternatives below.
The Fender CD-60S is another KGR favorite thanks to its solid spruce top, beginner focused playability, and surprisingly broad tonal depth. It’s well made and comes from one of the biggest brands in the business. For the money, it’s one of the best appointed dreadnoughts available, and should definitely be on your radar if you’re considering an entry level acoustic guitar. It doesn’t come with any accessories like the GigMaker kit, but you should be able to pick up a gig back and a tuner relatively cheap.
The Yamaha FG800 is a guitar that has impressed us on numerous occasions thanks to its high end build quality and superb tones. This is another solid spruce topped dreadnought, which is a significant step up from the all-laminate GigMaker model. It’s one of the most reliable models in its price range, and is the type of workhorse guitar that even working musicians would have no trouble using. Again, if not having the accessories isn’t a concern for you, the FG800 is a solid choice.
Final Thoughts on the Yamaha GigMaker Standard Acoustic Pack
Getting to do a roundup of Yamaha acoustic guitars was a real treat for us. Rarely do we encounter a roundup where every single model, from cheapest to most expensive has so much to offer, and the Yamaha GigMaker Standard Acoustic Pack definitely deserved its Best Budget title.
It was a ton of fun to play, it sounded great, and to get all of this for under $250, is frankly amazing. Are the tones going to rival that of all solid body models like the LL-TA transacoustic? No, but that’s not the point of this guitar. If you’re a newer player, looking for something that’s built to last and most importantly a forgiving player, this is one of the best on the market.