Yamaha recently launched the FG Red Label series of acoustic guitars, blending the vintage, handcrafted design of iconic early Yamaha instruments with the company’s cutting-edge technological innovation in wood conditioning and true-to-life sound reproduction.
These guitars are inspired by the original FG Red Label acoustic guitars of the 1960s, the company’s very first steel-string guitars, which became widely known for their high-end Japanese craftsmanship. The new folk guitars retain the retro aesthetic and classic tone of their predecessors, while adding a new pickup system and the company’s proprietary wood aging process to create a guitar that sounds like a seasoned, vintage instrument right out of the box.
All models in the FG Red Label line are crafted with solid Sitka spruce tops, mahogany back and sides, and ebony fingerboards. The top is reinforced with scalloped bracing, a specialized latticework to enhance tone and projection. The overall design evokes the look and feel of the original FG Red Label models launched in 1966 under the Nippon Gakki name that preceded the present-day Yamaha brand. Over the years, the models in this original line have come to represent the quintessential Yamaha acoustic guitar.
Selected models in this guitar line are equipped with the Yamaha Atmosfeel™ pickup and preamp system, a hardware innovation endowing the guitar with a uniquely natural plugged-in sound. Atmosfeel employs a three-way sensor setup, with a piezo sensor to capture sound where the strings meet the bridge, an internal microphone to gather the resonance inside the guitar body and a sheet sensor to pick up the vibrations of the topboard. These three components work together to produce a multidimensional sound with additional nuance and depth, offering a more complete representation of the guitar’s true sound.
The FG Red Label’s top is treated with the company’s proprietary Acoustic Resonance Enhancement, a patented chemical-free process that uses precise control of temperature, humidity and pressure to alter the structure of wood at a sub-cellular level, transforming it into the same material as would be found on a guitar that has been played for many years. Benefits include increased resonance, longer bass sustain, and greater midrange and high-frequency responsiveness.
“The iconic Yamaha folk guitar has evolved into an instrument with a unique retro vibe and design enhanced by the latest advances in guitar technology,” said Yoh Watanabe, director of marketing, Yamaha Guitar. “The new FG Red Label guitar inspires artists to make music that rises above the limitations of a conventional guitar, with warm, seasoned tones and rich harmonics for a pure, powerful performance, plugged or unplugged.”
Yamaha FG Red Label guitars will ship in the summer of 2019. Pricing is as follows (all prices are MSRP):
• FG3/FS3: $1,275
• FGX3/FSX3: $1,585
• FG5/FS5: $1,900
• FGX5/FSX5: $2,320
The FG3 and FGX3 models will ship with a hard bag; the FG5 and FGX5 models with a hardshell case.
For more information, head over to yamaha.io/YAMAHAFGREDLABEL.