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Yamaha FG335, how old is it?


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I don't know how old it is but I could probably guess it's weight!   BigAl

My dad lets me use his...one of the warmest,most balanced sounding acoustics I've ever played! Especially since he told me me it was standing up on a bar and fell off! Despite that, its always,always

This thread was: Originated in '05. Resurrected in '08. Resurrected again in '09. Resurrected again in '10. Resurrected again in '11. And now, resurrected again in '11. I think in a co

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Well...it is now 2018 and I, too, was drawn to this amazing discussion thread by Googling for info about my FG-335 purchased in about 1978-1980 at a pawn shop in Fayetteville, NC as I was passing through on a trip down I95 from Virginia. This guitar replaced the “Sears Deluxe” acoustic I’d played as a child that had been stolen (who steals a guitar from Sears?!?). It was after getting this FG-335 that I started to really play seriously, since the action wasn’t a half-inch high like my former git-fiddle.

 

Tonight, after almost 40 years of playing this little gem, a bit of the plastic saddle broke off. So now I’m considering putting in a bone saddle and maybe doing a fret leveling or partial refret to put it back in top playable shape.

 

While I imagine no one really cares to know all these details, I felt compelled to breathe new life into this wonderful thread here in 2018. :-)

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Resurrect the Zombie... So my Grandmother just bought me a totally redone Yamaha FG335. Down in Southern Florida parts unknown. The man who refurbished this guitar did a hell of a job. Brand new Martin parts all over this beauty with a lot of the wear and tear just glossed over. Looks incredible. $100, the man gave her 3 sets of Martin Eric Clapton Phosphor Bronze Medium strings. The Original case, also beautifully beaten. A strap, and 5 dunlop 60mm picks. What a deal! This guitar has been beaten to hell and sounds like heaven.

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This thread made my day.

I just got to the end of a 20-year quest to find out what model was my old, faithful Yamaha... I played my first Am chord on it at the age of 5 and it never left me, I went on tour with it, recorded albums, but for the life of me I never managed to find out the exact model. The label had been replaced by the shop's one, I just knew it was built on Dec 14, 1978 from the S/N.

This guitar is absolutely crazy, every musician I ever played with commented on it, it has such a HUGE projection. I play percussive style guitar and no other instrument i ever tried has ever come close to the fullness of this one.

I've had it refretted in 2012, and it's going to my luthier soon in order to install a multi-pickup solution. It plays like a charm and sounds like no other.

And now that I know that it was a lowly entry-level guitar, I'm even prouder of it. What a day it has been.

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I had the brown sunburst one with snow flake fret markers. Loved it !

It's been dropped countless times, thrown a few times during a marriage breakup in the eighties, been with me on every job to countries from Chile to China, got knocked overboard from a boat on Lake Baikal, travelled more miles than Neil Armstrong and still remained the most playable guitar I have ever owned. Which backs up previous posters claims that they are "bullet proof".

A guitar will be your friend for life and no matter what your income you can always find one in your price range if you really want to learn and entertain yourself and others, if you so wish.

My favourite memory of the FG335 was sitting in the generator room on a ship in construction at a Nantong shipyard when the fog was so bad not much work was taking place so I got the guitar out and played "Fog on the Tyne" by Lindisfarne. Can you imagine the fun teaching 30 chinese men who do not speak a word of English and 2 that have a basic knowledge of the language the chorus to this great song...... they loved it and every day after that during lunch break I was asked " Mister Bob you play fogonatine" it was not a request, it was an order!

I aquired the 335 in the eighties as payment for a job I did for my elder brothers company as he is never keen on parting with money, and at that time I was a keen novice to guitar so agreed to the deal. It has been with me eversince up until 4 weeks ago, then some scumbags who believe stealing other peoples property is far more beneficial to them than having bona fide employment decided to steal my van from a hotel car park on the outskirts of London, so thats it... my 335 gone forever! I know this doesn't answer the original post but I am devastated!

 

Regards

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just picked up a FG 335 today have to say it pissed me off a bit. I have some pretty high end acoustics in the 5000.00 range ,this guitar plays as well as or better then they do .

I also have 2 other Yamaha guitars  FG 730s and a DW 12 string they are ok nothing like this one .This guitar has a very well rounded sound lots of bass,  that I find hard to find in most guitars under a 1000.00.So im another sold on this guitar. I thought what i had read about it before  buying the guitar were a bit exaggerated . I payed 130 cdn for it and still can't believe  it.

1979 Yamaha.JPG

all 3 yamahas.JPG

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Just me?  If I couldn't find a better playing guitar (for $5K) than an entry level lam' Yamaha, I'm not sure I would have the humility to admit it -- on a guitar forum anyways.

I have a lot of fond memories, & respect for Yamaha, but ...

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I played a 331, for a year, while CFM/Gibson/Guild sulked in their cases. While it was no hardship -- it wasn't a boutique quality build or sound imo. Old shoulders & a disc issue made dread's painful. I replaced the dread's with OM, O, OO, OOO, thin-lines & MJs. I then passed on the 331 as it was just too good a little guitar to sit fallow. Imo it did not rival a $5K instrument. That old $100 'Scroe!' L series did -- but apples & oranges.

In support:

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Perhaps you could share pic's (or name names) of any $5k guitars that don't stack up to an entry level Yamaha -- so others won't make the same mistake.

Jmo -- I'm no expert.  :bounce015:

 

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17 hours ago, Grant Harding said:

Ah - the old "my laminated FG slays high end acoustics" schtick. So nostalgic. Can you say loose, overpowering bass and weak midrange with no snap?

😃

The old laminated Yamahas may not sound better than "high end acoustics" but they often sound much better than most mid-range acoustics.  I have played several different models of those laminated Yamahas from the 70s and they were amazing.  As I recall, Freeman himself was surprised when he learned  that his old Yamaha was laminate given how good it sounded.

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I had a late 70's FG loved it. No I didn't consider it in the same league as a Martin but it was very nice sounding. I made the stupid mistake of selling it and buying an ovation .I wanted to be able to plug in to the PA. The Ovations were  in vogue at that time. But god, I learned to hate that guitar! Couldn't play it on your lap without it falling off and the piezo sounded like ass.

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I've worked on several old FGs and I played an FG180 for decades. I think they braced them lightly to allow for more bass and that's what made everyone flip out over them in the day. 

Unfortunately when compared to higher end guitars with solid woods there's just no comparison. The mid punch just isn't there and there are way less overtones, so they sound anemic.

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Wow this is an old thread! I'm sitting here playing my FG 335 right now. I've had it since 1982 when I bought it from a friend in college that was moving and needed as much money as possible. Got it for fifty bucks. It's indestructible and like a fine wine these guitars get better with age! This is the one to take out by the campfire and camping. My Martin and my My Gretch are more for my gigs... the string action on this Yamahas a little high but still I can leave it out don't need to humidify it and it's built like a tank as some of you have said. My cousin picked it up and said it sounds even better than his Taylor Guitar. This one was probably made around  or 77. Thanks for all the info about the wood, Spruce top mahogany sides Rosewood fretboard excetera.

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On 3/2/2020 at 9:55 AM, BillEllison said:

Wow this is an old thread! I'm sitting here playing my FG 335 right now. I've had it since 1982 when I bought it from a friend in college that was moving and needed as much money as possible. Got it for fifty bucks. It's indestructible and like a fine wine these guitars get better with age! This is the one to take out by the campfire and camping. My Martin and my My Gretch are more for my gigs... the string action on this Yamahas a little high but still I can leave it out don't need to humidify it and it's built like a tank as some of you have said. My cousin picked it up and said it sounds even better than his Taylor Guitar. This one was probably made around  or 77. Thanks for all the info about the wood, Spruce top mahogany sides Rosewood fretboard excetera.

April 2020 bump...mine was purchased from Sam Goody's at Smith Haven Mall, Long Island, NY on August 26, 1980 for $149.95. Still pristine, resonant and 100% original 40 years later...

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Well you won’t believe this guys. I just found a Yamaha FG 335 in the bin and it’s in great condition too - apart from the dust. Thanks to this crazy thread I now know what a great instrument it is - If only I knew how to play it. 

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2 let every one out there know if it's an original it will have. Label inside ending in the words made in taiwan. REPUBLIC OF CHINA. wich became the peoples Republic of China in 1948 the 

INSTRUMENTS WERE MADE BETWEEN 1940 AND 1948 THEY WERE MOST COMONLY SOLD IN THE 1970S THEY WERE 200ISH DOLLARS BACK THEN USA MONEY WICH WAS MORE THAN ALOT OF CARS DEPENDING ON CONDITION YOU CAN PICK THEM UP AS CHEAP AS 1200$ USA AND GO FOR AS MUCH AS 8000$ USA please email me if this article was helpful bzagatabz@gmail.com

 

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What a sexy thread this beauty is, as timeless a tribute to an ageless fine guitar.

I still own a FG336 SB II sunburst ('77-"81) that I bought used at RecordHead in Milwaukee, WI back in the early 80s, $100.

Built like a tank, lovely tones and solid tuners. Swapping out the plastic for bone nut and pins make for crisp sound, and D'addario phosphor bronze strings pair well. Huge truss rod fitting. 

This was the kind of guitar you could leave out all night after a campfire and would be unaffected by the dew. I drove for a bus company and once I got upset because a woman was literally standing on my guitar to try to reach her bag. The guitar was fine.

What did her in was the stark desert heat, one day I left her in a car and the sun baked her but good. Bowed the neck beyond what the truss can compensate for. I hold onto her for the memories and maybe one day will get her fixed up. She would be worth it.

Long Live this thread and all early Yamahas and naysayers can step aside and watch with wide-eyes...
 

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On 7/10/2020 at 4:05 PM, Yamaha fg3 said:

2 let every one out there know if it's an original it will have. Label inside ending in the words made in taiwan. REPUBLIC OF CHINA. wich became the peoples Republic of China in 1948 the 

INSTRUMENTS WERE MADE BETWEEN 1940 AND 1948 THEY WERE MOST COMONLY SOLD IN THE 1970S THEY WERE 200ISH DOLLARS BACK THEN USA MONEY WICH WAS MORE THAN ALOT OF CARS DEPENDING ON CONDITION YOU CAN PICK THEM UP AS CHEAP AS 1200$ USA AND GO FOR AS MUCH AS 8000$ USA please email me if this article was helpful bzagatabz@gmail.com

 

Nope, nope, nope.  They were made in the 1970s in the Republic of China which is Taiwan, not the PRC.  They did not go for "200ISH DOLLARS" when they were new and they go for way less than $1200.00 now and I have never seen them go for anything even approaching $8,000.00.  

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On 3/28/2005 at 4:22 PM, Zombie1 said:

I am trying to find some info on a yamaha FG335 I recently purchased from a friend who was in a pinch,I do not know allot about accustic guitars and would appreciate any info on determining the year and approximate value of this guitar. I was told and do believe the guitar was built in the late 70's or early 80's it was my friends dads guitar and I remember it from LONG ago. I am not really interested in selling it right now but any info would be greatly appreciated. thanks a bunch Zombie1( no, not like Rob ,like the dead guys)but I do like Rob THANKS AGAIN

 

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What a nice threat this is 😀

I got mine for free from the son of our neighbour. He rang the bell, guitar in his hand and told me he was going to throw it away and asked if I had any use for it 😄

It was beaten up, the neck was crooked, it had only 4 strings, but it said Yamaha on the headstock and I thought: that can not be a bad guitar.

Fixed it up, straitened the neck, restrung it with a set of Elixir .012 Phosphor Bronze I had lying around and couldn't believe my luck!

Been taking it on every holiday since. It is in my study and when I want to relax from work I pick it up and play for a while. 

No it is not a high end guitar, but I love this baby!!

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I just wanted to resurrect something. What better than a guitar post about, the famous Yamaha FG355. It's a rather tough guitar. Kinda feels heavy for a guitar co structed in the pacific. Hmmmm? 

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I bought this guitar with my first salary, I played it for two or three years, then I put it in its case. Now, after 39 years, nine months ago, I started to play it again! I love its sound! But, please give me an advice. After a so long period which works would be better to do on it?

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