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Zombie1

Yamaha FG335, how old is it?

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I'm a novice player, bought my FG335 12/18/1980, from a local suburban Chicago music shop. I've recently started practicing again and got it a new case. Very interesting thread, I joined just to post this. Thanks!

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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 The label had been replaced by the shop's one, I just knew it was built on Dec 14, 1978 from the S/N.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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My tuppence worth - got my fg-335 from legendary Frank Hessy's in Liverpool for my 18th birthday in 1978. Always sounded great but was hard to play till I adjusted the neck and put a new bridge in about a year ago.

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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

Edited by pigpen48

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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.

Edited by Nabisco

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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.

Edited by kbeaumont
sp

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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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