The A3M cutaway dreadnought reviewed here features solid tonewoods and also an S.R.T (Studio Response Technology) microphone-modeling preamp, making this a guitar for serious gigging players, but at a price that won’t leave you destitute.

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Though some might not immediatelythink of Yamaha as soon as asked to list thegreatest and also a lot of enin the time of acoustic guitarbrands of all time, the truth is that Yamahahas built acoustic guitars for even more than afifty percent century. And in that time, the companyhas thrived by preserving a line of guitarsfor everyone from beginners to experts.Countless guitarists reduced their teeth on thebeautitotally constructed and also affordable FG series inthe ’70s and ’80s, and some of the world’sideal players—including people fingerstyle veteranBert Jansch—have actually provided Yamaha’s high-endL-series guitars to craft masterpieces.This well-establimelted commitment to servingplayers of eextremely stripe continues to fuelYamaha’s success, as shown by the newA-series guitars, which are a worthy inheritorto the company’s reputation for affordableperformance. The A3M cutaway dreadnoughtreviewed here features solid tonewoods andan S.R.T (Studio Response Technology)microphone-modeling preamp, making thisa guitar for major gigging players, but at aprice that won’t leave you destitute.Pretty and also SmartThe A3M is a subtle and simple design—verytasteful and also organic looking. I am a sucker forhardwood bindings and timber inlays, so I immediatelychosen the look. The tiny fret-markerdots and also die-cast chrome hardware are equallypractical, attractive, and subdued. Thepickguard, which looks inspired by Gibson’sflashier acoustics, seems favor a much less naturalfit, given the underproclaimed nature of the restof the style. The solid mahogany earlier andsides and also solid Sitka spruce top all have actually thelook of well-selected hardwood. The mahoganyis wealthy and dark, while the ebony fretboardand bridge and the lighter hardwood binding allmatch each other wonderfully—andthe wood-inlay rosette is charming, too.My initially impression after picking up theguitar was that it’s developed very solid—itfeels choose a tiny tank. The guitar isn’t hefty,though the pickup system does add someheft, but it feels of a piece and is exceptionallywell well balanced. While slightly chunky, themahogany neck is super comfortable. Whilestring spacing at the saddle is slightly widerthan usual, the 1 11/16" nut is a small narrowfor my taste, and also narrower than mostfingerstylists like, which argues the A3Mis aimed even more at strummers. However, theguitar plays very nicely and also quickly, and also flatpickerswill certainly love the narrower neck.Beautiful Plugged in andUnpluggedThe A3M has an excellent acoustic tone that’sclear and complex. Bass tones are not woofy,yet well characterized. Trebles are both brilliantand detailed. In standard tuning, the A3Msounds tight and also focused and also qualified of greatrange—sweet when played fingerstyle, andpunchy via a flatpick. And in DADGAD,the guitar takes on a lovely, practically growlingresonance that deserve to be delighttotally dark. Witha capo, the A3M keeps its mojo intact andremains resonant and rich.
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The S.R.T System 63 Modeling PickupSystem is superior, as well. It featuresmodels of three killer microphones—aNeumann U67, a Neumann KM56, anda Royer R-122—with 2 mic-placementalternatives for each (selected via the Focus/Wide button), a 3-band EQ, a Blendknob, a Resonance knob, a built-in tuner,and also a feedback-manage mechanism. Easy touse and also navigate, it offers well-off, deep,herbal tone, supplies a really cool method tomix up your amplified tones. The Focus(close-mic) option models the sound ofa microphone situated a few inches fromthe guitar. The Wide choice emulatesthe sound of 2 mics—one cshed andone more a couple of feet amethod. The models areaccessed through a 3-place slider. You canEQ the tone to taste as well, however I lovedthe sound so a lot flat that I hardly ever did.Each design is truly distinctive, and also you canreally hear a distinction between Focusand Wide, too, so you have a lot ofjumping-off points for achieving a moodor playing to the acoustic attributes of aperformance room.My favorite design was the Neumann U67in the Wide position, which included oomph,sizzle, bite, power, and also gorgeous resonance.It’s perfect for solo gigs. Though I have the right to imaginethe KM56 in the Wide position workingwell for acoustic ensemble gigs and the R-122in the Focus place lending punch if youwere playing through a bhelp and drummer.Tright here are 2 additional shaping tools—Blfinish, which facilitates a mix between thefundamental pickup sound and also the design, andResonance, which sounds choose a really tastyand realistic reverb reacting to the guitar’sbody vibration. Turning the Resonanceknob clockwise increases the body resonance,and also turning it counterclockwisedecreases it. I preferred it at about 2 o’clock,but I have the right to imagine some live situationswhere you’d desire to decrease the resonancesignificantly—specifically in a particularlylively room. Moving the Blend to slightlyfavor the model, meanwhile, assisted alleviatesome piezo quack and include a little extracharacter and also room to the tone.The anti-feedearlier function workspretty seamlessly, as well—and also I noticed nochange in tone as soon as I engaged it. Further,I had actually to revolve up really loud to get any feedbackin the initially place. The tuner is straightforward touse, cuts the pickup off as soon as engaged, andis accurate and also responsive.The VerdictI would not hesitate to make the YamahaA3M my just gigging guitar if I was on abudgain. It’s an all-solid-lumber worksteed. It’ssimple to use and also understand also, and also exceptionallyplayable. But the sound shaping potential ofthe S.R.T. system places this Yamaha amongthe standouts in its course. And at roughly 800bucks, it does a lot for the money. If you’rein search of a deal on a strictly acoustic guitar,the A3M may have actually more bells and whistlesthan you need. But if you’re a gigging guitariston a moderate budobtain, the A3M is worthputting on your brief list.

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Buy if...you require a great-playing,terrific-sounding, performance-readyguitar on a budgain.Skip if...you don’t require electronics oryou’re a fingerstylist in require of alarger fretboard.

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