I received this guitar as an anniversary present on July 6th. Initial observations? LOVELY. The finish is flawless and glossy. All the edges and corners are nicely put together. This guitar is beautiful. The Internet photos don’t really do it justice.

The Weekend Review:

Everything works as advertised. I remain impressed: the only time I tuned this guitar was when I pulled it out of the box and after four days of extremely HOT temperature, it is Still. In. Tune. I’ve never had an instrument, let alone a stringed instrument, stay in tune after one tuning. Impressive? Yeah.

The action is nice and low, very easy to play. It masterfully walks the tolerance line: no buzzy strings, no scary intonation issues. I remain impressed with this instruments’ resonance, especially for the thinline body profile. And I’m loving how it sounds. I know some reviews are critical because the APX doesn’t have the heavy bass like a common dreadnought, but I like it. It is plenty loud and rich sounding, without overpowering my voice. So far, it’s everything I wanted in a guitar. The narrow profile is nice on my screwed up shoulder, she’s beautiful, stays in tune… Just great.

The Three Week Review:

This guitar is just right. There’s really no other way to say it. This narrow little Yamaha is everything I was hoping it would be. I’m in love with the electronic system, especially the built-in tuner. I am in love with her sound. I just can’t keep my hands off her (which is a good sign after two weeks). At this point, I have no complaints. I mean, seriously: STILL IN TUNE. I check about every time I play, too, and the strings haven’t shifted one iota. The best part is the intonation is about as close to being bang-on perfect as you can get — all the way up the fretboard, capo or no (I use a Planet Waves adjustable tension capo to help combat the inherent sharpness of fretboard mathematics… This Yamaha doesn’t really seem to care, she’s about right on pitch either way).

And I’m not suffering from any shoulder pain when I play her. And she is not hard to play (F is a breeze for once!). The good things just keep stacking up, so much so that I sold my 3/4 Luna to help cover the cost of this black beauty without a second thought or doubt.

Everything people rave about in their reviews of the APX 500II is true. I will admit I was skeptical — hopeful, yes, but skeptical — and the gamble paid off. This is an exceptional guitar for the money. I might even go so far as to say it’s a steal. In the last few weeks, this guitar hasn’t given me any reason to doubt it as a fine instrument.

Now comes the test of time… Let’s see what I say in two months. Although I doubt very much anything will happen to change my mind! đŸ™‚

2 thoughts on “Gear review: Yamaha APX 500 II

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