In the world of classical and Nylon string guitars, the Yamaha C40 is one of the top selling models on the market. Nylon strings are easy on the fingers and often associated with beginner guitars and the beginner to intermediate playing level is probably best suited to the C40 guitar, as we explore in this review.
Yamaha is an absolutely huge company. Their products are found all over the world and their acoustic guitars are extremely well made. The Yamaha C40 (or newer model C40II) is based on the famous classical Spanish guitar design, which they claim to have been passed from master to apprentice for decades. The manufacture of these guitars takes place in Asia, which is reflected in the materials used, but the build quality is pretty great for the price range.
This instrument has a smaller sibling too, the CS40ii is about 70mm shorter and is great for smaller players of guitar and other beginners such as children and teenagers.
The back and sides of this guitar are made from Indonesian mahogany, whilst the Fretboard is made of Javanese Rosewood. A Spruce top finalizes what is a pretty sturdy instrument. It stays in tune well and doesn’t constantly let you down, something that can’t be said for most guitars at the price. A comfortable neck and light playing action are huge bonuses for the less experienced guitarists among us.
Many classical guitars have a bright, almost tinny sound. This has a more well-rounded sound than a lot of the competitors in the price range. Most of the budget Spanish guitars are less than impressive, and though you can probably find something a little cheaper than the Yamaha C40II or C40, you will probably be found lacking in the tone of the guitar.
A well-rounded tone has much stronger bass frequencies than a lot of competitors, meaning a richer sound when fingerpicking and playing a lot of chords.
One thing worth mentioning is the fact that many consumers who have purchased this guitar have mentioned a change in strings. The strings can have a huge impact on the sound of a guitar, and the C40 is no exception. The strings shipped with this instrument are certainly passable and great for beginners, but some have reported a huge improvement when investing in some D’addario or other higher end strings. This is not totally necessary and can be daunting if you are new to playing guitar, but for the more intermediate guitarists, it could make a big impact.
What’s in the Box?
Yamaha’s C-Series is wonderful for starting out your journey into the guitar. The brand has realized this and even sell this (optionally) as a starter pack, with tuner, spare strings and a gig bag. You can buy it on its own of course, but should you be buying the C40ii or C40 for someone starting lessons, being able to get everything in one package can save money and hassle.
Other C40 and C40ii Reviews
We always like to provide a few different opinions on our reviews, and the C40 review is no different. Honestly, as long as your expectations of this guitar are realistic then you are likely to be happy with it. Most consumer reviews seem to be in agreement that the light action and simple playability of the guitar make it perfect for beginners, and that the CS40ii is a wonderful junior guitar.
One reviewer stated that the guitar could rival the sound of most other classical guitars under $500, which is an absolutely huge compliment considering the fact that it is so much more affordable than that. The vast majority of reviews are very positive. This is not a professional level guitar, you probably won’t record a hit album on it, but for a first step or a hobby instrument, it serves its purpose brilliantly.