I’ve always been a fan of Yamaha guitars, my very first acoustic being a Yamaha. As a guitar teacher, I always recommend the FG Junior as a great starter guitar for my younger students as they have always proven to be affordable and good quality, playable guitars. I haven’t had the opportunity to test many of Yamaha’s higher end guitars, so I was eager to try out the FS-TA TransAcoustic.
This guitar has a slightly different feature than a regular acoustic as it has a built-in actuator on the inner back surface of the guitar which is said to vibrate in response to the string vibration, which then vibrates through the body of the guitar creating a reverb and chorus effect without the need of external amplification. It also has controls to vary the levels of these effects when used with a line out.
My first impression of the guitar appearance-wise is that it is a very nice-looking guitar with a vintage appeal. I was sent a Vintage Tint, but it also comes in Brown Sunburst and Ruby Red. Its small, concert body shape is comfortable to hold, and the action is very playable. The solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides just added to the comfort and high-quality feel of this sweet instrument.
Acoustically, it sounds fantastic. It has a lovely tone which was more pleasing to the ear with fingerpicking rather than strumming, and I could play this guitar with ease. It can be used without amplification just using 2 AA batteries.
On testing out the effects, it is hard to believe that these sounds are coming from the actual body of the guitar and not some built-in effects. Everything is easy to operate via the three controls; reverb, chorus, and line out volume. You can change the reverb from a natural room to a hall sound and change the depth of the chorus. It adds almost a 12-string effect and the sound is so high quality. It really is like nothing I’ve ever tried on an acoustic before and was very inspiring to play.
The Yamaha FS-TA would be great to use for solo performances, and I would happily have this as my main acoustic for my solo and duo shows. It is also great for just sitting around working on songs without having to set up a bunch of pedals to get those different sounds you want to experiment with. Overall, a great guitar!