Yamaha Compact Folk Acoustic-Electric Guitar CSF3M



Yamaha’s CSF series of acoustic guitars offer what they are describing as two compact folk guitars, the CSF3M, and the CSF1M. I reviewed the CSF3M model in the Vintage Natural finish, and I have found it to have a hearty, robust sound. In January of this year [2018], Yamaha announced that they were reintroducing the CSF models after 15 years with some major upgrades which included upgrading the pickup system and improving intonation and projection through its scalloped bracing system which was previously only used on their high-end guitars. 

I was so impressed with the quality and beauty of this guitar. From the parlor sized body with an attractive natural gloss finish and beautiful multi-layered body binding to the abalone and black soundhole inlay, it has a simple, yet elegant, vintage beauty. The top is made of solid Sitka spruce with the sides and back of solid mahogany all made of single sheets of wood adding to the resonance this guitar offers. It has an asymmetrical rosewood bridge and rosewood fingerboard with a 14-fret neck joint, topped off with die-cast chrome hardware on the headstock to finish off the vintage appeal. 

One of the many impressive features of this guitar is its comfort and therefore playability. As a beginner guitarist, this guitar is perfect. It’s parlor-sized body appeals to students, and I love it because its lightweight, weighing in around four pounds. The neck really impresses me based on its comfortable action and smooth feel while playing up and down the neck – smooth frets.  


Now that we have the beauty and playability of this little baby covered, let’s talk about the sound. The sound coming out of this parlor as I mentioned above is hearty and robust. The projection was bold and the sound warm. I had my guitar teacher check it out, and she agreed. I also put this guitar up to another parlor-sized instrument my husband owns, and there was a noticeable difference. If you want a little amplification, Yamaha has outfitted this acoustic with in-house electronics featuring a passive preamp system called the Studio Response Technology (SRT) Piezo pickup. 

Yamaha has positioned the CSF series as a go anywhere compact acoustic. This guitar is that and so much more. A great guitar for a student, a great travel guitar, a great guitar for a seasoned player for small shows, and so much more. Take it on vacation and enjoy around a campfire, on the beach, or at a family picnic. It offers great playability and is a joy to hear, especially while playing outdoors.  

CSF3M General specification: 

  • Solid Sitka spruce top 
  • Solid mahogany back and sides 
  • New scalloped bracing for louder, richer acoustic sound 
  • 23 5/8 ” (600 mm) scale length 
  • Passive pickup mounted 
  • Piezo pickup 
  • Elixir strings 
  • Hard Gig Bag included 

$880 (MSRP)
$549.99 (MAP) 



Tara Low


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