Yamaha FG-300 MIJ Red Label. What???

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by 985plowboy, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,269
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    EC1B7A82-D45C-41D1-9816-CA01562F9FEA.jpeg 2F6CEA64-6107-48D3-B5A0-A70E60459B6F.jpeg
    Found this for sale locally. It looks pretty cool. I’m thinking at least early ‘70’s. Pick guard is lifting. Plays pretty well. I don’t think the neck needs a reset, but there may be some bellying behind the bridge. No idea if they have the case or not.
    Apparently, folks on the internet are somewhat taken with this model.
    I’ve not heard of it.
    I know “Red Label” Yamaha guitars are a thing, but I’m not a Yammy guy.
    Anyone know what the deal is??
     
  2. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,518
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Location:
    Sou Cal
    Well, it’s a Yamaha, that’s always a plus.
    It probably is 70’s , you can look up the serial number to tell you exactly.
    And it’s made in Japan which is again a big plus.
    If I wanted another acoustic I’d be on that like a duck on a June bug.
    Stew Mac makes a device called The Bridge Doctor which is made to cure the bellying .
    If there is more than 3/4 of an inch between the top and the strings near the bridge it make need a neck reset.
    If you can get it at a reasonable price, I’d buy it.
    Good luck,
     
    985plowboy likes this.
  3. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,178
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Oh man. That looks pretty cool.
     
  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    75
    Posts:
    4,549
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    The Nippon Gakki Yamahas from the late '60's and '70's have a bit of a cult following. For many of us aging hippies they were our first decent guitars, they were affordable and available, they sounded good and played well. I still have the FG-150 that I bought in 1970 as my first guitar and I still play it.

    There are a couple of significant things about the old Yamies. The lower models were laminated tops and back, many of the upper ones had solid tops. I don't know about the 300 - look at the edge of the soundhole. They were fairly lightly braced which is part of why they sound good, but that also leads to structural issues. Like any 30 plus year old guitar they frequently need a neck reset (you say yours doesn't, did you really check?). That is the bugaboo. They were built with dovetail joints but either use a glue that does not release with heat and moisture (possibly an epoxy) or the joint is not positioned immediately under the 15th fret or the joint is so tight that it isn't going to come apart period. I build and repair guitar, including doing neck resets, I'm very comfortable with the process. When my old Yamie needed a reset I simply could not get the neck off - I ended up sawing it off and converting to a bolted butt joint. That is one way to keep these old war ships playing.

    Another thing you frequently see on the old babies is that someone has shaved the bridge to get acceptable action. Now you have a guitar that both needs a reset and has been seriously compromised - if the neck ever is corrected it will need a new bridge also. Everything else is just normal old guitar stuff - warn frets (Yamaha frets are fairly small), tuners and pick guards and cracks and stuff.

    If you are seriously considering buying one check and then double check the neck angle. If its perfect, buy it. Check the bridge and all the rest of the stuff. If its been butchered run like crazy, cult icon or not there are better guitars out there.

    Ps - if you decide you really are interested PM me and I'll put you in touch with a friend who is a bit of a vintage Yamaha guru - he even claims that he can reset them
     
    985plowboy and boredguy6060 like this.
  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    75
    Posts:
    4,549
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    A little more information on the FG-300

    http://yamahavintagefg.com/history-of-the-yamaha-fg-3xx-series/

    According to this, the guitar is laminated rosewood b&s and probably a solid top. The adjustable saddle was kind of funky - several manufacturers came out with them during the '70's - most people don't like them and converting to a standard saddle is common.

    btw - the guy who writes that forum is pretty knowledgeable about old Yamies and is the one who says he can do resets. I have had several discussions with him - it would be worth sending him a PM
     
    985plowboy likes this.
  6. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,864
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location:
    meridianam altum centralis
    Made in Japan, pre-Taiwan red label. Anybody know what the hot stamp "K" is about? Mine doesn't have that.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.