use and navigate, it offers rich, deep,
natural tone, offers a really cool way to
mix up your amplified tones. The Focus
(close-mic) option models the sound of
a microphone situated a few inches from
the guitar. The Wide option emulates
the sound of two mics—one close and
another a few feet away. The models are
accessed via a 3-position slider. You can
EQ the tone to taste as well, but I loved
the sound so much flat that I rarely did.
Each model is truly unique, and you can
really hear a difference between Focus
and Wide, too, so you have a lot of
jumping-off points for achieving a mood
or playing to the acoustic qualities of a
REVIEW > YAMAHA
lively room. Moving the Blend to slightly
favor the model, meanwhile, helped alleviate some piezo quack and add a little extra
character and space to the tone.
The anti-feedback function works
pretty seamlessly, as well—and I noticed no
change in tone when I engaged it. Further,
I had to turn up really loud to get any feedback in the first place. The tuner is easy to
use, cuts the pickup off when engaged, and
is accurate and responsive.
I would not hesitate to make the Yamaha
A3M my only gigging guitar if I was on a
budget. It’s an all-solid-wood workhorse. It’s
easy to use and understand, and exceptionally
playable. But the sound shaping potential of
the S.R. T. system places this Yamaha among
the standouts in its class. And at around 800
bucks, it does a lot for the money. If you’re
looking for a deal on a strictly acoustic guitar,
the A3M may have more bells and whistles
than you need. But if you’re a gigging guitarist on a moderate budget, the A3M is worth
putting on your short list.
In standard tuning, the A3M sounds tight and
focused and capable of great range—sweet when
played fingerstyle, and punchy with a flatpick.
you need a great-playing,
guitar on a budget.
you don’t need electronics or
you’re a fingerstylist in need of a
or use a mobile device to download
audio clips of the guitar at
S.R. T. preamp with three
simulates close- or two-microphone placement