Monday, February 18, 2013

1985 Yamaha FG-470S (Flying Bird Model)

The Yamaha FG-470S solid-top acoustic guitar was made between 1985 and 1989. Yamaha added an "S" suffix to its FG model numbers to designate a solid top starting in 1977 when it introduced the first solid-top FG guitars ("S" previously designated a Sunburst finish, which was then changed to "SB").  This is a great mid-range Yamaha guitar, just below the standard production top-of-the-line L models.  The FG-470S has a solid Spruce top, with richly figured Indian Rosewood back and sides, and the neck is Nato.  Premium appointments include abalone purfling in the rosette and around both the top and back of the body, binding on the neck and headstock, inlayed Mother of Pearl (MOP) Yamaha and flying dove logos on the headstock, gold Yamaha tuners, and unique bird-in-flight MOP fretboard inlays.  The flying bird fretboard inlays only lasted a couple of years, as Yamaha switched out the flying dove headstock inlay in 1987 for the Yamaha leaf logo and the fretboard inlays reverted to more standard pearl diamond inlays.

This unusual Flying Bird guitar is another eBay find, the seller having accepted my best offer below his asking price.  When I received it, however, there were some significant undisclosed cosmetic issues so I contacted the buyer who promptly issued a partial refund.  I hope to be able to buff out most of the offending scratches.  With new strings on, the Yamaha FG-470S has good tone and sustain.  It projects a strong bass and crisp mids and trebles.  The neck is a very comfortable low profile C shape.  So here's another attractive vintage Yamaha guitar that can still be found at a reasonable price.  Happy pickings!

9 comments:

  1. I have this exact guitar. Low action and nice tone. Got it in NYC 85

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  2. I also have this model, and mine is in mint condition. I paid $200 with hardshell case off Craigslist. It plays as well or better than my Martins... just a beautiful instrument.

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  3. I got mine brand new with hsc in 1988. I absolutely love this guitar. It's actually much better than my Martin DM and right up there with my upscale FAITH acoustic. I've written many many songs on this guitar. I'll have this one until I'm gone.

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  4. Muy buena guitarra , con un tono claro equilibrado entre los sonidos agudos y graves....la compre hace 2 aƱos mas o menos y quien me la vendio la tenia guardada, sucia sin la cejuela y sin la silla de montar. Despues de la compra la limpie, le puse la silla y la cejuela de hueso de vaca, que yo mismo las hice y vaya sorpresa que rico sonico dio....el uico inconveniente es que el lacado del fondo y los aros estan nublados, pero creo que este inconveniente la tienen estas fg 470sa, que no le afecta al sonido riquisimo que tiene

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  5. Nice guitar! I don't know if it only shows in the picture. But I see the first A of the "YAMAHA" logo inlay (/sticker) askew. I have a similar issue with my FG820. Mine has the last A askew. I know it is only a cosmetic issue, but that's something if I see, I can no longer unsee. I have been playing my guitar for a good while, everything else was perfect and I loved it. So I don't want to return it (and realistically it is not possible to do so). I just wonder is it common across all YAMAHA FG models? Thanks!

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