Yamaha APX500III Thinline Acoustic-Electric

Yamaha APX500III Thinline Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar Ultimate Review

I was particularly impressed with the Yamaha APX500III Thinline Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar, initially because of the claims the manufacturers made and later when I experienced its sound, felt, and had a chance to assess its quality.

It is hard to find an acoustic guitar that sounds pleasing to your ears, is made from high-quality materials, and provides a perfect balance of dependability and performance, irrespective of whether you are a beginner or a seasoned guitarist. The cost is another factor you would like to consider before purchasing.

So, I decided to find as much information as possible about popular guitars to make a choice easier. I was particularly impressed with the Yamaha APX500III DSR Thinline Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar, initially because of the manufacturers’ claims and later when I experienced its sound and feel and had a chance to assess its quality.

Yamaha APX500III Review – The Ultimate Buying Guide Experience

Being a product from one of the best-selling manufacturers of guitars, Yamaha, this one surely grabs the attention. It is touted as one of the world’s most popular acoustic-electric guitars. It is a part of the 500-series Yamaha guitar that embodies the real spirit of music and offers the perfect balance of value, performance, and dependability.

Manufactured in China, this new APX500III model features all-new pickup systems, upgraded cosmetics, and a powerful, dynamic tone, combining an on-stage attitude and performance with refined looks.

The thin-line body of this APX series of Yamaha guitars encloses a host of features, including easy top-fret access and incredible comfort. The sound is suited for your on-stage performance with bright clear mid, balanced highs, and controlled lows. It has a well-designed X-type, non-scalloped bracing, allowing you to sing and maximize the resonance for a natural tone.

Features Of Yamaha APX500III Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar:

  • Body Depth and Bracing Pattern: The first impression

This dusk sun red electric steel-string guitar features a thin-line, cutaway body that can provide great comfort, even if you are a beginner. I loved its rockstar-like finish. I am sure you can use it for various musical performances and styles and feel lost in the beauty of its sounds during a lonely serene evening.

Another feature I liked about this guitar is its piezo pickup and 3-band EQ. It also has a built-in chromatic tuner. When I played my first tune on this guitar, I could feel the pleasing sounds that I would describe as bright, with perfect clarity at each note.

It has clear mids, balanced highs, and surprisingly, even the lows are well-controlled.

  • System 66 Electric System

This guitar has the System 66 feature, an under-saddle piezo pickup developed and manufactured by Yamaha. The controls were quite comfortable. The controls include an adjustable mid-range control for frequency, a 3-band equalizer, and a perfect precision chromatic tuner that allows for optimum sound tailoring.

  • APX Soundhole

I prefer an oval-shaped APX Soundhole for my guitar. I would give one extra thumbs-up to this guitar, as it does have the shape I was looking for.

This instantly recognizable APX soundhole is essential because it thickens the lower-mid response and ensures a more strident and open low end. I am sure most of you would agree with me on this point.

  • The Color

Yamaha APX500III DSR Thinline Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar is manufactured in several colors, including dusk sun red, black, natural, vintage sunburst, and oriental blue burst.

All these colors are simply outstanding. It was good thinking on the part of Yamaha, as each color is suitable for a different purpose. I naturally opted for dust sun red because I wanted a rockstar feeling when I played my favorite tunes.

My second option was oriental blue burst for the same reason. This vibrant color catches your attention almost immediately.

  • The Price

For a guitar with all these features combined, a price of about $300 is justifiable.

It provides excellent value for money, considering the sounds it produces. Its longevity and the limited lifetime warranty provided by the manufacturer for the back, neck, top, and sides are also the features that make this guitar a rightly priced one.

You can opt for a drops and spills warranty for 3 or 4 years for an added cost.

Yamaha APX500III’s Specifications

  • Brand: Yamaha
  • Preamp EQ: 3-band
  • Configuration: Undersaddle piezo
  • Feedback filter: No
  • Tuner: Yes
  • Headstock overlay: Rosewood
  • Tuning machines: Die-cast
  • Saddle and nut: Other
  • Bridge: Rosewood
  • Strings: 6-string
  • Case: Sold separately
  • Special features: Thinline body
  • Accessories: None
  • Country of origin: China
  • Color: Dusk Sun Red
  • Item Weight: 6.8 pounds
  • Product Dimension: 43.1 x 20.4 x 4.9 inches

1. Body

  • Cutaway: Single cutaway
  • Wood on the top: Spruce
  • Bracing pattern: X-type, non-scalloped
  • Body finish: Gloss
  • Back & sides: Nato/okume
  • Orientation: Right-handed

2. Neck

  • Nut width: 1.69″ (43mm)
  • Neck wood: Nato
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Scale length: 25.6″
  • Number of frets: 22
  • Neck finish: Gloss
  • Preamp/Pickup: Yes

I am neither a beginner nor a seasoned guitarist. I am somewhere in between. I began playing a guitar three years back. But I am still looking for the right strings to make me a perfect guitarist. I am still trying to reach that state where I can close my eyes and play my guitar, feeling lost in the sounds.

I still need help finding the right tone. I have to concentrate on the playing part entirely and cannot do it as naturally or as a reflex action as we see the experts doing.

I long to reach that state. So, when I started looking for the best guitar, I knew exactly what I wanted. I have been a beginner not too long ago.

So, I understand the struggle of a beginner in understanding how a guitar works. I also know what could help me perform better and learn it faster. So, I was looking for a mix of features that suited a beginner and an expert.

The best way was to decide it for me by laying my hands on this guitar. Let me share my experience with this guitar and what I felt were its plus points and minus points:

Yamaha APX500III: For The Beginners?

The beginner within me says that using this guitar depends on your level of interest or whether you want to play it in a recording or performance situation.

This acoustic-electric comes with everything you need to plug into a sound system and controls the sound well. So, it’s an excellent option for beginners and experts. You can use it for bedroom practice or a small venue performance.

Body And Finish

Like most other Yamahas, this one, too, looks rock solid. Nice finish, no cracks, and clean molding. The only thing I did not like about the body is it’s all plywood.

One more interesting point is this solid player features an onboard tuner, a scale length of 25 inches, and a 3-band EQ. It also has nato wood sides and backs and a spruce top.

Though this does not decide your choice, it will help make your selection when you have already short-listed a few and want to fine-tune your choice.

Comfort And Ease Of Use

This APX guitar is comfortable to use, especially when you’re playing it plugged in while singing. If you’re planning to do this shortly, go with this guitar. Compared to the other thin-body APX, it sounds better when unamplified.

Another feature that makes this a perfect guitar for me is it’s suitable even for those with smaller hands. I even found some reviews from the people who have used this guitar, and even they had a positive experience to share about this unique feature. My smaller hands and a tiny belly bulge do not come in the way of playing this guitar.

There’s something unique about its shape that makes it easily playable.

Sound Quality

I liked the sounds this guitar produces; it is clear, consistent, and remarkable for a guitar priced low. I had a little problem with the tone initially. I preferred it for fingerpicking over strumming.

After experimenting, I found a close-to-natural sound by setting the amp and the guitar tone knobs to nearly identical positions. It will hold its well in a professional setting with a good amp.

Yamaha APX500III Review – What I Like And What I Dislike


What I like

  • Fun to play: I enjoyed playing this guitar. Once I got over the problem with tuning.
  • Good feel: Though I wouldn’t say I liked2 the top much, the overall feel of the guitar is good. I like to hold it in my hands; it fits perfectly as if made just for me.
  • Rich sound: the sounds feel very good. Even some of my friends, who are not much into music, loved it.
  • Neck and onboard electronics: I loved its satin neck and the onboard electronics with a tuner.


What I dislike

  • Bridge: I was not happy with the bridge. The action was too high, and I had to replace the bridge.
  • Wooden top: I wish Yamaha had been more thoughtful about this. I didn’t particularly like its wooden top. These days most guitarists prefer a solid top, and I expected Yamaha to understand this expectation.
  • Initial problem with toning: as told earlier, I had to struggle initially with the toning. It does require a bit of adjustment.

My conclusion about this guitar

With such dynamics, different sensitivity, and perfect sound clarity built into the design, you cannot underestimate this beautiful guitar’s mesmerizing power—an overall fun and great-sounding guitar worth having.

It has the most features that a beginner and a seasoned player would look for. But, it is better suited for a beginner, considering the ease of use it provides.

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