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Hand selected materials, handcrafted construction - at an amazing price.
With a solid Engelmann spruce top, multilayered mahogany/padauk reinforced neck, and ebony fretboard, the Yamaha LL16 acoustic guitar can be judged an excellent deal on materials alone. Yet where this dreadnought really shines is on the strength of its handcrafted construction by expert Japanese luthiers. Every step in the creation of this excellent instrument, from tonewood selection to hand-sanding the frets, is done in a small factory by master craftsmen.
Most manufacturers are using Sitka spruce tops for their high end models. In Yamaha's experience, Engelmann spruce (Canada) naturally suits the role for top woods better than any other. The overriding quality for body top material is an allowance for resonance and Engelmann spruce has this attribute in abundance. It is a light wood that is easy to work and enables a good tone response with a wide harmonic range. Visually Engelmann spruce is comfortable on the eye and its opaque light yellow tint is reminiscent of a mature acoustic instrument.
Back & side
Yamaha uses solid rosewood for both the back and sides on all the LL16. The rosewood blends extremely well with the Engelmann spruce top. It disperses resonance evenly and effortlessly.
The neck block reinforces the neck joint. Yamaha has improved the conventional C block design by enlarging the surface area that is in contact with the top of the guitar. The block securely meets the underside of the top adding a real depth to the tone of the instrument.
X-bracing maps out the vibration patterns of the guitar. Each of the eight braces has been carefully positioned in order to bring out the tone in a balanced fashion and find a natural harmony with the guitar's tone woods.
Multilayered reinforced neck
Traditionally, an acoustic guitar neck is carved from a single timber block. As the grain of the timber has to be angled at about 14 degrees to accommodate the headstock, it leaves itself vulnerable to excessive stress. To alleviate the potential of neck movement over time, Yamaha has introduced multilayered necks.
The LL16 model features a strip of padauk set into the center of the mahogany neck. Padauk has been chosen for its strength and the way it complements mahogany tonally.
The unique larger bridge on the LL16 provides a more efficient transfer of the string vibrations to the body of the guitar, giving a tight, clear midrange and a full, balanced tone. Handcrafted with chamfered edges, the bridge design offers a perfect balance of tone, comfort, and style.
Yamaha has over thirty years experience of crafting quality steel string instruments by hand. Today's L series guitars are a testament to the decades of that extensive research and development work.
Yamaha design themes center around the following points:
A balanced tone and response. The ultimate goal. Bass and treble must complement each other, encouraging inspiration from the guitarist rather than compensation.
Dovetail neck joint. Since the '70s, Yamaha has adopted a unique dovetail neck joint. This particular joint gives the guitar the excellent surface to surface (neck to body) contact. In the joint there is nothing but timber. This enables and indeed encourages resonance flow from the neck to the body, aiding the achievement of a balanced tone and response.
Blending of woods. Yamaha's experience of blending quality woods ensures that the highs are really sustained and note texture is under maximum control at all times by the player.
Body Designs. Yamaha's original L series has shoulders that are slightly more slender than a standard dreadnought design and the body has been designed to be subtly wider. This gives the guitar a more definite tone.
Lacquer expertise. Without a doubt, one of Yamaha's most significant strengths. They work very closely with lacquer manufacturers. The focus being less is more. Specially developed finishing materials, unique to Yamaha are used on handcrafted models. Ultimately, this gives the guitar every chance to breathe and tonally shine. A good acoustic guitar must feel alive and not simply just sound good! Includes case.
Reviewed by 1 customer
Displaying review 1
It is hard to know where to begin. I was looking for a rosewood and engleman OM body with a 1 3/4 nut width and somehow I landed on some reviews on various websites for this dreadnaught. I currently own 3 other dreads and did not feel I needed another one. All the reviews, however, for the LL16 were very impressive. I'm writing to say they were correct. This is an amazing instrument. It was other reviewers sharing that this guitar had incredible range, that it could deliver so softly yet scare the neighbors with another stroke, that opened my mind to not getting the OM. I also knew engleman spruce softens the tonality of rosewood and this guitar would sound less like a dread than other wood combinations. I believe my assessment is right. The instrument can be as delicate as a OO but easily rattle the windows too. Best of all, in my opinion, is that it is simply wonderful to play and hear. The harmonics, the underlying harmonics, that come out of this body are pure joy to create. I purchased this mainly for fingerwork but I simply can't stop strumming it. It is truly beautiful, truly beautiful, in its delivery of open chords. The resonance is stunning. This guitar is on par with instruments 3 to 4 times its cost. It honestly is. I was humbled by how lovely it is. I was never impressed by the photographs but in person it wonderful to hold and look at. The quality on my guitar is flawless. I read others who wrote, "Buy this, you won't regret it," and "This is a a guitar to hold on to for a lifetime." I agree with them. I am writing this review as a thank you to Yamaha for providing me with such an amazing instrument for such an amazing price. $750 is a lot money but not in the world of guitars. This one is a lot of bang for the buck. Note: It has the largest lower bout of any dreadnaught I have played, the size of a jumbo, but the body is well balanced and very beautiful in person. Lastly, I would recommend Woodwind and Brass for the purchase. Their price is equal to others and their service is top rate. I have never experienced better people on the phones than those they use. I recently ordered a dozen sets of strings from them and the service was outstanding again. I like these guys.
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