Yamaha LS16 ARE first impressions

Finally brought home a Yamaha L series.


I know I’m very late on this, but the L series are truly great guitars for the money. The full solid 16 line typically go for about street price of $900 (mahogany) and $1000 (rosewood).

This example is the LS16 ARE which is a smaller body like grand concert size. Scale length is still the full 25.5 inch though.



The solid top is Engelmann spruce instead of Sitka spruce. Since 2014, Yamaha has also been putting tops with ARE, which is similar to torrification by other guitar makers. Really nice looking rosewood on the back and sides.


Maple binding all around the top and back, with centre strip at the back. Great build here. No glue spots or rough edges. Only downside to this one is the plastic fretboard binding.


The neck is a mahogany-rosewood 5-ply which Guitarbear feels is really good looking. 🙂 Pretty sure those tuners will be swapped out at some point for some Gotohs.


The nut width is exactly 44mm (slightly slightly slimmer than 1.75inch).



This guy is a champion for finger picking! Super responsive. You could tickle it with the slightest power and it will sing for you.

Strumming wise, it doesn’t have the low bass and volume of a dread, but then again, it is NOT a dread. That said, the LS shape still sounds very good as a strummer.

The passive pickup here is louder than other types such as Fishman. Of course there’s no preamp, volume or tone shaping, but I guess an external preamp/pedal will take care of things.

The pickguard will definitely go. 🙂 And I have a bone saddle on order. Stay tuned for more updates.


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