Yamaha F-TransAcoustic

Yamaha has added the TransAcoustic feature to the FG/FS series guitars.

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The new FG-TA and FS-TA are based on the popular FG and FS800 guitars with the actuators added for the effects without having to plug in to an amp. The vintage tint looks great on these new guitars.

The TransAcoustic guitars are still very new in the market so it remains to be been if they can stay fresh in the future.

Read more:

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/guitars_basses/ac_guitars/ta_series/features_fgta_fsta.html#product-tabs

*photo from GAK

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Yamaha CSF Series

Yamaha has relaunched the CSF Series compact guitars.

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With a 600mm scale length and all-solid construction (for the CSF3M), this new guitar should give the perennial favourite Taylor GS Mini a run for the money.

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The initial launch sees two models – the CSF3M (all solid) and CSF1M (solid top), both feature loaded with discreet passive pickup and special hard bag. Elixir strings seem the standard these for Yamaha guitars too.

The all-solid also comes with nice wood bindings and this really ups the game for travel guitars in terms of build and construction.

See the size comparison with a regular FG series guitar.

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It’s really all about smaller sized acoustics these days, and Guitarbear wonders if it’s all due to a certain highly talented redhead from UK.

Read more:

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/guitars_basses/ac_guitars/csf/index.html#product-tabs

Awaiting its arrival in SG. 🙂

*photos from Yamaha

Yamaha DW-5S bone saddle & JJB 330 pickup installation

Worked on this old Yamaha a couple of months back.

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Owner wanted to put in a bone saddle and install the JJB 330 passive pickup for his vintage piece. The DW-5S is a 90’s model which was made in Taiwan. It has a pretty standard solid spruce top with laminate rosewood body.

Let’s work on the pickup installation first.

Preparing the hole for end-jack

We gotta drill a 12mm hole for the generic end-jack. Remember to use tape to prevent chips and cracks.

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These days I drill a smaller pilot hole first, then work upwards from  3-6-10 and finally 12mm. It’s faster and safer this way than using a step bit.

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Some sanding to do especially on the inside because there could be splinters. I use a small file for this purpose.

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Okay, we got the end-jack nicely done. The dust and all can be cleaned up later.

Mounting the transducers

It’s time to get some cardboard to make a jig.

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I marked out the spots along the saddle line where the transducers will be with X. This gives a very clear idea of where the correct placements should be – between E/A, between D/G, and between B/e (but slightly closer to e).

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Reverse the anchoring bridge pins and use some blu-tak to stick on the transducers. Now we have a really useful jig for mounting them. Do many dry runs to ensure you get a good sensing of where to place your hand. You’ll mess things up if you miss or drop those anchoring bridge pins. Finally, apply gel superglue on the shiny sides of the transducers and stick them in.

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It’s all good when you see this. This means everything is nicely in place. I still prefer to hold the entire assembly in position for a minute or so as the glue dries.

Fitting a new bone saddle

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The guitar came with a badly fitted saddle. It was too short and could moved along the slot. No worries, Guitarbear can adjust a bone saddle to fit properly. It’s important to mark out the string positions in order to get a good fret radius.

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OK, we have a nice smooth bone saddle installed. Fresh Elixirs installed as well.

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Time to pamper the guitar with some TLC. Fretboard and bridge to get some lemon oil and Ax Wax. Edward was assistant today.

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Gave the guitar a good clean and polish after the soundcheck. IMG_7464

Some parts of the finish have become cloudy but that’s the way it is with some older guitars if you didn’t do due maintenance.

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Scotty was happy to pose with the old guy. 🙂

 

 

Setup for Yamaha LS-TA

Did a setup for this new model over the weekend.

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The TransAcoustic series was released late last year and they have getting rave reviews online. So now you can play with some reverb and chorus added without having to hook up pedals, effects or amps.

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The build is fantastic on this guitar which is essentially an LS-16 ARE with the actuator installed. Also, the TA series get a clear pickguard instead of the tortoise variant. Another feature on the LS-TA is the vintage tinted Engelmann top.

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Guitar was sent for a bone saddle installation elsewhere and owner still prefers a slightly lower action. Sometimes player’s preference still matters so the aim here was to go from about 7/64 to about 5/64 inch. Easy job.

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I must say that the bone saddle is very well-crafted. It’s nicely shaped with the correct radius and finished to a high gloss. Good job by the previous guitar guy! Now let’s shave a lil off the bottom.

Bearclaw Special

TLC for all guitars from Guitarbear.

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Let’s start with the nut slots. Pencil lead will do the job. No need for fancy stuffs here.

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Fretboard and bridge were moisturised to a nice sheen. Can you see which part just got pampered? Koala fell asleep while checking the guitar.

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So Miffy was ready to pose after her shower. She says this one sounds good!

Closing thoughts

The LS-TA sounds wonderful even without the the effects. In my opinion, the L series are really great guitars for the money. The 5-piece neck just looks beautiful and usually belong to guitars at higher price brackets.

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The room reverb is pleasing and sounds natural, but it may sound quite harsh if you go beyond 3 o’clock on the dial. Same for the chorus dial that is best left under 12 o’clock.

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Another thing to consider is the weight of the guitar. The LS-TA is significantly heavier than a stock LS16. No prizes for guessing that this is due the actuator for the effects. Oh well, you can’t win them all.