Yamaha C40 vs C40II Review

If you’re looking for a beginner’s classical guitar, Yamaha makes two models perfect for taking to lessons. While the C40 and C40II look similar, they have some key differences between them. Let’s look at them both to see which one is the best for you.

Yamaha C40 Full Size Nylon-String Classical Guitar

Yamaha C40

Yamaha C40

The Yamaha C40 is a classic among full-size classical guitars. It’s made to be affordable for learners to enjoy. Itcosts less because it’s built from wood laminates and factory-made, not hand-crafted. While the sound it makes is very good, it’s not as powerful as a fully wooden handmade guitar can produce.

Yamahabuilt the C40 fromhigh quality laminates, with a Spruce top and Indonesian Mahogany sides and back. The wide neck is made from Nato and has a Javanese Rosewood bridge and frets. The body of the guitar has a high gloss melamine finish.

All these materials come together in a design descended from traditional Spanish guitar-making techniques. One reason Yamaha has been a trusted name in guitars because they combine the best of old school methods with new technology for manufacturing. They also have a solid reputation for quality. When you pick up and play a C40, you’re benefitting from 130 years of Yamaha’s guitar-making experience.

So why would you want a C40? It’s a guitar made for picking, not strumming, for playing in small rooms, for Spanish, folk, and classical music. If you have very small hands, you may find that this full-size guitar is hard for you to play because the strings are far apart and the fretboard is flat.

But the strings are nylon, easier on the fingers than steel strings. They have a lower tension, or light action) so it’s not hard to press them down onto the frets. Yamaha tuning pegs are easy to adjust and they stay put where you set them.

The Indonesian Mahogany wood that makes up the back and sides adds a smooth sound to the C40, with an emphasis on mid-tones. Guitarists who have played both the C40 and the C40II described below say that the C40 has a more dynamic sound.

Unfortunately, Yamaha has officially discontinued making the C40. They have replaced it with the C40II described below. But there are still C40 guitars available for sale at the time of writing.

More features of the Yamaha C40 classical guitar:

  • Yamaha offers a 1-year limited warranty on the tuning hardware and bridge and a limited lifetime warranty on the top, back, neck, and sides
  • Fingerboard is 2-1/16-inches wide
  • Made for right-handers, but is symmetrical and can be restrung for left-handed players

 

Yamaha C40II Classical Guitar

Yamaha C40II

Yamaha C40II

The Yamaha C40II is the same size as the C40, but is made from slightly different materials. While the C40 has mahogany for its back and sides, the C40II is built with Meranti. Meranti is a strong and durable wood perfect for a beginner’s guitar.

If you listen closely, there is a slight difference in sound between the C40 and C40II that results from the use of different materials for the back and sides. But the consequence of using Meranti wood is that the C40II is a tougher guitar, better suited for traveling, camping, and exposure to rougher treatment.

The light action of the C40II is equal to the C40, with the same nylon strings, neck, frets, and fretboard. You won’t need thick calluses to enjoy playing this guitar. That’s another reason why beginners love it.

While the guitar doesn’t come with a strap or a case, Yamaha sells these items separately. Classical guitars are typically played while the musician is seated, so aren’t usually built with a place to hold a strap.

More features of the Yamaha C40II classical guitar:

  • Yamaha offers a 1-year limited warranty on the tuning hardware and bridge and a limited lifetime warranty on the top, back, neck, and sides
  • Fingerboard is 2-1/16-inches wide
  • Made for right-handers, but is symmetrical and can be restrung for left-handed players

 

Recommendation

If you prefer a richer sound, get the C40 classical guitar. The Indonesian Mahogany wood of its back and sides provides a slightly better tone.

If you want a beginner’s full-size classical guitar that can stand up to travel and not-so-delicate treatment, get the C40II with the Meranti wood back and sides.

Click here to purchase Yamaha C40II on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

 

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