Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

billchivers
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:17 am

Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

Post by billchivers » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:56 pm

Hello All,

I bought a Yamaha GC22S one week ago and thought I would make some observations at this early stage. My other guitars include a Larrivee OM03R and a 45-year old Yamaha CG60S all-laminated classical. I have been playing the CG60S, learning classical guitar, for about a year. I started lessons 5 months ago and I am just starting to learn "Lagrima".

I was in the market for a classical in this price range and I played guitars made by Katoh (I think this is Martinez in the USA), Manuel Rodriguez, Esteve, Cordoba (C9), Alhambra (4P and 7P, the latter 1.5 times my budget) and Yamaha. Every guitarist is different, of course, but for me the GC22S stood out clearly in terms of both its playability and tone. Interestingly I played a Yamaha GC12C which did not seem to be as butter-smooth to play. I also played a Yamaha CG192S which just did not have the tone of the GC22S, especially in the bass. I am being picky here, all the guitars I played were beautiful objects but having said that the GC22S was, for me, clearly outstanding.

The GC22S is easy on my injured fretting hand and the tone is just beautiful, highs, lows and mid-range. It is very balanced. In trying to describe the bass in comparison with the CG192S the word "choclatey" came to mind, it is just such a pure and rich tone.

It is not perfect, there are a couple of very minor finish blemishes. The back of the neck has a couple of very small rough areas - I can feel them but I cannot see them. I don't feel them when playing the guitar due to their position. Also, I can feel the join in the two top pieces of spruce near the bridge. It does not quite have the refined finishing of the Larrivee, but in Australia the Larrivee is twice as expensive.

But overall I am very happy with it and I have been playing about twice as many hours per day than before! I am looking forward to playing this beautiful guitar over many years!

Cheers, Bill

Scott Phillips
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Re: Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

Post by Scott Phillips » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:15 am

Congrats Bill,
Now comes the fun of trying different strings. Several of your countrymen, members on this forum, use Strings by Mail in Michigan USA. If you want Mari strings, then Is true Music Supplies in California is the place to get them. They both ship internationally. Have you thought of tension yet? Also, it may be worth having it professionally set up. That's right, the fun isn't over😁

billchivers
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:17 am

Re: Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

Post by billchivers » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:42 am

Laudiesdad69

Thanks for the links, I had not heard of Mari strings. I have a set of D'Addario EJ45 mediums I might try first. The guitar came with hard tension strings so maybe the action will be a little lower with mediums.

I will get a setup done, the action is a little high and I have read (probably on this forum) that a bone saddle makes a difference on this guitar. I will occasionally update this thread as I make changes.

All good fun,

Cheers, Bill

Stringmusic
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:25 am
Location: Birmingham, AL

Re: Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

Post by Stringmusic » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:35 am

billchivers wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:42 am
Laudiesdad69

Thanks for the links, I had not heard of Mari strings. I have a set of D'Addario EJ45 mediums I might try first. The guitar came with hard tension strings so maybe the action will be a little lower with mediums.

I will get a setup done, the action is a little high and I have read (probably on this forum) that a bone saddle makes a difference on this guitar. I will occasionally update this thread as I make changes.

All good fun,

Cheers, Bill
I would not have bothered with a setup except for the fact that you mentioned that the action is a little high or unless the intonation was off. Don’t expect the action to be noticeably lower with medium tension strings. The nut and saddle on the GC22 are made from Urea. I don’t like the word urea but I have read that it is pretty good. Bone is still the choice on the higher models though and would be my choice if upgrading. If i was going to replace the saddle then i would replace the nut too.

billchivers
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:17 am

Re: Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

Post by billchivers » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:59 am

Stringmusic, thanks, I know what you mean about the name! I will probably change to bone. I did read somewhere that Yamaha glues their nuts in, will this be a problem?
The intonation is pretty good, not perfect on the G string.
Cheers, Bill

Stringmusic
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Location: Birmingham, AL

Re: Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

Post by Stringmusic » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:44 pm

billchivers wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:59 am
Stringmusic, thanks, I know what you mean about the name! I will probably change to bone. I did read somewhere that Yamaha glues their nuts in, will this be a problem?
The intonation is pretty good, not perfect on the G string.
Cheers, Bill
Did the store you bought the guitar from not include a free setup with the guitar? Most brick and morter stores will do that. Maybe you give them a call and find out. It may be an option to add in the price of a bone nut and saddle while getting the setup for free. Just a thought.

If that is not an option then i must say first that i am not a luthier per se. i do not build guitars and i do not do repairs for a living. I do not have experience with Yamaha glued nuts either. I have done repairs to a fair number of mine and friends guitars. In my experience with other makes there is usually only a little dab of glue near each side just to tack it in so it does not move around when changing strings. Sometimes the nut and saddle both will fall out when you change strings. The glue can be underneath the nut on cheap guitars. More expensive guitars the dab of glue will likely be on the sides near the edges. If you do not have a way to clamp the guitar down and no experience then a luthier will be your best bet. Your guitar is too new to mess up.
This will cause any decent luthier no worries at all and won’t take long to do once he gets started.

My preferred method of removal is to find a block of wood slightly smaller than the thickness of the nut from the side. Clamp the guitar to the table. Hold that block of wood up to the side of the nut and hit that block of wood with a mallet. Do not hit it hard. A well aimed single solid whack is best. Knocking it out sideways has been most effective for me.

Without a table clamp your only option would be to use a piece of cloth or rubber to cover the jaws of some vicegrips. Grip the nut and gently rock it back and forth to try and see if it will break loose. If it does not budge fairly easily then you should take it to a luthier before you do damage. There are other tips and tricks like using an exacto knife to score around it or heat directly to the nut but on a new guitar it would be best if a luthier does it. If he messes it up then he must repair or replace it at his cost.

Also, as i mentioned, unless you have experience setting up a guitar then you will save MUCH time by letting a luthier do all of this work. It is easy to take what you have described as pretty good intonation to pretty far out. I cannot stress enough the amount of time it takes to setup a guitar your first time.

Take your time to make this decision.

Cheers!

billchivers
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:17 am

Re: Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

Post by billchivers » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:51 am

Thanks for all the interesting information, Stringmusic. I will certainly get a luthier to do the work, the shop does have one and offers a free setup, although they suggest doing this after a month. This store has looked after me well in the past when I bought a 3/4 sized guitar to use as a travel guitar, they did a great job on setup and dressing the frets on a much less expensive guitar.

Another question I have regarding the nut is the string spacing. The high E string is noticeably further away from the edge of the fretboard than is the low E string (I guess this is to help avoid pulling the string off the fretboard when fretting?) but this means that the overall string spacing at the nut is not as wide as on my other guitar. The difference is probably only 1-2mm but I do feel it. When I replace the nut I might ask the luthier to use a more standard spacing.

Cheers, Bill

Stringmusic
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Location: Birmingham, AL

Re: Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

Post by Stringmusic » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:31 am

Your guess is correct. Past that it is personal preference.

viewtopic.php?t=108082

billchivers
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Re: Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

Post by billchivers » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:53 am

Thanks for the link, Stringmusic.
Bill

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petermc61
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

Post by petermc61 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:35 am

Hi Bill

If you want an opinion on whether it needs much fine tuning I am happy to have a look at it. I set up all my guitars to play with the same action and can assist you with any basic stuff (but not new nuts, I draw the line there). Besides, if you learn early on it’ll save you time and money in the long run.

Also, if you wish to try some interesting strings I am happy to pass some of mine on at cost. I am sure I have a bigger range of quality strings in stock than any Aussie dealer, and by a fair margin!

Feel free to contact me I’d interested, since I’m pretty close to you.

Cheers
Peter

billchivers
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:17 am

Re: Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

Post by billchivers » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:55 am

Thanks Peter, that is very kind of you. I will PM you,

Bill

Chuah Hui Hsien
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Re: Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

Post by Chuah Hui Hsien » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:58 pm

I play a lot of Yamaha guitars, various classical models.I think their actions are just fine,their neck profiles are super comfort, any medium tension of strings shouldn't cause any difficulty for the left hand.

However the new Yamaha guitars sound thin and piercing on higher notes at 7th frets onwards, especially with D'addario EJ45/46 strings.I don't have same issue found on older models.
2017 Karel Dedain Spruce/Maple (Torres) 64cm
1998 Yamaha GD 10, Spruce/IRW 65cm
1988 Alhambra AL 8, Cedar/IRW 65cm

lawcch
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Re: Thoughts on a Yamaha GC22S

Post by lawcch » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:00 am

I think Yamaha GC model in 1960-70 such as GC5, 7, 10 were excellent built and sound amazing. I owned a few old Yamaha G model like G250, G300, G350 models were excellent vintage guitars too. Also I owned Yamaha C300 model which vintage classical guitar sound amazing too and better than most luthier's made guitars.
Jose Antonio JR200 "Jose Romanillos replicate guitar"
Yamaha GC 7M model
Kenny Hill La Curva model

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