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  #1  
Old 04-02-2024, 11:53 PM
NBMgreg NBMgreg is offline
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Default NGD - 2001 Yamaha LL500

I found this guitar on Reverb within the first hour of it being listed, and given its rarity, decided to jump on it. From what Iíve gathered, these were only made between 1999-2003 and are somewhat hard to find. At the time, these were Yamahaís top dogs and contrary to the current LL guitars, these had scalloped bracing. It is in stellar condition, I donít think it has left the case much in the last 22 years. Even includes the original hang tag with factory inspection! It plays very well, this one seems to have a slightly slimmer neck profile than my cheap FG Transacoustic (essentially a FG820), and has a very soft V shape to it. As is the case with any Yamaha, it feels natural and very good. The nut width is the same as my FG but feels a little narrower, might be the slimmer neck carve and will need to be adjusted to.

The tone is fantastic, this is my first rosewood guitar so Iím still learning itís profile. It has plenty of low end, but is still incredibly articulate and loud all the way up the neck. It responds very well to any type of picking, seems to ring out forever, and has a resonance that you can feel reverberating throughout the guitar body and neck. Iím sure this one isnít at its full potential yet due to lack of playing, so Iím excited to see how it changes over the coming months with some daily use.






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Last edited by NBMgreg; 04-03-2024 at 12:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-03-2024, 12:40 AM
Seb_274 Seb_274 is offline
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Yamaha makes some really beautiful guitars. And their higher end versions sound really good. Too bad they have this perception of making low end guitars only...Enjoy it!
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Old 04-03-2024, 02:56 AM
Proclaimer888 Proclaimer888 is offline
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Congrats on that stunning Yamaha! I purchased an LL36 3 weeks ago and cannot believe the sound. The best word I can come up with is "balanced". Enjoy that LL500 and play it often!
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Old 04-03-2024, 04:07 AM
doctone doctone is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seb_274 View Post
Too bad they have this perception of making low end guitars only...
I hope this will stay so for a long time.
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Old 04-03-2024, 05:10 AM
YamahaGuy YamahaGuy is offline
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I just got an LSX400 this week. The nut spacing is very tight. Beautiful guitar. Congrats!!!
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Old 04-03-2024, 06:17 AM
Rpt50 Rpt50 is offline
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Wow, what a great find! I hope you enjoy it for many years!
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Old 04-03-2024, 06:50 AM
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Fantastic get, I am officially jealous!
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Old 04-03-2024, 09:35 AM
247hoopsfan 247hoopsfan is offline
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I have owned my LL500 for 20 years. They are incredible guitars, very articulate and responsive. The tone and sustain is very similar to my much more expensive Goodall Standard. They were built by single luthiers in the Hamamatsu custom shop and compete with high end custom guitars.
Great find.
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Old 04-03-2024, 09:56 AM
NBMgreg NBMgreg is offline
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Thanks all. Iím really enjoying learning its tonal personality, and it is still blowing me away with how much sustain and articulation it has. Iíve been A/Bíing it with my Eastman E10D and Yamaha FGCTAÖ

the Eastman is still the brute of the bunch, itís loud and brash but it has a wider lower bout and just an overall bigger guitar. The Eastman does not match it in complexity and in intimate playing, the LL just sings. The build quality is apples to oranges, as one would expect.

The FGCTA can surprisingly hold its own compared to the LL. It has a different tone and falls behind in the low end department but I was surprised at how good it sounds for being such a cheap guitar, but maybe thatís just Yamaha for you. When you spend time on the internet reading about expensive guitars VS cheap guitars or solid wood VS laminate itís easy to get in your head thinking one is the end all be all, but this comparison has shown me that cheap/laminate guitars are just fine for most players.

I do think I prefer the neck profile of the FGCTA, just a little more heft, and Iím sure itís just what Iím used to right now, but itís not a big deal. The LL is a fantastic guitar and Iím really happy with it. I also just realized I havenít even changed the strings yet
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Old 04-03-2024, 10:01 AM
L20A L20A is offline
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Nice find.
I owned a 1981 L-20A for many years.
The L-20A had a 3 piece back and the center wedge was Brazilian, according to Yamaha.
It was a great guitar. I wore it out over the years and replaced it recently with a Yamaha LL-16D.
Another great Yamaha guitar.
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Old 04-03-2024, 10:15 AM
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It's a really aesthetically beautiful guitar and sounds like a great find in terms of playability and tone.
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Old 04-03-2024, 10:35 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Congratulations! Wow, that guitar is in great shape! Good for you!

- Glenn
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Old 04-03-2024, 10:43 AM
NBMgreg NBMgreg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
Congratulations! Wow, that guitar is in great shape! Good for you!

- Glenn
Thanks Glenn. The guitar was advertised to be in excellent condition, but I couldnít believe how pristine it was when I got it, not a scratch on the thing. Itís like a 23 year old time machine. I almost feel badly that itís going to get played and worn now, but I suppose it was made to be played!
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Old 04-03-2024, 11:39 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBMgreg View Post
Thanks Glenn. The guitar was advertised to be in excellent condition, but I couldnít believe how pristine it was when I got it, not a scratch on the thing. Itís like a 23 year old time machine. I almost feel badly that itís going to get played and worn now, but I suppose it was made to be played!
You are a lucky guy! I would love to find a guitar like that! Good for you!

- Glenn
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  #15  
Old 04-03-2024, 12:04 PM
MBee MBee is offline
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What a fantastic find! Those L-series yamahas are really something special.
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