Yamaha SLG200N Natrual Silent Acoustic Guitar (with Gig Bag), Natural
Yamaha’s new SLG200N is called a Silent Guitar for good reason. Played unplugged it’s got a hushed tone that would not be heard over a conversation at moderate volume. But, thanks to its redesigned electronics system, when auditioned with headphones, it sounds lush and reverberant, as if heard in a concert hall. The SLG200N is a member of the third generation of Yamaha’s Silent Guitar, series, and it’s a total boon for guitarists living in close quarters and prone to late-night inspiration, or travelers unwilling to bring along their fine concert instrument.
The SLG200N comes in a long and narrow gig bag that looks more like it holds sporting equipment than a guitar. (It’s designed to fit into an airplane’s overhead compartment.) The treble-side frame is permanently affixed to the body. A bass-side frame attaches to the guitar in seconds via a pair of screws. The completed instrument wouldn’t look out of place in a gallery of contemporary sculptures.
It initially feels foreign to hold the SLG-200N, which is as thin as a typical electric solid-body guitar. But despite the amount of negative space between the body and the frame, the instrument weighs 4.5 pounds, in the range of conventional classical guitars. And its full-size, 650mm scale-length neck removes any sense of awkwardness from handling the instrument.
Given its novel construction, it would not be appropriate to judge the SLG200N by the usual standards of craftsmanship, but the guitar feels solid and well-constructed. The fretwork and nut and saddle slots are all perfectly articulated, and the gloss finish on the mahogany body and leg rest—available in Translucent Black, Tobacco Brown Sunburst, and Natural Satin—is uniformly applied. There’s nothing fragile or delicate about the instrument, and it is a relief not to have to worry about babying it, like you would a French-polished classical guitar.
The SLG200N plays agreeably well. Its slender neck and low action will appeal to contemporary players who venture outside of the classical repertoire, especially those coming to the nylon-string from the electric; though traditional players might not like this feel. However, the SLG200N’s dual-action truss rod—a feature most classical guitars lack—allows for more control of the setup.