Review: The Yamaha TransAcoustic Guitar with Built-In Reverb and Chorus Effects
Yamaha have revolutionised acoustic guitar technology by the clever addition of reverb and chorus effects inbuilt into the TransAcoustic LS-TA and LL-TA models and achievable without the need for external pedals, effects units or amplification.
But before we dive into the magic imbued into this instrument by Yamaha, let us discuss the actual instrument itself.
At it’s core is an acoustic guitar typical of what we would expect from Yamaha. An instrument respectful of tradition and its heritage that looks great (especially the sunburst models - but that is probably a personal thing), is crafted with excellence and plays really well.
The top is Englemann spruce which produces a bright and lively tone. The back and sides are constructed from rosewood and the neck is a laminate of mahogany and rosewood adorned with an ebony fingerboard. Yamaha’s ARE treatment has been applied to the instrument to give it a ‘played-in’ feel.
One bugbear for me can be lack of attention to detail when it comes to the frets, even on very expensive guitars. I am happy to say there are no such issues here, with the fingerboard and frets being created to Yamaha’s renowned standards of production.Add to this high-quality tuners and this is a fine instrument indeed.
Now for the R&D “magic’. Inside the body is what Yamaha have called an ‘actuator’, which is in fact a little metal plat inside the body that is activated by the vibrations of the strings. This actually reflects these vibrations and flows for the creation of both reverb and chorusing effects. Without the need for anything else, you can play the guitar anywhere in a ‘great sounding room’.
Three dials are located on the upper left bout; one to control the two types of reverb on offer (room and hall), one for chorus and one for output level for the pickup should you decide to plug the guitar in. The volume control also can be pushed into the turn the effects on or off. The system is powered by 2 AA batteries, accessible through a compartment near the endpin.
The effects are very musical. I am not always a fan of chorus with acoustic guitar, but just a touch adds a nice shimmer, especially for fingerstyle playing. The two different types of reverb give you quite a few tonal options, from adding some body to a very wet sound quite good for playing solo fingerstyle ballads.
The effects can be used individually or simultaneously, making for a very versatile guitar indeed.
This would be an ideal instrument for a singer-songwriter wanting to add a bit ‘extra’ to their guitar tone without having to worry about extra pedals and the like. I think it would also work very well in a church or school situation where the guitarist is likely to just plug straight into the system but still like to add that ‘bit extra’ to their tone.
There is a lot to like with this guitar range from Yamaha.