Yamaha FG-75 Resurrected

yamaha fg 75 head stockMy first acoustic guitar was a Yamaha. I can’t remember the model and I can’t find out because sadly, it was stolen during a camping trip when I was 18 or so. I was still very amateurish as a player, but I knew even then that it was a solid guitar. It sucked when it disappeared from our campsite and every time I play a Yamaha I remember that guitar. In fact, pretty much every Yamaha I’ve ever played since has felt like a solid piece of work.

Which is why I wonder why I’ve left this FG-75 in its pathetic state 3 stringed for so many years.

For one, it just never stayed in tune. I inherited it from an old roommate and we once tried to put strings on it. The experiment failed and we left it. Then I got busy with other guitars and it sat neglected in a corner for years.

Anyway, I have one rule: never throw out a guitar. So if I wasn’t going to ditch it, and it’s just taking up space…may as well try to fix it.

Changing the FG-75’s machine heads

The original machine heads are pretty old school. The FG-75 dates from around 1969 to around the mid 70’s and the machine heads were in strips of three as you can see from the photos. I picked up a new set for about 12$ and amazingly, the screws aligned. Mostly.ping machine heads

The new set is metallic as opposed to the original faux ivory plastic. Pretty slick, no?

This might have been the easiest tuning head repair job ever. I had the new heads installed in about 10 minutes. And they look great too. The old heads were in terrible shape. You could tell just by touching them that the gears were slipping like crazy. Not surprising with 35 year old tuners. The new ones are rock solid and firm.

Yep. They look pretty good too. Ten minutes later I had the strings on. I expected the strings to go out of tune as new strings often do, but they adjusted pretty quick. In fact, this guitar really plays well, has great tone and is super light. Seriously, for a guitar that’s been sitting around with 3 strings and getting knocked around various apartments for many years, there’s no sign of warping at all.
yamaha fg 75 ping machine heads

A guitar reborn

Feels like great craftsmanship. In fact, I did some quick research on the FG-75 and this guitar has been called the “perfect campfire” guitar. I can see it. For its lightness and durability it’ll travel well.

Ok, that’s all I have to say about this. I’ve been trying to fill up this white space with guitar related text, but what else can you say about something that took 20 minutes to do.

It’s done. It’s a decent guitar. Really. It sounds great.

Finally, Dobson totally endorses this product:

Dobson with the Yamaha FG-75

4 thoughts on “Yamaha FG-75 Resurrected

  1. What brand of keys did you use and where can I get them?
    I have an FG 75 also. What label is in yours? Trying to date mine.

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