Review: Yamaha FS-TA TransAcoustic

(Image credit: Yamaha)

Recently GW reviewed the excellent Yamaha LS-TA TransAcoustic, a high-end model with Yamaha’s innovative TransAcoustic technology, which allows a player to enjoy built-in effects like reverb and chorus without any external gear or amplifiers, while also preserving the overall aesthetic of the acoustic itself. The TransAcoustic involves an actuator — a device mounted inside the sound chamber of the acoustic that transfers the string vibrations, processes and amplifies them throughout the body, generating surreal reflections of lush room or hall reverb and a chorus that nearly mimics the shimmer of a 12-string. A stunning achievement; however, the $1K price tag seemed a little steep for some players. But here we are now, with Yamaha's new FS-TA — a concert-sized acoustic with the same TransAcoustic technology at nearly half the price and with all the top-notch craftsmanship Yamaha is known for.

My FS-TA appeared in an attractive brown sunburst, with a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides and new scalloped bracing that firms up the low end and mids and also projects more volume. The TransAcoustic technology is adjusted via three slim controls for reverb (hall and room), line out volume/TA switch and chorus. The TA is powered by two AA batteries in a concealed compartment by the endpin jack. You can run the guitar into an external amplifier whether you use the TA technology or not.

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.