Yamaha NTX1200R Acoustic-Electric Classical Nylon String Guitar
The NTX1200R is a nice affordable nylon string guitar designed for a more comfortable experience for steel string acoustic guitar players. It is considered hybrid or crossover model. The neck joins the body at the 14th fret, not the 12th as with most “classical” guitars. The fretboard is narrower and not as a flat radius.
The Yamaha NTX1200R also features a thinner body and cutaway designs to provide greater playability for today’s steel-string acoustic and electric players. These instruments are perfect for adding nylon string tones to a wide range of musical styles from Latin to Jazz, Pop to Rock. The NTX1200R has solid rosewood back and sides and a solid Sitka spruce top.
The NTX1200R is not a very loud guitar when unplugged. Especially if you are used to large body steel string guitars. Adding higher tension nylon strings might change that a bit if desired. The pickup system is pretty good and the guitar excels when plugged into a PA or acoustic guitar amp.
Yamaha’s A.R.T (Acoustic Resonance Transducer) 2-way pickup system amplifies the entire guitar, resists feedback and has 2 volume controls (high strings/low strings), master volume and a nice 3 band EQ. A.R.T. uses proprietary multi-layer contact sensors that produce an ultra-wide dynamic range with outstanding feedback rejection. The 2-way system has contact pickups mounted on the treble and bass sides of the guitar bridge. Plus has a built-in tuner.
The nut is 48mm and closer to a steel string in width. Not as wide as 52mm or even 54mm found on most classical nylon strings. But I did find the string spacing a bit to close for someone used to fingerpicking on many steel string guitars with 1-3/4-inch nut width. This is totally correctable however, as the strings sit a bit off the fretboard edges at the nut. Basically the two “E” strings have a bit too much distance from the edge of the guitar fretboard, making the spacing to close and a bit cramped. There is room to widen the spacing. Adding new bone nut cut to give an E to E better string spacing of around 40mm would be a quick fix. The guitar would likely benefit in tone as well by replacing a plastic nut with one of better quality. This is something I will likely do.
Not sure why Yamaha used this string spacing. My guess is Yamaha’s thinking was they were trying to get close to the feel of a steel string. Measuring my Yamaha LL-TA TransAcoustic it is the same spacing E to E string. However, the neck profile on the NTX 1200R is larger. In fact a bit larger than I am used to, but still manageable. Visiting some forums I found I was not the only one to come to these conclusions.
UPDATE: Had a luthier replace the plastic nut and bridge saddle with bone. Widened out the string spacing and added higher tension Nylon strings. Also had the action lowered a little bit. This made a big improvement in tone and playability.
Measuring with my digital caliper the string spacing is just under 38mm. There is enough nut and fingerboard width to easily widen this to 40mm if desired. Getting a professional setup is always a good idea on a new guitar.
I have owned a classical nylon string guitar in the past and it basically never got played due to the large neck profile, flat radius and string spacing. I am not a classically trained player and these dimensions felt foreign to me. I ended up selling that guitar. A strictly classical player would shudder when I wraped my thumb and fretted over the top. I have been looking for a nice affordable nylon string guitar to add to my arsenal. The Yamaha NTX1200R seem does to fit my needs.
I picked this one up as an “open box” deal on eBay after trying out several nylon stringed crossover guitars. The fit and finish is pretty nice for a lower priced instrument that is made in China, but Yamaha does make some nice acoustics so this is not really a surprise. The Yamaha NTX1200R is the top of the NTX series. Yamaha does offer the NTX900, NTX700 and NTX500 at even more affordable prices.
Weights in at 4-lbs 11.5-ozs.
- Solid Sitka spruce top
- Solid rosewood back/sides
- African Mahogany neck
- Ebony fingerboard
- 80-90mm Body Depth
- 48mm Nut Width
- Scale 650mm (25 9/16″)
- 3-band EQ with on board tuner
- A.R.T 2-way system
- Yamaha reinforced semi-hard form fitted case with external pockets and strap