Topic: Yamaha FG 411s

I have got myself a Yamaha FG 411s guitar. If anyone has one what sort of strings do you use. I am thinking of getting Elixer Nanoweb 12/53s. It is in good condition and the neck is straight with a few minor dings. The action is a little suspect. It measures 5/32" or 3mm at 6th string 12th fret. The bridge saddle is almost flush with the bridge on the 1st string side and raised about 3/32" or 2mm on the 6th string side so not much room for adjustment.The serial number is 71120519, does anyone know how to tell its age from this. Thanks.

2 (edited by naolslager 2011-02-24 13:02:11)

Re: Yamaha FG 411s


Congratulation on your new guitar! And a belated welcome to Chordie.

From the Yamaha Guitar Archive (can be found via Google)



Year(s) Sold:     1993-99      
Original MSRP(US$):     $449.00      
Top:     Solid Spruce      
Back / Sides:     Nato      
Neck:     Nato      
Fingerboard:     Rosewood      
Bridge:     Rosewood      
Color(s):     Natural, Violin Sunburst      
Tuners:     Chrome

Your serial number decodes as follows:
7 = 1997
11 = November
20 = either November 20th or the 20th day of production that month. I think it is the former.
519 = the 519th unit of production of that model per some unit of time.

And for the record, like many manufacturers, an "s" suffix means solid top. You've done well.

As for strings, I'd use what ever sounds good to you. I've owned several Yamahas and I tend to use lights on all my guitars.

I've owned a 1979 CJ-818, 1973 FG-260 (12 string), and an SJ-180 (1981-1985, can't read the serial number). All are sturdy, well-built and playable and, in my case, all laminate construction (no solid tops). Although the old 12-stringer had succumbed to the tension of the strings and the action was a little high.

There is a cultish following of Yamahas so you should be able to find as much information as you are willing to dig for. I found myself running down many a rabbit hole but I can identify many of the Yamahas (to the model) by the grainy photographs posted on Craig's List. Two days ago I did just that. I called about one listing and asked the guy if it was an SJ-180. His answer: I don't know, let me check! I was right. I am also baffled that someone can own an instrument for 25 years and not know the model number, specs, etc. I guess it's my engineering training that requires me to know these things.

Happy playing.  Any Chordie member will tell you it is customary to post photographs of your new guitar. For that you will have to reach to an expert, I still haven't conquered this process.

p.s. the optimum place for this type of post is in the "Guitars and Accessories" forum

3 (edited by rotoiti 2011-02-25 07:27:07)

Re: Yamaha FG 411s

Hi Naolslager. Thanks for all that information. The last guitar I had was a Suzuki made by the Kiso ( I think ) Violin Company in Japan then a Yamaha CJ 818 which had a broken neck by the head stock. I was going to repair it but decided not to try so on sold it for parts. I didn't break it, it was done by the previous owner. Yes I should have used "Guitars and Accessories". Is there any way of transferring this with the click of a button? Adding a photograph is outside my range of skills.

Re: Yamaha FG 411s

Hi Rotoiti,

Your wish has been granted and your post moved.

Congrats on the NGD and if you take a look at: you will see that Amy has written some easy to follow instructions on how to post pictures.


"Do, or do not; there is no try"