The new model Yamaha AC1M is a smaller bodied grand concert cutaway that is designed for the musician who wants an easy to play and great sounding guitar (both acoustically and plugged in) that doesn't break the bank budget wise. It features a solid sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides, rosewood fretboard, sealed chrome tuners and an onboard preamp called the System 66. It features a rosewood fretboard with 20 frets and an ebony bridge to cap it all off. They are made in China at one of Yamaha's many factories (likely the same one that produces the L series models).
The design of this guitar is truly something great, especially for the price. Yamaha has crafted an instrument that's quite light and easy to hold for long periods of time. The balance is great and the upper fret access is quite good for an acoustic. Of specific note is the satin finished neck, which helps immensely with playability. Right out of the gate this guitar has a flawless setup that is perfect for many styles of play as well. Getting good sounds out of this instrument is no problem as it's just a truly resonant and clear sounding instrument with great tones from the low to the high registers, and excellent harmonic content as well.
When I first picked up this guitar I could've sworn I was playing one of the much higher end $3,000 Yamaha handcrafted guitars that sound so excellent... that's how good it was. It's worth stating again how resonant this guitar is. Chords ring out with such life and articulation, lead passages are just so clear no matter the speed at which the notes are being played, and the harmonic content is just fantastic... even the highest harmonics are able to be sounded without a huge ordeal. I liked it especially when tuned down to open/alternate tunings for a fantastic tone that had a nice full sound that I didn't expect out of such a small instrument. Plugged in the guitar has a great transparent clean tone that is very woody and warm, truly awesome for sure.
All in all I think the new Yamaha AC1M is a truly amazing guitar. For $600 new it combines a great featureset, classic looks and a wonderful feel and tone that is sure to please any musician who wants a great acoustic electric at a great price. Yamaha has long been known for their quality so I wasn't surprised when I first tried this guitar and then saw the price. It's a fantastic value for the dollar and is a great guitar that's definitely worth a serious look. If you're a fan of modern acoustics like Taylors or some of the newer Martins, this one is definitely a contender too!