(Originally written by redstring/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
Made in Taiwan, very good manufacturing quality (you have to see it to believe it). The biggest strength of the L Series is its manufacturing quality.
- Massive engelman spruce top
Massive rosewood sides and back
- Rosewood/mahogany/rosewood neck
- Ebony fingerboard and bridge
- Finish: glossy varnish
- Body depth: 3.9"-4.9"
- Nut width: 1.7"
Only two weak points : (1) plastic pins... Yamaha could have spent a couple of bucks on ebony. (2) The woods are excellent considering the price but... the head looks very cheap.
Very pleasant neck and low action. The compact size enhances the playing comfort (it's sort of a small jumbo). The volume is louder than with my Yamaha FG-355 which is a dreadnought from the 80's, but not as loud as the LL and LJ which have the same manufacturing quality but a bigger body.
I play folk, blues and jazz fingerpicking/flatpicking and this guitar produces a well-balanced sound with a long sustain in the lows. The mids are not too present in the frequency spectrum and it's great advantage for fingerpicking. I find the highs a bit too sharp but you can play chords above the 7th fret without losing quality. Besides the quality of the wood, the sound is the main asset of this guitar and I couldn't find a better one for this price. If you know one, write me!
I personally like guitars with deep-sounding low strings like on this model.
I've been using this guitar for nine months and I tested lots of models before buying it (e.g.: Martin DX1, Taylor 114, Gibson Hummingbird). I was willing to pay much more money but I chose this Yamaha LS16 for its playing comfort, its manufacturing and wood quality, and its well-balanced sound! If you want to get a better manufacturing quality with a Taylor or a Martin, you'll have to spend a lot more money. The sound quality is not unbeatable but it's the best sound I found in this price range.
Summary: I think Yamaha is almost unbeatable in this price range. Excellent value for money.