Yamaha GL Series GL1 TBS Guitalele, Tobacco Sunburst Review

Yamaha GL Series GL1 TBS Guitalele, Tobacco Sunburst Review

The Yamaha GL Series GL1 TBS Guitalele is half guitar and half ukulele. This guitalele is a small 6-string nylon guitar similar to a baritone ukulele with a 17-inch scale, but sounds like a standard guitar.

Simply put, the guitalele is tuned similar to a ukulele but with the chord positioning made the same as a guitar.

Features

Six nylon strings

Like the guitar the Yamaha GL Series GL1 TBS Guitalele has six strings tuned like the common guitar but with a twist.

In a more technical explanation, the strings, from low to high goes ADGCEA, with the top three strings the same as the ukulele, but with the fourth string an octave lower but the same note.

Neck and body

The body is made from laminated spruce top wood with meranti for the back and sides.

It has a wide nut at 49mm but tighter than the usual guitar. However, there is ample room at the bridge if you like to try fingerpicking and the outer strings sort of extend a bit into the fingerboard. The neck is made of nato, also known as the eastern mahogany.

It features a flat fingerboard made of sonokeling, or rosewood, with 17 standard width frets plus a half fret located in a small extension over the soundhole. The neck width at the nut is 1 7/8” similar to most classic guitars. The nut is rounded at the edges and all the frets are smooth on the ends.

The Yamaha GL Series GL1 TBS Guitalele produces relatively bright tones. This is partly because of the nylon strings and spruce top that give its resonant acoustic properties and make it sound very similar to a ukulele, but with the lower strings sounding more like a bass than a ukulele.

The nylon strings sound great on soft chords and are less abrasive than steel strings.

Finish and appearance

The guitalele features a classic guitar design with an open head stock. It has an excellent top made of laminated spruce and meranti for its back and sides. With proper care and maintenance, the construction materials are sturdy enough to last for years.

Pros

  • The guitalele is extremely lightweight and easy to use with nylon strings that are soft but playable, great for kids who want to learn how to play the guitar.
  • Because it’s a cross between a guitar and a ukulele the significantly reduced scale length makes the guitalele very portable and easy to carry around.
  • Although it’s smaller than a full-sized guitar, getting a good tone out of the guitalele is easy.According to the people who reviewed this product, although it’s small, the sound it produces is loud enough to be heard decently and is able to accompany vocals as well as producing a pleasant sound.
  • The fusion of the ukulele and guitar properties creates a mix of high and deep sounds, thus a great instrument for Spanish-style music.

Cons

  • According to the people who reviewed this product, the guitalele needs constant tuning which is quite a hassle for some.Although it is quite expected with ukuleles as they are prone to go out of tune quickly because of the nylon strings. Pushing down too heavily can sometimes cause it to go out of tune faster.
  • Some people who reviewed this product also noted some minimal fret buzz on the lower two strings more noticeable when strumming or picking.

Product Comparison

Product Yamaha GL Series GL1 TBS Guitalele, Tobacco Sunburst Epiphone DR-100 (Dreadnought), Ebony Martin LXK2 Little Martin Koa Pattern HPL Top with Padded Gigbag
Price $99.99 $109.00 $329.00
Amazon Rating 4.8 4.5 4.9
Dimension 28.5 x 11.3 x 3.8 inches 42 x 18.5 x 5.5 inches 18 x 7 x 39 inches
Weight 2.6 pounds 8 pounds 2 pounds
Warranty Not specified Not specified Limited Lifetime Warranty
Features – half ukulele, half guitar

– has six nylon strings similar to a baritone ukulele with a 17-inch scale but sounds like a standard guitar

– a classical guitar design with an open head stock

-the body is made from laminated spruce top wood with meranti for the back and sides

– 17-inch scale with a 49mm nut

– nato (eastern mahogany) neck and sonokeling (rosewood) fretboard and bridge

– mahogany dreadnought body including back and sides

– select spruce top

– rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets marked by standard perloid dot inlays with matching carved rosewood bridge

– 25.5-inch scale and 1.69-inch nut

– Epiphone Sloped Dovewing Headstock with die-cast chrome tuners

– SlimTaper neck

– Hawaiian koa-grained high-pressure laminate (HPL) top, back, sides and headstock

– features a low oval neck made of stratabond, a fingerboard with 20 frets but no position inlays and a bridge made from solid East Indian Rosewood or Morado

– scale length of 23” with small Gotoh nickel-plated tuners

– body size has a modified 0-14 fret

– sturdy gig bag included in the package

Overall BEST

Overall Best: Martin LXK2 Little Martin Koa Pattern HPL Top with Padded Gigbag

If you are looking for small guitars, the Little Martin LXK2 is a good choice both for casual-playing adults as well as children. Although the price may not be for everyone, according to reviews, it does sound better compared to other mini-guitars available.

Verdict

The Yamaha GL Series GL1 TBS Guitalele, Tobacco Sunburst is a pretty decent instrument for under $100. It sounds good according to many reviews and is easy to play.

This is a good choice for individuals who are familiar with both ukulele and guitar as they will appreciate the sound of the guitalele more than a beginner would.

It’s also portable and easy to carry around if you like to travel a lot bringing a guitar.

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