Yamaha SLG200NW Review: Silent Classical

As you probably know already, it's crucial to dedicate time to practice and improve your playing skills, regardless of your level.

However, finding the time and space to practice is not always easy. Whether because of non-musician-friendly neighbors or sleeping family members, you might end up wasting precious time you could use to hone your skills on the guitar.

Some guitarists try to muffle the sound of their classical guitars with cushions, clothes, or foam under the bridge. While these tricks might work, they don't give the same experience as playing normally and can make it difficult to hear and identify areas for improvement.

Luckily, there are silent guitars like the Yamaha SLG200NW that can help you make the most of your practicing time. These guitars offer the feel of an acoustic guitar in a compact size and are designed for silent rehearsals.

In this review, we'll take a closer look at the Yamaha SLG200NW and explore whether it's the perfect solution for your practice needs.

Yamaha SLG200NW Overview

Yamaha SLG200NW

Average Rating: 4.4/5

Why I Like It

  • Lightweight, slim, and compact silent guitar
  • Included gig bag
  • It provides ultra-quiet practice sessions.
  • Onboard effects and tuner
  • Warm, rich sound when plugged into an amp
  • Wide neck

What I Think Could Be Improved

  • No AC adaptor
  • Guitarists have had a few issues with the strap buttons loosening and the removable frame detaching
  • The upper frame feels uncomfortable on the chest after a while·         It has a high action, but it can be fixed


  • Body Type: Collapsible Travel Classical
  • Wood: Mahogany body and neck, with Rosewood/Maple frame and Rosewood bridge
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Fingerboard Radius: Flat
  • Number of Frets: 19
  • Scale Length:  650 mm (25.5")
  • Nut Width: 52mm (2.04") urea
  • String Spacing: 11.8 mm
  • Finish: Gloss body, matte neck
  • Electronics: SRT powered system
  • Controls: Power, vol, AUX vol, bass, treble, effects control, chromatic tuner, SRT Blend (mic/pickup blend)
  • Inputs: Line out, headphone Input, DC-IN 1/8" aux in, 1/8" headphones, 1/4" out
  • Other Features: It can operate with 2 AA batteries and features three onboard effects, a tuner, and an EQ.

The Yamaha SLG200NW is a nylon-string silent guitar. Its wide neck will appeal to classical guitar players, as it provides the standard size of a good classical guitar. It’s comfortable to play and to travel through the neck.

The STR-powered system of this guitar delivers a clear Yamaha acoustic sound. It has a knob to control the blend between the piezo pickup and the mic mode to achieve a suitable mix to your liking.

The three onboard effects and EQ give you more control over shaping the sound of your guitar as you practice in silence while listening through your headphones.

If you’re a traveling nylon string guitarist, the SLG200NW slim body makes it lightweight and compact, perfect for practicing while on tour. You can take it on the road with you, and its detachable frame allows you to fit the guitar in an airplane's overhead bins.

Plus, the Yamaha SLG200NW can be plugged into a PA system or amp and used as a performing guitar. Thus, you get a silent guitar, a performing guitar, and a traveling instrument in one package instead of traveling with multiple acoustic guitars for each requirement.

Yamaha SLG200NW Review

Close up of Yamaha SLG200NW

Back to the main topic, in this review, I’ll dive into each feature of the Yamaha SLG200NW. This versatile silent guitar offers an acoustic electro and classical guitar experience at lower volumes for comfortable practice.

Silent Practice: 5/5

Needless to say, the main attraction of the Yamaha SLG200NW is the "silent guitar" part. Essentially, this means that you can play the guitar quietly, even at a volume lower than regular speaking, without losing the feel and sound of an acoustic guitar.

Plug in your headphones and immerse yourself in your playing. Listen to every nuance and flaw through your headphones to correct a bad technique and improve your playing skills. Something you might not be able to hear when playing quietly on a regular classical guitar. 

Sound Quality: 4/5

This guitar is designed to be played silently, so the volume is very low when it's not plugged in. However, it features Yamaha's Studio Response Technology (SRT) preamp system that sounds fantastic when you plug your headphones in or connect it to a guitar amp or DAW.

When the SLG200NW is placed in the Mic mode, the sound through the SRT preamp simulates the natural, full-bodied acoustic sound of a nylon string guitar recorded with professional microphones. The tone and resonance are accurate, allowing you to hear the intricacies of classical guitars.

When the piezo preamp is selected, it delivers an organic warm tone. The blend control allows you to mix the pickup with the mic simulator and create other sounds.

Honestly, the sound is surprisingly good for a silent guitar. It’s not a substitute for a good classical guitar, which might have a more defined sound signature, but it’s fun to play and has a fantastic believable tone, perfect for jazz players or any guitarist who wants a versatile and quiet instrument to play with.

Yamaha SLG200NW neck

Built-in Effects: 4/5

The SLG200NW features EQ and onboard effects you can use to customize the guitar's tone with the treble and bass knobs and three effects to enhance sonic depth: two reverbs and a chorus. The Effects control knob allows you to quickly select the effect and the amount of the effect without using external pedals or a mixer board.

The reverb 1 simulates a guitar playing in a room, the reverb 2 in an auditorium, and the chorus produces two guitars or a 12-string guitar sound.

One drawback of these effects is that they lower the overall volume of the guitar when you turn them on. I'd suggest using pedals for live performance or virtual effects when recording to make the most of the SLG200NW's sound.

Built-in Tuner: 5/5

The top-notch built-in tuner in the Yamaha SLG200NW is convenient when you need to tune your guitar in mid-performance or practice. Pressing the tuner button can set the tuning between 438 to 445Hz.

When you play with other instruments, the settings allow you to stay in tune with the rest of the musicians and change pitches on the fly.

Classical Guitar Wide Neck: 5/5

The Yamaha SLG200NW features a 52mm nut width to deliver a classical guitar experience. It allows the classical guitarist to feel comfortable and familiar when switching from their main acoustic guitar to the SLG20NW.

It’s also a good option for electric guitar players who want to try out a nylon string wide-neck guitar with the slim body they’re used to.

Body Construction and Looks: 4/5

Yamaha's renowned quality and craftsmanship are evident in the SLG200NW. It features a solid construction of durable wood, a mahogany body and neck, a rosewood bridge, an ebony fingerboard, and rosewood and maple on the frame.

The Yamaha SLG200NW feels sturdy and durable, giving you peace of mind when traveling with it, even more so if you're used to traveling with high-end flamenco guitars that can be fragile and require constant care.

All in all, the Yamaha SLG200NW has a unique and visually appealing style. Its cutaway-shaped body gives it an electric guitar look and feel, but with regular practice, you'll start to feel its classical guitar "soul."

Bear in mind that since the guitar offers a blend of classical and electric guitar styles, it might not be the right instrument for classical purists.

Travel-Friendly Instrument: 5/5

The SLG200NW's compact design makes it super light and portable. The upper frame is removable to fit the included gig bag. When packed, its size can fit anywhere, even in small airplane compartments.

When you’re on the move, assembling and setting up the guitar is fast and easy. You can quickly practice during a delay and dismantle it as soon as boarding starts. Yamaha hit a home run here.

Number of Inputs: 4/5

The Yamaha SLG200NW's multiple inputs make it useful for various purposes. It features AUX input to connect a metronome or audio source such as an MP3, smartphone, or computer. If you like playing with backing tracks, you can output the music from the guitar and play along or practice with it.

The 1/8" headphone output lets you play in silence for the rest of the world while you hear every tiny detail of your performance. I wish it had a 1/4" input, though. Still, considering the portability, carrying small earbuds over big studio headphones makes sense.

It also includes a 1/4" Line out to connect the guitar directly to an amp for live performance or an audio interface for recording using a standard 1/4" guitar cable.

Power Supply: 3.5/5

It's worth noting that the SLG200NW works with AA batteries and an AC adapter, which is not included. It allows you to play on the go or stage with batteries or connect it via the preamp power adaptor jack to play at home or in hotels.

Neither AA batteries nor AC adapters are included. It's a shame, really.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Silent Guitar

Yamaha SLG200NW strings

Silent guitars have a few perks that appeal to certain guitar players. Their unplugged sound makes them the perfect practice guitar for those who can't play at high volumes, whatever the reason. Professional musicians who travel a lot will definitely benefit from compact and lightweight instruments, and music instructors will certainly love a portable and not-too-loud instrument to use for their home lessons.

A silent guitar is not the right fit for musicians looking for a typical classical guitar or the pure sound of an acoustic guitar. For quality traditional acoustic axes, check out our full roundup of the top classical guitars.

But if you think a silent guitar would fit the bill, here are some aspects you should consider.

Sound Quality

Sound quality varies from model to model and brand to brand, especially regarding electronics. Even though it's a silent guitar, it still needs to sound good to your ears and allow you to hear subtle sounds to pick up on errors. Listen to samples from online reviews or test one at local shops.

If you also want the guitar for studio recording, check for the preamp system, onboard sound effects, and EQ to ensure the highest-quality audio. Obviously, nothing can match the natural sound of the high-end classical guitars, neither in studio nor live setting.

Silent Functionality

Some guitars, like the Godin Multiac series or electric guitars not labeled as silent, offer a relatively quieter sound when unplugged. You may prefer a less loud guitar so that you can still hear your playing and use it to perform at local gigs.

If noise is an issue at home, the best is to look for a silent guitar to minimize noise. Look for reviews online that test the unplugged sound to see if it suits you.


If you travel frequently, the smaller size of a silent guitar might be best for you to avoid checking in extra luggage or being charged to carry special items. Also, check the guitar's build quality thoroughly, as constant traveling might damage your instrument over time.


Try the guitar to see how comfortable it is in your hands. Check the type of strings (starting with medium tension), the neck width, the action, etc. If this will be exclusive for practice, ensure the guitar feels like your primary guitar, making the transition smoother.

Alternatives to the Yamaha SLG200NW

If you're looking for classical guitars that are travel-friendly and offer good sound quality, there are several alternatives worth considering. Here are some classical guitars you should check out if you're not sure whether the silent SLG200NW is your thing.

Yamaha SLG200NW vs Cordoba C7-CE

As mentioned in our full review of the Cordoba C7-CE, it's is a reasonably priced yet high-quality nylon-string acoustic guitar with electronics, great tonewoods and a traditional Spanish vibe. The Indian rosewood back and sides and Canadian red cedar top produce warm and bright tones with lively resonance.

Compared to the SLG200NW, the sound feels more natural and timeless, but it comes at the expense of portability and playability in environments where noiselessness is required.

Yamaha SLG200NW vs Taylor Academy 12e-N

The Taylor Academy 12e-N is an acoustic-electric guitar with built-in Taylor ES-B electronics that make it easy to amplify, and its affordability makes it a great option for beginners who want to experience the timeless Taylor sound.

In terms of comfort and playability, the Academy 12e-N is the clear winner here, but the SLG200NW is still the best option if you need a guitar to practice quietly with.

Check out the full Taylor Academy 12e review to learn more.

Yamaha SLG200NW vs Ibanez GA35TCE

The Ibanez GA5TCE3Q is a 3/4-sized acoustic-electric nylon-string guitar coming with Ibanez's AEQ-2T preamp and onboard tuner.

It's a practical and relatively inexpensive guitar, mostly suitable for young guitarists who want a professional-sounding instrument, but it can also be the right one for you if you have small hands or value portability more than anything else.

Much cheaper than any other guitar mentioned here, the GA35TCE might come with a lower standard of quality control, like finish issues, excessive glue, and fragile tuning key buttons. All in all, if the budget allows it, I'd go for the SLG200NW.


Yamaha SLG200NW

If you're a professional musician with a busy schedule and can only practice at night, or if you're always on the go and need a guitar that's easy to carry around, then the Yamaha SLG200NW could be the perfect fit for you.

Thanks to its SRT-powered system, the Yamaha SLG200NW offers great acoustic emulation, and when unplugged, it becomes the perfect practice guitar. It's also lightweight and portable, making it easy to take with you on planes or buses or to use on stage.

If you're not sold on the Yamaha silent guitar, there are many other options you can consider, like the aforementioned Cordoba C7, Taylor Academy 12, and Ibanez GA35TCE. They all offer great value for money and a sound you can practice with and bring on stage with you.

Good luck!

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