Released in 1987, the APX series remains a superb example of Yamaha electric acoustic guitars. The series’ characteristic elliptical soundhole and unique cutaway silhouette have remained unchanged since its debut, something that can be attributed to our notion of what a guitar ought to be.
While there are many types of guitars, in reality, the volume level of a guitar, and consequently the actual number of people who can hear it are strongly affected by its design. Classical guitars, for example, are quiet instruments played without amplification, and are thus best suited for salon-sized venues. Consequently, the audience must be seated relatively close to the performer, and can thereby appreciate the artistic ornamentation of the guitar head and the delicate inlay around the soundhole while listening to the music. Conversely, electric guitars are played at high volume, and often on a stage where large audiences can observe the guitarist, hence the importance attributed to shape and color over intricate detailing in asserting the “personality” of the electric guitar. The relationship between acoustic and electric-acoustic guitars is similar. While there are no great differences in these instruments’ construction, they are played to different audiences in quite different venues. Played in bands where they may often be switched with electric guitars, electric-acoustic guitars feature a design that is close to an electric guitar, and thus require an individual identity that can be perceived at a distance.
I believe that it is the transparent relationship between design and volume achieved through the APX series that has allowed the series to endure for a quarter of a century without any significant change, establishing itself in the hearts of many guitarists as a byword for electric acoustic guitars.