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Are Fender Acoustic Guitars Good? [An In-Depth Guide]

Fender®, arguably one of the most recognizable brands in music, enjoys an enviable reputation for its electric guitars and amplifiers. But, what about their acoustics? Are Fender acoustic guitars good? or simply a poor cousin to their range of electric guitars.

In the following article, we’re going to take a closer look at Fender’s® acoustic guitar range, and how customers who have bought their guitars feel about them. We’ll also take a quick trip down memory lane and learn about the fascinating history of their first acoustic range.

For beginners, a number of Fender® acoustic models are worth a look, particularly the Fender Alternative, and Classic Design Series, and compare favorably to acoustic guitars of a similar price range from Yamaha, Cort, and Washburn.

What makes a good acoustic guitar anyway?

How do you know if an acoustic guitar is good?

Good means many different things to different people, but in the case of Fender® acoustic guitars, with the exception of the Acoustisonic series, good really means, good value as the price has to be taken into consideration when discussing sub $500 guitars, which the majority of Fender’s® acoustic lineup consists of.

But, even discounting price for a moment, in terms of what makes a good guitar, a couple of things apply universally:

Manufacturing consistency

It’s difficult to say whether a model of guitar is good if the quality varies wildly, even between models within the same series.

In general, despite the advent of CNC technology resulting in more precise (and in most cases higher quality) entry to mid-range acoustic guitars, this continues to be a common theme.

Many guitars are now manufactured offshore e.g. away from the companies main headquarters due to wages and the cost of living being lower, resulting in lower production costs.  These countries include China, Indonesia, Korea, and Mexico.

That’s not to say workers in these factories are any less capable. But, generally when guitars are made in countries with lower manufacturing costs problems can develop as the company balances quality against total production costs, which can lead to inconsistent quality control.

Does it stay in tune?

Good guitars stay in tune. A guitar that won’t stay in tune could indicate a poorly cut nut, poor intonation, or too much play in the tuning machines.

Is the intonation correct?

Poor intonation essentially means the guitar is not in tune with itself (you can check by comparing the open string to the 12th fret octave). Poor intonation could indicate problems with fret positioning, the position of the bridge of the guitar, problems with the nut, an action that is far too high, or a neck that requires truss rod adjustment.

Does it play well?

Issues such as a high action, loose frets, jagged fret ends or fret buzz all have an impact on playability, which indirectly affects how the guitar sounds and directly affects how enthusiastic a beginner might be to practicing and improving.

Does it sound good?

The real indication of a good guitar is how it sounds. Those new to guitar tend to put too much emphasis on how a guitar looks compared to how it sounds. But, just because you are new to the guitar doesn’t mean you should use your eyes over your ears to judge the quality of a guitar. Consider the following with regard to how the guitar sounds.

  • Buzzing: If you hear buzzes or mechanical vibrations the guitar either has a problem with the action e.g. the strings are buzzing the fret wires or the guitar has an item of loose hardware that is vibrating. This might only apply for specific frequencies e.g. you hit an open G string and the battery lid of your onboard preamp resonates with the frequency of the note played.
  • Tone: The tonality of the guitar will be affected by the size and shape of the guitar to an extent, but mostly from the tonewoods the guitar is made from, specifically with regard to overtones produced. A Spruce top will sound different from a Mahogany top, and a Cedar top will sound different again.
    The tone is subjective but in most cases, if you are looking for a strummer e.g. a guitar to strum chords on spruce may be preferred. However, if you mostly play fingerstyle and prefer response, good note separation and articulation over clarity and volume Mahogany may be a better option.
  • Tonal balance: Body size, shape, and tonewoods can affect the balance of a guitar. For example, does the guitar sound bass dominant? Or does the guitar place greater emphasis on the higher-end frequencies? If, you are most interested in fingerstyle guitar a balanced guitar with perhaps more emphasis on the upper range may be preferable.
  • Volume: How loud is the guitar? If you favor volume, a larger body guitar will be louder than a small body.
  • Sustain: Good guitars tend to have good sustain, which is a measure of how long a note rings out after being played. In some cases, sustain is less desirable e.g. jazz guitarists put greater emphasis on clarity and note separation, and often prefer notes that decay faster.

The points above, all strongly relate to pricing.

For example, in the eyes of a beginner with a sub $500 budget, the materials used in the construction, along with the standard of workmanship, playability, and tone will be judged based on price. E.g. it’s a good-sounding guitar that plays well, for under $500.

Whereas a good guitar in the eyes (and ears) of a more seasoned guitarist will largely come down to the quality of the workmanship, materials, and quality control.

In this regard, we’re mostly talking about the materials aka tonewoods used for the body, and neck, the quality of the construction of the guitar, and the quality of the fretwork, which is often the difference between mid-range and high-end guitars, acoustic or electric.

Other considerations might include the back and sides (not just the top) being constructed from solid wood (not laminate), the quality of the hardware e.g. tuners and nut and saddle, the materials used for the nut and saddle e.g. bone as opposed to plastic and included accessories e.g. a hard case.

While Fender® does cater to both the beginner and the more experienced guitarist, it’s fair to say the majority of their sales occur within the sub $500 beginner market, placing them in direct competition with brands such as Cort, Washburn, and Yamaha.

In the $500+ market, Fender® tends to lose out to companies that either focus (almost) entirely on acoustic guitars (Taylor, Martin) or have been making acoustic guitars a lot longer e.g. Gibson.

So, with all of this in mind how do we give a verdict on the quality of Fender’s® acoustic guitar range?

Most experienced guitarists won’t consider Fender® acoustic guitars as good guitars. But, that misses the point as Fender® hasn’t intentionally targeted this type of player.

Therefore, to give a verdict on Fender® acoustic guitars we really need to take the opinions of actual buyers who own Fender® acoustic guitars, not those who would never consider owning one.

With this in mind, for each guitar (and series of acoustics) Fender® currently has in their line up (as of October 2020, we’ve taken an average customer rating (where available) from five of the largest music retailers in the United States (amazon.com, sweetwater.com, guitarcenter.com, musiciansfriend.com, and reverb.com) and then calculated an average rating out of 5 stars.

Keep in mind, some guitars aren’t available at some retailers or may be available but have not yet received a review from customers.

But before we dive into the guitars themselves, let’s get a better perspective on what Fender® is trying to do with their acoustic range by taking a closer look at the history of Fender® acoustic guitars.


The history of Fender® Acoustic Guitars

Fender® began manufacturing acoustic guitars in 1963, partly in response to the ever-growing folk scene of the 60s.  Keep in mind, this was almost 13 years after they began manufacturing electric guitars.

This in itself, is quite unlike other iconic guitar companies such as Gibson who first started manufacturing acoustic guitars in the 30s before later expanding to include electric guitars from the early 50s or Martin who was producing acoustic guitars as far back as 1833.

In this sense, Fender® never really had the heritage these brands have when it comes to acoustic guitars.

A new Take on the Acoustic Guitar

Fender® never really pitched themselves this way anyway, instead, entering the market offering an innovative, and at times, a bold new take on the acoustic guitar. It was more about the enjoyment of music rather than taking itself too seriously.

Fender®, say as much themselves on fender.com:

“A Fender acoustic guitar was for throwing in the car and hitting the beach. It was for coffeehouses and campfires”.
fender.com

That’s not to say they weren’t played by some big names at different times, including the man in black, Johnny Cash, and the king, Elvis Presley, although it must be said, is far better known for his Gibsons, including the J200 and Ebony Dove. While most people would clearly associate Johnny Cash with Martin guitars.

In any case, the earliest Fender® acoustic models reflected this ‘less serious’ attitude from Fender® and included features more akin to electric guitars including Stratocaster® style 6 inline headstocks, and bolt-on necks. Even the pickguards were screwed on.

Under the hood, the first Fender® acoustics featured a unique aircraft aluminum rod, ‘broomstick’ bracing system.

The Original Lineup

The original lineup in 1963 consisted of The King, the flagship guitar of the fleet, later reintroduced as the Fender Kingma in 1966.

The Concert (1963–1970), The Classic (1963 – 1966), and the Folk which was rather short-lived, being manufactured only between 1963 and 1964.

Looking Forward

In many ways, not much has really changed when it comes to Fender’s® attitude toward the acoustic guitar.

Many Fender® acoustic guitars still look far from traditional, featuring Strat® style headstocks and bold colors but this is now mixed with a number of entry-level instruments targeting the beginner market.

In this sense, it seems Fender® is still more interested in offering an accessible, and unique alternative to the acoustic guitar rather than competing at the higher price points of Taylor and Martin, perhaps with the exception of the recently released Acoustisonic (perhaps the most radical departure from traditional acoustic design yet seen) which we’ll take a closer look at below.


Fender® Acoustic Guitars Current Range

  • Please note, any prices listed below are accurate as of the time of writing. Prices do change over time, so if unsure please check.

Unlike the earliest days of Fender® acoustic guitars, the company now offers a broad range of acoustic instruments. These include:

  • The California series
  • The Paramount series
  • The Classic Design series
  • The Fender® Alternative series
  • The Artist Design series
  • The American Acoustasonic series

We’ll introduce each of the series below, and an average rating, starting with perhaps the most eye-catching, the California series.


The California Series

The California series is an obvious hat tip to Fender’s® initial foray into the world of acoustics guitars.

In fact, two of the California series models of guitar, the Malibu and Newporter were first introduced as far back as April 1965, and the Redondo was first introduced in 1968.

All of these models were discontinued in 1971 as the Fender® name started losing appeal after being taken over by CBS musical instruments in 1965. This remained the case until the late 80s when Fender® reintroduced a number of their earlier acoustics including the California series.

Today, the California series leans heavily on Fender’s® electric guitar design ethos featuring a range of bold body colors and slim-taper C shape Mahogany necks complete with Stratocaster® style headstock.

The California series includes 16 different guitars. Including left-handed, 12 string, and acoustic bass options:

  • The Newporter
    Orchestra style body shape, featuring a cutaway
  • The Malibu
    Smaller folk size body. Available in both a cutaway and non-cutaway design (Malibu special Mahogany and Malibu player)
  • The Redondo
    Dreadnought body shape, available in both cutaway (the Mahogany classic) and non-cutaway designs.
  • Villager 12™  string
    12 string guitar
  • Kingman™ Bass
    Short-scale acoustic bass guitar

The three primary models (Newporter, Malibu, and Redondo) are available at three different price points based mostly on whether the back and sides are constructed from solid wood or laminate along with the quality of the electronics.

For example, the less expensive Player models feature the Fender® exclusive CD-1 Fishman pickup/preamp systems.

The Special and Classic models feature a preamp system designed by Fender® in conjunction with Fishman, including additional features such as phase control to regulate feedback.

While prices may vary, at the time of writing the Player models are listed at $429. The special models from $729, and the Classic model at $799.

The California Player

The California player guitars feature solid spruce tops, laminated Mahogany back and sides finished in a gloss poly and aged white binding.

Guitars in this range include:

  • Newporter player (including L/H model)
  • Malibu player
  • Redondo player (including L/H model)

Specs: California Player

Body
Top (Soundboard)Solid Sitka Spruce
Back and SidesMahogany Laminate
FinishGloss Poly
BindingAged White
RosetteBlack/White/Black
Bridge PinsAged with black dots
BracingScalloped X
Neck
NeckMahogany
Headstock6 in-line (Strat® style)
Neck ShapeSlim taper ‘C
Neck FinishSatin Urethane
FretboardWalnut
Frets20
Scale Length25.6″ (650mm) * Malibu Player 24.1″ (612mm)
Fretboard Radius15.75″ radius
Nut Width1.69″ (43mm)
Nut MaterialGraph Tech® NuBone™
InlaysWhite (Plastic) dot
TunersSealed Nickel
Electronics
CD-1 Fishman pickup/preamp system (Volume, Bass, Treble)

Specs: California Player

Body
Top (Soundboard)Solid Sitka Spruce
Back and SidesMahogany Laminate
FinishGloss Poly
BindingAged White
RosetteBlack/White/Black
Bridge PinsAged with black dots
BracingScalloped X
Neck
NeckMahogany
Headstock6 in-line (Strat® style)
Neck ShapeSlim taper ‘C
Neck FinishSatin Urethane
FretboardWalnut
Frets20
Scale Length25.6″ (650mm) * Malibu Player 24.1″ (612mm)
Fretboard Radius15.75″ radius
Nut Width1.69″ (43mm)
Nut MaterialGraph Tech® NuBone™
InlaysWhite (Plastic) dot
TunersSealed Nickel
Electronics
CD-1 Fishman pickup/preamp system (Volume, Bass, Treble)

Features

The neck is a slim-taper C shape, constructed from Mahogany and featuring a 15.75 (400 mm) radius and 1.69 (43mm) nut width.

The fretboard is constructed from Walnut and includes a Graph Tech® NuBone™ nut and saddle. For electronics, the guitar utilizes the Fishman CD-1 pickup system.

Color options include Candy Apple Red, Champagne, Ice Blue Satin, Natural, Olive Satin, and Sunburst, depending on the model of guitar. E.g. some models such as the Redondo player feature additional options including Belmont Blue and black.

The California Special

The California special models are available either in a painted solid Sitka spruce top or solid Mahogany top.

Both options feature painted solid Mahogany back and sides and satin finish with maple binding and rosette.

Guitars in this range include:

  • Redondo Special Mahogany
  • Newporter Special Mahogany
  • Redondo Special
  • Newporter Special
  • Malibu Special

Specs: California Special

Body
Top (Soundboard)Painted Solid Sitka Spruce
Back and SidesSolid Mahogany
FinishSatin
BindingMaple
Pickguard3 ply
RosetteBlack/White/Black
Bridge PinsEbony with Mother of Pearl dots
BracingQuartersawn Scalloped “X”
Neck
NeckMahogany
Headstock6 in-line (Strat® style)
Neck ShapeSlim taper ‘C’
Neck FinishSatin Urethane
FretboardPau Ferro
Frets20
Scale Length25.6″ (650mm) * Malibu Player 24.1″ (612mm)
Fretboard Radius15.75″
Nut Width1.69″ (43mm)
Nut MaterialBone
InlaysMaple dots
TunersSealed Nickel
Electronics
Fender® and Fishman designed preamp including Volume, Bass, Treble, with Tuner and Phase Controls

The neck, like the player, is a slim taper C shape, constructed from Mahogany and featuring a 15.75 (400 mm) radius and 1.69 (43mm) nut width.

The fretboard is constructed from Pau Ferro and features a bone nut. California Special guitars also come with a deluxe gig bag.

The California Classic

The California classic guitars are more or less the same as the special models, with a couple of small differences, including a painted Sitka Spruce top and natural finish back and sides along with a tilt-back headstock design.

This serves to increase the break angle over the nut, increasing the downward pressure on the nut which contributes to a brighter sounding guitar with additional sustain.

The California classic series also includes a deluxe gig bag.

Guitars in this range include:

  • Malibu Classic
  • Newporter Classic
  • Redondo Classic

Specs: California Classic

Body
Top (Soundboard)Painted Solid Sitka Spruce
Back and SidesSolid Mahogany
FinishGloss Poly
BindingKoa
RosetteKoa
Bridge PinsEbony with Mother of Pearl dots
BracingQuartersawn Scalloped “X”
Neck
NeckMahogany
Headstock6 in-line tilt back (Strat® style)
Neck ShapeSlim taper ‘C’
Neck FinishSatin Urethane
FretboardPau Ferro
Frets20
Scale Length25.6″ (650mm) * Malibu Player 24.1″ (612mm)
Fretboard Radius15.75″ radius
Nut Width1.69″ (43mm)
Nut MaterialBone
InlaysMaple dots
TunersSealed Nickel
Electronics
Fender® and Fishman designed preamp including Volume, Bass, Treble, with Tuner and Phase Controls

Villager 12 string

Originally introduced in 1965, the Villager 12 string features Fender’s® hockey stock headstock and includes a cutaway and onboard electronics.

Specs

Body
Top (Soundboard)(Black) Painted Solid Sitka Spruce
Back and SidesLaminated Mahogany
FinishGloss Poly
BindingWhite
Rosette2 ring (black/white)
Pickguard3 ply (gold)
Bridge PinsPlastic (white)
BracingForward Shifted Scalloped X (The center of the X is moved closer to the soundhole, increasing flexible strength of the lower bout of the guitar)
Neck
NeckMahogany
HeadstockPainted ‘hockey stick’ style.
Neck ShapeSlim taper ‘C’
Neck FinishSatin Urethane
FretboardWalnut
Frets20
Scale Length24.72″ (628mm)
Fretboard Radius12″ (305mm)
Nut Width1.77″ (45 mm)
Nut MaterialGraph Tech® NuBone™
InlaysPlastic (white)
TunersSealed Nickel
Electronics
CD-1 Fishman pickup/preamp system (Volume, Bass, Treble)

Kingman™ Bass

Short-scale bass guitar with a cutaway.

Specs

Body
Top (Soundboard)Solid Spruce
Back and SidesMahogany (laminate)
FinishGloss poly
BindingAged white
Rosette2 ring (black/white)
Pickguard3 ply (gold)
Bridge Pins3 ply (gold) Plastic (cream with black dots)
BracingForward Shifted Scalloped X
Neck
NeckMahogany
Headstock4 inline (traditional Fender® bass headstock)
Neck ShapeJazz Bass
Neck FinishSatin Urethane
FretboardWalnut
Frets20
Scale Length30.3″ (770 mm)
Nut Width1.5″ (38.1 mm)
Nut MaterialGraph Tech® NuBone™
InlaysPearloid (White)
TunersOpen geared
Electronics
Fishman Preamp and tuner (bass, middle, treble and phase control)

Are they any good? Average rating: 4.63 stars

For the most part, the California series has been well-received by its intended market. Purists are less likely to give it a second look, but based on the design and price range, this series of guitars will mostly appeal to electric guitarists looking for an alternative to the more traditional acoustic guitar design.

Below are the average individual ratings the guitars in the California series received from customers.

Newporter Player:
Amazon: 4.5
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: 4.5 Reverb.com: 4.1 Avg

Rating: 4.52
Newporter Special:
Amazon: 4.5
Sweetwater: 4.5
Guitar Center: 4
Musicians Friend: 4.5 Reverb.com: 5

Avg Rating: 4.5
Newporter Classic:
Amazon: 4
Sweetwater: 4.5
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: 4 Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.16
Newporter Special Mahogany Amazon: 4.5
Sweetwater: 4.5
Guitar Center: 4.5
Musicians Friend: 4
Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.37
Malibu Player:
Amazon: 4.5
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: 5
Reverb.com: 4.7

Avg Rating: 4.88
Malibu Special:
Amazon: 4.5
Sweetwater: NA
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: 4.5
Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.5
Malibu Classic:
Amazon: 4
Sweetwater: NA
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: 5 Reverb.com: 5

Avg Rating: 4.75
Malibu Special Mahogany Amazon: 4.5
Sweetwater: NA
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.5
Redondo Player:
Amazon: 4.5
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 4.5
Musicians Friend: 5
Reverb.com: 4.8

Avg Rating: 4.76
Redondo Special:
Amazon: 4.5
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 5 Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.83
Redondo Classic:
Amazon: 4
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 5

Avg Rating: 4.75
Redondo Special Mahogany Amazon: 4.6
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.86
Kingman™ Bass
Amazon: 4.6
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.86
Villager™ 12-String
Amazon: 3.8
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 5

Avg Rating: 4.6

The Paramount Series

If the California series is the wild child of the Fender® acoustic guitar range, the Paramount series is the more refined older sibling, featuring a more traditional 3 a side headstock design and natural finishes.

The Paramount series include 3 models of guitar, the imaginatively named PM-1, PM-2, and PM-3.

PM 1

The PM 1 is a standard dreadnought shape (does not feature a cutaway) of the series and is available in both a standard all Mahogany option, or a natural Spruce top.

If you’re wanting to plugin, however, you’re sadly out of luck as the PM-1 does not include electronics, so you’ll need to step up to the PM-2 or PM-3.

Guitars in this range include:

  • PM-1 Standard Dreadnought, Natural
  • PM-1 Standard Dreadnought All-Mahogany NE

Specs: PM1

Body
Top (Soundboard)Open Pore Solid Mahogany or solid Sitka Spruce
Back and SidesSolid Mahogany
FinishSatin
BindingWhite, Black, Checker, Black
RosetteCheckerboard
Pickguard1-Ply (Tortoiseshell)
Bridge PinsEbony with MOP Dots
BracingQuartersawn Scalloped “X”
Neck
NeckMahogany
Headstock3 a side traditional
Neck Binding3 ply (White, Black, White)
Neck ShapeC
Neck FinishSatin Urethane
FretboardOvangkol
Frets20
Scale Length25.3″ (600mm)
Fretboard Radius15.75″
Nut Width1.69″ (43mm)
Nut MaterialGraph Tech® NuBone™
InlaysMOP dots
TunersOpen back Nickel
Electronics
NA

PM 2

The PM2 is a smaller parlor body shape and like the PM1 is available in both a standard all Mahogany option, or a natural Spruce top.

This model, like most small body acoustics, does not feature a cutaway.

Guitars in this range include:

  • PM-2 Parlor NE, All-Mahogany, Natural
  • PM-2 Standard Parlor, Natural

Specs: PM2

Body
Top (Soundboard)Open Pore Solid Mahogany or solid Sitka Spruce
Back and SidesSolid Mahogany
FinishSatin (open pore)
BindingWhite, Black, Checker, Black
RosetteCheckerboard
Pickguard1-Ply (Tortoiseshell)
Bridge PinsEbony with MOP Dots
BracingQuartersawn Scalloped “X”
Neck
NeckMahogany
Headstock3 a side traditional
Neck ShapeC
Neck FinishSatin Urethane
FretboardOvangkol
Neck Binding3 ply (White, Black, White)
Frets19
Scale Length24.75″ (629 mm)
Fretboard Radius15.75″
Nut Width1.75″ (44.45 mm)
Nut MaterialBone
InlaysMOP dots
TunersNickel
Electronics
Fender® and Fishman designed preamp including Volume, Bass, Treble, with Tuner and Phase Controls

PM 3

The PM3 is an orchestra body shape and like the PM1 is available in both a standard all Mahogany option, or a natural Spruce top.

Guitars in this range include:

  • PM-3 Standard Triple-0, Natural
  • PM-3 Triple-0 All-Mahogany, Natural

Specs: PM3

Body
Top (Soundboard)Open Pore Solid Mahogany or solid Sitka Spruce
Back and SidesSolid Mahogany
FinishSatin (open pore)
BindingWhite, Black, Checker, Black
RosetteCheckerboard
Pickguard1-Ply (Tortoiseshell)
Bridge PinsEbony with MOP Dots
BracingQuartersawn Scalloped “X”
Neck
NeckMahogany
Headstock3 a side traditional
Neck ShapeC
Neck Finish Gloss Urethane
FretboardOvangkol
Neck Binding3 ply (White, Black, White)
Frets20
Scale Length25.3″ (643 mm)
Fretboard Radius15.75″
Nut Width1.69″ (43 mm)
Nut MaterialBone
InlaysMOP dots
TunersNickel
Electronics
Fender® and Fishman designed preamp including Volume, Bass, Treble, with Tuner and Phase Controls

All the guitars in the Paramount series come in either all Mahogany construction (open-pore Mahogany soundboard) or standard construction featuring a Solid Sitka Spruce top, Mahogany neck with Ovangkol fingerboard.

All models feature Quartersawn Scalloped X bracing and black and white checker binding and rosette.

The standard construction guitars start at $829 and feature solid Sitka spruce tops, while all Mahogany models start at $629.

Are they any good? Average rating: 4.60 stars

In general, the Paramount series has been favorably reviewed, with guitarworld.com even naming them the best acoustic guitars Fender have ever produced.

Below are the average individual ratings the guitars in the Paramount series received from customers.

PM-2 Parlor NE, All-Mahogany, Natural Amazon: 4.1
Sweetwater: NA
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: 4 Reverb.com: 4.7

Avg Rating: 4.26
PM-3 Standard Triple-0, Natural
Amazon: 3.9
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 5

Avg Rating: 4.72
PM-1 Standard Dreadnought All-Mahogany NE
Amazon: 4.1
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 4.6

Avg Rating: 4.67
PM-3 Triple-0 All-Mahogany, Natural
Amazon: 4.2
Sweetwater: NA
Guitar Center: 5 Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 5

Avg Rating: 4.73
PM-1 Standard Dreadnought, Natural
Amazon: 4.1
Sweetwater: NA
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: 5
Reverb.com: 5

Avg Rating: 4.77
PM-2 Standard Parlor, Natural
Amazon: 4.7
Sweetwater: NA
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: 4
Reverb.com: 4.8

Avg Rating: 4.5

The Classic Design Series

Fender has carved out quite the niche for themselves in the learner guitar market, especially when you take into account the ever-popular Squier range of electric guitars, Fender play (an online guitar lesson platform aimed at beginners), and the classic design series of affordable acoustic guitars.

The classic design series builds upon this connection to the beginner market while incorporating a more traditional look and feel, more in line with the Paramount series than the California series.

The classic design series consists of 5 models, the classic design 140SCE, the 60SCE, and the 60S. All three models are available in three separate body styles, the appropriately named CD (dreadnought body shape), CC (concert shape), and CP (parlor shape), while a nylon version is also available in the 140SCE and 60S range, and an acoustic bass included in the 60SCE range.

60S

Firmly aimed at beginners the Classic Design S models feature solid-top construction, and laminate back and sides along with quartersawn Scalloped X bracing and rolled fretboards (the edge of the fretboard and fret wires are rounded off) for easier playing.

Guitars in this range include:

  • CD-60S (also available in LH model)
  • CD-60S, All-Mahogany
  • CP-60S Parlor
  • CC-60S Concert (also available in LH model)
  • CN-60S

Specs: 60S

Body
Top (Soundboard)Solid Spruce *Solid Mahogany for all Mahogany model
Back and SidesMahogany (laminate)
FinishGloss
BindingMultiple (Black and white)
RosettePearloid (plastic resembling Mother of Pearl)
PickguardI ply black * no pickguard on CN-60S model
Bridge PinsWhite plastic (black dots) * no bridge pins on CN-60S model (nylon string guitars do not require bridge pins)
BracingScalloped “X” bracing * Quartersawn Scalloped “X” on CD-60S, CD-60S all Mahogany, and CC-60S
Neck
NeckMahogany
Headstock3 a side traditional * slotted headstock on CN-60S
Neck ShapeFender® ‘Easy-to-Play’ shape with rolled fretboard edges
Neck FinishGloss Urethane
FretboardWalnut
Neck BindingI ply black
Frets20 *18 on CN-60S25.3″ (643 mm)
Scale Length25.3″ (643 mm) *CP model: 24.75″ (629 mm)
Fretboard Radius12″ (305 mm)
Nut Width1.69″ (43 mm)
Nut MaterialPlastic
InlaysPearloid * Side dot only on CN-60S
TunersChrome Die-Cast * Amber Pearloid Buttons on CN-60S
Electronics
NA

60SCE

The 60SCE series features cutaways and onboard electronics, including a tuner. SCE refers to standard + cutaway + electronics, hence the model name.

Guitars in this range include:

  • CD-60SCE Dreadnought (left-handed model also available)
  • CD-60SCE Dreadnought, All-Mahogany
  • CC-60SCE Concert (left-handed model also available)
  • CB-60SCE Bass
  • CD-60SCE Dreadnought 12-String

Specs: 60S

Body
Top (Soundboard)Solid Spruce *Solid Mahogany on all-mahogany models
Back and SidesMahogany (Laminate)
FinishGloss
BindingMultiple (Black and white)
RosettePearloid
Pickguard1 ply black
Bridge PinsWhite (black dots)
BracingQuartersawn Scalloped “X” * Scalloped “X” on CB-60SCE Bass
Neck
NeckMahogany
Headstock3 a side traditional
Neck Shape Fender® ‘Easy-to-Play’ shape with rolled fretboard edges
Neck FinishGloss Urethane
FretboardWalnut * Indian Laurel on CB-60SCE (acoustic bass)
Neck BindingI ply black
Frets20 * 22 on CB-60SCE (acoustic bass)
Scale Length25.3″ (643 mm) * 32″ (813 mm) on CB-60SCE (acoustic bass)
Fretboard Radius12″ (305 mm)
Nut Width1.69″ (43 mm) *1.77″ (45mm) on CD-60SCE DREADNOUGHT 12-STRING
Nut MaterialPlastic
InlaysPearloid
TunersChrome Die-Cast
Electronics
Fishman® CD Preamp (Volume, Bass, Treble)

140SCE

The 140-SCE differs from the 60-SCE in that it additionally includes a hardshell case and upgraded electronics in the form of the Fishman® CD Preamp, offering volume, bass, treble, tuner, and low battery light indicator. A 1-Ply Tortoiseshell pickguard and Graph Tech® NuBone™ nut are also included.

Guitars in this range include:

  • CD-140SCE 12-String
  • CN-140SCE (classical guitar)
  • CD-140SCE All-Mahogany
  • CD-140SCE

Specs: 140SCE

Body
Top (Soundboard)Solid Spruce *Solid Mahogany on all-mahogany models
Back and SidesLaminated Ovangkol *Laminate Mahogany on all-mahogany models
FinishGloss
BindingMultiple (Black and white)
RosettePearloid
Pickguard1-Ply Tortoiseshell *none on CN-140SCE (classic guitar)
Bridge PinsWhite plastic (black dots) *none on CN-140SCE (classic guitar)
BracingQuartersawn Scalloped “X” *fan bracing on CN-140SCE (classic guitar)
Neck
NeckMahogany
Headstock3 a side traditional *Slotted headstock on CN models (classic guitar)
Neck ShapeFender® ‘Easy-to-Play’ shape with rolled fretboard edges
Neck FinishGloss Urethane
FretboardWalnut
Neck BindingI ply black
Frets20 *18 on CN-140SCE (classic guitar)
Scale Length25.3″ (643 mm)
Fretboard Radius12″ (305 mm)
Nut Width1.69″ (43 mm) *1.77 on CD-140SCE 12-String
Nut MaterialGraph Tech® NuBone™
InlaysPearloid *side dot only on CN-140SCE (classical guitar)
TunersChrome Die-Cast *3-In-Line (Amber Pearloid Buttons) on CN-140SCE (classical guitar)
Electronics
Fishman® CD Preamp (volume, bass, treble, tuner, and low battery light indicator)

Prices range from $199 for the ‘S’ (standard) models.  The 60 SCE models which include Fishman electronics come in at $329, and the 140SCE with a hardshell case and upgraded electronics will set you back $439.00

The classic design series are firmly entrenched in the sub $500 category and for this price you won’t normally see solid wood construction back and sides.

Are they any good? Average rating: 4.58 stars

Serious guitarists aren’t going to be lining up for a CD60 anytime, but this isn’t the intended market for these guitars which otherwise represent good value for money, if not a little inconsistent (according to reports from some customers) with regard to manufacturing quality and quality control.

Below are the average individual ratings the guitars in the Classic Design Series received from customers.

CD-60 Dreadnought V3 Amazon: 4.6
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 4
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.53
CD-60S
Amazon: 4.6
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 4.5
Musicians Friend: 5
Reverb.com: 3.7

Avg Rating: 4.56
CD-60S Dreadnought, All-Mahogany
Amazon: 4.7
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 3

Avg Rating: 4.42
CP-60S Parlor
Amazon: 4.7
Sweetwater: 4.5
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: 5
Reverb.com: 4

Avg Rating: 4.64
CC-60S Concert
Amazon: 4.5
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: 5
Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.87
CN-60S
Amazon: 5
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 5

Avg Rating: 5
CD-60S Dreadnought, All-Mahogany
Amazon: 4.7
Sweetwater: 4.5
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 3

Avg Rating: 4.3
CD-60SCE Dreadnought Amazon: 4.6
Sweetwater: 4.5
Guitar Center: 4.5
Musicians Friend: 4.1 Reverb.com: 4.4

Avg Rating: 4.42
CD-60SCE Dreadnought, All-Mahogany
Amazon: NA
Sweetwater: 4.5
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 4.7

Avg Rating: 4.6
CC-60SCE Concert
Amazon: 4.5
Sweetwater: 4.5
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 5

Avg Rating: 4.66
CB-60SCE Bass
Amazon: 4.5
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 4
Musicians Friend: 5
Reverb.com: 4.5

Avg Rating: 4.6
CD-140SCE
Amazon: 4.3
Sweetwater: 4.5
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 5

Avg Rating: 4.6
CD-140SCE All-Mahogany Amazon: 4.3
Sweetwater: 4.5
Guitar Center: 4.5
Musicians Friend: 4.5 Reverb.com: 5

Avg Rating: 4.56
CD-140SCE 12-String Amazon: 4.5
Sweetwater: NA
Guitar Center: 4.5
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 5

Avg Rating: 4.66
CN-140SCE
Amazon: 3.8
Sweetwater: 4.6
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 4.5

Avg Rating: 4.3

The Fender® Alternative series

Fender® pitch the alternative series as the perfect beginner’s instrument, in fact just for good measure, the alternative series even includes a ¾ size guitar for children.

Visually they’re somewhat of a compromise between Fender’s® earlier, less traditional acoustic guitars, combined with a sense of the more traditional in terms of body shape.

The alternative series features four series of guitars.  The 15, 100, 200, and 300 series.

All guitars feature laminate back and sides, which Fender® market as being more durable and more feedback resistant.

FA15 Models

The 15 models include two 3/4 size guitars, including the nylon string 15n (hence the ‘n’ in the name. Ideal for children or for use as an inexpensive travel guitar.

Guitars in this range include the:

  • FA-15N 3/4 Nylon
  • FA-15 3/4 steel

Specs: FA15

Body
Top (Soundboard)Agathis (laminate)
Back and SidesSapele (laminate)
FinishGloss poly
Binding1 ply black
RosetteConcentric rings * wood mosaic on the 15N
PickguardNA
Bridge PinsBlack plastic (white dots) *NA on 15N model (nylon string guitars don’t require bridge pins)
BracingX bracing
Neck
NeckNato
Headstock3 a side traditional *Slotted headstock on 15N model
Neck ShapeC
Neck FinishGloss Urethane
FretboardWalnut
Neck Binding1 ply black
Frets18
Scale Length23.3″ (592 mm)
Fretboard Radius11.81″ (300 mm)
Nut Width1.69″ (43 mm)
Nut MaterialSynthetic Bone
InlaysWhite plastic dot
TunersDie-cast (sealed back) *Open-Gear with Pearloid Buttons on 15n model
Electronics
NA

The 100

The more affordable and aptly named 100 models feature laminate soundboards and traditional dot inlays.

Guitars in this range include the:

  • FA-125 Dreadnought
  • Walnut, FA-125CE Dreadnought, Walnut Fingerboard

Specs: 100 

Body
Top (Soundboard)Spruce (laminate)
Back and SidesBasswood (laminate)
FinishGloss
Binding1 ply black
RosetteConcentric rings
Pickguard1 ply black
Bridge PinsWhite plastic (black dots)
BracingX bracing
Neck
NeckNato
Headstock3 a side traditional
Neck ShapeC
Neck FinishGloss Urethane
FretboardWalnut
Neck Binding1 ply black
Frets20
Scale Length25.3″ (643 mm)
Fretboard Radius11.81″ (300 mm)
Nut Width1.69″ (43 mm)
Nut MaterialSynthetic Bone
InlaysWhite plastic dot
TunersDie-cast (sealed back)
Electronics
NA

The 200 series

The 200 models feature flame maple tops and decorative inlays, which look beautiful. The 200 also includes lacewood back and sides, laminate flame maple soundboard, and Nato neck.

Guitars in this range include the:

  • FA-235E Concert

Specs: 200 

Body
Top (Soundboard)Flame Maple (Laminate)
Back and SidesMahogany (Laminate)
FinishGloss
BindingAged white
RosetteKeystone design
Pickguard1 ply black
Bridge PinsWhite plastic (black dots)
BracingX bracing
Neck
NeckNato
Headstock3 a side traditional
Neck ShapeC
Neck FinishGloss Urethane
FretboardIndian Laurel
Neck BindingAged white
Frets20
Scale Length25.3″ (643 mm)
Nut Width1.69″ (43 mm)
Nut MaterialGraph Tech® TUSQ®
InlaysPearloid (keystone design)
TunersOpen geared
Electronics
Fishman® Electronics (volume, bass, treble)

The 300

Along with the updated features of the 200 models, the 300 also includes tortoiseshell binding, which combined with the flame maple top looks fantastic.

Guitars in this range include the:

  • FA-345CE Auditorium

Specs: 300 

Body
Top (Soundboard)Flame Maple (Laminate)
Back and SidesMahogany (Laminate)
FinishGloss
BindingAged white
RosetteKeystone design
Pickguard1 ply black
Bridge PinsWhite plastic (black dots)
BracingX bracing
Neck
NeckNato
Headstock3 a side traditional
Neck ShapeC
Neck FinishGloss Urethane
FretboardIndian Laurel
Neck BindingAged white
Frets20
Scale Length25.3″ (643 mm)
Nut Width1.69″ (43 mm)
Nut MaterialGraph Tech® TUSQ®
InlaysPearloid (keystone design)
TunersOpen geared
Electronics
Fishman® Electronics (volume, bass, treble)

Are they any good? Average rating: 4.66 stars

Considering the price of the guitars within this series, the Fender® Alternative series delivers for the most part and is well priced for the beginner market. With prices ranging from $149.99 for the FA-15N 3/4 Nylon, up to $439.99 for the FA-345CE Auditorium.

FA-15N 3/4 Nylon
Amazon: 5
Sweetwater: NA
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: NA
Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 5
FA-15 3/4 Steel
Amazon: 4.7
Sweetwater: NA
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: NA
Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.7
FA-125 Dreadnought, Walnut
Amazon: 4.5
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: NA
Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.83
FA-125CE Dreadnought, Walnut Fingerboard
Amazon: 4.4
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: NA
Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.6
FA-235E Concert
Amazon: 4.3
Sweetwater: NA
Guitar Center: 4.5
Musicians Friend: NA
Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.4
FA-345CE Auditorium
Amazon: 4.4
Sweetwater: 4.5
Guitar Center: NA
Musicians Friend: NA
Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 4.45

The Artist Design Series

The artist design series, as the name implies, represents the collaborative design process between Fender® and artists such as Tim Armstrong (Rancid) and Alkaline Trio (Chicago Punk Band).

The guitars themselves are released in limited numbers and as you might imagine, are unique and imaginatively designed featuring limited-edition bold colors and finishes, custom inlays and gold hardware.

The models included in the Artist Design Series include:

  • Tim Armstrong Anniversary Hellcat (including 12 string and LH models)
  • Alkaline Trio Malibu™

Tim Armstrong Anniversary Hellcat

Tim Armstrong (Founder and Frontman for Rancid), so the word goes, does most of his writing on his 60s concert size Fender® acoustic guitar.

Fender® and Tim Armstrong collaborated and came up with the Tim Armstrong Hellcat, a distinctively cool retro-looking acoustic guitar that features a couple of nice signature touches including custom ‘hellcat’ style inlays and gold hardware, but otherwise gives every indication of being more a workhorse than a show pony.

The Tim Armstrong Hellcat Series includes three guitars, a standard 6 string, 12 string, and a left-handed model (Tim Armstrong is left-handed after all).

Specs: Tim Armstrong Anniversary Hellcat

Body
Top (Soundboard)Solid Spruce
Back and SidesMahogany (Laminate)
FinishGloss
BindingAged white
RosetteF style
Pickguard3 ply gold
Bridge PinsWhite
Neck
NeckMaple
Headstock3 a side traditional
Neck ShapeC
Neck FinishGloss
FretboardWalnut
Neck BindingAged white
Frets19
Scale Length25.3″ (643 mm)
Fretboard Radius11.81″ (300 mm)
Nut Width1.69″ (43 mm)
Nut MaterialGraph Tech® TUSQ®
InlaysSkulls, and Hellcat design
TunersWhite plastic (vintage style)
Electronics
Fishman® Isys™ III pickup system (volume, EQ, tuner)

Alkaline Trio Malibu™

We’ve already met the Malibu in the California series. The Alkaline Trio Malibu is an all Mahogany signature version of the same guitar, that thanks to the distinctive heart-shaped soundhole and rosette, is a guitar that’s difficult to miss.

Specs: Alkaline Trio Malibu™

Body
Top (Soundboard)Mahogany (Laminate)
Back and SidesMahogany (Laminate)
FinishGloss (poly)
RosetteSignature Alkaline Trio silver heart
PickguardNA
Bridge PinsWhite (black dots)
Neck
NeckMaple
HeadstockStratocaster® style 6 inline
Neck ShapeVintage C
Neck FinishGloss Urethane
FretboardWalnut
Neck Bindingwhite
Frets20
Scale Length24.75″ (629 mm)
Fretboard Radius7.25″ (300 mm)
Nut Width1.625″ (41.3 mm)
Nut MaterialGraph Tech® TUSQ®
InlaysPearloid
TunersWhite plastic (vintage style)
Electronics
NA

Are they any good? Average rating: 4.773 stars

The Tim Armstrong Hellcat (along with the Gretsch Jim Dandy) has long been one of those inexpensive acoustic guitars that, perhaps lacked some of the refinement and finishing touches of its more expensive counterparts but punched well above its weight, making it good value for its sub $500 price. The Alkaline Trio will appeal to some, and not to others but overall has been well received and seems good value at under $300.

Tim Armstrong Hellcat Amazon: 4
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: 5
Reverb.com: 4.8

Avg Rating: 4.76
Tim Armstrong Anniversary Hellcat
Amazon: NA
Sweetwater: NA
Guitar Center: 5
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: NA

Avg Rating: 5 *
Alkaline Trio Malibu™ Amazon: 4.2
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 4.5
Musicians Friend: NA Reverb.com: 0

Avg Rating: 4.56
*Tim Armstrong Anniversary Hellcat was only announced two months prior to this article being written.

The American Acoustasonic series

Lastly, we come to the American Acoustasonic Series, which, is perhaps the most radical departure from traditional acoustic guitar design seen yet.

This is the first production acoustic guitar Fender® has built in the USA for almost 50 years and is priced accordingly, starting at more or less the $2000 mark.

Another newcomer to the Fender® lineup, Fender® first showed the world the Acoustasonic Telecaster® in 2019 at Winter NAMM. And, while it’s raised more than a few eyebrows since then, most reviews, it has to be said, have been favorable, but the fact that you tend not to see a lot of them may be a sign of their popularity or lack thereof.

The guitars themselves have several interesting features including a noiseless mounted bridge pickup and bolt-on 22 fret neck with tapered heel and ebony fretboard.

But the real heart of the Acoustasonic series is the Stringed Instrument Resonance System (SIRS), which Fender® has developed exclusively for the Acoustasonic.

The Stringed Instrument Resonance System or SIRS regulates the airflow into the internal chamber of the guitar which is said to aid resonance and give the guitar greater resonance and dynamics.

The American Acoustasonic Series includes both Telecaster® and Stratocaster® options including the following models:

  • American Acoustasonic® Stratocaster® Ziricote
  • American Acoustasonic® Stratocaster®
  • American Acoustasonic® Telecaster® (including left-handed option)
  • American Acoustasonic® Stratocaster® Cocobolo

American Acoustasonic® Stratocaster®

Released in March 2020, as a follow-up to the Acoustisonic® Telecaster®. The Acoustasonic Stratocaster®, possibly benefiting from its support act has for the most part been well-received and positively reviewed. Though, more or less relying on the same feature set and tech that paved the way for the Tele version.

Specs: American Acoustasonic® Stratocaster®

Body
Top (Soundboard)Mahogany *Black Limba on Ziricote model. *White Limba on Cocobolo model.
Back and SidesSolid Sitka Spruce *Ziricote on Ziricote model. *Cocobolo on Cocobolo model.
FinishSatin (matte)
Rosette2 ring (black/white)
PickguardNA
Bridge PinsGraphTech Tusq®
BracingTransverse (Usually refers to a single brace that is closer to the neck joint and adds greater stability primarily to this area).
Neck
NeckMahogany *Black Limba on Ziricote model. *White Limba on Cocobolo model.
HeadstockStratocaster® style 6 inline
Neck ShapeModern C
Neck FinishSatin Urethane
FretboardEbony
Neck BindingNA
Frets22
Scale Length25.5″ (648 mm)
Fretboard Radius12″ (305 mm)
Nut Width1.6875″ (42.86 mm)
Nut MaterialGraph Tech® TUSQ®
InlaysPlastic (white) * none on both Ziricote and Cocobolo models.
TunersFender® Standard Cast
Electronics
Piezo under-saddle bridge pickup. N4 magnetic bridge pickup and internal body sensor pickup. 5-way selector switch.

American Acoustasonic® Telecaster®

The original Acoustisonic initially released in March 2019. The first American-made Fender® acoustic guitar in 50 years, while a very different guitar to the original 1963 models, the Acoustisonics share much of the same sentiment, caring little for tradition, preferring to break new ground.

Body
Top (Soundboard)Mahogany
Back and SidesSolid Sitka Spruce
FinishSatin (matte)
Rosette2 ring (black/white)
PickguardNA
Bridge PinsGraphTech Tusq®
BracingTransverse
Neck
NeckMahogany
HeadstockStratocaster® style 6 inline
Neck ShapeModern C
Neck FinishSatin Urethane
FretboardEbony
Neck BindingNA
Frets22
Scale Length25.5″ (648 mm)
Fretboard Radius12″ (305 mm)
Nut Width1.6875″ (42.86 mm)
Nut MaterialGraph Tech® TUSQ®
InlaysPlastic (white) * none on both Ziricote and Cocobolo models.
TunersFender® Standard Cast
Electronics
Piezo under-saddle bridge pickup. N4 magnetic bridge pickup and internal body sensor pickup. 5-way selector switch.

Are they any good? Average rating: 4.695 stars

The Acoustisonic series has been well-received by critics, including several high-profile reviews, including guitarworld.com and premierguitar.com.

They’re not cheap, starting at just under $2000 but for an American-made Fender® that includes a number of innovative features including the Stringed Instrument Resonance System (SIRS) for the most part they represent good value and have been well-received.

American Acoustasonic® Telecaster® Amazon: 4.4
Sweetwater: 4.5
Guitar Center: 4.5
Musicians Friend: NA
Reverb.com: 4.7

Avg Rating: 4.52
American Acoustasonic® Stratocaster® Amazon: 5
Sweetwater: 5
Guitar Center: 4.5
Musicians Friend: NA
Reverb.com: 5

Avg Rating: 4.87

Are Fender Acoustic Guitars Good? Final Thoughts

After taking a look at where Fender® began with regard to the acoustic guitar and a preview of where things are headed with the Acoustisonic series® it seems fairly apparent that Fender® will continue to look for new ways to approach acoustic guitar design.

At the same time with a high volume number of guitars dedicated to the beginner marker including the FA and CD series, manufacturing good value, affordable yet highly playable acoustic guitars will also continue to take up a large part of Fenders® acoustic lineup.

So, with all things considered are Fender® acoustic guitars any good? For what it’s worth, for a beginner on a budget a Fender® acoustic guitar is a great option, and considering the large range there really is something for everyone.

2 thoughts on “Are Fender Acoustic Guitars Good? [An In-Depth Guide]”

  1. I have a 2018 Fender Malibu special. It’s quirky but it does well for $750 instrument. Overall baby Taylor might sound somewhat better but it romps the little martins

    $750 is still lots of money for most people.

    My Malibu is solid wood and despite its tiny size it both has pleasant tone and reasonable volume

    Well it beat a d15 or that matter a Seagull S6 in overall tone probably not

    I bought this instrument thinking the tone would be limited but the decent onboard electronics would nullify any pure acoustic issues

    It turns out the Malibu sounds just fine unplugged. It’s definitely mid ranged and punchy

    Does it have the same resonance of a full size all wood dread naught of course not

    But as a couch strummer or a very comfortable stage a/e it truly succeeds

    It’s a bit fragile and the vintage kluson timers are annoying but overall I’d give it 8.5/10

    Of course compared to a hand made Collins of the same size it’d look terrible but conversely compared to anything in that $500-1000 it does just find

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About Marty

My name's Marty, I've been into guitars for over 30 years. Theacousticguitarist.com is my blog where I write about acoustic guitars, music, and home recording.