Ultimate Guide To Fender Acoustic Guitars (Pros and Cons)

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If you are looking for a Fender acoustic guitar, you might be overwhelmed by the many options available. In this blog post, we will give you the ultimate guide to Fender acoustic guitars, covering their pros and cons, features, models, and prices. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, you will find the perfect Fender acoustic guitar for your needs and budget.

1. Fender CD-60S                 

AFFORDABLE VERSATILE

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2. Fender FA-125CE                  

STAGE PERFORMER

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3. Fender Paramount PM-1

PREMIUM VINTAGE

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4. Fender CD-140SCE              

UPGRADED PERFORMANCE

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5. Fender Malibu Classic

VINTAGE MODERN

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6. Fender PD-220E                   

DISTINCTIVE BURST

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1. Fender CD-60S

AFFORDABLE VERSATILE

1. Solid spruce top.Easy-to-play neck for all.
Scalloped X-bracing enhances resonance.Variety of finishes for Fender CD-60S.
Picture by Fender

Picture by Alesis

PROS

  • If you’re in the market for an affordable acoustic guitar that doesn’t compromise on quality, look no further than the Fender CD-60S. This guitar, part of the Classic Design series, offers high-quality craftsmanship and features at a price that won’t break the bank. Let’s take a closer look at the four key advantages of the Fender CD-60S that make it a fantastic choice for both beginners and experienced players.

    First and foremost, the Fender CD-60S boasts a solid spruce top, a rarity in its price range. Spruce is renowned for producing a bright, clear, and well-balanced sound that can adapt to any genre of music. Furthermore, a solid top will only get better with time, as it improves in tone the more it is played.

    Secondly, this guitar features a neck that is designed for comfortable and effortless playability, catering to players of all skill levels. The smooth walnut fingerboard with rolled edges, slim C-shaped profile, and dual-action truss rod make for an incredibly comfortable playing experience. With a nut width of 1.69 inches, it is also well-suited for those with smaller hands or a preference for narrower necks.

    The Fender CD-60S sets itself apart with its scalloped X-bracing pattern within the body. This design choice enhances the resonance and projection of the guitar, resulting in a fuller and more pronounced sound. The scalloped bracing reduces the weight of the braces, allowing the top to vibrate more freely and produce a greater volume and improved bass response.

    Lastly, the Fender CD-60S offers a range of appealing finishes to suit individual preferences. Whether you prefer natural, black, sunburst, mahogany, or walnut, you can find a finish that matches your personal style. The gloss body finish adds a touch of elegance and durability, complementing the guitar’s chrome hardware plating and black pickguard.

    These advantages are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Fender CD-60S. If you are curious to learn more about this guitar and other offerings in the Fender acoustic lineup, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide, “The Ultimate Guide To Fender Acoustic Guitars (Pros and Cons)” (1).

CONS

  • The Fender CD-60S is a popular acoustic guitar with a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a rosewood fingerboard. It has features like scalloped X-bracing, a compensated saddle, and a gloss finish. However, it also has drawbacks. Two negative aspects of the CD-60S are its high action, which can cause finger fatigue and discomfort, and its relatively low and unimpressive sound. To lower the action, adjustments to the truss rod or saddle may be needed, but these can be difficult for those without experience. Improving the sound may require changing strings or using a pickup or amplifier. Despite these cons, the CD-60S is still a great choice for beginners and intermediate players.

2. Fender FA-125CE

STAGE PERFORMER

Cutaway dreadnought body with balanced tone.Fishman electronics with built-in tuner.
Laminated wood ensures durability, affordability.Smooth nato neck, comfortable playing.
Picture by Fender

PROS

    • If you are in the market for an affordable, versatile, and user-friendly Fender acoustic guitar, look no further than the Fender FA-125CE. This model is a fantastic option for beginners and intermediate players who want to experience the exceptional quality and sound that Fender instruments offer. Let’s explore four noteworthy advantages, or pros, of the Fender FA-125CE:

      1. The cutaway dreadnought body shape is a standout feature of this guitar. Not only does it produce a well-balanced tone and a powerful projection, but it also provides comfortable access to the upper frets. This versatility is particularly beneficial for strumming and fingerpicking, making it suitable for a wide range of musical genres and styles. The cutaway design enhances your ability to effortlessly reach higher notes and play intricate chords and melodies.

      2. Equipped with a Fishman electronics system, the Fender FA-125CE boasts a pickup, a preamp, and a built-in tuner. The pickup accurately captures the natural sound of the guitar and seamlessly transmits it to an amplifier or a PA system. The preamp not only allows you to adjust the volume and tone of the sound but also includes a phase switch that minimizes feedback. The built-in tuner is highly convenient and precise, facilitating quick and easy tuning.

      3. The Fender FA-125CE features a laminated spruce top and laminated basswood back and sides that offer exceptional durability and resistance to humidity and temperature fluctuations. This laminated construction ensures greater stability compared to solid wood alternatives, minimizing the risk of warping or cracking. Laminated wood also contributes to the guitar’s affordability without compromising significantly on sound quality.

      4. The guitar’s nato neck boasts a smooth walnut fingerboard, making for a comfortable and lightning-fast playing experience. The neck’s C shape is ergonomically designed to fit perfectly in your hand, and the adjustable truss rod enables effortless customization of string action. With 20 frets and dot inlays, the fingerboard delivers exceptional playability, while the 25.3-inch scale length provides optimal tension and sustain.

      These are just a few of the positive aspects that make the Fender FA-125CE acoustic-electric guitar an excellent choice.

CONS

  • In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of Fender acoustic guitars, focusing on their popular model, the Fender FA-125CE. This dreadnought-shaped guitar has a cutaway, a laminated spruce top, basswood back and sides, a nato neck, and a walnut fingerboard. It also features a Fishman pickup system with a built-in tuner, suitable for both acoustic and electric playing.

    We covered some pros in our previous posts, such as its affordable price, comfortable neck, clear and sharp sound, and ability to stay in tune. However, every guitar has its cons. Two cons to consider when buying the Fender FA-125CE are the use of laminated wood for the top, back, and sides, which can result in less resonance and tonal quality compared to solid wood guitars. Another con is the lack of diversity in sound as the dreadnought body shape can make the guitar sound too boomy or muddy in certain situations. For those seeking a more premium sound, options with a solid top or a different body shape, such as the Fender CD-60SCE or the Fender CC-60SCE, may be worth considering.

    These are only two of the cons, and various factors should influence your decision, including personal preference, budget, skill level, and musical style. The Fender FA-125CE remains an excellent choice for beginners and intermediate players who desire an easy-to-play and reliable instrument capable of handling both acoustic and electric settings. However, if you want something more advanced or unique, exploring other options within the Fender acoustic guitar range might be worthwhile.

3. Fender Paramount PM-1

PREMIUM VINTAGE

Solid spruce top, solid mahogany back and sidesUnique Fender DNA; distinctive look.
Fender PM-1 has Fishman preamp.Lightweight and comfortable to play.
Picture by Fender

PROS

  • If you are in the market for a Fender acoustic guitar that blends vintage style, sturdy construction, and excellent sound, then the Fender Paramount PM-1 is a model worth exploring. As a member of the Paramount series, this dreadnought guitar is crafted entirely from solid wood and features scalloped X-bracing and Fishman-designed preamps. Let’s delve into four significant advantages of the Fender Paramount PM-1.

    Firstly, the PM-1 boasts a solid spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides that contribute to its warm, balanced, and resonant tone. Spruce is an ideal choice for acoustic guitar tops due to its strength, lightweight nature, and responsiveness. Meanwhile, mahogany, being a dense and durable wood, adds richness and depth to the sound.

    Secondly, the PM-1 possesses a distinct Fender DNA, setting it apart from other acoustic guitars. Its design elements include a headstock shape inspired by the 1960s, a bridge design reminiscent of the 1970s, a Fender logo from the late 1940s, and a checkerboard rosette and purfling harkening back to the old Weissenborn Style 4 rope binding. These details bestow the PM-1 with its own unique and sophisticated appearance.

    Thirdly, the PM-1 comes equipped with a Fender/Fishman preamp system, allowing you to plug in and amplify your sound. The preamp encompasses a built-in tuner, a phase switch, and three knobs for bass, treble, and volume control. Specifically voiced for the dreadnought body shape, the preamp ensures that you achieve the best possible tone from your guitar.

    Lastly, the PM-1 is a lightweight instrument, ensuring a comfortable playing experience and ease of transportation. Its full-shouldered C-shaped neck profile fits snugly in the hand, while the 25.3-inch scale length provides ample string tension and projection. Additionally, the PM-1 includes a deluxe hardshell case to safeguard your guitar from damage and humidity.

    Overall, the Fender Paramount PM-1 is a versatile gem that can cater to any music style. Whether you strum chords, pluck melodies, or engage in fingerstyle playing, the PM-1 will deliver a gratifying sound and performance.

CONS

  • Fender Paramount PM-1 is a premium acoustic guitar with a rich, resonant sound, solid mahogany neck, and vintage-style design. However, there are two drawbacks to consider before purchasing.

  • Firstly, it comes with a hefty price tag, costing around $1,500, making it a less affordable option for some beginners or casual players.

  • Additionally, the guitar weighs approximately 5.5 pounds, which is heavier than the average acoustic guitar. This may cause discomfort during extended play time, particularly for individuals with a smaller frame or a preference for lighter instruments. I hope this information aids your blog post. Let me know if you require further assistance!

4. Fender CD-140SCE

UPGRADED PERFORMANCE

One: Solid spruce top, mahogany back.cutaway body shape for accessibility.
Fishman Presys preamp systemComfortable neck with smooth fingerboard.
Picture by Fender

PROS

  • The Fender CD-140SCE is a highly sought-after acoustic-electric guitar that is widely recognized in the music industry. Its exceptional sound quality, playability, and versatility are all major reasons for its immense popularity. Here, we will delve into the four key advantages that make this guitar stand out from the rest:

    First and foremost, the Fender CD-140SCE boasts a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides, resulting in a well-rounded and warm tone. The choice of spruce is a common one for acoustic guitar tops due to its resilient and responsive nature, while the addition of mahogany introduces a sense of depth and richness to the sound.

    Secondly, the guitar features a cutaway body shape, granting easy access to the higher frets. This design element proves particularly advantageous for executing intricate solos or complex chord progressions that require extensive finger movement. Furthermore, the cutaway contributes to the guitar’s contemporary and sleek appearance.

    The Fender CD-140SCE is equipped with a Fishman Presys preamp system that enhances its versatility. This allows the guitar to be seamlessly connected to an amplifier or PA system. The preamp comprises a built-in tuner, volume control, and a three-band EQ, enabling precise adjustment of the bass, mid, and treble frequencies. Moreover, it incorporates phase switch and notch filter features that effectively minimize feedback and unwanted noise.

    Lastly, the guitar offers utmost comfort with its smooth rosewood fingerboard and a neck featuring a C-shaped profile. This ergonomic design ensures that the instrument sits comfortably in most hands, making playing a breeze. Additionally, the fingerboard is adorned with pearloid dot inlays, enhancing visibility and lending an appealing aesthetic to the guitar.

CONS

  • The Fender CD-140SCE is an impressive acoustic-electric guitar with a solid spruce top, Fishman Presys pickup system, and a comfortable neck. However, it does have a couple of drawbacks to keep in mind:

    Firstly, the cutaway design may sacrifice some of the guitar’s acoustic volume and resonance. Those who prefer a non-cutaway dreadnought may find it lacking in projection and sustain. Additionally, the cutaway can create an imbalance by removing weight from the lower bout.

    Secondly, the laminated ovangkol back and sides may not age gracefully. Laminated wood is less resilient and responsive compared to solid wood, potentially leading to a loss in tone and appearance over time. Conversely, solid wood guitars tend to improve with age, gaining character and opening up.

    Remember these cons when considering the Fender CD-140SCE.

5. Fender Malibu Classic

VINTAGE MODERN

All-solid-wood body with Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides.Sustainable pau ferro fingerboard.
Fishman pickup with preamp system.easy and comfortable to play.
Picture by Fender

PROS

  • If you are in the market for a unique Fender acoustic guitar, the Malibu Classic is definitely worth considering. This exceptional guitar stands out from the crowd with its distinct shape, stunning finish, and exceptional sound. There are four key factors that contribute to the appeal of the Malibu Classic:

    Firstly, the guitar boasts an all-solid-wood body which sets it apart in terms of sound quality. As the guitar ages, it will develop a more resonant and superior tone, primarily due to the use of solid Sitka spruce for the top and solid mahogany for the back and sides. Thanks to these wood choices, the guitar produces a well-balanced sound characterized by warm bass tones and clear trebles.

    Secondly, the Malibu Classic features a pau ferro fingerboard and bridge, serving as sustainable alternatives to rosewood. Pau ferro is a dense and hard wood that closely resembles rosewood in terms of both feel and sound, but without the environmental and legal concerns surrounding rosewood.

    Thirdly, this guitar comes equipped with a Fishman pickup and preamp system. This feature enables you to easily plug the guitar in and amplify your sound. The preamp includes built-in controls such as a tuner, volume, bass, and treble adjustments, as well as a phase switch to minimize feedback issues.

    Lastly, the Malibu Classic boasts a slim-taper C-shaped neck with a 24.1-inch scale length, ensuring comfortable and effortless playability. The satin finish on the neck adds to the smooth feel, enhancing the overall playing experience. Additionally, the guitar features a 15.75-inch radius fingerboard with 20 vintage-style frets and dot inlays.

    All in all, the Malibu Classic is a guitar that combines style, playability, and quality, making it an excellent choice for musicians seeking an exceptional instrument. It is part of Fender’s California Series, drawing inspiration from the brand’s rich heritage and Southern California’s beach culture.

CONS

  • The Fender Malibu Classic is a gorgeous acoustic guitar with a balanced, rich sound, comfortable playability, and stunning aesthetics. Nonetheless, it’s not without its drawbacks, which are important to be aware of before making a purchase. Here are two negatives to consider:

    1. Cost: The Fender Malibu Classic is among the priciest models in the Fender acoustic guitar lineup, retailing around $800. Particularly for beginners or those on a budget, this can be steep. Comparatively, alternative guitars with similar features and quality may be found at a lower price point.

    2. Scale Length: Unlike most acoustic guitars with a standard 25.5-inch scale length, the Fender Malibu Classic measures 24.1 inches. This shorter scale length leads to less string tension, resulting in reduced sustain and projection. While some players may prefer this relaxed feel, others may find it too loose and lackluster. Moreover, the shorter scale length affects intonation and tuning stability.

    These considerations should be pondered before investing in the Fender Malibu Classic. However, remember that these downsides are not deal-breakers, and you may still fall in love with this guitar’s sound, feel, and appearance. Understanding the pros and cons of any instrument is always sound practice before making a purchase decision.

6. Fender PD-220E

DISTINCTIVE BURST

1. Solid wood construction.Vintage-inspired, elegant appearance acoustic guitar.
Fishman-designed preamp system with tuner.Includes deluxe hardshell protective case.
Picture by Fender

PROS

  • If you are searching for a high-quality acoustic guitar with a stunning appearance and a rich, resonant sound, then the Fender PD-220E might be the perfect choice for you. This extraordinary instrument belongs to the esteemed Paramount series, renowned for its solid wood construction, vintage-inspired design, and contemporary electronics. There are four significant advantages that make the Fender PD-220E an exceptional option for any guitarist.

    Firstly, the Fender PD-220E boasts solid wood construction, featuring a sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides. This combination yields a warm, well-balanced tone with excellent projection and resonance. In addition, the guitar’s sound matures and improves over time as the wood adapts to the playing style and environment, making it even more desirable.

    Secondly, the guitar showcases a vintage-inspired design that is truly captivating. With its non-cutaway dreadnought body shape, the Fender PD-220E epitomizes one of the most versatile and popular acoustic guitar styles. Furthermore, the aged cognac burst finish, matte black headstock, and 1930s-style feather pattern adorning the body, back, and soundhole contribute to its classic and elegant appearance, making it stand out among its peers.

    Thirdly, the Fender PD-220E features modern electronics, incorporating a Fishman-designed preamp system. This system includes a volume control and a blend control, enabling you to perfectly mix the under-saddle pickup and internal microphone sounds. Thus, you can adjust the tone and amplify the guitar without sacrificing its natural acoustic qualities. In addition, the preamp comes with a built-in tuner, a phase switch, and a low battery indicator, adding convenience and enhancing performance.

    Lastly, the Fender PD-220E comes with a deluxe hardshell case that provides superior protection against damage and humidity. The case features a plush interior, a storage compartment, and sturdy brass hardware for both durability and style. A hard case is an essential accessory for any acoustic guitar owner, safeguarding the instrument and ensuring its longevity.

    These advantages are just a taste of what the Fender PD-220E has to offer. As one of the finest electro-acoustic guitars available in its price range, it is undoubtedly an excellent investment. 

CONS

  • The Fender PD-220E offers great value for money with its resonant tone and attractive appearance. Nevertheless, before purchasing it, you should be aware of two cons.
  • Firstly, the limited pickup controls, as the preamp system only has volume and blend knobs, restricting tone adjustments.
  • Secondly, its heavy body may be uncomfortable for those with smaller frames or shorter arms, making it worth considering alternative models.
 

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