If you’re looking for a high-quality parlor guitar at an attractive price point, the Fender CP-60S may be the right choice for you. Here is our Fender CP-60S acoustic guitar review and rundown of the key features of this value-oriented parlor axe.
the Fender CP-60S Acoustic Guitar Review – The best Parlor Axe from Fender?
The Fender CP-60S is a low-cost, high-value acoustic parlor guitar that’s suitable for beginner and intermediate players. Useful for anything from blues to country fingerpicking, the CP-60S promises decent tone and construction at an extremely affordable price. While the cp-60s can’t reasonably be compared to market leaders like the Cordoba C10 SP, its price point also makes it much more accessible to players without large budgets.
- Solid spruce top provides clear, warm tone
- Rolled fretboard edges make for comfortable playing
- Scalloped x-bracing lends to the guitar’s classic tone
- Laminated mahogany body makes tone a bit duller than solid mahogany equivalents
- Lack of electronics limits use for live performances
- Plastic nut and saddle are prone to wear over time
Neck and Body
The Fender CP-60S features a solid Sitka spruce top with Mahogany back and sides. While solid mahogany would have made for a richer tone, the use of laminate is part of the reason that the CP-60S can be offered at such an affordable price. The solid Sitka spruce used in the top, however, contributes clarity and a pleasant high end to the overall sound. Inside, the guitar features a scalloped x-bracing that offers enhanced low-end tone and responsiveness.
The neck of the Fender CP-60S is made of mahogany and features a 20-fret walnut fretboard. Once again, the mahogany in the neck helps to bring a tighter sound to the low and middle ranges of this guitar. Rolled fretboard edges finish off the package by making the instrument more comfortable for the player’s fretting hand.
In terms of components, the CP-60S isn’t especially outstanding. The guitar’s die-cast tuners hold the strings in tune fairly well, which is quite nice to see on a guitar in this price range. The rosewood bridge is also a decent touch, though nothing extraordinary.
Where the Fender CP-60S does feel a bit cheap, though, is in the nut and saddle. These parts are made from inexpensive plastic. Again, it’s useful to note that cheaper components help to hold the costs down.
Sound and Tone
Inexpensive parts notwithstanding, the CP-60S delivers surprisingly well in the tone department. The bass is fairly strong and well-defined, while the treble end of the spectrum is quite clean and distinctly free of tinny tone. Tight mids tie into this combination to produce a well-rounded and balanced tone that sounds as if it could come from a more expensive guitar.
The volume and projection from the CP-60S are also high points. Despite its small size, the guitar can hold its own in sound production. While the lack of electronics is still a handicap, you’ll find that this guitar does quite well in an all-acoustic mix.
Overall, you’ll find the CP-60S fares best when used to play classic country and folk. Blues isn’t beyond its capabilities, but its tone isn’t quite rich enough on the lower end to fully capture the classic blues sound.
Action, Fit and Finish
In general, the Fender CP-60S seems to be put together quite well. There are no apparent issues with the fit and construction of this guitar. All the parts are tight and properly fitted, and the guitar is ready to play right out of the box. Similarly, the action is reasonably well set up at the factory.
The finish on the CP-60S is quite good. The handsome sunburst finish gives the guitar a bit of a classic feel. The paint job on the guitar is uniform and there don’t seem to be any prominent issues experienced by players. The binding is tight and the gloss coat appears quite even.
Although it’s an inexpensive parlor acoustic, the CP-60S shows Fender’s longstanding attention to detail in guitar construction. This guitar looks great and its build quality is sure to please any guitar player.
Reliability and Durability
The Fender CP-60S is a well-built guitar that seems suited to long-term use. Even when knocked around during transportation, the tuners keep the guitar in good tune. The one concern from a durability standpoint is the plastic nut and saddle combination mentioned earlier. Though it won’t be a problem at first, the plastic is apt to wear out faster than components made of harder materials.
This category is where the Fender CP-60S truly shines. At its entry-level price point, there are few if any guitars that can compete with it. The tone and construction of this guitar both seem as though they should belong to a model at least 50 percent more expensive. On the whole, the CP-60S may be the best parlor guitar for the player who wants a quality instrument but can’t afford even a mid-priced model.
Keeping in mind that the CP-60S is intended to provide a quality guitar to beginner and intermediate players at a low price point, it’s hard to argue that this guitar doesn’t deliver on its value proposition. The use of Sitka and mahogany woods offers players classic sounds at a very reasonable price. Details like the rolled fretboard and scalloped x-bracing are also evidence that Fender put plenty of work into this guitar, even though it was never meant to sell at a high price tag.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Parlor Guitar
What Is a Parlor Guitar?
A parlor guitar is a guitar that features a small and usually elongated body. These smaller guitars are suitable for small spaces and convenient for traveling musicians.
Modern parlor style guitars are similar in size to the guitars that were commonly used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, making them popular for classic blues. They are also widely associated with folk and various fingerpicking guitar styles. If you’re looking for something closer to a bluegrass or rock tone, you’re likely better off grabbing one of today’s many popular dreadnoughts.
Before you buy a parlor guitar, consider the wood used to construct the guitar’s body and neck.
Parlor guitars are on the small side, so often lack bass response, but the right combination of tonewoods can help overcome that problem. Mahogany, for instance, produces tight, punchy lows and mids with neatly defined treble as a result of its density. Sitka spruce, another wood used widely in acoustic guitars, is known for the clarity of the tone it produces, especially on the high end.
You should also be thinking about electronics when picking out a parlor guitar. Many of these guitars are electro-acoustics that can be plugged into an amplifier for greater volume. If you’re buying a guitar more for home practice, though, you may never need to use electronics to amplify it.
Is the Fender CP-60S an Acoustic-Electric Guitar?
Unlike many other modern parlor style guitars, the Fender CP-60S is a purely acoustic guitar. You won’t find a piezoelectric pickup or preamp on this guitar, and all of the sound is produced purely acoustically.
Does This Parlor Guitar Have Nylon or Steel Strings?
The fender CP-60S is equipped with steel strings.