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Fender Acoustic Guitar review – Reviews of the 5 Best Fender Acoustic Guitars in 2021

Fender’s legendary guitars have helped countless new guitarists learn to play, and they’re also the choice of legions of professionals. Regardless of your level, there’s a Fender acoustic for you. Our Fender acoustic guitar review will help you find it.
A value-rich, all-solid dreadnought for the serious player

Neck & Body

5/5

Components

4/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

5/5

Value

4/5
Fender Paramount PM-1E
Image Credit: Fender
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Our Score:

4.3/5

What we like

What we don't like

Fender Paramount PM-1E Review

This is a well-built yet relatively affordable all-solid dreadnought. With a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides, the Fender Paramount Series PM-1E offers a balanced acoustic tone. The PM-1E is designed in the style of 1960s dreadnoughts, but it’s playability is uniquely modern.

The mahogany neck is in a C profile, which is the same profile used on many electric guitar necks. The slimmer neck is ideal for both players with small hands and those who mainly play electric. This guitar comes with electronics designed by Fishman and Fender, so it’s ideal for the performer who doesn’t want to break the bank.

Specs

  • Dreadnought body style
  • Solid Sitka spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides
  • Ovangkol bridge and fingerboard
  • Fender- and Fishman-designed PM preamp system complete with tuner, frequency (bass, middle and treble) and phase controls
  • Checkerboard purfling and rosette inspired by classic ‘60s Fender acoustic guitar designs
A great-sounding solid top perfect for intermediate players

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

3.5/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

3.5/5

Durability

4/5

Value

4/5
Fender CT-140SE
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Our Score:

3.8/5

What we like

What we don't like

Fender CT-140SCE Review

This solid-top acoustic-electric offers incredible value at an affordable price point. The CT-140SCE is a dreadnought equipped with a cutaway for easy access to higher frets, and the solid spruce top offers responsive, nuanced tone.

The back and sides are laminated ovangkol, which adds both great durability and eye-catching aesthetics. It’s also very playable, even for beginners – the guitar’s neck is made with Fender’s Easy-to-Play profile, and the fretboard edges are rolled for comfort.

It comes with Fishman Presys electronics that make tone-sculpting onstage a breeze.

Specs

  • All-new Travel body style
  • Solid spruce top with scalloped "X"-bracing
  • Rosewood back and sides
  • Easy-to-play neck with rolled fingerboard edges
  • Fishman Presys pickup/preamp
A stunning looking acoustic-electric for the developing performer

Neck & Body

3/5

Components

3/5

Sound

3/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

4/5

Value

3/5
Fender FA-345CE Auditorium Acoustic Guitar - Natural
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Our Score:

3.3/5

What we like

What we don't like

Fender FA-345CE Review

For players who want to stand out, the FA 354CE is ideal.

This guitar’s stunning flame maple top and distinctive rosette make it a visually stunning acoustic instrument. The body is auditorium-style, so it’s effectively a cross between a grand concert and a dreadnought.

The slim nato neck is easy to play even for children and adults with small hands, and included Fishman electronics make it easy to plug in and play when needed.

Specs

  • All-laminate construction; auditorium cutaway body style
  • Flame maple top with lacewood back and sides
  • Fishman electronics
  • Laurel fingerboard and Viking bridge
  • Modern 3+3 headstock
A unique, all-solid acoustic with electric playability

Neck & Body

5/5

Components

4/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

4/5

Value

4/5
Fender Newporter Special - California Series Acoustic Guitar - Matte Black
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Our Score:

4.1/5

What we like

What we don't like

Fender Newporter Special California Series Review

This great-looking acoustic is ideal for players who prefer the feel of an electric guitar. The slim C-profile neck is nearly identical to the necks on most Fender electrics.

Build-wise, the Newporter Special is outstanding – its smaller Newporter body (which is a lot like a grand concert acoustic) is comfortable to play, and it has a solid spruce top with solid mahogany back and sides.

The guitar’s custom-voiced Fishman electronics really let the sound of the guitar shine through.

Specs

  • Fender-exclusive Newporter body shape
  • Painted solid Sitka spruce top; painted solid mahogany back and sides
  • Fender- and Fishman-designed pickup/preamp system
  • Matching painted 6-in-line headstock
  • Mahogany neck with slim-taper "C"-shaped profile, pau ferro fingerboard and bridge
A budget-friendly acoustic that’s great for new players

Neck & Body

3/5

Components

3/5

Sound

3/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

5/5

Value

4/5
Fender FA-235E Concert Bodied Guitar - Moonlight Burst
Image Credit: Fender
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Our Score:

3.7/5

What we like

What we don't like

Fender FA-235E Review

This nice-looking guitar is great for the developing player who wants something that’s both comfortable to hold and easy to play.

While it’s made of all laminated wood, the FA 235E has the look of a higher-end guitar thanks to its flame maple top. It’s a concert-style guitar, which means it’s especially easy to hold and play. The smaller body is also ideal for fingerpicking thanks to its clear voice and projection.

It also comes with Fishman electronics complete with an onboard tuner.

Last update on 2021-03-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Your Guide to buying a Fender Acoustic

Are Fender acoustic guitars any good?

Fender has made durable, fun-to-play acoustic guitars since 1963. The brand is one of the most famous when it comes to making guitars, and their instruments have been played by the likes of Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, and George Harrison

The Fender acoustic models aren’t known as top-of-the-line instruments like the brand’s classic electric guitars are, and most people don’t regard Fender as one of the best acoustic guitar brands. However, Fender is known for making affordable and great-playing acoustics for beginning and intermediate guitarists.

Neck and Body

Fender offers guitars in a range of body styles, from full-size dreadnoughts like the Fender Paramount Series PM-1E to smaller concert-style guitars like the Fender FA-235E. Smaller guitars like the FA-235E and the Newporter Special are great for smaller players because their smaller bodies are easier to hold.

Fender acoustics really shine when it comes to neck profiles. In particular, guitars in the California Series are known for having necks like electric guitars. These slimmer profiles are great for learning guitarists, but they’re also a great choice for guitarists who prefer electric guitar playability. For extra playing comfort, many Fender acoustics also have rolled fretboard edges.

Components & Features

Notably, lots of Fender acoustics, even those for beginners, come with electronics. Electronics are ideal for players who want to perform, but even for players who don’t intend to do so, they offer an advantage – most of these guitars have a built-in tuner. This makes it easy to tune up at any point.

The higher-end Fenders in these reviews come with nuts and saddles made of bone or composites like Tusq. For example, the CT-140SCE comes with a NuBone nut. (NuBone is a composite that’s very similar to Tusq.) Nuts and saddles made of dense, quality materials like these can add a surprising amount of richness to a guitar’s tone. Less expensive Fender guitars typically come with plastic nuts and saddles. If you wish, you can always upgrade these eventually.

Sound & Tone

One of the most important things when it comes to the sound of an acoustic guitar is whether or not it has a solid top. Solid-top guitars have a more nuanced and responsive, classic acoustic sound, and their resonance and sustain tend to be better than that of laminated tops.

That said, for beginners, a laminate-top acoustic is perfectly fine to learn on. Fender’s acoustic line includes some stunning laminate-top guitars, including the FA-345CE. This guitar has a flamed maple veneer that makes it especially eye-catching. There’s no single best Fender acoustic guitar for beginners, but nearly all Fender’s acoustic guitars are playable enough for any beginner.

On any guitar (but especially an all-solid model), the tonewoods have a major impact on tone. Both the PM-1E and the Newporter have a solid spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides – a classic combination. The spruce top offers brightness and definition, and the mahogany contributes an earthy warmth that many players like.

Action, Fit & Finish

Many of Fender’s acoustic guitars have very low, playable action right out of the box. This is a must for beginners, and plenty of experienced guitarists prefer lower action, too. When the strings are closer to the fretboard, they are easy to press down, and they aren’t likely to cause finger strain.

The fit and finish of these guitars are generally outstanding. Even affordable models like the FA-345CE come with beautiful inlays and bright, exciting finishes. In many cases, new players will be more motivated to play if they have a guitar they feel they can be proud of. Quality control seems to be a strength of Fender’s – while you may sometimes hear about a guitar arriving with fret buzz or action issues, most of these guitars arrive with everything securely fitted and no issues whatsoever.

Reliability & Durability

Most of the acoustic guitars in these reviews are reliable thanks to their good-quality components. You aren’t likely to find a Fender acoustic that goes out of tune easily, and most issues that arise can be fixed with a quick truss rod adjustment. In some cases, Fender even includes accessories that extend the life of the guitar. For instance, the Paramount Series PM-1E comes with a hardshell case and a humidifier. Using humidifiers with acoustic guitars helps reduce their risk of cracking, and it keeps them in top playing condition.

Most of the acoustic guitars in these reviews can stand up to some knocking around, but all-laminate options like the FA-345CE and the FA-235E are the most durable. Whether from humidity changes or abuse, laminate guitars are far less likely to crack.

Last update on 2021-03-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Which Fender Acoustic Guitar is Best?

Our top pick from this Fender acoustic guitar review is the Fender Paramount PM-1E. This dreadnought offers great, full sound, and it’s remarkably affordable for an all-solid acoustic guitar. Plus, its high-quality electronics make it the best acoustic guitar choice for players who want to perform. It’s our favourite from those we’ve reviewed.