What Are Fender Acoustic Guitars?
When you think of Fender, your mind no doubt instantly jumps to Stratocasters, Telecasters and Jazzmasters. But there's so much more to the legendary company than just electric guitars! One of their many musical forays leads us into acoustic territory. The Fender acoustic guitar range isn't just here to fill a hole – it's full of creative ideas, bulletproof build quality and classic Fender charisma.
Fender acoustics are vibrant, stylish and most important of all, fun to play. There's an incredible selection of colours, finishes, body shapes and sounds to discover across seven distinct acoustic collections. Are you looking for an exciting guitar to pick up and strum round the house? Maybe an electro-acoustic to plug into an amp or PA system? Fender have you covered. Even better yet, they won't cost you the earth!
Are Fender Acoustic Guitars Any Good?
Both we and Fender know their acoustics aren't going to rival the likes of Martin and Taylor's boutique construction. Instead, the California-based builders angle their guitars towards beginner, intermediate and casual players, as well as gigging guitarists after a workhouse instrument to set them apart from the crowd.
Fender acoustic guitars are great at what they're geared to do: deliver impressive tone and playability on a budget. We don't see any reason why, if cared for correctly, they can't last you a lifetime of playing. One of the biggest Fender selling points is their simple but effective approach to guitar building. Add to that how they've clearly pushed the boat out in the style department and you've got an exciting instrument on your hands.
The Fender Acoustic Range
Fender's acoustic selection is split into several unique ranges: Acoustasonic, Paramount, California, Classic Design, Alternative, Education and ukuleles. Each is made with a specific purpose and type of guitarist in mind, which we'll touch on below. From here on in, it's up to you to decide between a steel string or nylon string; a bold, colourful body or a traditional design and your preferred acoustic tone. There's loads to discover.
Possibly the best crossover acoustic/electric guitar ever made. Acoustasonic Teles and Strats boast a Fender/Fishman-designed acoustic engine covering legitimately great acoustic sounds, while tried and tested single coil pickups handle the electric guitar side of things. The Acoustasonic also features some of Fender's best construction work, top quality woods and electronics.
As you can tell, this is far from a standard acoustic guitar and is specifically made for players who value functionality over everything. You'll never have to switch between guitars for such a wide variety of sounds, and you won't have to take multiple instruments with you to gigs. The Acoustasonic falls in line with Fender's electric guitar prices and is by far the most expensive acoustic on the list. A worthy consideration if you regularly play both acoustics and electrics.
The California series is Fender's broadest range of acoustics. One theme they all have in common: West Coast colour. Red, blue and black finishes flow throughout the line-up. Whatever you pick is sure to have a unique vibe, unlike anything else in the acoustic market.
You get a choice of Newporter, Redondo or Malibu acoustics, which roughly translates to dreadnought, grand auditorium and parlous body sizes, respectively. The former delivers the loudest, boomiest tone and fits in nicely in a band setting. It more than holds its own in a solo situation. The Redondo is slightly smaller and more manageable for advanced techniques, while the parlour is the smallest and works great when accompanying vocals.
The choice of a cutaway or full body is another decision to be made. On the one hand, you have access to the higher frets. On the other, the full body projects even louder and further. It all comes down to preference.
You thought Fender only stuck to large body acoustics? Well you'll be happy to discover they serve up a great selection of the native Hawaiian instrument. Like standard acoustic guitars, ukuleles come in a number sizes and produce a wide variety of sounds depending on the body shape.
Traditional body Ukuleles
Fender cover three of the most popular ukulele types with the Venice, Zuma and Rincon translating to soprano, concert and tenor sizes, respectively.
The Venice soprano is the smallest of the three and has a bottleneck outline, thinning out towards the neck. It allows the Vince to create an extremely chimey, delicate tone. The Zuma is the classically broad-shouldered body you'd imagine if you were to think of a uke and has slightly more presence than the Venice. On the larger side of things is the Rincon, of which Fender equip with a preamp and make using beautiful koa and ovangkol woods in natural finishes.
If you're after something a little more in line with Fender style, the Fullerton range might just suit you. Eye-catching Fullerton ukes resemble iconic Fender electric guitars in Tele, Strat and Jazzmaster forms. Choose from a number of rock 'n' roll colours. All Fullerton ukes are made using real mahogany bodies and maple necks, as well as resilient Fender hardware.
The Paramount range is Fender's intermediate acoustic option, offering sleek natural finishes and a mature playing comfort. Players looking to get creative with their own music will find Paramount guitars an inspiring experience.
Tonewoods used to make Paramount acoustics include spruce and mahogany; the former adding a stronger bite to your tone with the latter providing a warm, earthy characteristic. 'C'-shaped necks are Fender's speciality. They balance neck depth with slim shoulders to wrap your fingers round onto the fingerboard. You also get the choice of electro-acoustic models to amplify your acoustic sound for gigging volume levels.
Incredible value for money, all the while looking like they could cost five times the price. Fender Alternative acoustics are an attractive prospect for guitarists on a budget. There's a tempting array of solid colour finishes, sunbursts, natural woods and even flamed maple tops.
Most brands would have to cut corners somewhere down the line to give you something this good looking, but Fender pull through again with their excellent survivability. There's little to get in the way of your playing, as the Alternative relies on a good collection of tonewoods and classic Fender neck and fretboard designs.
The Classic Design range consists of stripped back travel acoustics ready to be played wherever required. These smaller body, short scale length guitars lend themselves to players with limited space. They can easily be tucked under a bed, behind the sofa or in the back of the car.
They're also a great option for buskers needing to fit on public transport. Younger players will find the shorter reach between frets easier to navigate when fretting chords and making trickier jumps. Classic Design guitars are available in a variety of scale lengths, with nylon or steel strings and are kitted out with spruce tops for classic acoustic brightness.
As the name suggests, the Fender Educational series is primarily made for beginner players in need of their first acoustic guitar. Educational acoustics use nylon strings, which are easier on the ends of new guitarists' fingers and produce a soft classical tone.
Here you'll find Fender's approach to traditional acoustic construction and the use of warm tonewoods. Mahogany bodies help create a warmer deep sound to counteract the thin nylon strings. You get a choice of scale length, with the compact ¾ model ideal for smaller players.