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Fender Balboa Orchestra Acoustic with Tele Neck

Fender Balboa Orchestra NeckQuick: what is the best acoustic guitar you’ve ever played? If I were a betting man, I’d wager that you said Martin. Maybe Gibson. But definitely not Fender, right? Fender’s first foray into acoustics goes back to 1963, when German Luthier Roger Rossmeisl designed the King and Concert models. Both featured Strat-style necks. Fast forward to 2013—Fender launches the Acoustic Custom Shop, recreating and improving upon these models, using the same Strat necks. There is one “sleeper” with a Tele neck, though. That guitar is the Pro Custom Balboa Orchestra.

The Balboa Orchestra is triple-O sized, with a white blond gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish. The top is red spruce; the back is ash, and the soundboard uses X-bracing. The neck is one-piece maple with a C-profile and a ’52 Tele headstock. Cool, right?


It’s not the first time Fender paired a Tele neck with an acoustic body. The Telecoustic came out in ’91, and was initially a product of the Custom Shop. Now, the Telecoustic is manufactured overseas and has a street price $350. As for the Balboa Orchestra, you’ll have to pay a little more—list price is $4500. Street price is around $3000, but good luck finding one: Fender is only making fifty of these beauties.

Check out Tennessee’s Meg Meyers playing the Balboa Orchestra:

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10 Responses to “Fender Balboa Orchestra Acoustic with Tele Neck”
  1. Gnobuddy says:

    > for the Balboa Orchestra….list price is $4500.
    Hahahaha! Thanks for the laugh!


  2. hackworth1 hackworth1 says:

    Rocky Balboa. The doctors and lawyers will be lining up to buy these.

    At least one very expensive, and perhaps most well-known, acoustic brand uses a composite neck.

    Imagine paying a lot of money for a guitar that had a composite neck. People do it all the time.

    Of course, of primary importance, is a solid wood top.

    A good acoustic guitar must have a solid top.

    • Tele-Caster says:

      A good acoustic guitar must have a solid top, eh? I’m not so sure about that. I’ve owned and played Adamas instruments that sounded killer and their tops weren’t solid wood. They were a birch board sandwiched between two thin layers of carbon fiber. I’ve played A.O. Yairi instruments that weren’t exactly cheap and didn’t have solid tops, yet that didn’t stop them from having luscious tone. I can say the the same thing for some Nippon Gahkki Yamaha acoustics, too. Rather than fret over what an instrument is made from, I’d personally rather focus on the sound it makes when I play it.

  3. paratus paratus says:

    Yikes! $3k street price?

    I was lost at the modern C neck profile, the video didn’t do anything for me either.

  4. JayL JayL says:

    Wow, she’s awesome. And the geetar is pretty cool too !

  5. rand z says:

    They’re building these $$$$$ guitars for collectors, not players. Collecting anything these daze is a joke. If you believe that 30 years down the road this guitar will be worth substantially more than you paid for it, I have a bunch of guitars for sale… anything to con you out of your hard earned $$$$.

    Shame on Fender, Gibson… and even my beloved C. F. Martin & Co. in Nazareth, PA


  6. dragonfly66 dragonfly66 says:

    The best acoustic guitar I ever played would be a Breedlove.

    With this offering Fender will not even get me to try their guitar. It would have been nice to hear the guitar strummed. I am not sold on Ash for back and sides at this price range. Probably the biggest thing is I just don’t see Fender as a high end acoustic guitar maker. I’ve played one acoustic from Fender that was about $900 new and $450 used and I thought it was worthy, but not worth the new price at all. Anything above $1000 and I’m sticking with Martin, Taylor, and Breedlove. If I was going high end (over $4000) I’d be looking at builders other than the ones I listed. I certainly wouldn’t search out Fender to fit the bill.

    If they are making a superb product, I supposed it is possible, it is going to take a long time to get away from the tried and true builders people are used to.

  7. Diamond Dave Diamond Dave says:

    Fender acoustics are nearly universally hated over at the Acoustic Guitar Forum. I think it’s silly, because people are too headstock conscious. (And in this case, most folks don’t like the name on the headstock or the Tele shape, either.)

  8. Tele Kinesis Tele Kinesis says:

    It’s especially neat how the the headstock is a Strat style at 0:22 then changes to Tele style.

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