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Why Do Fender Acoustics Have Such A Bad Reputation?

colchar
February 12th, 2011, 01:35 PM
I've never tried one for more than a couple of minutes in a store but the ones I did try seemed OK to me so I was wondering why Fender acoustics have such a bad name. With all of the Fender love around here you'd think that some people would rate their acoustics a bit more highly than they do.

So what is it about Fender acoustics that have caused them to have such a bad reputation? Is it the materials? The build quality?

brookdalebill
February 12th, 2011, 01:48 PM
Ever hear a good sounding one?
The 60's ones look cool.
Fender acoustics are like Martin electrics.
No bueno, IMO.

PennyCentury
February 12th, 2011, 01:59 PM
The original Fender acoustic series (Kingman, etc.) designed under Roger Rossmeisl had the customary Fender style detachable neck, and an internal tube running from the end of the neck to the lower bout where the strap button is.

I'm unsure when Fender introduced acoustics made using traditional construction, whether it was under CBS or FMIC, but according to sources I have read, the second era were imports. I would surmise that the Fender acoustics of traditional construction have similar sonic characteristics comparable to other conventional acoustic guitars.

superhand
February 12th, 2011, 02:07 PM
I like Fender acoustic guitars, and here in California at least, Fenders reputation seems to be doing just fine.

JeradP
February 12th, 2011, 02:12 PM
I bought one (a $300 model, I don't know what exactly) that was an A/E and I returned it. The intonation was off. I played another identical model, same problem. So I got an Ovation that I love for a little less. I played several Fender models that where in my price range, and none struck me as great nor awful. The one I had but returned had a great tone and playability, but the quality wasn't there

Bolide
February 12th, 2011, 02:17 PM
Fender's history with acoustic guitars is rather like a multidecade series of examples of how not to enter a market.

Fender acoustics were never total junk, but they were also never great.

Let's hope things work out with Guild....


otoh, their brief foray into high end jazzboxes, the LTD series, is the stuff of legend, surviving LTDs command high dollar on the resale market.

imo, Fender always saw acoustics as a marketing vehicle, a means to an end, rather than an end in itself so their heart wasn't into it.

KevinB
February 12th, 2011, 02:26 PM
Acoustics have never really been integral to Fender's product line. I mean that have made some decent ones, but mostly they have been imports using laminated woods produced in some Asian factory under contract to Fender. I believe that nowadays they do some construction in Ensenada, but I'm not sure they make complete guitars there yet.

So, they are just more - typically Indonesian - imports, like many others. And unlike Gibson's classic J-45, SJ-200, Hummingbird, Dove, etc. Fender has no real tradition with acoustics.

SamClemons
February 12th, 2011, 02:39 PM
I have an old California series El Rio that I like. I like some of the old Fender accoustics. Most of their run of the mill stuff is just that. You could always get more guitar for less money if you knew what you were looking at.

Alex W
February 12th, 2011, 03:08 PM
I wouldn't say that they have a bad reputation, I'd just say that Fender does not make fine acoustic guitars. They make acoustics with laminated bodies that are appropriate for beginners and early intermediate players. And within that context they're fine.

Just-Jim
February 12th, 2011, 04:50 PM
Disclaimer:
I know nothing about acoustic guitars.
I am on my first acoustic since April 2010.

I rarely go in to guitar stores. I usually buy things word of mouth without trying things out. I was starting to want an acoustic, so thought it would make sense to force myself in to a GC with a lot of time on my hands to test the waters. I was probably there for two hours and played around twenty guitars, without regard to brand or price (although on a very tight budget). I kept going back to the same guitar. It was a Fender DG200SCE Acoustic-Electric. There was something about the sound and how it felt that sold me, even over guitars three times the price. The crazy thing is when I got home, I could not even find manuals or much info from Fender on line. However, I did find a bunch of great reviews from people that felt the same as I did, basically a really nice guitar at a fair price ($400). I started to see all the negative responses on line regarding Fender acoustics in general and was not sure what to think. Anyway, I wanted give them positive feedback for at least the item I purchased.

Jim

Bill Ashton
February 12th, 2011, 05:39 PM
On paper these look very good, in fact too good when you figure a Guild dealer is also trying to sell imported guitars (the GAD line)...but what is on paper does not necessarily translate to the hand...

http://www.fender.com/news/index.php?display_article=646

rstaaf
February 12th, 2011, 06:14 PM
I have had my Fender CD-280S for a year now and I enjoy it...

72970 72971

mellecaster
February 13th, 2011, 12:43 AM
Once you get into the Higher end Solid Wood Models (mostly Korean) they are Pretty decent, and take a Set-up quite well...The Laminated Topped ones are built fairly well, but suffer Greatly in the Tone Department IMO....Like most stuff...ya gets whats you Pay for.

boilerup2004
February 13th, 2011, 01:14 AM
I think that Bolide's post hit the nail on the head--in the "Karate Kid" style--one blow that set the matter aside permanently (so far,at least). I think that *some* of Fender's acoustic models were solid blows towards a worthy end, but that most of them were average at best. If you got one that you love--kudos to you.

However, I agree that Fender never put more than a cursory effort into the acoustic realm, and I was personally let down by the tele/strat-acoustic (-oscoustic???) models. My loyalty generally lies with the best product for the price, and while I really wanted to like, or even love, these models, I found them to be among the strongest arguments against FMIC's unplugged models.

As a bit of background, the bar was set pretty high by the "Esquire Custom GT" models of the mid 2000's. I finished my undergraduate work (obviously) in 2004, and never managed to scrounge up the dough to buy one back then. My local GC had one 2 weeks ago (silver with black stripe, if you were wondering), but alas--my taxes weren't done yet, so I had to wait for a refund while it went to a more prepared buyer.

My point is that I really want to love Fender's stuff, but I have to be realistic about my judgments. I know that a lot of people don't get my love for the custom GT series, but I'm okay with that. In the same manner, though, I'm not a big fan of _any_ of their hollowbody models (not counting thinlines!),and can agree to disagree. FWIW, I have a nice (but not sexy) Martin, but think that Yamaha pretty much owns the $200-$300 range, to paraphrase a prolific TDPRI'er. I'm not anti-Fender, but pro-"other stuff".

Really, I'd love it if Fender made a great acoustic for ~$300. I'd love it even more if it had the shape of a Tele. I just don't think that it's their thing. OTOH, I'm okay with that as long as they keep finding a way to get things done with solidbodies. I love my CV50's, and wish they'd give me a reason to drop $1K plus on a MIA model (new, of course). If they can get me an AmDlx for $1300 new, I'm there--and more than once!

Still, I love their guitars and amps, and aspire to one day be able to buy them with little to no regard to MSRP. Until then, my acoustic budget will likely to to Martin, Taylor, Silver Creek, and Yamaha, unless I find a deal...

blue metalflake
February 13th, 2011, 09:03 AM
They've had a long string of not so good acoustics, with the best beng the Japanese made ones in mid '70s. They were basically Martin copies and I had one which I kept for about 30 years before I moved it on as part of a down sizing exercise. The Japanese ones were easily spotted by an inverted vee notch in the headstock & would be a good buy if they turned up anywhere.


I've just seen that an old thread on Fender F15 has come back to life, and there's a few pics of the Japanese headstocks there.

roscoestring
February 13th, 2011, 09:16 AM
A couple of years ago I was looking for a new acoustic. I assumed that Fender would be the best place to start. I went into every music store that I passed to test drive the Fender acoustics. I may have tried as many as 75 to 100 guitars. I finally decided that the Fenders were not for me. I eventually bought a cheap MIC junk guitar that sounded really amazing. After buying it I went into other stores and like boilerup2004 I found that the Yamahas were pretty good guitars in the same price range. I seldom play an acoustic guitar though.

Birdmankustomz
February 13th, 2011, 09:26 AM
73026

I lost my picture of just the acoustic, but here is my fender acoustic. I don't know what model or when it was made, but my dad bought it for my mom when I was 4 or 5 (used I think), so its at least 15 years old. I love it, and it sounds great IMO.

Sixwire
February 13th, 2011, 09:29 AM
Being a Fender owner all my life, I bought their acoustic. It was the most wrist breaking guitar I've ever owned. Sure not something you could do lead parts on. There are lots of mid priced insturments that play and sound better. Get the best you can afford. I now have a higher end acoustic and it feels like you have been "set free" to work the neck with great skill.

Life is great with a Taylor & Tele. Don't need anything else.

colchar
February 13th, 2011, 12:39 PM
Just to be clear, I wasn't thinking of getting a Fender acoustic as I have decided on a Seagull, a Simon & Patrick, or an Art & Lutherie (all made by Godin). The reason I asked about Fender acoustics was that I was reading something about Phil Collen yesterday in which it said that he plays Fender acoustics yet the vast majority of comments on the web say they don't make a good acoustic. Granted, Collen can buy their highest end model or have them custom made for him but it still made me curious.

Billy B.
February 13th, 2011, 12:42 PM
My Buddie just bought a relatively inexpensive Fender 12 sting that I was pretty impressed with.

j. hunter
February 13th, 2011, 02:21 PM
Just to be clear, I wasn't thinking of getting a Fender acoustic as I have decided on a Seagull, a Simon & Patrick, or an Art & Lutherie (all made by Godin). The reason I asked about Fender acoustics was that I was reading something about Phil Collen yesterday in which it said that he plays Fender acoustics yet the vast majority of comments on the web say they don't make a good acoustic. Granted, Collen can buy their highest end model or have them custom made for him but it still made me curious.

The problem, IMO, is that for the (admittedly low) price of most Fender acoustics, you can a Seagul, S&P, or A&L of vastly superior quality. They're not good, Fender acoustics. They're just not, and unfortunately, there are enough companies putting out playable low end guitars that there is no reason for anyone to put up with the lousyness of something like a fender acoustic. There may have been a place for them once upon a time, but I just don't think there is anymore.

The first guitar I ever bought was a Fender acoustic. It was black. It had a cutaway. I thought it was cool. It was not.

Stuco
February 13th, 2011, 02:29 PM
The are making some decent ones now. The old ones look cool but are nothing to write home about as far as sound and playability are concerned.

DuncanAngus
February 13th, 2011, 02:39 PM
I personally have not picked up a Fender acoustic in decades. For me, the issue goes back to a bolt-on neck with a metal plate. Taylor may have been the 1st builder to pull off a bolt-on acoustic neck with some degree of success, but Fender just copied the way it built electrics and tried to apply it to acoustic construction. Over the years, bolt-on necks have come a long way but it's something that if not done right sounds like... Well, not good.

Martin made electrics in the 60's that are of the same thought, but in reverse. It's interesting to see companies like Collings and PRS crossing back and forth lately and with some good results. Gibson may have pulled off the "pure acoustic and pure electric" product better than anyone to this point.

JamonHamon
February 13th, 2011, 02:46 PM
In the late 80s Fender had a line of acoustics that rivailed Martin and Santa Cruz

DuncanAngus
February 13th, 2011, 02:52 PM
In the late 80s Fender had a line of acoustics that rivailed Martin and Santa Cruz

Do you know model numbers? I'd love to look into this further...

Gnobuddy
February 13th, 2011, 05:39 PM
A few months ago I was looking for a decent acoustic steel-string guitar, and made the rounds of several music stores within driving distance, trying out quite a few guitars in the process. Going in, I didn't discriminate by brand, looking only for tone, playability, and a price within my budget. I really don't care much about brand names one way or the other.

Along the way, I tried several Fender acoustic guitars, and I have to say the ones I tried ranged from mediocre to awful in my opinion. The ones with the horrible headstock design used on the solid-body Fender Strat' were the worst, not only hideously ugly to look at, but also very neck-heavy and with nasty tone. IMO, not one of the Fender acoustics had good tone, though some were no worse than some of the other equally low-quality brands I tried.

During my search, I made two interesting discoveries. The first was a $120 Kona guitar from Walmart, which had surprisingly good tone, despite the plywood top and thin body. With a little work on my part (okay, a fair bit of work!) I brought the playability from "meh" to "really good", and it became my cheap knock-about guitar.

The second discovery was Yamaha acoustic guitars - I was blown away by how good one of the $200 Yamaha acoustics sounded. To my ears, I had to go up to a $2000 Martin to get equally good tone. Tonally, the other Yamaha acoustic guitars I tried seemed equally superior to anything else in their price class.

I ended up buying a different Yamaha acoustic, one with a cutaway and built-in piezo transducer (FGX 730SC - http://www.guitarcenter.com/Yamaha-FGX730SC-Solid-Top-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-105485742-i1449311.gc ).

So, my personal answer to the OP's question: I knew nothing about Fender acoustics going in, I didn't even know they existed. However, not one of the Fender acoustic guitars I tried sounded good to me - the best ones were mediocre, and the worst ones were bad. As a result of my own experience, today Fender acoustic guitars do have a bad reputation with me, and if someone asked me my opinion on buying one, I would recommend against it, and tell them to try a Yamaha instead.

-Gnobuddy

FirstBassman
February 13th, 2011, 10:01 PM
Let's hope things work out with Guild....




Don't forget Tacoma.

philsfenders
February 15th, 2011, 05:03 PM
They've had a long string of not so good acoustics, with the best beng the Japanese made ones in mid '70s. They were basically Martin copies and I had one which I kept for about 30 years before I moved it on as part of a down sizing exercise. The Japanese ones were easily spotted by an inverted vee notch in the headstock & would be a good buy if they turned up anywhere.


I've just seen that an old thread on Fender F15 has come back to life, and there's a few pics of the Japanese headstocks there.

The 'V' notch guitars you to refer to were the Fender 'F' Series' Flat top acoustics made in Japan between 1972-1980. They the full range from 1976 can be found on my website at www.philsfenders.com.

Oakville Dave
February 15th, 2011, 05:17 PM
I have a 1975 Fender Japan 12 string that a very cool guitar. Sounds great, plays great!

BigDaddyLH
February 15th, 2011, 05:24 PM
As mentioned above, the Fender D'Aquisto is not your average Fender acoustic!

http://www.12fret.com/usedSoldGallery/fenderD'AqUltra.jpg

Gnobuddy
February 16th, 2011, 03:22 AM
As mentioned above, the Fender D'Aquisto is not your average Fender acoustic!

http://www.12fret.com/usedSoldGallery/fenderD'AqUltra.jpg
Cool guitar! Of course, I've never heard of a D'Aquisto that was "average". :mrgreen:

I'm really surprised Fender didn't put a pickup and some pots on that Fender D'Aquisto, though. A floating pickup (mounted on the pickguard, not the guitar top) doesn't hurt the acoustic tone at all, and makes an archtop so much more versatile.

I assume the top on that Fender D'Aquisto was stamped plywood, like the ones on the Gibson 335 and so on, and not an actual carved solid-wood top like a "real" D'Aquisto?

-Gnobuddy

Gnobuddy
February 16th, 2011, 03:48 AM
I eventually bought a cheap MIC junk guitar that sounded really amazing.

Why was it a "junk" guitar if it sounded really amazing? Was there something else wrong with it?

One of my steel-strings is a Walmart-sourced, Chinese-made "Kona" guitar with a pretty top that looks like solid spruce until you look closer and see the multiple plies. It has a thin body (about 3") and a cutaway, and the acoustic tone is surprisingly good despite the thin body and plywood top. Even more surprising, the thing sounds really, really good plugged in - though I have to use a good deal of EQ (bass boost) as the built-in electronics are really bass-light.

There *were* some significant issues with the guitar when I got it. High action at both nut and saddle, tuning machines that were sloppy and wouldn't stay in tune, and worst of all, strings not centered on the fretboard (everything was moved towards the treble side of the fretboard by a good 1/8" or so).

The tone was good enough and the purchase price low enough that I decided to spend a little money and fix the other issues myself. I re-located the bridge pin holes to position the strings properly (widening the string spacing a little in the process), replaced the saddle to lower the action, replaced the nut with a wider one which I also sanded to lower action at the nut, and replaced the tuning machines with some new ones from GuitarFetish.com .

It was worth it. It's now very easy to play, stays in tune as well as any other acoustic steel-string guitar, and still sounds really good. The guitar cost barely more than one Franklin, plus maybe fifty bucks for the upgrades I added, and I've lost count of the number of times people have paid me compliments on my tone while playing the thing. It's hard to find a downside here - hurray for "junk" guitars that sound good and play well! :smile:

<snip> like boilerup2004 I found that the Yamahas were pretty good guitars in the same price range.
I agree. During the last 12 months, the best-sounding and best-feeling acoustic guitars I've found under $1000 have all been Yamaha's, and some of the $200 Yamaha's I tried put some of the $1000 competition to shame as far as sound and playability go. It wasn't until I tried a $2000 Martin that I felt I had found an equally good guitar to one of the $200 Yamaha FG 700S guitars in the store.

I didn't buy either of those two guitars ($2000 is way more than I was willing to spend, and I wanted a cutaway and electronics which the Yamaha FG 700S does not have). But I found another Yamaha that had everything I wanted, at a quarter the price of that Martin. Gorgeous acoustic tone, really nice plugged-in tone even without EQ, and superb playability once I removed and sanded the saddle. The only thing I would change if I could is the string spacing - I'd love to have a teeny bit more room between the strings.

-Gnobuddy

winny pooh
February 16th, 2011, 09:09 AM
The Fender branded acoustics I have encountered have been okay, but not amazing.

I am however an owner of a lovely guild gad30 which has solid woods throughout, bone nut/saddle, flame maple binding, and ebony bridgepins/endpin. It plays and looks fantastic, so whoever designed and oversaw building these guitars for fender in china hit the ball out of the park.

Chiogtr4x
February 16th, 2011, 09:59 AM
The 'V' notch guitars you to refer to were the Fender 'F' Series' Flat top acoustics made in Japan between 1972-1980. They the full range from 1976 can be found on my website at www.philsfenders.com.

That's s great website you have there, those Fender acoustics are all just beautiful, and I bet they are nice players...

This takes me right back to 1975 when I was first learning to play. My first acoustic was a Japanese Nagoya N-28 (a D-28 copy; solid top. laminate rosewood etc., possibly from the same company that would made Takamine-branded acoustics...) It was very similar to some of the Fender acoustics, IMO

BigDaddyLH
February 16th, 2011, 12:08 PM
Cool guitar! Of course, I've never heard of a D'Aquisto that was "average". :mrgreen:

I'm really surprised Fender didn't put a pickup and some pots on that Fender D'Aquisto, though. A floating pickup (mounted on the pickguard, not the guitar top) doesn't hurt the acoustic tone at all, and makes an archtop so much more versatile.

I assume the top on that Fender D'Aquisto was stamped plywood, like the ones on the Gibson 335 and so on, and not an actual carved solid-wood top like a "real" D'Aquisto?

-Gnobuddy

Here's some more information: http://uniqueguitar.blogspot.com/2010/03/fender-daquisto-models.html

Basically, there are a number of models, some, like the Ultra above are carved, others are laminated. And they also can come with a floating pup, or one or two mounted pups. So, Fender/D'Aquisto rang the changes.

Gnobuddy
February 18th, 2011, 10:14 PM
Here's some more information: http://uniqueguitar.blogspot.com/2010/03/fender-daquisto-models.html
Basically, there are a number of models, some, like the Ultra above are carved, others are laminated. And they also can come with a floating pup, or one or two mounted pups. So, Fender/D'Aquisto rang the changes.
Thanks! Those are interesting guitars, and now you've got me thinking about the one major guitar family missing from my guitar closet: I don't have a real (fully hollow) archtop!

I don't have a twelve-string or resonator guitar either, but those are both sufficiently niche types to not tempt me. Archtops seem a little different: definitely also a niche guitar in today's world, but to me they seem more versatile than twelve-string and resonator guitars.

-Gnobuddy

Barimonster
February 19th, 2011, 10:23 PM
A few years ago I bought a Korean- made Fender DG-20 CE 'Natural' used from a friend for $200. He was asking for more, but when I heard the unplugged tone from it I was reluctant to give him even $200.
Plugged in - it fares better with a lot of equalization on the amps. The battery compartment was acting funny and I had to shim it with a matchbox cover in the middle of a show one night.
I think it's pretty good for the price range -- but I definitely want to upgrade.

Speaking of Yamaha acoustics: I also have a LD-10 which I bought for $600 about 20 years ago in Japan. It has very nice tone and is my favorite. I just need to add a decent pickup so I can use it on stage. Any recommendations for a good pup?

wannapickone
February 20th, 2011, 07:55 AM
I guess I got really "lucky".......I bought the Fender CD290SCE (Jumbo) two years ago. The first one I returned after just a few days due to truss rod malfunction and Fender sent me a new one. As with any guitar, setup is crucial. I replaced the "plastic" bridge with a "Tusq" and lowered the action, cleaned up the nut, leveled the frets & strung it up with DiAddario EXP11 (.012-.053). This guitar sings!!! I play mostly classic country & bluegrass flat picking and uplugged, the tone & projection is GREAT!! I also play it thru a Fender Acoustasonic SFX and that combo just knocks my socks offfff!!! Just a note....when I replaced the bridge, I was concentrating on "string height", I didn't think about the Fishman Nano pup underneath in regards to "balance"......I'm glad I had a second bridge for the redo......ha,ha,ha. All in all, I couldn't be more happy with the guitar, tone, playability, good looks and the neck (to me) is one of the best features of the guitar. Would I recommend this guitar......depends on who is asking. WPO

Gnobuddy
February 21st, 2011, 06:10 PM
I replaced the "plastic" bridge with a "Tusq"

You replaced the entire bridge, or just the saddle? The saddle is the strip of (usually) ivory-colored plastic the strings actually ride on, the bridge is the wooden structure the saddle slots into.

I'm guessing you meant saddle, since replacing a bridge is a big deal requiring some advanced luthier skills to do without damage. And even then the finish in the area around the bridge usually gets damaged.

Wow, a defective truss-rod? I never heard of that particular defect before in a new-from-the-factory guitar. The only truss rod failures I've heard of are usually the result of rust inside an old guitar, combined with gorilla-strength attempts at truss-rod adjustment. I'm glad Fender replaced the guitar for you.

-Gnobuddy

wshelley
February 21st, 2011, 06:19 PM
In the late 80s Fender had a line of acoustics that rivailed Martin and Santa Cruz

I'd also like to get some more info on this. I've never found anything that rivals a Santa Cruz, so if it's out there for less I want it.

Bill Ashton
February 22nd, 2011, 02:54 PM
That might be the "Spring Hill" series perhaps? Not sure many really hit the market. ...to be made by a manufacturer in Spring Hill...uh, Tennesee?...Kentucky? A known name, I believe...

wannapickone
February 22nd, 2011, 07:21 PM
You replaced the entire bridge, or just the saddle? The saddle is the strip of (usually) ivory-colored plastic the strings actually ride on, the bridge is the wooden structure the saddle slots into.

I'm guessing you meant saddle, since replacing a bridge is a big deal requiring some advanced luthier skills to do without damage. And even then the finish in the area around the bridge usually gets damaged.

Wow, a defective truss-rod? I never heard of that particular defect before in a new-from-the-factory guitar. The only truss rod failures I've heard of are usually the result of rust inside an old guitar, combined with gorilla-strength attempts at truss-rod adjustment. I'm glad Fender replaced the guitar for you.

-Gnobuddy

You're absolutely correct Gnobuddy........saddle, saddle, saddle! NOT bridge.......sorry 'bout that. And yes, I'm very happy that Fender took the orignal back and gave me ($65 shipping/handling for original to Fender Authorized repair center in San Antonio) a new guitar. WPO

J Hog
February 22nd, 2011, 07:42 PM
That might be the "Spring Hill" series perhaps? Not sure many really hit the market. ...to be made by a manufacturer in Spring Hill...uh, Tennesee?...Kentucky? A known name, I believe...

Tennesee. I remember seeing them at a summer NAMM show in Nashville one year. Spring Hill was where GM built Saturns. It's close to Nashville.

Hudman
February 24th, 2011, 07:05 PM
The Fender branded acoustics I have encountered have been okay, but not amazing.

I am however an owner of a lovely guild gad30 which has solid woods throughout, bone nut/saddle, flame maple binding, and ebony bridgepins/endpin. It plays and looks fantastic, so whoever designed and oversaw building these guitars for fender in china hit the ball out of the park.

Cool! I ordered one on line today. I went with the GAD 30E.

Fender is making nice acoustic guitars today. I think they started making them better after they bought Guild. They have a new line of acoustics hitting the market now. I believe they are called Fender CD.

Bill Ashton
February 25th, 2011, 09:50 AM
Congrats Hudman, you will really enjoy that guitar!

SamClemons
February 25th, 2011, 10:09 AM
I grew up in Spring Hill. There was a custom guitar builder there that made fine guitars. That was where the Spring Hill guitars came from. (It is TN by the way and near the Saturn Plant, about 45 miles south of Nashville). I have been to the shop year ago. I do not remember the name. If you laid your hands on a Spring Hill guitar, it would be hand made, one of a kind. There was no mass production facilities of any type there. I am sure he used the same pattern for each guitar.

BWNadeau
February 25th, 2011, 01:28 PM
I've owned 2, and played 4 extensively. My first "real" acoustic was a Fender La Brea I received as a Christmas gift when I was young - I still have it, trash pick-up and all. I loved the neck on that guitar, and, considering I'm originally from a very isolated region, it was one of the best sounding acoustics around. The clear-coat is now cracked to pieces on it, and I recently had to have the bridge reset, but it's still bangin away.

Fenders are ok for what they are - compare them to a Blueridge, Seagull, or Yamaha in the same price range and they'll be blown out of the water. They are cheaply made, and they sound cheaply made. A/B'ing my LB against one of my Larrivees is an absolute joke - even against a D02, which retails about the same as my Fender did back then. In all honesty, I'd strongly counsel anyone looking at a moderately priced acoustic to look elsewhere - don't mean to ruffle anyone's feathers, but I've never played even an expensive Fender acoustic that sounded or played as well as a Yamaha that could be had for significantly less $$$.

Hudman
February 25th, 2011, 06:24 PM
Congrats Hudman, you will really enjoy that guitar!

Thanks! The UPS tracking report shows it's on it's way with a Monday delivery.

:cool:

Gnobuddy
February 25th, 2011, 09:16 PM
In all honesty, I'd strongly counsel anyone looking at a moderately priced acoustic to look elsewhere - don't mean to ruffle anyone's feathers, but I've never played even an expensive Fender acoustic that sounded or played as well as a Yamaha that could be had for significantly less $$$.
You said exactly what I'd like to say. Exactly.

I don't have years of experience with Fender branded acoustic guitars, nor with Yamaha acoustics for that matter, but I did spend several months in 2010 hunting for a good acoustic guitar priced within my budget. None of the Fender acoustics I tried was a contender, not even close. I tried all the usual suspects and some unusual ones, from Epiphone and Kona to Seagull and Washburn. I ended up with choosing a Yamaha FGX 730SC.

I'm very happy with the Yamaha. Very nice tone, both acoustic and plugged in, and very good playability with almost no initial set-up work required. All I did was sand the saddle to lower the action to suit my taste as a player, and switch to ultra-light strings with a 0.010 high E, which I prefer for their lower tension and ability to string-bend notes like an electric. The only change I would wish for is for the neck to have been a teensy bit wider.

For sure, I've heard vintage Guilds that are significantly louder than the Yamaha, and equally good-sounding, but those typically go for about ten times the money. Not really a fair comparison, and those Guilds are not even in production any longer.

-Gnobuddy

mattdean4130
February 28th, 2011, 12:31 AM
I have an F-65 from '75 or '76
Beautiful highs. Plays well. Solid spruce top, rosewood back and sides.
Might have to post some pics... :)

mojo_max
February 28th, 2011, 01:28 AM
I have always really liked my Fender San Marino over the last 15 years.

bradpdx
February 28th, 2011, 02:25 AM
The Fender branded acoustics I have encountered have been okay, but not amazing.

I feel like such a snob. I've never played a Fender, Ibanez, Epiphone, Takamine or Yamaha acoustic I thought was worth a second look. All typical Asian-made guitars with little or no character - but fortunately, they are all generally inexpensive and perfectly fine for low dollar guitars (in 2011 terms than means under $1200).

(The exception is Takamine, which has the conjones to charge way too much for what they make. Gutless wonders.)

No, I've stuck with Martins and old Gibsons, would love to have a Collings.

BlueCajun
March 4th, 2011, 01:46 AM
I bought a Fender jumbo acoustic in '94 and loved it until the neck warped. Fender was good about replacing it under warranty. But the model I bought was no longer in production, so it was replaced with a different model that I really didn't like. I eventually sold the replacement and bought a Larrivee that I still have. I was impressed with the way Fender handled the warped neck problem, but the fact that the neck went south scared me enough to think twice before buying another acoustic from them.

Gnobuddy
March 4th, 2011, 08:44 PM
typical Asian-made guitars with little or no character
Yup, some of us expect the character to come from the guy or gal playing the thing, not from the little wooden box with the strings on it. :mrgreen:

The exception is Takamine, which has the conjones to charge way too much for what they make.

I formed the same impression. Just plain bad guitars at high prices. Even worse than the indifferent guitars at middling prices which some of the other brands (Fender included) were serving up.

No, I've stuck with Martins and old Gibsons, would love to have a Collings.
I don't think very many people cross-shop trying to decide between an acoustic Fender and a Collings. Not unless they are deaf, very rich, and quite stupid, at any rate. :mrgreen:

At one of the stores (a Best Buy music store) where I sampled numerous acoustic guitars, I felt that a $200 Yamaha FG700S exceeded the quality (tone and playability) of every other guitar in the (rather small) room, with the exception of a roughly $2000 Martin. The Martin sounded as good as the Yamaha, but managed to be louder. It was also lighter (made of thinner wood, presumably, which was probably also the reason for its increased loudness).

-Gnobuddy

Gnobuddy
March 4th, 2011, 08:47 PM
the fact that the neck went south scared me enough to think twice before buying another acoustic from them.
Don't blame you, I would have had the same reaction. I wonder if they failed to adequately dry the wood before manufacture? Using inadequately dried green wood is one way to guarantee warping later on. Even kiln-drying wood takes time, and time is money in manufacturing, so I'd think there would be financial pressure to take as little time as possible in the drying kiln.

-Gnobuddy

CharlieO
March 17th, 2011, 10:31 PM
In the late 80s Fender had a line of acoustics that rivailed Martin and Santa Cruz

I don't know about the late '80's, but I own a 1996 Fender DG-41S-12, which is a very nice Korean-made 12-string. Fender described it as "our very best 12-string," and it has an Indian rosewood body with a solid spruce top, very nice inlays and gold tuners. It sounds and looks beautiful and plays great. I have played numerous sub-$1000 12-strings from other manufacturers, and haven't found any that I like as much as this Fender. I have read very positive reviews of the 6-string version of this guitar, too, but have never seen one. http://www.harmonycentral.com/products/87797

I think that I paid $280 for this guitar in mint condition with a hardshell case, thanks to Fender's reputation for mediocre acoustics.

Jason G
March 18th, 2011, 12:47 PM
I've never known them to have a bad reputation, but just more of a non-reputation. I've picked up a fair number of them over the years. Some of them have been beautiful and looked to be very well made with attention to all the small details. The only problem, and a big one, is that not a one of them ever had a great sound that quickly captivated me. I don't know what it is they are missing? Maybe they are not quite right from the design stage. Maybe the bracing is too stiff and non-lively? Just nothing special about any I've ever played.

Jason G

Colt W. Knight
March 18th, 2011, 09:36 PM
I've never been impressed by any Fender Acoustic.

Sleph
March 19th, 2011, 12:10 AM
I've never been impressed by any Fender Acoustic.

+1... I'm sure there are nice ones, but whenever I've picked up a Fender acoustic there has always been some other brand that I felt was superior at any given price point.

Axis29
March 19th, 2011, 06:45 AM
My Fender Acoustic was the first guitar I ever bought. I picked it up in '84-85 maybe? Bought it at the store where my Dad was an accountant on the recommendation of one of the guys in the shop....

I still have it and it's a fantastic guitar. Always has played well, sounds beautiful... nice and lively, every time I take it out it gets rave reviews from the people I end up playing with...

I dunno. I don't get it.

Every new guitar I've tried... and I do mean every new acoustic I've tried, Epiphones, Taylors, Martins, Ibanez, Takamines, Yamaha... the list goes on... I have stayed away from high dollar Gibsons, and haven't played a lot of high dollar Taylor or Martins, but the lower priced ones just never lit my lamp much.

Nothing made me want to give up my Fender. Nothing.

I posted about this a week or so ago. Now, I found an old Kalamazoo (late 30's) that was quite the player... It was an Archtop that was just downright fun and sounded beautiful. So, to compete with my 25+ year old Fender and get anything that makes me even slightly willing to pass it over, I may have to step into the expensive really vintage world.

I know diddly about acoustics. Probably less than that... other than x-bracing is supposed to be better than ladder and nice wood, looks good... LOL Serisoulsy, I guess maybe the current offerings from Fender may not be all that, and Taylor, Martin and Gibson are probably paying more attention to their Acoustic lines. Never mind the boutique guys.

But...

After reading through this thread, I took a long look at my little Fender. It's got a solid spruce top that's turned a beautiful golden hue now. It's got X-bracing (I never even looked until reading through this thread) on the top. It looks like the sides might be laminated... But, you know, it's not real banged up (I've taken pretty good care of the old gal over the years), she stays in tune, rings nicely, gets a great clarity I don't hear on a lot of new guitars... And, well, she and I been through a lot together.

I guess I'll keep her a little longer.

camatillo
March 19th, 2011, 07:42 AM
I had a top of the line Fender Dg 15.... Jumbo, completely bound with a neck like a Gibson Les Paul. The neck played just like one , same feel and shape. Quilted sycamore sides and back great bear claw top. It had 3 on a side headstock, absolutely best quality acoustic I had played at the time. Unfortunately it developed a rise in the neck at the neck body joint, I leveled the frets Twice and finally sent it back for service. That guitar had such a delicate top end with fantastic note separation. Well instead of resetting the neck and refretting it they just shipped me another one. The new one looked the same but was like playing a concrete guitar, the magic was not there. It really shows that two identical guitars can sound so different. I miss that guitar, if I had known they wouldn't reset the neck I would have taken it to BCRGreg in Pa. for a reset and re-fret. I will never get another guitar like that one. So the moral of the story is I guess, play the guitar and if it has magic in it, buy it Fender or not. It's all in the synergy of the parts and assembly and design. I have no doubt there are great fender acoustics out there yet to be found. Play it , Love it, Buy it. :cry:

Gnobuddy
March 21st, 2011, 04:46 PM
I still have it and it's a fantastic guitar. Always has played well, sounds beautiful... nice and lively, every time I take it out it gets rave reviews from the people I end up playing with...

So you got a good one - maybe even a very good one! Lucky for you, and congratulations!

I dunno. I don't get it.

It's simple, most Fender acoustics don't inspire the reactions your guitar does. All the Fender acoustics I tried were somewhere between bad and mediocre. If you got a good one, it is the exception rather than the rule.

I have a guitar like that too. It's an Ibanez GA6CE ( http://www.ibanez.com/AcousticGuitars/model-GA6CE ). Ibanez isn't famous for making exceptionally good-sounding classical guitars, but this particular one made my ears perk up the instant I played the first note on it. I played a little more and was so surprised at how good it felt and sounded that I swiveled around on the stool to look at my friend Gus who was with me. He was originally sitting a few feet away facing away from me and trying out another guitar when I picked up the Ibanez - but when I swiveled around, he had spun around on his chair too and was listening intently.

Long story short, that guitar sounded better to both of us than most of the other classical guitars in the room, including a $1600 one that was made in Spain. I had gone into the store that day to buy a $10 guitar cable, but I could not make myself pass on that particular Ibanez guitar. It went home with me.

I don't care about bracing or tonewoods or any of that guff either. If it sounds good and plays well that's all that matters.

-Gnobuddy

Gnobuddy
March 21st, 2011, 04:47 PM
play the guitar and if it has magic in it, buy it Fender or not.
There you go. My sentiments exactly!

-Gnobuddy

dan1952
March 21st, 2011, 05:07 PM
There seems to me to be no reason to discuss "Fender" acoustics, since "Fender" doesn't, and hasn't made acoustic guitars, other than the metal-tube models from the
'60's. The companies that have made those guitars are Sang Jin, Samick, and a host of other Oriental factories, and Fender has simply paid a broker to find the cheapest product on which to have Fender decals placed. They may as well be branded "ACME."

Gnobuddy
March 22nd, 2011, 12:02 AM
Fender has simply paid a broker to find the cheapest product on which to have Fender decals placed. They may as well be branded "ACME."
Indeed, and this is surely the reason why most of the ones I've tried are so mediocre. There are factories in China, Indonesia, India, and Korea that make some good guitars, but evidently those are not the ones Fender is choosing to make the "Fender" acoustics.

-Gnobuddy

KellyCaster71
May 5th, 2011, 02:51 PM
I've had 2 Fender acoustics. The first was an F-250 I bought in college used for around $225. It had horrible action but actually sounded decent. If I would have had it set up, it probably wouldn't have been that bad, but it wasn't great by any means.

About 8 years ago. A friend of mine had been on a Gibson acoustic buying spree and sold me a '99 Fender SJ-65s he had picked up at a pawn shop. It's a sweet southern jumbo and played great. Played it right next to the Gibson it was emulating and it was pretty close. Solid spruce top with maple back and sides.

I went and had a luthier set it up to lower the action and make sure all the frets were leveled. My friend had given me a Gibson Montana case for it and when the luthier saw that case he was looking forward to working on it...until I opened the case. He laughed and said he would see what he could do with it. When I came back to pick it up, it sounded great and played like a dream. Even he was a little surprised on how good it sounded. Every now and then I get an itch for a mid-range Taylor or Martin, but I go play my Fender and realize I am doing ok.

skunkmonkey
May 22nd, 2011, 10:48 AM
They make acoustics???

Al Watsky
May 22nd, 2011, 11:36 AM
Coming in late on this one.
I have seen F acoustics come and go since the 60's
They usually play well are sturdy and look fine, but alas, they don't sound great.
Despite that several indy rocker types I've worked for had really low end F acoustics that they installed high end pickup systems in, did regular adjustments and repairs to and used constantly for shows and writing. They are sturdy and play easily.
Whoever did the design work was TCB.
Price point product.

DOGMA Dunn
May 22nd, 2011, 01:45 PM
I don't think fender has a bad rep. IMO the other companies have better reps. And most of them do not market the massess.

Gnobuddy
May 23rd, 2011, 02:14 PM
... several indy rocker types I've worked for had really low end F acoustics that they ....used constantly for shows and writing.
I met someone like that yesterday at a local acoustic jam. He's a veteran Las Vegas performer, and he showed up to the jam with a Fender acoustic. I assume it's his beater guitar, the one he's willing to risk in situations such as this. He and I were not particularly simpatico, so I didn't ask for details.

I've never liked any of the Fender acoustics I've tried out in local stores, but the truth is that in yesterdays jam setting, with multiple guitars and voices going at once, I could not tell if that Fender acoustic guitar sounded any worse than some of the much nicer guitars in the room (a vintage Guild, a couple of Martin's, a nice Breedlove, a Taylor or two, et cetera.) Heck, truth to tell, if someone had played an E-flat major seventh chord when everyone else was playing an E major seventh, chances are nobody would have been able to tell!

So I can see why professionals would use Fender acoustics for live shows in noisy environments.

On the other hand, if "strong enough to fell an ox" is the main criterion, there are plenty of other options on the market besides Fender. Some of the Dean acoustics weigh as much as a small sledgehammer (thick wood everywhere!), and so did several other brands I tried.

-Gnobuddy

RevMike
May 23rd, 2011, 02:29 PM
I have a Fender Malibu. I was looking for an inexpensive Acoustic Electric, and this one turned up...new, shopworn, had been sitting, forgotten for a few years then found in the back of the store. I picked it up at a big discount. Very comfy guitar to play. Sounds...pretty good acoustically, and amped sounds REALLY nice. I was very pleased.

6stringelectric
May 23rd, 2011, 02:45 PM
I have a used Fender Sonoran which I didn't really pick, it fell into my lap on a package deal - my buddy wanted just the acoustic guitar amp that was being sold with it so I went in on the deal and took the guitar.

I'm basically an electric player, but I do like to have an acoustic to play at home.

Anyway, I really like it - it sounds good, the neck feels right, it feels sturdy, the built-in preamp has a tuner I can use even if it's not plugged in, it's cheap enough that I don't worry about having beer or barbeque sauce spilled on it - what's not to like?

No it's certainly not the finest sounding acoustic I've ever heard, but it's far from the worst. And certainly good enough for my uses.

And plugged into my regular (as in not specifically designed for acoustic guitar) amps it sounds good too.

It reminds me very much of my teles - a good solid no-nonsense working man's guitar.

If that's what you're looking for I would certainly recommend it.

Gnobuddy
May 23rd, 2011, 03:16 PM
I have a used Fender Sonoran which I didn't really pick
I tried a Sonoran once. It wasn't in the least bit sonorous, and it was extremely headstock-heavy because of that huge, long, ugly, and heavy headstock design. It suffered from a serious case of neck-dive as a result, and in the store I found myself having to hold up the neck with my left hand while playing the thing, because it wanted to swivel straight down and point at the floor.

I couldn't help but think that whomever ordered that design to be created had decided to put brand identity (the ugly Fender electric headstock shape) first, and everything else second.

From personal experience, this Kona acoustic-electric guitar (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Kona-Thin-Body-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-Spruce-with-High-Gloss-Finish/10975362) from Walmart sounds considerably better than the Fender Sonoran, and sells for half the price. The cutaway and thin body of the Kona makes it quite comfortable to play. I did have to touch up a couple of high frets on mine, and replace the tuners with better ones from GuitarFetish.com . I paid around $110 for mine, and it's still my beater acoustic.

In the interest of full disclosure, my particular example of that Kona guitar had a major manufacturing flaw - the bridge was glued down shifted about an eighth of an inch to the treble side of the fretboard, so the strings were closer to the treble edge of the fretboard than the bass side. I'm sure Walmart would have exchanged it for one without the flaw, but I didn't want to wait the extra ten days or so, so I simply drllled new bridge pin holes and moved the pins over to center the strings on the fretboard.

But neither the Kona nor the Sonoran makes a sensible purchase when compared to a $200 Yamaha FG700S. Much better tone, playability, and manufacturing quality, for less money than the Fender, and only a little more than the Kona.

-Gnobuddy

pontmercy
May 23rd, 2011, 03:24 PM
I own two. A Kingman SCE sunburst and a Stratacoustic (not really the same thing but it works great for me plugged in!!)

The biggest thing that stops the Kingman from being favorite of mine is that, although it plays well with cowboy chords and is great for campfire songs, the neck is hard to play any higher than 7th fret (even after extensive work on trust, frets and saddle/nut). It's also a laminated chinese made guitar and plays as such.

All in all it's fun to play, even if a little tiring, and for a cutaway dreadnaught style, it's got plenty of "boom" but plays nothing like a nice taylor or martin.

But then, I only paid $200 for it 3 years ago!

I've been looking for a concert size acoustic to travel with and thought I'd found it at GC but compared to even the Taylor GS Mini, it sounded cheap. I'd like to spend $300 but will eventually just shell out the $500 for the Taylor. :(

Scantron08
May 23rd, 2011, 03:33 PM
Granted, Collen can buy their highest end model or have them custom made for him . . . .


or be paid by the company to use/endorse them.

Wondering about the quality of a certain type of guitar is one thing - wondering about why so-and-so plays a certain type of guitar is something else.

3 Chord
May 23rd, 2011, 09:47 PM
My first guitar was a new F35 (I think) Fender acoustic in 1976. Sold it in 2005. Plywood guitar with ok sound, bullet proof construction and as good as any plywood cheapie today (within reason).

You could do worse than a Fender acoustic imo. I would equate them to the entry level plywood Washburns. I once heard that in the mid 90's, entry level solid topped Yamahas and Fenders were made in the same factory.

colchar
May 24th, 2011, 11:47 AM
or be paid by the company to use/endorse them.

Wondering about the quality of a certain type of guitar is one thing - wondering about why so-and-so plays a certain type of guitar is something else.

But why would he use them if they are as lousy as many make them out to be? They'd have to be paying him a heck of a lot of money, especially when he isn't exclusively a player of Fender electrics.

Wyzsard
August 6th, 2011, 04:55 AM
I have a used Fender Sonoran which I didn't really pick, it fell into my lap on a package deal - my buddy wanted just the acoustic guitar amp that was being sold with it so I went in on the deal and took the guitar.

I'm basically an electric player, but I do like to have an acoustic to play at home.

Anyway, I really like it - it sounds good, the neck feels right, it feels sturdy, the built-in preamp has a tuner I can use even if it's not plugged in, it's cheap enough that I don't worry about having beer or barbeque sauce spilled on it - what's not to like?

No it's certainly not the finest sounding acoustic I've ever heard, but it's far from the worst. And certainly good enough for my uses.

And plugged into my regular (as in not specifically designed for acoustic guitar) amps it sounds good too.

It reminds me very much of my teles - a good solid no-nonsense working man's guitar.

If that's what you're looking for I would certainly recommend it.

Same experience here. I have one of the current model Sonorans w/the Fishman I got in a trade. I'm quite happy with it. Sounds good though my Peavey Delta Blues and plays as well as any acoustic I've picked up. Fingerstylists may not like the narrow spacing, but for my needs it's fine.

Mark Moore
August 6th, 2011, 05:33 AM
A few years ago I picked a bit on a $99 Squier dreadnought in a store. It sounded and played just fine. If I had been in the market I would not have hesitated to take it home.

Buck played one of those old Kingmans on TV for years. Didn't seem to hurt him none. :wink:

Hoopermazing
August 6th, 2011, 05:34 AM
If fender made an all-solid-wood flat top acoustic guitar (akin to the Epiphone Masterbilts) with a normal headstock, I'd certainly be willing to give it a shot. They seem to be content to splash around in the the shallow end of the acoustic guitar world.

Twelvefrets
August 6th, 2011, 10:40 AM
I've never tried one for more than a couple of minutes in a store but the ones I did try seemed OK to me so I was wondering why Fender acoustics have such a bad name. With all of the Fender love around here you'd think that some people would rate their acoustics a bit more highly than they do.

So what is it about Fender acoustics that have caused them to have such a bad reputation? Is it the materials? The build quality?

I think the answer is in your question. Fender acoustics are just "OK"--this in the middle of one of the greatest periods of guitar making. With so many great options at every price point, just OK is just that. Also--and forgive me--laminates will always be just that. Glue will never vibrate or sound like solid wood. I remember when I first played a Fender Shenendoah (sp?) in the 1960s --it was "interesting" but certainly wasn't a Martin, Guild, or Gibson; it seemed to come from another tradition entirely--which is true.

JohnnyRebKy
August 6th, 2011, 10:11 PM
I played a fender acoustic a while back at the store when shoppin for a learner for my nephew. It was $199 and had a solid spruce top, and laminate sides of course. I thought it was a excellent guitar for the price! Played and sounded well, but action was a bit high imo. Had light strings on it, but some mediums woulda fattened it up alot. Anyhow we went with a epiphone hummingbird, mainly because he liked how it looked lol. But hey was not a thing wrong with the fender. Was a great instrument for what it was

Bill Ashton
August 7th, 2011, 04:17 AM
I would love to find...and try out... a Fender "Buddy Miller" acoustic.

They came out and disappeared...sort of like the Aero-dyne tele :lol:

By all accounts here is a guy who could use anything and he has Fender build an acoustic...

Anodyne
August 17th, 2011, 05:04 PM
I would love to find...and try out... a Fender "Buddy Miller" acoustic.

They came out and disappeared...sort of like the Aero-dyne tele :lol:

By all accounts here is a guy who could use anything and he has Fender build an acoustic...

I've got one of the Buddy Miller signature acoustics. It's a nice guitar, all solid woods and honestly pretty striking in looks with a beautiful burst and checkerboard binding. Not the most subtle guitar, but it's a nice loud, clear-voiced, easy-playing dread with great tone and great electronics. They did come and go pretty quickly, but if you ever do find one, by all means try it out. I love mine -- it's the guitar I tend to grab if I'm working something out or going to jam with friends.

Sorry for the terrible cell-phone photo, but here's Buddy -- the picture doesn't come close to doing him justice:

http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv360/Little_Savage/FenderBuddyMillerfront2.jpg

Bill Ashton
August 17th, 2011, 05:09 PM
Nice! Congrats on a neat acoustic:cool:

pontmercy
August 17th, 2011, 05:13 PM
I just got a new-to-me one, a Fender Malibu, made in Korea from 2005. Made with solid spruce top, solid mahogany back, lam mahog sides, mahogany neck. I took a chance, as I really just wanted a small guitar I could take to the lake but it's quickly turning out to be my favorite guitar to have around. It's not too loud but sounds way better than the new chinese made malibus. It's warm and well rounded tone is well suited to recording and writing. PLUS, it's got a soft V neck! Love it!
http://patrickburnett.com/clients/guitar/malibu.jpg

Toriginal
June 12th, 2012, 10:40 AM
I have had my Fender CD-280S for a year now and I enjoy it...

72970 72971

I ordered one of those yesterday. Supposedly 10 day delivery. I tried 2 Fender CD 140 models. One with a cutout and a preamp and one straight acoustic with no cutout. The straight one had a relief exceeding 1/4" so obviously it sounded aweful but oddly the other 140 sounded great. There could have been lots of other factors, strings being real old and stuff. I tried an advantage Ovation which sounded great as most Ovations do but I had bad memories about the shape being uncomfortable on my sisters old Ovation although the tone on that 70's model was incredible. Thanks for the pictures of the back of that CD 280S. I had been wondering about that as they did not have stock on it which is probably just as well. I have no doubt that I will be more than pleased. I had a 70's model F-35 once upon a time and it was a great guitar. I have moved through 5 or 6 acoustics since then and nothing made me happy like that F-35 did. I have no doubts the CD 280S will make me smile as well. If I ever learn to play well enough to warrant it, I would have no problem or hesitation to go back to Fender for a step up to perhaps a 300 series with cutout and pickup or something. That'll be years if ever though. The CD 280S has a suggested list of from Fender of $429. My price was $279 less the current till July rebate on that model of $25. So for $254 Canadian, I consider myself lucky. I see 140's going for $279 here and there. Groceries will have to wait another month. The dual action truss rod is a plus for me too since I prefer the D'addario EJ40 silk and steel strings for the mellow tone and since they don't have a lot of pull, it may be necessary to adjust the neck backwards if you know what I mean. It looks like a winner to me. Nice to see someone else enjoying one. I set up my mikes and mixer yesterday in anticipation.

pontmercy
June 12th, 2012, 10:47 AM
I ended up selling my little malibu. Great looking guitar, but really never played or sounded the way I wanted. I had my luthier tech do $50 of work on it (tusq saddle & nut, different strings, neck adjust, etc.) and still, it just didn't do it.

I bought a Taylor GS Mini Mahogany and WOW, this is the way a small travel guitar should sound. Blows me away, night and day...AND it's less solid wood than the Fender Malibu!

Why can't fender do a better job? I'd have paid more if I could have had that headstock on my favorite little travel guitar!! Ugh.

musicalmartin
June 12th, 2012, 10:53 AM
Fender acoustics were made by Harmony in the 60's .I have a Harmony Soveriegn from 64 great tone but worn out now.I believe Fender Mexico made a high end Esenada special flat top .it got good reviews over here .

Jadguitar
June 13th, 2012, 11:34 AM
They feel absolutely dead in my hands

FenderNashville
June 15th, 2012, 11:16 AM
Fender acoustics are just like any other chinese-made acoustic (and probably from the same factory) -- They're not what I would consider a true crafted instrument. The woods are less than ideal, the action is generally terrible, the sound is nothing close in the realm of legendary, and the tone doesn't differentiate itself from any other cheap acoustic such as an Ibanez, Dean, Washburn, etc. They're under-par and simply the same as the rest made from this location.

With that said, they are adequate, cheap guitars for beginners that gives them something to play and dream with a cool name on the headstock.

Lunchie
June 22nd, 2012, 03:09 AM
I personally like the vintage ones, and I owned a Stratacoustic for a bit because it was cheap, but I have not found a modern one that has wowed me.

banjohabit
June 22nd, 2012, 07:39 AM
i got my son a sonoran for his birthday in 2006 from MF. it was pretty bad as an acoustic but his main use at that time was plugged in anyway.

in less than a year the action raised up to unplayable and unfixable with the truss rod, for the top had caved slightly. i didn't think you could build a laminate guitar poorly enough for THAT to happen, but it did.

of course, instead of having his luthier reset the neck and try to re-brace the top (not a top-shelf guitar, after all), he just sold it for a few dollars to his friend who thought he could use the electronics from it, which actually did sound quite nice. my only experience with a fender acoustic.

benderb9
June 23rd, 2012, 10:08 AM
I have a Montara I picked up new when I worked part-time in a music store back in the early 90's. Flamed maple, abalone binding/rosette, snow-flake neck position markers, active electics, bone nut/bridge/end pins. Plays like an electric it neck shape like a Strat so go figure. It has a sound all it's own because of the maple construct and the odd convex body shape on the rear, it's really pretty comfortable to hold. Sits well with another acoustic because of the unique voice. It's a keeper, I really don't know why they weren't more popular maybe because it was made in Korea. Dunno but I like it...

RossiRules
November 20th, 2012, 08:53 PM
Fender had problems with guitar quality when they were manufactured in Korea. However their recent acoustic guitar facility in China in the Guangdong, Providence produces a much better quality instrument for the workers in this city have been producing Chinese string instruments for nearly a 500 years.

Go out and find a DG200SCE or CD230SCE play either and if you think that there are better guitars in the <$500 price range post them here. I would say that these 2 models sound about as good as the lower quality Taylors and Martins for half the price and sound as good as some $1000 guitars. These models offer a superior electronics package and pick-up design.

Also, really Ovation? Please sounds great plugged in but it's got to be made of wood to be good. I like Ovation's for country music and clearly their more expensive made in the USA models sound great, but most of the <$500 Celebrity style bowls Kaman Music produces a sub of Yamaha don't resonate enough at low volume. Look for some Auditorium Fender models >$500 and you will be pleasantly surprised. So are they as good as a Martin or Taylor, Nope but for the price point I mention they are just as good. I think the newer Fenders made since the factory changes in 2006-07 are likely the best bets.

RevBilly76
December 11th, 2012, 03:25 AM
My wife "bless her heart" bought me a bottom feeder acoustic for my birthday. It's a Fender DG60 acoustic. With a coupon, she go it for about $75 from one of the catalogs. The only thing good about it is that it actually stays in tune very well. I'm looking to upgrade to something a little nicer for less than $500; any suggestions?

colchar
December 11th, 2012, 10:53 AM
Go out and find a DG200SCE or CD230SCE play either and if you think that there are better guitars in the <$500 price range post them here.



I haven't played either of those models but I guarantee you that Seagull would easily give them a run for their money as would some of the Simon & Patrick and Art & Lutherie guitars, all of which are made by Godin. And those Godins are all made right here in Canada and are still sold at prices that compare to the Chinese made models from other companies. If Godin can put out such great North American made (three factories in Canada and one in New England) products at such reasonable prices why can't other companies do the same?

colchar
December 11th, 2012, 10:55 AM
My wife "bless her heart" bought me a bottom feeder acoustic for my birthday. It's a Fender DG60 acoustic. With a coupon, she go it for about $75 from one of the catalogs. The only thing good about it is that it actually stays in tune very well. I'm looking to upgrade to something a little nicer for less than $500; any suggestions?


Check Seagull, Art & Lutherie, or Simon & Patrick. They are all made here in North America by the Canadian company Godin (see post above this one). I have also heard some very good things about the sub-$500 Yamaha acoustics.

lineboat
December 12th, 2012, 03:25 AM
Check Seagull, Art & Lutherie, or Simon & Patrick. They are all made here in North America by the Canadian company Godin (see post above this one). I have also heard some very good things about the sub-$500 Yamaha acoustics.

These are high quality instruments well worth their cost. I carry a Seagull S6 thousands of miles a year, and its never failed me.

lineboat
December 12th, 2012, 03:28 AM
I do have a fender cd 60 that I really don't like. I've tried everything, but it just don't sound good...

T Prior
December 12th, 2012, 07:23 AM
It's not that they are bad but rather "me too".. Martin, Gibson, Epiphone etc...they were in the Guitar business before the Broadcaster...the reputation goes back more than half a century.

Leo built electrics...legends, Icons...he didn't build flat tops...

Then when the AC markets started to open up, Fender decided to join the fray...."me too"..

Some are nice some are not nice, Fender AC guitars are not known or recognized to be the cream of the market....that doesn't make them bad, it just puts them in the big pile along with multiple other brands made in China.

It allows people to say " Oh I have Fender " ...it carries some weight...

SamClemons
December 12th, 2012, 08:59 AM
I think part of the problem is Fender sold many, many thousand very cheap to midrange guitars and very few of their nicer guitars, so they get a reptutation for ....cheap guitars. There are some very nice Fenders out there, but they are rare. They made the Spring Hill series in my home town, but I have never seen one. here is one on ebay now. They want $2400.00 for it, that ought to tell you something. http://www.ebay.com/itm/1994-96-Fender-Spring-Hill-Tennesee-All-Solid-Wood-Guitar-with-PIckup-and-Case-/271095408476?pt=Guitar&hash=item3f1e8ba75c

slowlearner78
December 12th, 2012, 09:23 AM
For what it's worth, Fender does produce a high end acoustic line. They call it Guild.

tbp0701
December 12th, 2012, 11:23 AM
My wife "bless her heart" bought me a bottom feeder acoustic for my birthday. It's a Fender DG60 acoustic. With a coupon, she go it for about $75 from one of the catalogs. The only thing good about it is that it actually stays in tune very well. I'm looking to upgrade to something a little nicer for less than $500; any suggestions?

It's great that she found you a guitar. For the suggestions, I'll echo the above recommendation for Seagull, Simon & Patrick or other Godin brand. However, if the budget is flexible, I'd also watch for something like a used Larrivee -02 (fairly rare), -03, or a Martin 15 series.

Doing a quick search, I found a Larrivee D-02 for $699 at Guitar Adoptions: http://www.guitaradoptions.com/larrivee-d-02.html. If I was looking for a Dread in that price range, I'd consider that.

colchar
December 12th, 2012, 01:01 PM
It's great that she found you a guitar. For the suggestions, I'll echo the above recommendation for Seagull, Simon & Patrick or other Godin brand. However, if the budget is flexible, I'd also watch for something like a used Larrivee -02 (fairly rare), -03, or a Martin 15 series.

Doing a quick search, I found a Larrivee D-02 for $699 at Guitar Adoptions: http://www.guitaradoptions.com/larrivee-d-02.html. If I was looking for a Dread in that price range, I'd consider that.



Larrivees are superb guitars. When my budget permits upgrading my acoustic I will be getting a D-02.

TwangBilly
December 12th, 2012, 01:34 PM
I've never heard a Fender guitar that sounded good. They sound just ok to me, but there are other guitars in the price range that sound better. And don't get me started about Fender mandolins! I think Fender should stick with what they do well, solid body electrics.

teleforumnoob
December 12th, 2012, 01:57 PM
I really liked the little Malibu I played in a shop about a yr ago.
I didn't plug it in but I thought its sounded decent given its size and price point and was set up well.

Toriginal
December 12th, 2012, 04:19 PM
Fender is back making better quality acoustics in the states. Some very nice looking models:
http://www.fender.com/products/usa-select-kingman
And other models after 20 years of making them elsewhere. Bravo Fender.
Oh and the discount is on again..
My cheap one (foreign made) feels great and sounds good but required extensive setting up and just the right strings. Picking up a cheap one in a store without proper setup and coated Fender strings does not do it justice.
Understandably mine is not as good as one with solid back and sides but for $250 I like it alot and would buy one of the new top of the line ones in a heartbeat if funds permitted it...

T Prior
December 12th, 2012, 05:36 PM
For what it's worth, Fender does produce a high end acoustic line. They call it Guild.

:lol: now thats funny !

T Prior
December 12th, 2012, 05:43 PM
My wife "bless her heart" bought me a bottom feeder acoustic for my birthday. It's a Fender DG60 acoustic. With a coupon, she go it for about $75 from one of the catalogs. The only thing good about it is that it actually stays in tune very well. I'm looking to upgrade to something a little nicer for less than $500; any suggestions?



Well for my money it would be a Breedlove C250 series which is in the price range new or the 100/200 series Taylor...which is slightly above...A Taylor 114 CE or 214 CE used would be right in that price range..great players, great tone... great re-sale !

I still own the Breedlove, have owned both of the mentioned Taylors ...have since upgraded to a higher 400 series Taylor...

Gnobuddy
December 12th, 2012, 05:52 PM
I'm looking to upgrade to something a little nicer for less than $500; any suggestions?
I was on the same quest a while ago, and the Yamaha and Seagull offerings were the ones I liked best for tone and playability in that price range.

After comparing a couple dozen guitars in two or three stores over a period of a few weeks, I didn't find anything else under $500 that compared with those two. The only guitars I liked as much or better were Martins at three times that price. And the most eye-opening part of the process was finding out that there are a ton of different brands of very mediocre acoustic guitars are out there today, many of them quite expensive. So don't go by price, go by what your ears and hands tell you!

Between the Seagulls and Yamahas, I found the Yamahas better built (particularly the necks) and I liked their tone better, so I ended up with a Yamaha. But many other people prefer the Seagull S6, so definitely try both.

-Gnobuddy

Feargal
December 12th, 2012, 06:13 PM
I have a mim fender ensenada esv-10e. good guitar, got it cheap as a factory second. Nice guitar. They never took off though.
I had an old Japanese made one as well, it was my first acoustic, it had a nice low action, solid plywood.

Pezmusic
April 27th, 2013, 03:21 PM
For what it's worth, Fender does produce a high end acoustic line. They call it Guild.

The same factory in New Hartford CT now has Fender Acoustic Custom Shop. They are different from Guilds and the are stunning instruments.

DuncanAngus
April 27th, 2013, 03:30 PM
Ever play a Martin electric? Kinda the same but in reverse....

Pezmusic
April 27th, 2013, 04:29 PM
I think it depends on when you are talking about and what price point. In the 1960's many big stars played the original USA made acoustics.

Here Buck Owens playing a Kingman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDmDwvZSlPw

Tex Ritter with a Wildwood
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMMe8dB5S6Q

Bill Anderson with a Wildwood
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdCXhZNYUN0

Johnny Cash with Malibu
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7iRNfylYCU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msLG5uEOkYA

Ray Davies with a Malibu
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK-Po-IGY8k

Niel Diamond With a Kingman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCgeWUKcumA




Here the NEW usa made one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX-HX_hGYPM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Gzv979tt1k
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WenZSou52Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkIg2lB4TMc

Here is the imported Elivis Kingman Its actually nice beater guitar for the money.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A69hClC4qTY
I put a pick 332 thinline pickup in mine.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc285/pezcleo/522949_3637548100864_1838534727_n_zpsaf68e1ab.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/user/pezcleo/media/522949_3637548100864_1838534727_n_zpsaf68e1ab.jpg. html)


This my 1969 Fender Malibu.....with Dean Markley Trilogy Pickup system. I got it in Dec 2012. Had a couple minor problems fixed at the Fender Acoustic Custom Shop in New Hartford, Ct. Its action is better than most off the rack strats. Its fast becoming my favorite. As a plus Doyal Dykes happened to be in New Hartford the day I picked it up at the factory. He played my Malibu.

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc285/pezcleo/CIMG3321.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/user/pezcleo/media/CIMG3321.jpg.html)

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc285/pezcleo/CIMG3322.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/user/pezcleo/media/CIMG3322.jpg.html)

http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc285/pezcleo/CIMG3326.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/user/pezcleo/media/CIMG3326.jpg.html)

Playing it out
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc285/pezcleo/922203_4736481333508_1706249071_o_zps7dc5b942.jpg (http://s219.photobucket.com/user/pezcleo/media/922203_4736481333508_1706249071_o_zps7dc5b942.jpg. html)

Keep in mind guitars ya get what ya pay for. Early Fender Acoustics did not bad they just sounded different. They are steal right now. Low end imports were just that low end. They not bad for money, but do expect like a pro instrument.

gtrguru
April 27th, 2013, 06:13 PM
To adf to this zombie thread...I don't think the newer Fender acoustics are bad. While I don't think they are really great either they seem to be aimed more at the beginner market.

As for the Guilds that I have played, they were all old and sounded great. Don't think I've played one made after 1985.

TeleTex82
April 27th, 2013, 06:16 PM
I got one in a case I bought about 10 years ago. Not great but not bad for a freebee.

rebelwoclue
May 9th, 2013, 11:48 AM
:razz:http://i1077.photobucket.com/albums/w470/rebelwithoutaclue/3Mc3Nb3He5Eb5H45Jcd3sf29a984a4b5e18d6_zps04f3a30a. jpg (http://s1077.photobucket.com/user/rebelwithoutaclue/media/3Mc3Nb3He5Eb5H45Jcd3sf29a984a4b5e18d6_zps04f3a30a. jpg.html)
:razz:

alnicopu
May 9th, 2013, 08:10 PM
Don't know why I'm commenting on such an old thread but I was buying and selling gear left and right a while back and the only things I was lucky to break even on which I thought was a good deal were used Fender and Yamaha acoustics. With some of the Seagulls I've seen and played, for the quality vs money, I don't know how the ultra high dollar brands stay in business other than the snob factor. My teacher bought a 4 digit Martin or Taylor, can't remember which, i generally play electric, but when he heard his nieces Seagull he's lamented it ever since. He said he never gave them much of a thought just judging by their price.

backporchmusic
May 9th, 2013, 08:25 PM
Well, the new high end line have given this thread new reason to live.

But I think the biggest problem is that the acoustic market has a few big players--all with very distinct signature sounds--Martin, Gibson, Taylor, etc. even low end Martins and Taylors sound like Martins and Taylors somehow.

So Fender has never been able to develop a distinct sonic personality, and has muddied their name (acoustically) for decades by making mediocre guitars.

The new (later 2012?) import Kingmans have solid tops and backs, built in electronics, and are very nicely made and nice playing guitars. Nice style, sound good at a gig and not so pricey you have to worry about them. I'll eventually get one so I can leave my Martin dread at home.

refin
May 9th, 2013, 08:35 PM
Fender acoustic guitars are just another (possibly) Samick made instrument---as stated before,just a cursory nod,"yeh,we do acoustics too."
They used to hawk Guild guitars,so that kept them in the high end.I don't really blame them for not jumping into top shelf stuff,too much competition out there...plus,they do very well in sales with the mid-priced stuff.

alnicopu
May 9th, 2013, 08:39 PM
Well, the new high end line have given this thread new reason to live.

But I think the biggest problem is that the acoustic market has a few big players--all with very distinct signature sounds--Martin, Gibson, Taylor, etc. even low end Martins and Taylors sound like Martins and Taylors somehow.

So Fender has never been able to develop a distinct sonic personality, and has muddied their name (acoustically) for decades by making mediocre guitars.

The new (later 2012?) import Kingmans have solid tops and backs, built in electronics, and are very nicely made and nice playing guitars. Nice style, sound good at a gig and not so pricey you have to worry about them. I'll eventually get one so I can leave my Martin dread at home.

Totally agree. There has never, at least in the past, been anything special sonically about them. They always sounded very generic to me.

rizalhanafi
December 18th, 2013, 05:52 AM
Go out and find a DG200SCE or CD230SCE play either and if you think that there are better guitars in the <$500 price range post them here. I would say that these 2 models sound about as good as the lower quality Taylors and Martins for half the price and sound as good as some $1000 guitars. These models offer a superior electronics package and pick-up design.

Earlier this month, while on vacation I dropped by an established music store just to have a go with their mechandise. There was this Fender CD230SCE solid cedar top going for about MYR1430 (USD435). The workmanship is top notch and the tone was amazing.

I am not really in a market for one but this particular guitar sang sweet. I admit it could not surpassed the quality of the high-end Taylors which are priced almost 10 fold (tested those too). But for the stated price, it is easily are on par with a Yamaha CPX700ii which I earmarked earlier that cost more than a third higher MYR2300 (USD705).

Ended up buying the Fender CD230SCE. Thanks RossiRules for the headup.

The Fender acoustics are getting better. Better avoid the Kingmans, shoddy workmanship, sharp fret edges. You could see the difference in the quality of the pre2011 fender acoustics and the recent models. Must be something to do with the relocation of the manufacturing facility to Guandong China and their skill workers. :grin:

Doug 54
December 18th, 2013, 07:35 PM
alot are MIC


for $$$ they now have their acoustic CS





.

Greg.Coal
December 18th, 2013, 10:33 PM
alot are MIC for $$$ they now have their acoustic CS .
I believe the Blueridge are made in China and they have an excellent reputation.

On my last trip to Beijing in October I finally got the opportunity to browse the guitar stores on one of the music streets. Incredible quality and value in the acoustics; I wish I was in a position to take 3 or 4 with me on the plane.

Greg

syrynx
December 19th, 2013, 12:52 AM
Rizalhanafi, welcome to TDPRI...

Earlier this month, while on vacation I dropped by an established music store just to have a go with their mechandise. There was this Fender CD230SCE solid cedar top going for about MYR1430 (USD435). The workmanship is top notch and the tone was amazing.

I am not really in a market for one but this particular guitar sang sweet. I admit it could not surpassed the quality of the high-end Taylors which are priced almost 10 fold (tested those too). But for the stated price, it is easily are on par with a Yamaha CPX700ii which I earmarked earlier that cost more than a third higher MYR2300 (USD705).

Ended up buying the Fender CD230SCE. Thanks RossiRules for the headup.

...and thank you very much for your report. It is apparent that at least some of Fender's acoustic offerings have changed significantly since this discussion began nearly three years ago.

davidge1
December 19th, 2013, 01:13 AM
All I can add is that a friend used to have one of the old ones from the '60s with the bolt-on necks. He thought it was really cool, but it was the worst sounding acoustic guitar I've ever heard, bar none. No sustain or bass response whatsoever.

teleamp
December 21st, 2013, 02:58 PM
IDK, but a friend of mine has an old Stella looking Fender acoustic that blows away customs that cost thousands.

KyAnne
December 28th, 2013, 01:06 AM
IMO they have never put ANY effort (craftsmanship) since the beginning into most all of their acoustics. Even their antique models have little value. True, some of the new ones (and some older ones) don't really sound bad but they really fall into the lower rung of acoustic guitars.
The MIC (in today's world) label seals the deal on that unpopularity with a lot of folks. They never have been able to shake off their shoddy acoustic reputation, in the past or present.

soulman969
December 28th, 2013, 04:13 AM
IDK, but a friend of mine has an old Stella looking Fender acoustic that blows away customs that cost thousands.

Well maybe one out of a hundred thousand or more came out just right but simply "blowing away" Martins, Gibsons, Taylors, Collings, and other high end brands?

This I'd have to hear to believe. :roll:

KyAnne
December 28th, 2013, 12:27 PM
Stella brand was one of largest pieces of trash ever put forth. Honest to God I had to use a pair of pliers to get a tuning key to move. Why didn't you just "change the tuning keys" you say? The guitar wasn't worth that.

motwang
December 28th, 2013, 01:11 PM
In most cases , the guitars that sound "good" probably have either a good player playing them, OR a poor listener tone wise, listening ! Laminate tops are cheap and do not reproduce sound well. The 3+ layers of plywood bounce the sound 3+ different ways. There is no way a cheap guitar will sound as good as a good guitar with a solid wood top ! Now if you're using electronics, that laminate may not matter so much, because you are not amplifing the sound of the guitar, you are using a pickup to reproduce the ringing of the strings , just like a tele, strat, etc. .

Ya358
January 14th, 2014, 04:19 AM
My first acoustic guitar was a fender squire acoustic. It was fine to start. Action was bloody high. I didn't know until I got a Yamaha and I noticed the difference.
I snapped many g string and hi e on it. Seems like the strings get fatigued rather quickly. The saddle had a crack on mine and had to be replaced.

Gnobuddy
February 11th, 2014, 01:11 PM
Laminate tops are cheap and do not reproduce sound well.
<snip>
There is no way a cheap guitar will sound as good as a good guitar with a solid wood top!

Interestingly enough, I've played some laminate top guitars that sounded better than some solid wood top guitars.

There's no mystery as to why - in every one of these cases, the solid wood top was far too thick, so it was so stiff and heavy that it actually responded even less to the strings than a (much thinner) laminate top.

I found a number of different brands and models of these overweight acoustic monstrosities. Some of them were so heavy that you could probably beat off a charging bison with one of them.

I'm guessing the factories that build these things use this extremely thick (solid) wood because it's cheaper than thinner wood, and probably much easier to work with during manufacture (because no finesse or delicacy in handling is needed). Probably these guitars are also so robust that they survive rough handling and shipping better.

I've found that simply hefting an acoustic guitar to get an idea of its weight often gives me a pretty good idea about its acoustic sound. The ones that are extremely heavy are always lacking in acoustic volume, and usually also sound like a cigar box, muted and midrangey.

If you haven't tried this already, do try it some time: pick up, say, a Dean acoustic guitar in a dreadnaught size, then try a dreadnaught Martin, and notice the weight of each one. You might be surprised at what you find.

The other major factor is probably the bracing. I'm no luthier, but I've read enough about musical instrument manufacture to know that you can completely ruin the tone of a guitar simply by putting the top bracing in the wrong locations.

So it's quite possible to produce a very bad-sounding solid wood top guitar, and there seem to be plenty of them in the stores.

By contrast to some of these, even the budget laminate-top Yamaha acoustics sound much better. Same thing with the $120 Kona (laminate top) acoustic guitar I once bought from Walmart, of all places!

-Gnobuddy

Gnobuddy
February 11th, 2014, 01:15 PM
It was fine to start. Action was bloody high.
You must have a high pain threshold. I'm glad the high action didn't put you off from learning to play! :smile:

Unfortunately, high action can and does turn many beginners away from guitar. At the best of times steel strings hurt inexperienced fingertips, and a poorly filed nut (action high at the nut end of the guitar) is a guaranteed way to make a beginner guitarist suffer unnecessarily during those first two weeks before the fingertip calluses form.

-Gnobuddy

Boyd
February 11th, 2014, 03:31 PM
If you haven't tried this already, do try it some time: pick up, say, a Dean acoustic guitar in a dreadnaught size, then try a dreadnaught Martin, and notice the weight of each one. You might be surprised at what you find.

My experience is admittedly very limited. :smile: But I still have my first acoustic, a 1971 Gibson J-50, and my other is a 2011 Martin D-15M. The Martin is all mahogany and really light. Very rich sound with deep bass and lots of sustain. However the old J-50, which is noticeably heavier than the D-15M, has more volume and "punch" than the Martin.

And I have seen complaints from others that the 1970's Gibsons were overbuilt, making the sound more muted. But that really isn't what I hear with these two instruments, and I've been playing them both quite a lot recently.

To stay on topic.... I also have a ~2004 Fender telecoustic that I got really cheap. Unplugged it has sort of a banjo sound. :lol:

Gnobuddy
February 11th, 2014, 10:59 PM
And I have seen complaints from others that the 1970's Gibsons were overbuilt, making the sound more muted. But that really isn't what I hear with these two instruments, and I've been playing them both quite a lot recently.

I've never had my hands on a J-50, but I'll bet it's not so hefty as to fall into the "you can beat off a charging bison with it without hurting the guitar" category. :mrgreen:

There are some really heavy acoustics out there - none from any of the really respected manufacturers.

To stay on topic.... I also have a ~2004 Fender telecoustic that I got really cheap. Unplugged it has sort of a banjo sound. :lol:
I played a Fender Sonoran once, for a minute or so, in a store. It sounded absolutely horrible, looked really ugly, and the huge and heavy headstock caused it to suffer from massive neck-dive: I had to hold up the neck with my left hand to play it, because it wanted to swivel and point straight down!

Speaking of banjos, I've always thought that the huge floppy plastic pickguard on a Strat, loosely held down at just a few places along its edge, and usually with a fair amount of large routed open areas under it, does a pretty good job of emulating a rather stiff banjo head.

I think that's why an unplugged Strat can be surprisingly loud compared to, say, an unplugged Les Paul. Fortunately the "plastic banjo" sound doesn't come through when plugged in!

-Gnobuddy

LoneWolfBTFB
February 12th, 2014, 10:19 PM
I love my Fender Kingmen......Fishman pickup....Elixir HD light strings....

Joe Baggadonitz
March 5th, 2014, 08:28 PM
My buddy from high school got one he special ordered in '75. It was a very nice sounding and playing acoustic guitar.

My mother-in-law had a Fender Catalina with the strat-like headstock. It was a nice guitar that played well. Those are the only 2 I've ever played that I liked.