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Any thoughts on Fender acoustics?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by SixStringSlinger, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    I have two and they are they are, perhaps, my most prized possessions. Not because they play well or sound particularly good, but because of their provenance. One was a gift of love, the other a bequeathment steeped in sorrow. They resonate in my heart, not in my ears.

    I probably wouldn't buy one, but I wouldn't sell either of these for a million bucks.

    Fender Acoustics.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  2. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Winwood can make a wet corn flakes box sound good.
     
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  3. Little Ricky

    Little Ricky Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Check out their Ensenada series, made in Mexico.
    They're a step up from their usual stuff, like the Special Edition electrics. They're made of solid woods (ebony fingerboards) with excellent finishing.
    The model numbers start with ES, i.e. ESM-10 (Grand Concert), ESV-10 (parlor)
    I think they were made mid-2000s.
    I put 'silk and steel' strings on my ESM-10 and like it for fingerpicking. Nice clear tone.
     
  4. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Well, I've tried them over the last 40 years.

    No thanks.

    But remember that Fender owns Guild, which makes great acoustics. But wíth a Fender logo?

    Forget it.
     
  5. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Almost! Fender sold Guild to Cordoba Music Group in 2014.

    But I agree. Get a Guild.
     
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  6. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I can’t keep up with this stuff!!!
     
  7. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    About the current crop: I hear their California acoustic line is great. No one seems excited by the imported electrics, and it seems kind of sneaky to call imported acoustics Westerlys. Those guitars don't even fly over Rhode Island!
     
  8. Mid Life Crisis

    Mid Life Crisis Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat 12 string. Fit and finish was top notch - there wasn't a thing wrong with it - and after a fair amount of set up work it played excellently.

    I sold it though because it just didn't have a big enough sound, despite the solid mahogany top. The body size was too small to give much projection.
     
  9. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville Tele-Afflicted

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    I own a 1999 Gibson J-45 and a more recent LPB Sonoran.

    The Sonoran has much greater stage presence and sounds just fine, and if a rather large framed groupie fell on it it would be easier to replace.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    My very first guitar. I bought it in the early-ish 80's. My father was an accountant at a smaller family owned music store, Foxes Music, in Falls Church, VA. They've been a Fender dealer since Jesus was in short pants. When I wanted to learn how to play, my Pops took me in and the sales guy showed me a few guitars and turned me onto this nice looking Fender dreadnought (MIK? I think). I bought it at Cost+10%.

    Still have it. It's a good guitar. Not the greatest, but a good, solid guitar. Built well. Beautiful fit and finish. It has held up well and aged nicely.

    When I began shopping for a 'good acoustic' years later, everything I picked up, I compared to that old Fender. It took me a few years and a lot of money to find something I loved more.

    Of course, that's my old Fender. I don't know what the modern ones are like. But, I will say that quality of many of the lower dollar guitars these days is becoming quite good. The Eastmans, the Loars, the Epiphones... They're all actually halfway decent, some are excellent. So, really, you kinda gotta judge them each singularly.
     
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  11. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm with you, brother. My first guitar was a Fender F-3 flat top. Still have it, won't sell it. My son knocked it over when he was three and cracked off the headstock clean. Titebond glue holds it together now. Why sell it? It has dried out and will sound as good as it ever will, which isn't bad. I even put a Baggs piezo in it, long ago. You have these things, you have to use them, right?

    It's a long-scale acoustic, 14 frets to the body, made my fingers grow up in a hurry (heh). But the nut is less than 1-5/8" if I remember correctly, and my fingers are just too big to make it comfortable.

    But there it sits, forever.

    Oh, it didn't take me long. I played my buddy's Gibson J-45 and it was all over. Still have dreams about that one, and still saving my pennies.
     
  12. brbadg

    brbadg Tele-Afflicted

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    This is the Japanese version of this guitar,which appear to be better than your average teleacoustic.
     
  13. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Well I went on another round of acoustic try-outs this weekend, and I got to try a Fender, among others. I have to say, I think I agree with the consensus here.

    The one I tried was a Newporter, in the white-ish finish with matching headstock. I can't say I hated it. The guitar felt good overall and seemed well-built. I didn't even hate the Strat-neck-on-an-acoustic (I'm used to something mildly more substantial on an acoustic vs. electric).

    The sound, though...something there bothered me. Again, it wasn't bad, but...something wasn't there. This is just an impression from a few minutes of playing and probably nothing close to the actual, technical reason why, but it felt like this guitar that seemed solid and tight and covered with this nice finish had something that was locked up inside it and couldn't come out. I found myself playing harder than normal on it, as though I were trying to drag something out of it that I could never get.

    It's a shame, because it was a really nice-looking guitar with a good price. Of course, this was only one example of one model, and I'll try others, but I think I see what you all mean.

    I did try an Alvarez I liked. I wrote down the model but don't remember what it is now; it was about $450 at Guitar Center. It was smaller and rounder than a dreadnaught shape (I forget what these are called) with a cutaway, and it sounded pretty good. I actually liked it more than an $800 Taylor I tried. Both sounded good and balanced, but the Alvarez sounded...throatier? Almost like it had a little growl to it, like it had some push to the sound. The Taylor was sparkly and nice but I felt like it was a little bland. The Alvarez had more personality for me.

    Naturally I'm nowhere near making a decision, but that's where I'm at right now.
     
  14. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Check out the Martin Road Series guitars. They make a solid wood dreadnaught and grand performance body shape, and both come with onboard Fishman Sonitone electronics and sell for just under a grand.

    I have both, and they feel and sound great!
     
  15. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Friend of Leo's

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    A friend of mine has one. It isnt terrible at least
     
  16. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    I had the same experience with my first guitar, a Yamaha that I bought new in 1985 for $270.
     
  17. jaybones

    jaybones Friend of Leo's

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    I would have agreed, except their new solid top model line is surprisingly good for the price.

    In the late 80's a buddy of mine had a Fender acoustic, and it was junk. He hated the "cowboy headstock" (looked like a strat's) and the action and tone was dismal.

    Like things made to do 2 things, they usually end up doing neither well.

    They were prone to feedback at stage volumes, since they have an open soundhole and body.

    When I see pros playing them live I wonder if the body has been stuffed with rags.
     
  18. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Mine's got as JJB Electronics. Drilling out that end pin took me a few minutes of staring.....

    Same with mine, long scale, narrow-ish nut. Mine feels like many typical Fenders.

    Funny, I ended up with a Gibson little Gibson Bluesmaster. Waaaaaaay different guitiar!

    I had a Yamaha 12 string for a while... It sat under the bed for a couple years. More time tuning than playing. it was a 12 string, waddya want! LOL


    @SixStringSlinger - I have never gotten on with the tone of Taylors. I know they have a lot of models. I sure haven't tried them all! But, to me, they are modern sounding acoustics and I am not really into that. Although, I've seen a few guys playing them live and been floored by how good they sounded. But, I've never even come close to bonding with one.

    Acoustics seem a bit more personal than electrics, somehow, don't they?
     
  19. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

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    I had the option of either a Fender acoustic, or a Tanglewood recently.

    I sprung for the Tanglewood as it seemed a better-built instrument, with a much fuller tone.

    The Fender ones are OK I guess, but there's a reason Fender are famous for things you plug in...
     
  20. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Indeed. I don't really know, but I feel it has something to do with their construction vs. that of your typical electric. Two of the "same" electric can still be different, of course, but I feel like a solid hunk of wood with everything else bolted to it allows for less variation between two individuals than your typical acoustic, which is a hollow instrument made of thin, shaped pieces of various kinds of wood, all glued together.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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