Fender is arguably the most well-known American manufacturer of high-quality electric guitars. However, the legendary guitar company’s line of acoustic guitars deserves some recognition as well. Notably, the bargain-budgeted Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar is considered one of the best economy-acoustics on the market.
Not only does the Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar preserve the excellent sound synonymous with the Fender Brand, but also, the FA-100’s dime-store pricetag makes this guitar a smoking deal. Hovering around $150, Fender’s FA-100 delivers an incredible bang for your buck when trying to pick out the right guitar.
OK, I know what you’re thinking…
How can such a cheap guitar sound good?
Let’s take a look at some features of the Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar, and see what makes this instrument a worthwhile investment.
Body: Laminated Spruce Top with Basswood Back and Sides
Neck Finish: Gloss
Pickguard: 1-Ply Black
Position Inlays: Pearloid Dots
Body Shape: Dreadnought
Neck Material: Maple
Neck Shape: “C” Shape
Num of Frets: 20
Fret Size: Vintage-Style
String Nut: Synthetic Bone
Truss Rod: Dual-Action
Bridge: Rosewood with Compensated Saddle
But that’s not all…
Neck and Body
At first glance, the design of the Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar reveals that this guitar is simple and reserved. The ordinary sound hole and traditional 1-ply, black pickguard don’t make this Fender Acoustic especially noticeable next to other guitars. The typical dreadnought body shape and no-frills design give the Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar a clear, straightforward sound.
Perfect for beginners, the high-gloss C-shaped maple neck is basic, plain, and suitable for hands of all different sizes. As for the body of the guitar, the FA-100 has a commonplace, laminated spruce top, with the back and sides made of basswood to maintain the instrument’s low-cost. The X-bracing, which holds the body of the FA-100 together, gives this Fender Acoustic a full, vibrant sound.
Additionally, a glossy finish coats the entire body. Even though an overly glossy finish can corrupt the sound quality provided by natural wood, on a positive note, it lends to a longer lasting guitar. For a factory-made guitar from China, there’s not much wrong with the foundation of the FA-100, and its sound is up to standard directly from the box.
When people talk about a guitar’s action, they are not just spouting unnecessary, technical jargon. The action on acoustic guitars refers to the distance between the strings and the fretboard and is probably more important than any other part of a guitar’s setup. Not only does the action regulate the guitar’s comfort and ease-of-use, but it also helps the instrument keep its tune and maintain its tone.
That said, the Fender FA-100 has a shallow action, meaning its strings are very near the fretboard. Not only does this improve the guitar’s playability, but it also makes pressing strings down much easier for beginner’s. Not having developed callouses yet, novices are expected to play less than perfect. However, the low action of the Fender FA-100 Guitar makes fretting this “axe” practically effortless.
Ok, so the exterior is pretty standard, but let’s take a look inside and see what makes the FA-100 tick. While a truss rod placed in the neck makes for easy adjustments, the guitar’s head comes fitted with chrome-sealed tuning knobs – which, considering the cost, do an excellent job of keeping the FA-100 in-tune.
Additionally, the rosewood bridge comes with a nut and renumerated saddle fabricated with an artificial bone that adds to the guitar’s tone consistency.
Lastly, equipped with Fender Duratone Strings, the Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar is ready to play out-of-the-box, and – through most vendors – it comes complete with a fabric gig bag for storage and transport.
Tone & Sound Quality
So, maybe the FA-100 doesn’t put out the same tone quality as a Martin or Taylor, but it’s price isn’t nearly as grandiose as these high-end guitars either. For what its made of, this guitar puts forth a sound that is, overall, sharp, fresh, and enjoyable. Although the Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar won’t be your go-to instrument for gigging, it is more than suitable for everyday practice and impromptu, campfire shows.
One shortcoming of the Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar is the sealed, laminated wood. As is commonly known by experienced guitarists, laminated lumber can never match the sound quality of open, natural wood.
Although you shouldn’t expect too much from this guitar’s sound, you can’t ask for much more from Fender’s low-cost product.
Perfect Practice Guitar
So, what makes the Fender FA-100 a good guitar for beginner’s looking to put in some serious hours of practice?
- Affordability – averaging $150, this Fender Acoustic won’t worry beginners about breaking or damaging their new guitar out of inexperience handling finely tuned instruments.
- Mobility – the ability to carry the FA-100 from an instructor’s classroom or over to a buddy’s house is easy with its light-weight build and featherweight materials.
- Audibility – even though Model FA-100 Fender isn’t cut out for studio-quality recording, it doesn’t exactly sound like an old, tin can either – allowing beginners to develop critical tone-based skills.
In the long run, Fender does an excellent job replicating its premium American-made electric guitars in its Chinese-produced acoustic counterpart. Even though this 6-string only costs around $150, it delivers far more than could be asked for from a budget-guitar. Of course, the FA-100 is no American-made Martin, but this popular model plays decent and sounds good too!
That said, the Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar is a great instrument, for beginner’s and experienced guitarists alike, to keep close-at-hand. Also, it isn’t as if one is playing some crappy, basic guitar – the FA-100 is a genuine Fender Guitar.
With basic materials, the simplicity of the Fender FA-100 doesn’t take away from the guitar’s playability, or it’s decent sound.