Review Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar

Buying your first acoustic guitar is a tricky business. On one hand you want a guitar that won’t cost you too much in case the whole playing guitar thing is just a phase, but on the other hand you want a guitar that sounds good enough to actually get you excited about learning the instrument. And when it comes to most acoustic guitar starter packs, they tend to fall tragically short in terms of combining affordability and sound quality. Fender’s FA100 acoustic pack, however, might actually be one of the very few exceptions.

Fender has been in the business of making amazing sounding guitars since the 1930s so you know that any product that has the Fender name on it carries some weight. And at a little over a hundred dollars, the FA100 acoustic pack is a good bet as any for a beginner guitar.

First impressions:

The Fender FA100 is a no-nonsense dreadnought with laminate spruce top and basswood back and sides. The guitar also features a rosewood fretboard and Fender’s signature headstock shape. The tuners are chrome and the guitar comes with a standard gloss finish. All in all it’s no masterpiece, but it’s not too shabby either.

As far as the guitar’s setup goes, the action, while not excellent, is low enough to play comfortably. And in a way, starting off with a guitar with a higher action is a good way of developing finger strength before moving onto a higher quality instrument.

Body And Neck:

FA-100 brings you the now legendary dreadnought body shape in its most basic version. This is a no-thrill guitar, that’s for sure. Tonewood Fender went with for the top is basswood. While it’s anything but common, basswood is more or less what allowed them to cut the costs down and allow the FA-100 to reach its current price. Back and sides are made of Aghatis, which is a nice contrast to the soft basswood on top. The neck is also made of Aghatis and is standard in every aspect that is relevant. From a standpoint of someone who is just starting out, none of this matters that much. The guitar is affordable and offers a very decent performance for what it is.

Hardware:

As you would expect, Fender didn’t spend too much on the hardware for FA-100. You get a standard rosewood bridge with a synthetic compensated saddle on top. The set of tuning machines on the headstock belongs to your average die cast variety. With that said, they work pretty well. Straight out of the box, no one can guarantee that your FA-100 will sound flawless. More often than not, these guitars need to be taken down to a shop for a professional setup. While it is an additional expense, doing this can completely change the way FA-100 sounds and feels.

Sound:

If you pick up this guitar expecting an incredible sound, you are sure to be disappointed. Guitar makers like Fender are able to offer their entry level models like the FA100 for such low prices because they use cheaper laminate woods on the bodies, as opposed to solid wood which can be extremely expensive. And although this results in a comparatively inferior tone, the FA100 still delivers a respectable full-bodied sound which gets the job done for any beginner guitarist. And with age and a set of high quality guitar strings, the instrument can actually sound quite nice.

features:

  • Exclusive Fender Headstock Shape
  • Fender Traditional Bridge
  • Fender Pickguard
  • Factory mounted forward strap button with internal block reinforcement
  • Dot position inlays
  • Multiple body bindings
  • Includes gig bag

Product Specifications:

  • Back Material: Agathis
  • Sides Material: Basswood
  • Tuners: Chrome
  • Finish: Standard Gloss
  • Body Material: Laminate Wood

What’s in the Box?

The pack comes complete with a padded gig bag, strap, electric tuner and a collection of picks and strings.

Pros:

Affordable: one of the cheapest beginner guitars you’ll find (that’s worth buying, at least)
Full Size: this isn’t a half size or 3/4 size guitar, this is a full-size dreadnaught acoustic guitar.
Package: Comes with gig bag, picks and a very helpful electronic tuner. You’ll be glad you have these, trust me.

Cons:

Sound Quality: most beginners won’t hear the difference, but there is one.

Final Conclusion:

Fender’s presence on the acoustic guitar market is somewhat limited. Models such as this FA-100 have turned out to be a very successful move by Fender. They’ve found a way to give your average beginner a guitar which won’t ruin their bank account while sounding reasonably decent at the same time. Another reason why FA-100 is so popular has to do with the logo on the headstock. Some people simply trust a brand such as Fender to deliver a good product. As long as you set up the intonation and action properly, FA-100 should give you a great performance for the money.

Ayan Ayan
 

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