Fender FA 100 Review – The Budget Classics

Dreadnought acoustic guitars have always been known as the items of top quality tier. Combining this fact with the reputation of Fender`s corporation we might get a really decent device. Let us find out whether this dreadnought is a worthy pick.

Fender`s Musical Instruments Corporation

Fender`s Musical Instrument Corporation (better known as Fender) is an American company that manufactures guitars and sound amplifiers. If you are not a complete beginner in music, you must have heard about such products as Stratocaster, Telecaster and Precision Bass. They are among the top 10 most recognized guitars in the World. Although other Fender`s items are not in this list, they are all well-made. The fact that Fender concentrates on one types of musical instruments only means that the average quality of company`s guitar in any price category is higher than the opponents.

Technical Parameters

Let us first talk about such thing as physical characteristics of this guitar. It is important to know stuff about dimensions (to find out whether the guitar isn`t too big or small for you), material (it determines durability and quality and quality of sound) and strings (the softer they are the easier it is to play, but the harder it is to tune and the less bright the sound is). So let us get started with this information first.

Material The guitar is composed of material of different sorts (this is a usual thing). It has the agathist back and neck, the laminated-spruce top and fretboard made of rosewood. This combination is a bit unusual but is easy to get used to and is pretty comfortable and durable in terms of playing. Laminate spoils the sound a little, but there is no major problem with that.
Dimensions The guitar is 7’’ * 43’’ * 17’’ inches (which is 178 * 1092 * 432 in millimeters). It is a full-sized dreadnought. While adult players will have no problems with playing it, the guitar might not be suitable for younger players (under 16 years). It is simply way too big for them.
Strings The guitar has original metal Fender strings. They are good in all terms, but one – it is painful to play them (common problem for all acoustic guitars). It might take some time to learn it, but if you want to have a smoother start, you should try replacing strings with Martin`s bronze or gauge ones. They are a bit softer, but still have all the advantages of metal strings.

Now, that we`ve discussed all the main parameters, I`d like to mention some other details about this guitar:

  • It is ambidextrous. One of the main advantages of this guitar`s form is that is absolutely symmetric. It means that there is no difference in playing for both right-handed and left-handed people.
  • It stays tuned for a long time. It is casual thing for all acoustic guitars with metallic strings, but I still think that it is worth mentioning. You tune it once – you play it for months.

Okay, so now we are over with talking about physical aspects of this instrument and the time has come to take a look at how this one works. Let us go on and see what it sounds like.

Sound Test

The basic expectations from this guitar were a bit above average. On one hand, it is a guitar from the famous and respectable manufacturer, on the other, it is still a budget model. The test results proved this point of view.

Depth of sound

As this an acoustic guitar, the sound is deep indeed. The tones are resonantly rich and the strings respond really nicely. However, to get the result like this, you`ll need to spend a couple (probably even more) hours adjusting and fixing it properly. Especially if you are making an online purchase.

Action

The guitar has comparatively low action. It is not that low to make playing process hard for beginners, but low enough for those who want to try playing in a more aggressive manner.

So, I have absolutely no complaints about the way this guitar sounds. It is absolutely sure a bang-for-a-buck one. In fact it is even outsounding some more expensive devices. It is a nice example of how a good budget guitar can defeat a bad one, that costs more.

Andrew, 32, Guitarist

  • It is absolutely stunning how Fender and Dean manage to outperform the opponents with their budget guitars. While Dean has better EABs, Fender is absolutely great with his acoustic dreadnoughts. I do love the way it sounds a lot, and although it was one of my first guitars, and I`ve upgraded a lot since that times, I still play it sometimes. The sound quality is just something outside of this World. Fantastic!

More Interesting Guitars

Acoustic guitars are the most popular among the beginners. That`s why manufacturers from all over the World create hundreds of models annually. I`ve looked through the budget (and not so budget as well) guitars and picked those, that might be considerable as well. There will be two groups: the first one consists of other Fender`s products, the second – of guitars from different manufacturers.

Fender`s Guitars
FA-125 CE FA-125 CE is another Fenders guitar suitable for beginners. It has a convenient nato neck and fully-laminated construction which protects the body from minor sun and water contacts. The dreadnought body provides a clean and deep-sounding voice. The guitar has bright mids and soft lows. It looks great, it sounds great as well, so consider purchasing it.
FA-235E Concert Concert guitars have body smaller than dreadnoughts, which means that they are suitable for small players as well. The ease of playing combined with decent body material and affordable price make it a tasty pick for any kind of player (yep, the experienced players will appreciate it as well).
FA-15N ¾ Nylon As the Fender Company claims itself this one is the best guitar for getting started. Although there are decent gutars from other manufacturers as well, if we talk about Fender`s guitars only, this one is indeed the best option for getting started. First of all it has a ¾ body, which makes the playing process convenient for beginners under 14 years. Secondly, the strings are nylon, so it will be easier to play (no fingertip hurt). Finally, it has a durable laminated construction, so the risk of destroying this guitar by accident is low. There is an upgraded version with steel strings as well.
FA-345CE Auditorium Auditorium guitars are designed to be played in small rooms. This exact model provides really deep sound. It has modern electronics built-in, so the stage performances are possible as well. While it might not be the pick for exactly the beginners, the developing players will appreciate it as well.

John, 17, Student

  • I started playing guitar when I was thirteen years old. My first model was Fender`s ¾ with nylon strings. It was really nice piece of practicing material. Although the fingers didn`t hurt as much, I had to spend a lot of time tuning the guitar, as nylon strings do not hold for too long. Although, I didn`t like it, I now realize how important it was to learn doing such things. Now, that I have a more classical version with metal strings, adjusting is no longer a problem for me.
    If I were to give somebody an advice, I would recommend to start playing guitar at young age with soft strings. And it`s never too late start I think.

So, these were some decent Fender`s guitar for you to think about. However, Fender Company is not the only respectable manufacturer, so let us take a look at different guitars as well.

Guitars from other manufacturers
Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar The first I personally had noticed in this guitar is how great it looks like. The vintage sunburst design is so attractive, that even if it had been the only advantage of this guitar, it would still be a worthy pick. However, it has some other pros as well. The body is composed of mahogany and spruce (which are both comfortable and durable), the strings are decent, the size is suitable for everyone over 16 years. A nice budget alternative to Fender`s production.
Rogue RA-090 Dreadnought It`s a classical 6-stringed dreadnought. It`s only major advantage is the price, which is even lower, than all the mentioned guitars have. However, all the other qualities are not outstanding. The sound is mediocre. It is not a bad device, just a really budget one. Considerable pick for the very beginners and those, who are tight on budget.
Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Yet another acoustic guitar, this time from a less well-known manufacturer. It`s a classical bang-for-a-buck option. All the characteristics are worthy. Sound is warm and juicy, adjustability and playability are way over acceptable level, the price is affordable.

So, you can see that there is a lot of options to choose from. There is at least the same number of decent guitars, which were not included in this list, but might be considered as well. Remember, that developing your skills is more important than choosing a guitar. Honestly, you can pick any of the instruments named above and the process of learning will be pretty much the same.

Finally

Let us take a quick glance at the most important information once more:

  • Fender FA-100 is a budget acoustic guitar.
  • It is suitable for beginners, but it might be less comfortable for children because of steel strings and the size.
  • Fender FA-100 sounds good. It is even better than some more expensive guitars.
  • Fender Company has a line of budget acoustic guitars for beginners and developing players.
  • Other manufacturers suggest some reasonable guitars as well.
  • It is more important to develop the playing skills.

So, now you have some basic information about acoustic guitars for beginners. Pick one and start practicing. Good luck.

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