Are Fender acoustics bad? Why are Fender acoustics so cheap? Are they durable guitars? How are they compared to other acoustic guitars produced by other top brands? It is really normal to wonder about the quality of the guitar you would possibly buy someday, especially since Fender is known for their electric guitars and amplifier, not for their acoustic guitars.
So, when did Fender start to make acoustic guitars? In early 1962, Roger Rossmeisl, a master luthier and German immigrant, literally showed up at Fender’s office and introduced his work to Leo Fender. Immediately, he was hired as Leo liked his demeanor and his impressive background as a former Rickenbacker guitar designer.
After a year, Fender was able to introduce their first product line for their acoustic guitars, the King, Classic, and the Folk. These acoustic guitars have a flat-top design and electric guitar features like screwed-on pickguards, Stratocaster-style headstocks, and bolt-on necks. All of these guitars were manufactured in Fender’s old factory in Fullerton, California.
After the completion of a new manufacturing plant near Anaheim, the production of the acoustic guitars was also moved to the new building in 1964. In the same year, the Palomino, a small-bodied acoustic guitar, was introduced.
There was an abundance of production of acoustic guitars by Fender in the mid-60s as the demand reached an all-time high. In 1965, Fender introduced their cheaper acoustic guitars, the Malibu and Newporter, and after three months, they introduced their 12-string acoustic guitars, the Shenandoah and the Villager.
In 1966, the Wildwood series was introduced, which was designed personally by Rossmeisl. These acoustic guitars have Wildwood finishes that look like dyed-wood colors. The colors were created by injecting different dyes into the beech trees before it is harvested.
In the summer of 1968, Fender introduced their last U.S.-made acoustic guitar, the Redondo, and after a year, the F-series acoustic guitar was introduced, which are all made in Japan.
It was in the 1970s when Fender lost interest in manufacturing acoustic guitars. All of their flat-top designed acoustic guitars were discontinued in 1971. At this point, only the Japanese-made F-series acoustic guitars were still manufactured until it was discontinued in 1979.
Fender acoustic guitars were re-introduced in the 1990s and have stayed in the market up to this moment. As of now, Fender is able to offer a variety of acoustic guitars, from affordable prices to more expensive price tags. From beginner to professional acoustic guitars, Fender can now cater to all acoustic guitar players want.
What Fender Acoustic Guitar Models Are Offering?
Fender now has different acoustic guitars models, perfect for novice players or professional guitarists.
Fender manufactures dreadnought acoustic guitars, which is the most common guitar body globally. Dreadnought guitars have been the most sold acoustic guitars since their inception.
The bodies of these acoustic guitars are made of either Mahogany or Spruce, which are pretty typical for acoustic guitars. Their cheapest dreadnought has laminated bodies, which is expected for an entry-level acoustic guitar, while their mid-level guitars have a solid-top body. For their top-of-the-line acoustic guitars, their bodies are either a solid-top Mahogany or Spruce and a solid Mahogany back and sides.
Their fingerboards are either made from Ovangkol or Walnut, while all of their necks are C-shaped, which is great as they are pretty comfortable to play with. Some of the dreadnought acoustic guitars come with pickups, while others do not. There are also free hard cases for some of their more expensive guitars.
All in all, Fender dreadnought guitars sound great for all applications: either for recording or performing live.
Fender also produces concert guitars, which have a smaller body than the dreadnought, and a quieter volume. Their concert guitars are available from lower prices to mid-level price tags.
The bodies of these concert guitars are made of Spruce or Mahogany, and their necks are made of Walnut. All of its entry-level and mid-level concert guitars have a solid top body and laminated back and sides.
The more affordable concert guitars do not come with pickups, while some of the mid-level concert guitars have pickups for easier recording. All of Fender’s concert guitars have C-shape necks for better playing and comfortability.
All in all, these concert guitars are one of the best options in the market if you are looking for one. They sound great and are also durable.
The Fender Newporter has been reintroduced back to the market and has been one of the best acoustic guitars Fender offers. They are available in a mid-level to a more professional range.
The Newporters’ bodies are either made of Mahogany or Spruce, and their necks are made of either Walnut or Pau Ferro. These types of woods are usually used for making mid-level and professional guitars. The more expensive Newporters have all-solid top bodies, while the more affordable ones have a solid-top body and a laminated back and sides.
All Newport guitars have specially-designed Fishman pickups that produce excellent sound. They also have a unique Stratocaster-like headstock, and their body shape is unique compared to other acoustic guitars on the market.
Overall, Fender Newports are great acoustic guitars. They sound great, and its built-in Fishman pickup really helps, especially if you plug it into the mix. They also have a very cool aesthetics, and its headstock really helps, as it gives a vibe like it is an acoustic version of a Stratocaster.
Fender Redondo is also a revived model that came from the earlier models that the company introduced in the 1960s. The guitar’s body is similar to a dreadnought guitar, but it has a vintage feel, which is lovely.
The bodies of these guitars are either made of Mahogany or Spruce, and the necks of the cheaper options are made of Walnut, while Pau Ferro for the more expensive ones. The more expensive options from the model have all-solid construction, while the cheaper ones have a solid top and a laminated back and sides.
All of the Redondo guitars have Fishman pickups, and they have slim-taper C-shape necks, which are very comfortable to play with. Similar to Newports, Redondo also comes with Strat-like headstocks, which gives a rock-and-roll vibe to its design.
The Redondo guitars are available in mid-level and professional price points, but they are great-sounding guitars and look good too. They are comfortable to play with and are also very durable, so you can expect them to last for a long time.
Like the Redondo and Newport, the Fender Malibu is also a re-introduced model after being discontinued in the 1970s. It is a short-scaled acoustic guitar that has a unique body shape.
The bodies of the Malibu guitars are either made of Spruce or Mahogany, and their necks are either from Pau Ferro or Walnut. The more expensive Malibus have an all-solid body, while the cheaper ones have a solid top and a laminated back and sides.
These guitars also come with a Fishman pickup and a Strat-like headstock. Similar to other Fender acoustic guitars, they also have a C-shaped neck for more effortless playing.
All in all, the Fender Malibu is one of the best short-scaled acoustic guitars on the market. They are available in mid-level up to a more expensive price point.
Where Are Fender Acoustics Made?
Fender manufactures their cheaper acoustic guitars in China. Although these guitars are cheap, they are still good guitars. It is just that the labor cost in Asian countries like China is much cheaper compared to Western countries. This is why these guitars have a more affordable price than a USA-made acoustic guitar.
For their more expensive ones, they are made in their manufacturing facility in Corona, California.
Conclusion on Fender Acoustics
To conclude, are Fender acoustics bad? No, they are not bad acoustic guitars. They are actually great acoustic guitars in terms of sound and build quality, although they cannot match what Taylor and Martin guitars are offering.
Why Fender Acoustics are so cheap? No, they are not cheap. Yes, some of their acoustic guitars have an affordable price point, but they also have expensive guitars with excellent sound and build quality.