Focus On: Fender Acoustic Guitars
Fender Acoustic Guitars
It would be entirely fair to say that acoustic guitar connoisseurs do not immediately think of the Fender brand when choosing the best of the high end acoustic guitar models. The truth is that Fender are much more respected and admired for their extensive collection of electric guitars and basses - some of which have gone on to achieve iconic status.
However, it could also be argued that it is not Fender's acoustic focus within the higher echelons of the retail market that appeals to the wider masses of musicians, but moreover within the entry to mid level point. Fender are equipped to provide starter acoustic guitar kits for novices and beginners, enabling them to move up through their model range to acoustic and electro-acoustic models that provide outstanding tonal resonance. These are all still within the budget of most musicians. Fender even has a range of signature model acoustics that were devised to meet the specific requirements of the endorsees.
Until relatively recently, Fender didn't pursue the acoustic guitar market with the same voracity and enthusiasm that was lavished upon their electric guitar and bass models. Indeed it was only after recognising the growing popularity of the country music market in America that Fender re-doubled their efforts and extended their acoustic and electro-acoustic guitar range. Fender started working closely with respected manufacturers in Japan, Korea and China on new models that would suit the entry to mid-level markets.
One of the most popular starter packs for novices and beginners is the Fender DG range - this includes a basic acoustic guitar along with a gig-bag, electronic tuner, spare strings, a strap, plectrums and an instructional DVD. The quality assurance that potential buyers are looking for comes in the shape of the Fender logo on the guitar's headstock. The guitar itself is made using high quality components and tone woods that include a solid Spruce top and Mahogany neck.
For many years, Fender has produced a varied range of classic acoustic and electro-acoustic models. These models are pre-fixed with the letters CD, which stands for "Classic Design". The CD range is mostly based around the Dreadnought style body and uses traditional tone woods that guitarists everywhere should be familiar with. The CD range's upper surfaces use Solid Spruce, whilst the body is crafted from Laminated Mahogany.
There are several models within the CD range with different finishes and also with left hand and 12 string options. At the upper end of the range are models with the more rounded auditorium style body shape and Fishman electronic pre-amplification and pick-ups. The differentiating factor here is that Fender's CD range has several price points and includes entry-level models suitable for beginners, as well as professionally specified models with rare and exotic tone woods and high quality pick-ups and pre-amps for the more advanced player.
It is therefore true to say that the CD range has something for everyone - no matter what your skill-level or budget. There is also a range of nylon strung acoustic/electro-acoustic models entitled the CDN series that utilises the auditorium body shape with its cut-away, also including the Fishman pre-amps and pick-ups.
Moving up through the range brings us to the Sonoran series of acoustic and electro-acoustic models - some with in-built pre-amps to enable the instrument to be connected to an amplified source. The main noticeable design feature on this range is the single cut-away to the Dreadnought style body, which allows the player access to the upper range of frets on the guitar neck.
Another distinguishing factor of the Sonoran series is the Stratocaster headstock shape - a rare and unusual design trait on an acoustic or electro-acoustic guitar. Typically this instrument would suit a beginner upgrading from their first guitar, or, alternatively, an electric guitar player who wants to use an acoustic/electro-acoustic for performance or writing purposes.
A further step up from the Sonoran is to the Malibu models - similar in shape and design to the Sonoran, but with a smaller, more compact body and with a neck that is closer to an electric guitar neck. The Malibu is the first of several models at this price point that starts to cross-over by having design traits that would undoubtedly appeal to electric guitar players, whilst still providing a full acoustic/electro-acoustic performance.
Next up is one of the most popular acoustic/electro-acoustics in the Fender range - the recently added T-Bucket series. The T-Bucket comes in either a Dreadnought single cut-away style or the more rounded and curved bodied "Orchestra" shape. Cosmetically, this range is very appealing and provides the user with a wide range of colours, along with an interesting choice of Quilted or Flamed Maple tops with decorated fret boards and sound-hole rosettes. The T-Bucket also has models that include on-board pre-amplifiers featuring the Fender FTE-3TN Preamp with built-in tuner.
At the top end of the Fender acoustic and electro-acoustic range is the Artist Signature range and features acoustic guitar design specifications from players such as Buddy Miller, Victor Bailey (Acoustic Bass) and Tim Armstrong. There's even a radically designed acoustic from heavy metal guitarist John 5 that features an eye-catching Florentine cut-away. All of this goes to show that there's a Fender acoustic or electro-acoustic to suit most players and budgets. The Fender logo on the headstock is our assurance of quality, value for money and classic design.
Comments on Focus On: Fender Acoustic Guitars:
14 Feb '11