Fender stands out as one of the most iconic guitar brands of all time, but despite brandishing those legendary guitars at the forefront of their arsenal, this company still has a variety of hidden gems under its belt.
One of those items is the FA135CE acoustic-electric guitar, a stellar choice for acoustic players who play plugged in. We took this puppy out for a spin and summed up our conclusions in a brief review. Dig in!
Body and Neck
The six-string utilizes a classic concert body with a sleek gloss polyurethane natural finish. It comes with a laminated spruce top, laminated basswood sides and back. This secures a fat, warm, yet well-balanced tone within minimal grain.
The instrument also utilizes a nato neck with a classic rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets and white dot markers. For the listed price, these are solid mid-range features capable of securing a top-notch tone for the money.
Additional notable features include a rosewood bridge with compensated saddle, a multi-ABS rosette, a black pick-guard, and a classic headstock with golden Fender logo.
The instrument comes with a set of chrome die-cast tuners distributed in groups of three across two sides of the headstock, along with a pack of aged bridge pins with black dots. Both the tuners and pins do a fine job in firmly gripping onto the strings, keeping the guitar in tune and in proper shape. The pressure that’s placed upon the neck is just right, and these models rarely suffer from neck bends. Good stuff!
In the electronic department, we are looking at the Fishman Ion-T preamp with an onboard tuner. This combo works surprisingly well and has proven itself as the crucial component that made us single this guitar out in the first place. But more on that in the Sound section right below.
In the sonic department, there are essentially two sides of the coin. When unplugged, the six-string doesn’t excel and gives pretty much plain, if not below-average sound. But when plugged in, holy moly! It is as if the entire sonic attack somehow got transformed into a much more expensive guitar with a way stronger sonic attack.
When plugged in, the sound is full of warmth, natural boom and a well-rounded vibe. When not, it’s kinda thin, so do take all of this into consideration.
When all is said and combined, we are still looking at a killer deal in our opinion. The major question that needs to be answered here is – do you play plugged in or unplugged. If you’re the unplugged guy, maybe there are better options, but if you like your acoustic guitar plugged in, then definitely take this hidden gem into consideration. It is a Fender after all, and those guys didn’t become legends by making rubbish instruments.
With all that taken into consideration, the value for money you get is stellar as long as you keep it plugged in. But seeing that the price tag is typically way below $200, it’s not like you’ll get ripped off even in the unplugged regime. This is a good guitar, we absolutely recommend it!