|Body And Neck:|
Whether you are shopping for a good travel guitar or you just fancy a smaller acoustic guitar to keep around the house, Fender’s affordable CT-60S is one that usually pops up. The CT-60S is the smallest model in the guitar giant’s modern Classic Design Series – an entry-level collection that offers a few higher-end features. For that reason alone, it’s worth a closer look…
First up, the size. As mentioned, the CT-60S is shortened to a 23.5” scale length, which makes for a great travel guitar – a nice size to pack up and take on a plane, train or just on your back to a pal’s house. Unlike some travel-specific, such as offerings from Traveler or Martin’s Backpacker – this one looks like a full-size guitar, just a little smaller.
This guitar features an Auditorium shape, with a slightly narrower waist compared to a mini dreadnought. While an entry-level acoustic, the CT-60S – like others in the Classic Design Series – features a solid spruce top with scalloped X-bracing, which is a surprisingly good material for such a small and affordable guitar. This is paired with a laminated mahogany, all with an elegant glossy finish and protective ABS binding.
The mahogany neck is subject to the same treatment you would find on guitars in the rest of the Classic Design Series. We’re talking about the slim ‘easy-to-play’ profile and rolled fretboard edges that provides superior comfort for both beginners trying to get to grips with their first chords, as well as experienced guitarists who enjoy a faster, smoother playing experience (isn’t that all of us?!). Joined at the 14th fret, this comfortable neck features a rosewood fretboard with 20 vintage-style frets and simple pearloid dot inlays.
Body and neck aside, the components used elsewhere on this model are pretty good. The headstock sports a set of decent stock diecast chrome tuners that keep tuning in check, helped along by the solid rosewood bridge. It’s a shame the nut is made of plastic but, as this is still an affordable guitar, it’s excusable. The CT-60S comes fitted with a set of Fender’s Dura-Tone coated strings, so they should last a while from new. It’s also a bit disappointing that it doesn’t come with a gig bag – not a huge deal, but we’d spend an extra $30 on this guitar to have one included for convenience.
For a smaller guitar, the sound on the CT-60S packs a punch. The combination of solid spruce and layered mahogany results in a warm but balanced tone that works well for so many styles. Projection is surprisingly good, although it lacks a little volume compared to some higher-end ‘small guitars’ such as the Baby Taylor. Still, for practice around the house or on the road, the CT-60S offers a clean, articulate and all-round pleasing tone.
When reviewing the CT-60S, we were in the mood for a good bargain – and Fender has delivered. It has a few little foibles, but the design, playability and sound are top-notch for a budget guitar. Whether you are looking for a companion for your next journey, or just a little guitar to have nearby when inspiration strikes, the CT-60S is a very solid choice.