Honest Review | Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar

One of my very first guitars was a Fender acoustic back when I was 8 years old. Most of my guitar-playing foundation was laid on a beginner Fender acoustic guitar like the Fender FA-100.

Fender is a great, well-known name in the guitar-making industry. They’ve been around since the late 1930’s and although their roots are in the electric guitar, they’ve been in the acoustic guitar business for decades.

All that to say it’s a trustworthy brand that has stood the test of time. So what about the Fender FA-100 beginner acoustic guitar? Allow me to share with you my take on this entry-level guitar.

Fender’s Beginner Acoustics

While you’re shopping around for a beginner acoustic guitar, you’re bound to run across the Fender name quite a bit. They are guaranteed to be in any music store that you enter (and if they’re not there…leave that store!). They have over 50 different beginner guitars under $500!

Each has their own unique specs that set them apart, but the Fender FA-100 is their most basic, lowest price option. That’s not to say it’s a bad option, but this one definitely earns the name “entry level” guitar.

Playing the Fender FA-100

If you pick up the Fender FA-100 you’ll notice right away that it is a full-size guitar – which is an excellent option to start with even for young players. There’s a reason Fender only makes one 3/4 size guitar – they’re just not worth it in most cases.

One of the other things you’ll probably notice right off the bat is the price tag – under $150! Great news if you don’t have much extra cash or if you’re not sure if this guitar fascination is just a fad.

How Does the Fender FA-100 Sound?

As a basic, entry-level guitar, you shouldn’t expect too much from the sound. Even still, in the hands of a skilled guitarist and with a new set of strings, I believe that any guitar can sound incredible. For most beginner guitarist, sound quality is hard to notice between beginner guitars.

The Fender FA-100 is built with a laminate Spruce top (which is typical for almost every acoustic guitar) and Basswood back and sides.

What this means is that you sacrifice a little bit of sound quality in order to save a good amount of money (solid wood guitars get expensive fast).

All in all the sound you’ll get from the Fender FA-100 acoustic guitar should be satisfying enough for anybody who has never played a guitar before.

I know that’s not a rave review, but hey, it’s less than $150 for goodness sake!

How does the FA-100 Feel?

Fender FA-100 soundhole

As I said before, the Fender FA-100 is a full-sized guitar that may feel a big big in the hands of a child. Don’t let that discourage you, though – they’ll grow into it!

In guitar terms, this particular body is known as a “dreadnaught”. That’s basically just a style of acoustic guitar, and one of the most popular ones at that.

When you play the FA-100 beginner acoustic you should be able to press your fingers down to the fretboard quite easily. This is the “playability” and for an entry-level guitar it’s actually not that bad. The closer that the strings are to the fretboard, the easier to play.

The good news is that the strings on the Fender FA-100 are close to the fret – the bad news is that some buyers have complained that they also get an occasional buzzing (which happens when the strings hit the frets accidentally). There are ways to fix this but for a beginner guitarist it’s probably easiest to ignore.

The Fender Package

What’s great about buying a beginner guitar is that companies like Fender know that buyers more than likely don’t have any of the accessories that they will likely need down the road. Things like strings, picks, a strap or a case.

So with the Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar Pack, you won’t just get the acoustic guitar, you’ll also get a few other things as part of the package deal:

  • Padded Gig Bag: great for traveling or just storing safely
  • Electric Tuner: a tuner is indispensable for a beginner guitarist…and it easily clips onto the guitar!
  • Picks: these aren’t expensive, but you’ll lose these often, so it’s good to have extra
  • Strings: they will break. And if they don’t you’ll want to change them after a few months of heavy playing.
  • Strap: I personally like to sit down when I’m playing, but if you perform you’ll need the strap.

All of these things are absolutely necessary for the beginner guitarist, so instead of having to buy them separately you get it free! (well…kind of)

Fender FA-100 Pros vs Cons

So to sum up most of what I’ve already covered in this review of the Fender FA-100, here are the pros and cons of this beginner acoustic guitar:

Pros:

  • Affordable: one of the cheapest beginner guitars you’ll find (that’s worth buying, at least)
  • Full Size: this isn’t a half size or 3/4 size guitar, this is a full-size dreadnaught acoustic guitar.
  • Package: Comes with gig bag, picks and a very helpful electronic tuner. You’ll be glad you have these, trust me.

Cons:

  • Sound Quality: most beginners won’t hear the difference, but there is one.
  • Playability: I learned on a Fender so I’m not knocking it – it’s just the cost of a lower price

So there you have it. And if you need to see it to believe it, check out this video below to hear the Fender FA-100 in action. A great option for those wanting a taste of acoustic guitars without investing too much hard-earned cash!

9 thoughts on “Honest Review | Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar

  1. I just bought a Fender 100 guitar I’m going to start taking lessons but I did not get the electric Turner or the Qatar strap would you please send me a set of that thank you

  2. I buy a FA-100 acoustic guitar i dont know if its fake.. how i distinguish if its real? The serial number is CFF1419600. I hope you will help me. Tnx a lot

  3. I’m looking for a starter guitar and from what I’ve read, this is one of the best ones to start with. I used to play violin in school 30 years ago but stopped during my Sophomore year after 7 years of playing. My main question is (and I’ve done research online) I have rheumatoid arthritis (have had it since I was 3 and was diagnosed with JRA). I am not 42, so almost 40 years later, I know my hands have more damage than they did back then, but I love playing/listening to music and am considering purchasing this package but fear I wouldn’t be able to play it normally. (My hands do not close in a fist, maybe a half fist is the best I have.) Is it possible for me to learn to play? I don’t have the money to blow on one if I find out after a few times it’s just too hard. Thanks for any response.

    1. YouTube Richie Havens; he plays with the guitar tuned to an open chord, and is able to play beautifully using mostly one finger. You can also use a slide to stop the notes, which requires very little dexterity of the neck hand.

  4. Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the issues.

    It was really informative. Your website is useful.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. If you’re concerned about the “playability”, you could/should have the guitar properly “set up” for you when you buy it. Any local music shop should be able to do that for you.

  6. I am a beginner purchased a new ” Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS Electric Guitar”, 10 months back. Initially for 8 months I learned open chords and later When learning barre chords I noticed that fretboard(Fret sprout)are little out and sharp which is making my finger having scratches and blood is coming out. Because of this, there was an interruption in my bare chords learning. I asked “Fender’s” to help on claiming manufacturer warranty and get a replacement. After repeated follow up’s(Email and phone call) Fender asked me to get the instrument inspected by certified technician. After 4-5 phone calls and text Tech1 gave me appointment, On Visit to Tech1’s workshop Tech1 asked for receipt(He hasn’t communicated to get receipt before..)and said without receipt he will not even inspect. I went back to the retailer got the duplicate receipt and again went back to the Tech1, he inspected it and said he will get in touch with Fenders. According to him this is a manufacturing defect. After that there was no response back from Tech1 then I started follow-up with Fender and asked Fender to get in touch with Tech1 and get the Inspection report/feedback and help to get this issue resolved. Fender said they can’t do anything until Tech1 contact them, by that time there was no claim registered by Tech1 with Fenders. Later after some time on my repeated follow up with Tech1, he said that Fender will not cover this under warranty , if this could have occurred in first 6 months of purchase it would have been covered. On my ask for claim number/reference number Tech1 didn’t provided anything and further offered me to correct this issue in $130.Then Contacted Fender again and told them the tech1’s response. Then again as per Fender’s advice went to Tech2 for inspection. Tech2 told that “Fender” will not accept this issue as a warranty claim. I asked him to file the claim at least but he said calling “Fenders” will eat up his time and before filing the claim he has to call and discuss with “Fenders'”. However he offered to fix this issue for $120.On Contacting Fender’s again for this issue, they said Fret sprout is covered up to 6 months or 2 season changes.
    So with this incident you can understand the worst service they have and they do not acknowledge their own manufacture warranty. They have loopholes and excuses ready to void the warranty claim.
    The point is they are refusing to register/log a claim as if this claim is documented, then as per the warranty they have to fix this. If they fix it then it will be a bad mark on their quality control which they do not want. They have no documented policy to reject this claim officially. I did not expected this attitude from the brand like “Fenders’s”. My guitar is not very expensive but in future definitely I will not give any business to “Fenders”. With this incident everyone can understand how their warranty works.

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