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.
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?
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?
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:
- 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.
- 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!