Hello and welcome to my Fender FA 100 acoustic guitar review, the latest in my series of reviews of guitars costing less than 300.
This review will look at Fender’s FA-100 in terms of:
- The Tone;
- The Playability;
- The Materials the FA-100 is made from;
- Who the FA-100 is best suited to;
- The FA-100’s value-for-money
I’ll also provide video of the FA-100 in action so that you can get an appreciation of the tone for yourself and some user reviews so you can check out some others opinions.
The tone certainly didn’t blow me away – and nor did I expect it to, given the price tag.
This is one of the cheapest, reasonable quality, guitars that money can buy really, retailing at only around $120 (USD) so keep expectations low for this one. That said, it wasn’t terrible by any means – a testament to modern day guitar building techniques that allows ok guitars to be built for a very low cost.
I had to play around with the tuning a little bit at first but it did settle in eventually and I didn’t have to tune it for the last bit of my session with it.
The tone is pretty empty and flat, it’s lacking any real character and projection – but it’s not an unpleasant sound and the intonation was also sounding fine. You could definitely play this guitar and not want to rip your ears off – your just not going to be taken to heaven by its melodic beauty either!
You could tell it was a cheap guitar but for the price you get what you pay for and it’s certainly playable.
Top: Laminate Spruce
Back & Sides: Laminate Basswood
Saddle: Compensated Synthetic Bone Saddle
Nut: Synthetic Bone
No surprise about the laminate wood top (a big reason why the sound is somewhat lacking) and back and sides.
What was a surprise to learn was that they use a synthetic bone nut and a compensated synthetic bone saddle. That’s pretty cool that they don’t just use cheap plastic on such an inexpensive guitar.
The FA-100 is not an acoustic-electric guitar – no electronics.
Check out the videos below to get an idea of the sound of the FA-100 for yourself.
And let’s check out one more too.
It wasn’t actually too bad to play, again considering the price tag.
As with most guitars the action was set too high for my liking and a setup to have the action lowered a bit would be recommended. That said it certainly wasn’t heinously high like some can be.
The fingerboard is made from rosewood – which is all good, no complaints there.
The scale length on the FA-100 is a fairly standard 25.3” (643mm) – you can get longer scale lengths but this is basically a full size scale length.
My opinion is but one – check out the reviews below to get some other opinions on the FA-100.
Who this Guitar is Most Suited To?
This guitar is best for the budget conscious beginner.
It’s not a great sound but the intonation is fine and as long as you keep it in tune it is a suitable tone for a very beginner. Beginners are less likely to appreciate the difference in quality of tone between this and a nicer sounding more expensive guitar.
I would want to upgrade fairly quickly after buying this though – in my opinion it really is just an entry level, see-if-you’ll-stick-to-playing-guitar, type of guitar.
If you’ve got the extra money then there are some great options for under $300 that won’t cost that much more but will stay with you for longer.
That said – if your budget is 150 or less then this is actually a great option. Just don’t expect too much from the tone.
At the price that you can get this guitar for, it’s nothing if it’s not value for money. Modern technology in guitar building means that you are going to get something that’s playable and doesn’t sound bad – even at this low price – and at this price the FA-100 is probably the best of the lot.
But if you can scrounge together just a little extra I would recommend seeing if you could grab something a little bit of a step up – check out my other acoustics under 300 for more.
What makes the FA-100 even better value is that you’ll usually find this guitar as part of a pack that includes things such as a guitar strap, carry case, tuner, picks and extra strings (though often in these the packs you’re better off throwing the strings away and buying a decent set!)
More Info and Where to Buy
If you’re interested in checking out some other under 300 dollar options check out the link below.