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Hello and welcome to my Fender FA 100 acoustic guitar review, the latest in my series of guitar reviews 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 a video of the FA-100 in action so that you can appreciate the tone for yourself and some user reviews so you can check out 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 acoustic guitars that money can buy, 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 lacks any real character and projection – but it’s not an unpleasant sound. The intonation was also sounding fine. You could definitely play this guitar and not want to rip your ears off – you’re 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
Bridge: Rosewood bridge
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 cheap acoustic guitars!
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 fairly standard – 25.3″ (643mm) – you can get longer scale lengths, but this is basically a full-size scale length.
Who is this Guitar Most Suited For?
This guitar, as well as Fender Starcaster model, is best for budget-conscious beginners.
It’s not a great sound, but the intonation is fine. As long as you keep it in tune, this budget guitar model is a suitable tone for a very beginner. Beginners are less likely to appreciate the difference in tone quality between this and a nicer-sounding, more expensive guitar.
I would want to upgrade fairly quickly after buying this, though – in my opinion, it is just an entry-level, see-if-you’ll-stick-to-playing-guitar type of guitar.
If you’ve got the extra money, there are some great acoustics under $300 that won’t cost much more but will stay with you longer.
That said – if your budget is $150 or less, 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 guitar-building technology means that you will get something that’s playable and doesn’t sound bad – even at this low price – and 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 acoustic guitar buying guide.
What makes the FA-100 even better is – you’ll usually find this great guitar as part of a pack that includes a guitar strap, carry case, tuner, picks, and extra strings. (The strings you get in this kind of set are only good for throwing them away and buying a decent set of quality strings!)
More Info and Where to Buy
Disclosure: Links below are affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you.
Check out the links below if you are interested in the FA-100 and want to learn more and get current prices:
If you’re interested in checking out some other under $300 options check out the link below.
>> Six String Acoustic’s Under $300 Guitar Reviews
FAQs Fender FA-100
One of the principal reasons anyone might opt to use a guitar as this has primarily to do with the price at which you can buy them. As acoustic guitars manufactured by Fender go, this is easily one of their most affordable offerings. This will do just fine if you are a listener who is just starting out or is in need of a guitar for one occasion – or else, purchasing the guitar for someone who does not have too discerning an ear. The price is really exemplary in this instance, though such a guitar will not be any good for a guitarist with a little more experience who knows what they want their sound to be and such. Of course, if utterly necessary, this guitar will get the job done without any questions asked – there are just better models to choose from elsewhere.
This remains to be seen based on the individual circumstances of each user. If you are a listener who is just starting out or is in need of a guitar for one occasion – or else, purchasing the guitar for someone who does not have too discerning an ear, then you are in luck! The price is truly exemplary for these purposes, though such a guitar will not be ideally suited to a guitarist with some more experience who knows what they want their sound to be and such. Of course, if utterly necessary, this guitar will get the job done without any questions asked – there are just better models to choose from elsewhere. The best way to purchase any guitar is to go and feel it out for yourself. You can make just about any guitar sound and feel better with the right amount of time, effort, and money sunk into it. The only issue there is that, in sinking all that money in, you are essentially paying what you might pay for a more expensive instrument.