Hello and welcome to my Fender MA 1 review.
This review will look at Fender’s MA 1 in terms of:
- The Tone;
- The Playability;
- The Materials the MA-1 is made from;
- Who the MA-1 is best suited to;
- The MA-1’s value-for-money
I’ll also provide video of the MA-1 in action so that you can hear for yourself the tone of the instrument and some user reviews so you can read about other people’s opinions on the MA-1.
First off, this guitar is a 3/4 size guitar so it’s much smaller than your average guitar. So naturally it will produce a quieter, less full sounding tone. And so it did.
But that sound was far from unpleasant – especially given the seriously low price-tag. Sure if you’re looking for a full sounding boomy dreadnought type guitar then this won’t be for you. But it wasn’t a bad sounding guitar by any means.
To my ear it sounded almost part ukulele! Which isn’t a bad thing if you don’t mind that smaller quieter sound or if you’re looking for a beginner guitar for a kid.
Top: Laminate Agathis
Back & Sides: Laminate Sapele
Saddle: Compensated Synthetic Bone
Nut: Synthetic Bone
I was pleasantly surprised with how this guitar felt when I picked it up. It felt like a pretty good quality guitar to be honest – more so than a lot of higher priced guitars.
It is all laminate top, back and sides – but at this price range you wouldn’t expect a solid top or back and sides and this is a big reason why you can get this guitar so cheap. Never as good as solid wood but does the job for a much cheaper price.
I was impressed that they didn’t revert to cheap plastic for the nut and saddle.
The MA-1 Is not an electric-acoustic. It doesn’t come with electronics.
Check out the video below to learn more about the MA-1 and to get a better idea of how it sounds.
It felt like a parlor guitar to play – which are fun to play sometimes – so you could call it a ¾ size or you could treat it as a parlor guitar.
Do to its smaller scale length it was difficult to fit my fingers in the higher frets but this wouldn’t be a problem for smaller fingers – and also I could still do it, it was just more difficult than on a normal scale length.
If I bought it I would have the action lowered. It was too high for my tastes but otherwise this was an easy guitar to play.
It has a pretty standard nut width of 1.69” (43mm). This is a nice width that makes it easy for playing barre chords, flat picking and strumming but you can still play finger style on it.
The fingerboard is made from rosewood – this is a quality fingerboard material so no complaints there.
The scale length is 23.3″ (592 mm) which is considerably shorter than a full size guitar’s scale length. As mentioned above this can make it more difficult to fit bigger fingers into the upper frets but also has its advantages.
A shorter scale length means there is less tension on the strings and this can make it easier, both physically and technically, to play the guitar – great for beginners.
Check out some of the user reviews for the MA-1 to get some other opinions on this guitar.
Who this Guitar is Most Suited to
This would definitely be great for a kid starting out on a guitar or a smaller adult starting out on guitar.
It would also be a great guitar to have as a travel guitar. It’s not very expensive so you wouldn’t be as precious about putting it in the back of your car – or playing it around the camp fire. And it’s also nice and small so takes up less room.
You can also get the classical version of this guitar (the MC-1) but I didn’t get a chance to play that one.
Don’t expect it to be a full sounding, awesome instrument – but for the price it’s a great choice if it’s suited to you.
More Info and Where to Buy
If you’re interested in the MA-1 check out the links below for more info and for current prices.
- Fender MA-1 at Amazon.ca (Canada)
If you’re keen to check out some other guitars in the under 300 price category, check out the link below.