Fender is the most prominent guitar brand in the world. They modernized the electric guitar (and amplifier) with classics like the Stratocaster and Telecaster. However, with all the praise Fender gets for their electric guitars, you rarely hear much of Fender Acoustic beyond their entry-level guitars.
So the question that most guitarists may begin to ask themselves is, “Are Fender acoustic guitars any good?”
This is a fair question, and using my 25+ years of guitar playing, hours spent trying out guitars in guitar shops, and countless time researching online…I’ve concluded that it depends on who you’re asking 😉
Fender makes fantastic beginner and mid-range acoustic guitars that can be excellent value for money if your ok not having some of the dominant acoustic guitar manufacturers on the headstock.
This article will highlight the best Fender acoustic guitars for every use case and budget. There is undoubtedly an instrument on this list that will inspire you and help you progress toward your guitar-playing goals.
So please sit back, grab your favorite drink, and let’s dive in!
The Short Answer
The best Fender acoustic guitar is the Newporter Series. The Newporter incorporates everything Fender does well with their electric instruments: vintage looks, easy playability, and affordability (read the full review here).
However, if you’re looking for something is an all solid wood guitar and punches well above its weight class, then the best Fender acoustic guitars are the Paramount Series of instruments (go to Paramount Reviews).-Brad Johnson (Founder/Writer of Song Production Pros)
Best Overall: Newporter
The Newporter is as stylish as it is playable.
It has a warm, rich sound that is perfect for any style of music. Its slim-taper "C"-shaped neck makes it easy to transition from playing electric to acoustic and for intermediate players looking to step up from their entry-level instrument.
- The Newporter has a beautiful, vintage look
- Solid Sitka spruce top provides incredible tone and value
- Great for electric guitarists transitioning to acoustic guitars
- Fishman preamp system helps you plug in and play anywhere
- The Newporter's unique aesthetic isn't for everybody
- The longer scale length might feel big to smaller players
The Newporter Player Series is one unique-looking acoustic guitar. It has an undeniable vintage style and modern features, making it perfect for any player looking to balance quality and budget.
In my test, I found the Newporter Classic to be a well-crafted acoustic guitar that is excellent for fingerstyle, flat-picking, and strumming. This is thanks to the auditorium-sized body and solid Sitka spruce top that produces an incredibly resonant sound with plenty of dynamics. At the same time, the mahogany back and sides provide warmth to your tone and durability that should make for a long-lasting guitar if adequately cared for.
The Newporter’s slim-taper “C”-shaped neck will have a familiar feeling for electric guitarists looking for an easy transition into acoustic instruments. However, the walnut neck had a grainier feeling, not as comfortable as other Fender acoustic guitars that utilize something like Ebony found on the Paramount Series.
All California Series acoustic guitars have a built-in tuner, EQ, and phase controls. The Fishman preamp system is specifically tuned for each body type, which means you can be confident your plugged-in tone will keep the integrity of the natural tone.
This is an excellent guitar for those looking to have fun without spending too much. It’s also an exceptionally versatile instrument, suitable for beginners and experienced players who are on the go. It’s also a great option for those who want something that sounds great when they’re at home sitting on their couch.
Best for Beginners: CD-60SCE
The CD-60SCE is a popular option for beginner guitarists thanks to its quality construction and easy playability.
The cutaway body provides easy access to higher frets. At the same time, the built-in tuner and Fishman electronics system make it simple to show off your new skills at coffee shop open mics.
If you're looking for an entry-level guitar that will grow with you, check this one out!
- Affordable price point
- The solid spruce or mahogany top will make the guitar sound better with age
- High-quality for the price point
- You may need to adjust the action when you first receive it
- Stock strings could be better
The CD-60SCE is the best Fender acoustic guitar for beginners. It is so well made that it will easily carry with you as you progress in your abilities.
This Fender acoustic guitar comes with everything you need to get started. The tonewood combination offers excellent sound quality thanks to its solid mahogany or spruce top paired against its mahogany back and sides. This classic tonewood combination will give aspiring players that steel-string acoustic sound they’ve heard on countless records.
The mahogany neck and rolled-edge rosewood fingerboard make this a comfortable, easy-to-play neck for beginners and guitar players with small hands.
The CD-60SCE has a cutaway body guitar that will give you access to higher frets for when you’re ready for more advanced playing styles.
It comes with a built-in tuner and an easy-to-use Fishman electronics system with volume control, so you can jump right into a gig when you’re ready to show off your new skills.
If you’re looking for a quality acoustic guitar that will be easy and fun to learn with, the Fender CD-60SCE is an excellent option.
Best for Recording: PO-220e Mahogany
There's something magical about an orchestra-bodied acoustic guitar with all solid mahogany for recording.
Mahogany gives a rich and warm sound while the Orchestra body style helps produce a focused and articulate sound with plenty of bass response.
What makes the Fender PO-220e even better, is you get this fantastic tone for a fantastic price.
- The guitar has a rich, lovely sound
- The '60s-inspired design pays tribute to Fender's retro vibe
- Enjoy recording with a richer sonic soundscape
- Comes with a hardshell case
- Reaching the upper frets can be challenging without a cutaway
- Not made in the USA
The Fender PO-220e Mahogany is the best Fender acoustic for recording because it has that perfect combination of warmth and squishy natural compression that studio musicians love. This guitar is made from open-poor solid mahogany, which creates great resonance and reliable construction.
The Orchestra body style produces focused and articulate sound with plenty of bass response. This Fender can be a perfect all-solid wood alternative for guitar players who want the Martin O00-15M, which costs almost double.
The PO-220e has all of the features that studio musicians love – warmth, natural compression, and great resonance – in a more affordable package than some of the other options on the market.
One thing that strikes me about this guitar is its understated beauty. The inlays, binding, and satin finish makes this guitar look like it should cost more than it does.
The PO-220e has a slim C-Shape neck design that makes this a comfortable play for long periods, which is perfect for those multiple takes in a long recording session.
If you are looking for a high-quality acoustic guitar that will give you great sound for recording, the Fender PO-220e Mahogany is worth considering.
Best for Fingerstyle: PS-220e Mahogany
If you're looking for a great small-bodied acoustic guitar to play fingerstyle that won't break the bank, the Fender PS-22e Mahogany is near perfect.
Its parlor-sized body produces a warm and articulate sound. Its beautiful inlays and binding with a natural open-pore finish give the guitar a unique look and feel.
Don't miss out on this often-overlooked but inspiring instrument.
- Premium-grade materials for a reasonable price
- Easy playability for fingerstyle players
- Lo-fi vintage vibe
- Comes with a hardshell case
- The retro, lo-fi vibe won't be for everyone
- Not made in the USA
The Fender PS-220e Mahogany is an inspiring instrument that appeals to fingerstyle players. Specifically, those who want a small, premium-grade parlor acoustic guitar with organic styling and natural finishes for a reasonable price.
Suppose you are a player who has less dynamic consistency in your plucking hand. In that case, the solid mahogany body will help compress and even out your notes. Making your playing sound more consistent and articulate.
The open-pore finish lets the guitar vibrate freely, producing great resonance while allowing the mahogany tonewood to breathe.
The renewed Fender Paramount series adds elegant details and forward-thinking design elements to increase the tone, playability, and overall “classiness” of the guitar.
The Fender Paramount series features an offset x-bracing which allows the guitar to resonant and flex differently on different sides of the guitar. This helps bring out the articulation and nuance of each guitar string.
There’s also beautiful detail in the binding and fretboard inlays that make this guitar very beautiful to look at.
If you’re in the market for a modern, beautiful-looking fingerstyle guitar from one of the best guitar brands, I recommend checking out the Fender PS-220e Mahogany.
It’s perfect for fingerstyle players who want an inspiring instrument that doesn’t sacrifice quality to help them play and sound their best.
Best for Flatpicking & Strumming: PD-220E
Topwood: Solid Sitka Spruce
Body Wood: Solid Mahogany
Body Shape: Dreadnought
Neck Shape: C Shape
Neck Wood: Mahogany
Electronics: Fender/Fishman Sonitone Plus Soundhole Pickup
Case: Hardshell Case
Big, bold, and a fantastic value. The PD-220e is for anyone who wants to fill a room with acoustic tones.
With great dynamic range, accentuated highs and lows, and a balanced and robust projection, this guitar is perfect for flatpicking and strumming styles.
- Has great projection and volume that will cut through a mix
- Creates big, full-bodied chords
- Comes with a hardshell case
- The tiger-striped pickguard won't be for everyone
- Not made in the USA
The Fender PD-220E Dreadnought body shape is the perfect choice if you are looking for a guitar that will cut through a busy mix.
This Paramount series guitar comes with a solid Sitka spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides, a mahogany neck, and an Ovangkol fingerboard. This classic tonewood combination creates a guitar with great dynamic range, accentuated highs and lows, and a strong and balanced projection. This makes an excellent guitar for flat-picking and strumming styles.
The PD-220E Dreadnought guitar comes with Fender and Fishman Sonitone Plus Soundhole Pickup System that discretely sits within the guitar’s soundhole with easy access controls, so you can maintain the classic vibe while getting an excellent and natural sound from the stage.
If you are a bluegrass, country, or folk music fan and need a guitar that will cut through a busy mix, the Fender PD-220E Dreadnought is perfect. With its engaging and sincere tone, this Paramount series guitar will become one of your favorite instruments.
Best Acoustic-Electric: Acoustasonic Stratocaster
- Topwood: Solid Spruce
- Body Wood: Mahogany
- Body Shape: Stratocaster
- Neck Shape: Modern Deep C
- Neck Wood: Mahogany
- Fingerboard: Ebony
- Frets: 22, Narrow Tall
- Middle Pickup: Fender Acoustasonic Noiseless Single-coil
- Bridge Pickup: Fishman Under-saddle Transducer, Fishman Acoustasonic Enhancer
- Controls: 1 x master volume, 1 x mod control (A/B voices), USB rechargeable battery
- Switching: 5-way blade pickup switch
- Case: Premium Gig Bag
The Fender American Acoustasonic Stratocaster guitar is perfect for any gigging musician looking to expand their sonic horizons.
With its innovative acoustic-electric capabilities, this guitar can transform from an acoustic into an electric guitar sound in seconds, giving you greater versatility.
Worth a closer look if you're the adventurous type 😉
- Internal battery provides 20 hours of usage on a single charge
- It brings new versatility and creativity on stage or at home
- Transform from an acoustic into an electric guitar sound within seconds
- Takes both acoustic or electric guitar strings
- It's expensive
- This guitar falls under the saying "jack of all trades, master of none"
- You may not enjoy the gimmick
The American-made Acoustasonic® Stratocaster® is another illustration of Fender’s quest for innovative guitar manufacturing.
The Acoustic Engine, developed by Fender and Fishman® electronics, will inspire you with its ability to transform from an acoustic into an electric guitar sound within seconds. I have no doubt you’ll discover new sonic possibilities previously unavailable to you.
The innovative N4 Noiseless Strat magnetic bridge pickup delivers a genuine Fender electric tone without the hum. This pickup can blend between an acoustic and electric guitar voice for ultimate versatility in any genre of music.
This Acoustasonic® Fender guitar has a black ebony-capped fingerboard and deep “C” mahogany neck that offers an enjoyable playing experience. The solid spruce top, when unplugged, produces traditional acoustic sounds like those heard on conventional acoustic guitars. However, because of the thin body style, you won’t get as much depth in your tone, but still a wonderful projection.
This acoustic-electric guitar is not for everyone, though. It’s got a specific player in mind: the guitarist who performs regularly and doesn’t want to switch between electric and acoustic guitar mid-set but needs both sounds in their arsenal.
All in all, the Fender Acoustasonic guitars will inspire you to create new sounds and music. Specifically, the Acoustasonic Stratocaster will become one of your favorite guitars whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro.
Best for Travel: Sonoran Mini
The Sonoran is a travel-friendly guitar that doesn't sacrifice quality or playability.
The Sonoran Mini is built for great sound and durability and is constructed with a mahogany back and sides and a spruce or mahogany top. Plus, scalloped X bracing helps give you a better bass response and punch you don't often hear from smaller guitars.
No matter where your travels take you, the Sonoran Mini is the perfect guitar for the ride.
- Easy to transport, take anywhere you go, even on a plane
- Great sound for a small guitar
- High-quality construction in a small package
- Comes with a gig bag
- The gig bag is thin and offers little protection
- Lacks sustain
The Sonoran Mini is a small-scale, well-crafted, versatile guitar designed with travelers in mind. This three-quarter acoustic guitar is just 22 3/4″ long; this travel-friendly axe can be taken on planes or easily stowed away in a car trunk.
The Sonoran comes as either a solid mahogany or a Spruce top. Mahogany has less overtones, more midrange, and a dryer sound. While Spruce has more dynamics and top end.
If you’re looking for something more high-fidelity, go with the Spruce. If you want something with more warmth and a vintage vibe, go with the Mahogany top.
The body is constructed with mahogany back and sides, and the walnut fingerboard and Nato neck add to the guitar’s excellent player response and durability.
This mini acoustic also features scalloped X bracing, which helps give you better bass response and punch from these smaller guitars.
This miniature guitar is not what it seems – the rich tones are present with this one. If you need a reliable travel guitar, then the Sonoran Mini is the best Fender acoustic guitars no matter which one you choose!
Best for Kids: FA-15
The Fender FA-15 3/4 Scale Steel Acoustic Guitar is the perfect option for kids who want to learn to play guitar.
The high-quality laminate construction is less likely to crack or warp. The satin nato neck provides a lively tone and feel, making this guitar fun to play.
With a budget-friendly price and Fender's reputation, you can't go wrong with this as your first guitar.
- Great for kids or players with smaller hands
- All laminate construction is durable and can take a beating
- Comes with a gig bag
- The gig bag is flimsy
- Your child will eventually outgrow it and need a full-sized guitar
Kids will be drawn to this attractive and affordable instrument which features high-quality laminate construction and is less likely to crack from misuse and warp from weather changes.
The satin nato neck provides a lively tone and feel, making this guitar fun to play while still having a good tone.
This no-frills Fender acoustic guitar is an excellent purchase for a little one interested in learning guitar.
The Fender Acoustic Guitar Buyers Guide
A guide to help narrow down other alternatives that weren’t included in my top picks for the best Fender acoustic guitars.
The body shape of an acoustic guitar is one of the most important things to consider before you purchase.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the different body styles of Fender’s acoustic guitars.
The Concert body style is a great choice for fingerpicking. Fingerstylist will love this smaller-bodied guitar with a tight bass response that won’t overpower your treble notes. This makes concert body types perfect for chords and multi-voiced sections with complex harmonies.
Oh yeah, they are also highly comfortable.
The dreadnought shape is the quintessential acoustic guitar body shape. It was invented in 1916 by Martin Guitars and named after a British battleship.
The characteristics of a dreadnought acoustic guitar can be described as big and bold. A perfect body shape for bluegrass, country, and acoustic blues music.
Suppose you’re looking for a guitar that can command s room with a big acoustic sound and unique look. In that case, I recommend checking out this California Series Redondo.
The body style is based on s traditional Dreadnought but also offers an option for a cutaway to access the upper frets.
The Newporter is a California-series acoustic guitar with an old-school retro vibe. Based on a 1965 design, this instrument will be the perfect choice for anyone looking to strum or fingerstyle their way through some tunes!
You can even get one painted in pastel blue or lipstick red if that’s what floats your boat!
The small-bodied Fender Malibu Classic guitar is the perfect choice for those who want an old-school, lo-fi acoustic sound with a vintage look.
This parlor-style acoustic instrument is perfect as your couch or bonfire guitar, so you’ll always have something warm and cool sounding when playing music around friends.
The Auditorium fender acoustic guitar body type sits closer to the body compared to a classic dreadnought, usually making for a more comfortable playing experience on stage or at home. This guitar’s sound will complement any environment and audience size.
There’s one official Auditorium-style Fender guitar in their lineup. The FA-345CE guitar comes with a laminate flame maple top, back and sides. So this style will be more affordable than other popular guitar models like the Triple-O, but you’ll miss out on its classic tone or aging due to not being made of solid wood.
Orchestra Fender guitars are inspired by a Martin guitar’s classic body OM body style. This acoustic guitar has a body shape that sits closer to the body, and the pinched contours create a more focused and articulate sound.
The tone and playability for the Fender Acoustic Triple-0 body style will never disappoint, thanks to the all-solid wood construction and understated but elegant inlays and binding.
The Fender parlor acoustic guitar is the smallest full-sized model in their lineup. This parlor guitar body type offers a vintage “lo-fi” tone with a rolled-off bass response, which is great for recording or playing solo on your couch.
Fender guitars announced their new California Minis series in 2021, an acoustic guitar designed for travelers and kids alike. The small size can be quickly taken on your next adventure without discomfort or inconvenience, and also small enough for children to learn on easily.
The Redondo Mini is a mini dreadnought acoustic guitar. These Fender body types are perfect guitars for beginners and come with a solid spruce top, making the tone of this guitar on par with full-bodied acoustics.
The Redondo has the classic characteristic of all dreadnought guitars, big full tones!
The Sonoran Mini is a mini concert-style bodied acoustic guitar. This guitar works well for beginners looking for a more focused, articulate guitar suitable for fingerstyle and softer strumming.
This body type from Fender also comes with a solid mahogany or spruce top making the tone stand up against its full-scale acoustic guitar counterparts.
It’s critical to think about the woods your guitar is made from. Tonewoods all sound different, and it’s good to know what those are if you want the best Fender acoustic guitar for your style. Tonewoods also considerably impact the tone of acoustic guitars and their dynamic range and playability.
Here is a quick list of the tonewoods you will find on a Fender acoustic guitar.
The Soundboard (Top Wood)
The most important tonewood is an acoustic guitar’s soundboard (or top wood). When purchasing a Fender instrument, you should buy a guitar with a solid wood top.
Fender’s acoustic guitar line is more limited than other best acoustic guitar brands. They come with two options: solid wood, solid spruce, and natural solid mahogany.
A spruce top will have a more dynamic range and project a more crisp sound than mahogany. Also, Spruce tends to have more tonal versatility than mahogany.
Mahogany is a stiffer wood with a warmer tone. Mahogany also has an inherent compression that’s great for recording artists and players with uneven strumming techniques.
Some Fender acoustic guitars are built with a laminate top. Laminate guitars usually consist of multiple thin sheets of wood layered together. It can also be made of synthetic materials made to look like wood.
Laminate often doesn’t resonate as well as a solid top guitar and is used for entry-level acoustic guitar models. A benefit of laminate is they don’t crack easily or warp from changing weather patterns.
The Body & Sides
The body and sides of the guitar give the tone some extra “seasoning” and need to be considered when finding the best Fender acoustic for you to purchase.
With Fender acoustic guitars, there isn’t much choice regarding your back and sides. Mahogany is pretty much the de facto selection. More premium guitar models will use solid mahogany back and sides. At the same time, a more affordable guitar in Fender’s acoustic line will feature laminated mahogany.
Mahogany sides will produce an excellent balanced tone and richness to a guitar’s sound.
Electronics and Pickups
When searching for the best Fender acoustic guitars, you should consider whether you’ll need pickups and electronics for gigging out.
Most Fender acoustic guitars come with Fishman electronics tuned to the body type. This customized tuning will ensure a more realistic representation of your sound when plugged into an amplifier or PA system.
However, certain Paramount Series guitars do not include a pickup, which may be a surprise given their price tags. However, suppose you primarily perform recording tasks. In that case, you will not need the pickup system and may save money by excluding it from your purchase.
You can find the scale length of a guitar by taking the distance between the nut and the 12th fret and doubling it.
A full-scale guitar has a scale length of approximately 25.5 inches. In comparison, a shorter-scale guitar has a scale length of about 24.7 inches.
Shorter-scale guitars have a more “slinky” playing feel and are frequently easier to play, especially for beginner guitar players.
Full-scale guitars generally keep their tuning better if you want to experiment with playing in different tunings.
Nut width is a subjective measurement. The best nut width depends on your hand’s size, the length of your fingers, and your playing style.
A wider nut width provides a better fingerstyle playing experience, and a narrower nut width delivers a superior flatpicking and strumming experience.
It’s important to note that nut width affects the fretting hand rather than your picking hand.
Neck radius is a piece of the puzzle regarding guitar design. Neck Radius’ around 7″-9″ will have a rounder feel that might be more comfortable playing chords. While a flater neck radius of 16″ will allow you to “shred” your guitar more.
Typically it’s easier to bend notes with a flatter neck radius.
The best Fender acoustic guitars use neck designs that are derived from Fender’s electric guitars. So many models, especially the California Series, adopt a flatter neck radius, making them play more like an electric guitar.
These are all things to consider when looking for the best Fender acoustic guitar.
Some common questions about the best Fender acoustic guitars answered.
Does Fender make a good acoustic?
Fender does make a good acoustic guitar; however, Fender has a reputation for making great electric guitars. Still, often it feels like their acoustic products take a back seat.
However, they have recently revamped their acoustic guitar line (their Paramount Series is worth checking out) and now make great beginner and professional acoustic guitars that look and sound awesome.
Some user critiques of Fender Acoustics are intonation problems, so you might need a professional setup after purchase.
Is a Fender Dreadnought a good guitar?
A Fender dreadnought acoustic guitar is a good guitar for someone new who wants to buy a Fender.
The updated Paramount PD-220e is fantastic, all solid wood dreadnought body shape is offered at a great price.
To Wrap Up
As you can see, Fender makes excellent acoustic and electric guitars. And recently, they have stepped up their game with their acoustic guitar options.
Fender provides years of experience, tonal variety, and head-turning designs for every player. They offer affordability in their guitars that will satisfy even the most demanding player out there.
If you’re looking for the best Fender acoustic guitar in vibes and playability, then the Newporter Classic is worth checking out!