Are you in the market for a quality acoustic-electric guitar? Perhaps you’re just getting started or are looking to refresh your skills after a long break. If so, you are likely in search of the perfect guitar to help you along while you work on polishing your craft — look no further. The Fender FA135CE is truly a hidden gem that any guitarist should take into consideration. Check out our complete review below and see if this particular model could be the one for you.
Fender FA135CE Features
- Concert-Style Body;
- Gloss Polyurethane Finish;
- Laminated Spruce (Top);
- Laminated Basswood (Back and Sides);
- Rosewood with Compensated Saddle (Bridge);
- Multi ABS Inlays (Rosette);
- Matching Paint with Gold Fender Logo (Headstock);
- Nato Neck;
- Rosewood Fingerboard with 20 Frets;
- White Dot Position Inlay;
- Die-Cast Chrome Machine Heads;
- Black Pick-Guard;
- Aged Bridge Pins with Black Dots;
- Aged Fingerboard and Body Bindings;
- D’Addario EXP-26 Phosphor Bronze Strings, Gauges 11 to 52;
- Fishman ION-T Preamp with Built-In Chromatic Tuner.
Fender FA135CE General Information
The six-string Fender FA135CE features a sleek, modern concert-style body with a gloss polyurethane finish. Perfect for any lead guitar is the X-bracing maintained by the laminated spruce top. The neck is nato and the back and sides feature laminated basswood, keeping the guitar lightweight, which means less strain on your neck and back during extended jamming sessions. A classic rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets and white dot markers is featured on the Fender FA135CE as well.
Other highlights include a white concentric ring rosette, a black pickguard, and a classic headstock featuring a gold Fender logo. All of these elements are considered mid-range features that work together to produce an overall well-balanced tone.
The hardware of the Fender FA135CE is quite sturdy, providing a set of chrome die-cast tuners, three on either side of the headstock, and a group of aged bridge pins with black dots. This particular set-up works hard to provide a tight grip on the strings and keep the guitar in tune. Also included is the Fishman ION-T preamp with built-in chromatic tuner.
Housed within the preamp are various buttons, including those for phase and contour, a volume dial, and the tuner power button. This built-in tuner is particularly useful for the guitarist who is always on the go — on the off chance that you may somehow leave your tuner behind or find yourself with nothing but dead batteries, this onboard tuner will resolve any issues you could otherwise face. The tuner paired with the preamp is perhaps the best all-around feature of the Fender FA135CE.
The overall performance of the Fender FA135CE is quite satisfactory, especially given the small price tag. You are definitely getting a bargain with this acoustic-electric guitar. Of course, as is with many things, you need to take the good with the bad.
This Fender doesn’t show particular power when played unplugged; in fact, it provides just an acceptable sound. This may not bother beginners who just want something solid to help them while they strengthen their chord positions and patterns, master scales, and more. But for the truly serious guitarist, the quality of the unplugged sound may strike a nerve.
That being said, when the Fender FA135CE is plugged into an amplifier, all of that changes — the use of an amp transforms the sound into one of full body, making any listener believe the guitar is, in fact, a higher-end model.
Fender FA135CE Pros and Cons
- Great quality lightweight body with a full sound for a minimal cost.
- Cutout in the body makes it easier to hit higher notes.
- Built-in tuner helps keep the guitar in tune.
- Suitable for players of all levels.
The Fender FA135CE will easily suit players of all levels, from beginners to those with more advanced skills. Many users enjoy the cutout in the body, as it helps in reaching notes higher up on the fingerboard. The built-in tuner functions quite well, ensuring that you are always playing in tune. You will be able to tune up on the fly at a moment’s notice. Overall, the Fender FA135CE is a well-made guitar with a solid build and an excellent bang for the buck — this deal is hard to pass up.
- Would benefit from replacing the strings in order to get the fullest sound.
- Has been compared to the sound of a toy guitar when playing unplugged.
Although it is true that the sound of the Fender FA135CE isn’t the absolute best there is when it comes to playing unplugged, it really does play quite nicely over an amplifier. Many users have pointed out that while the strings that come with the guitar are sufficient enough, the sound can be even more enhanced with the use of a higher quality set. However, these minor cons don’t stand much in the way of the overall quality of the guitar — it is truly a steal when it comes to the price.
Fender FA135CE Price
The Fender FA135CE is available for purchase at multiple online retailers in various configurations:
- Musician’s Friend: Natural at $149.99, 3-Color Sunburst at $149.99, and Black at $179.99.
- Guitar Center: Natural at $179.99, 3-Color Sunburst at $179.99, and Black at $179.99.
- Amazon.com: Natural at $229.99.
Some accessories to go along with your purchase of the Fender FA135CE, whichever configuration you choose, include a guitar stand, gig bag, capo, and an amplifier.
The Verdict on Fender FA135CE
Overall, purchasing the Fender FA135CE presents any guitarist with a win-win situation. While there are certainly better options out there for those who typically play unplugged, guitarists who generally take the plugged in route should consider this acoustic-electric guitar as a solid choice.
Not only does this model have a quality brand name to back it up, but also at under $200, the Fender FA135CE is a steal. If you decide to try your hand at this guitar, leave a comment below and let us know what you think.