Best Fender Acoustic Guitar – 7 Top Guitars Reviewed

As the world's leading guitar manufacturer, Fender offers an array of both electric and acoustic guitars. For those looking for an acoustic guitar to add to their collection, it's possible to find a quality Fender acoustic at just about every price point.

And thanks to the company's unique and innovative design choices, you can find anything from a classic dreadnought to the one-of-a-kind Acoustasonic guitars. In this article, we'll offer our top seven picks for best Fender acoustic guitar and give you some advice to help you choose the right guitar for you.

Our Top 7 Picks for Best Fender Acoustic Guitar

Make

Model

Rating

Price

Full Review

Fender

Malibu Player

Cell

Fender

FA-345CE Spalted Maple

Cell

Fender

American Acoustasonic Telecaster

Cell

Fender

Tim Armstrong Hellcat

Cell

Fender

Redondo Classic

Cell

Fender

Paramount PM-3

Cell

Fender

FA-235E

Cell

Review of our Top Picks

Fender Malibu Player -- Best Affordable Option

Important Features

  • Solid Sitka spruce soundboard is highly responsive
  • Smaller body is easy to carry and play compared to larger guitars
  • Slim C neck profile plays like an electric guitar
  • Fishman electronics make it easy to play live
  • It comes in unique colors including Arctic Gold, Aqua Splash, Midnight Satin, and Burgundy Satin

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Small body and slim neck make it incredibly playable
  • Walnut fingerboard adds a beautiful, natural touch
  • Unusual colors and body-matched Strat-style headstock make it great for people who want to stand out
  • Comes with quality Fishman electronics

Cons

  • Laminated back and sides won't sound quite as good as an all-solid guitar
  • Some players might prefer more traditional acoustic finish options

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

This distinctive, small-bodied guitar is one of the members of Fender's California Series. It's a fairly affordably priced acoustic, and it comes with a solid Sitka spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides. The mahogany neck warms up your sound, and it's a slim C profile just like most Fender electric guitars.

The Malibu's Strat-style headstock is painted to match the body. From both an aesthetic and playability standpoint, this is a great performance guitar--it comes with a Fishman designed pickup system and onboard preamp for great live acoustic tone.

This guitar's shape is unique to it, but it looks and sounds a lot like a scaled-down dreadnought. The dreadnought is one of the most versatile guitar shapes, but it can be bulky and harder to handle, especially for small players. The Malibu can give you dreadnought sound in a smaller package.

Our Star Rating

Because of its great features and relatively accessible price point, we think this is the best affordable guitar on the list. We give it four out of five stars.

Fender FA-345CE Spalted Maple--Best Exotic Wood Guitar

Important Features

  • Spalted maple and lacewood build means you get one-of-a-kind aesthetics
  • Auditorium-style guitar with cutaway is easy to play
  • Unique inlays add to this guitar's distinctive look
  • Fishman electronics with onboard preamp make it a good choice for performance

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Unique tonewoods let you stand out
  • Auditorium body is smaller and lightweight
  • Comes with electronics

Cons

  • It's made of all laminated wood, so it won't sound as good as a solid-top guitar
  • The price is somewhat high for a Fender acoustic guitar without a solid top

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Lots of players want a guitar with an aesthetic that stands out. This unique auditorium-style acoustic guitar is made with spalted maple, an exotic-looking wood that gives you clear, crisp sound and impressive projection.

The narrower acoustic build may not have as much sustain as dreadnought guitars, but that can help eliminate feedback issues that are more common with dreadnought or jumbo bodies. Its back and sides are made of another unique tonewood called lacewood, which has a distinct and beautiful grain.

The nato neck is lightweight and durable, and distinctive inlays add some extra visual interest. Even though this Fender guitar is made of all laminated woods, its quality Fishman pickup system with 2-band EQ means you get great amplified acoustic sound.

Our Star Rating

Thanks to its beautiful spalted maple and lacewood construction, we think this is the best exotic wood guitar on the list. We give it three and half out of five stars.

Fender American Acoustasonic Telecaster -- Best Versatility

Important Features

  • Solid Sitka spruce top gives you authentically responsive acoustic tone
  • Slim neck plays just as easily as an electric Fender Telecaster
  • Two different pickups let you play with a variety of acoustic and electric voicings, even without a pedalboard
  • Thinline construction is easy to handle and eliminates acoustic feedback issues common with larger guitars

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 10 different onboard voicings let you dramatically shift your tone with the flip of a switch
  • Slim-profile neck and thinline body with cutaway makes it very playable compared to many guitars
  • Solid top means you still get quality acoustic tone

Cons

  • It's somewhat expensive compared to many guitars on the list
  • The back and sides are made of laminated mahogany
  • Those who want a true acoustic may prefer a more traditional Fender acoustic model

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Fender's Acoustasonic series of guitars is truly one of a kind. The Acoustasonic Telecaster is a true hybrid acoustic/electric guitar. This guitar comes equipped with two pickup systems--you get a traditional Tele bridge pickup for when you want the signature bluesy Telecaster sound.

The guitar is also equipped with the renowned Fishman Matrix acoustic undersaddle pickup for sparkling acoustic tone. A five-way switching system with A/B mod control means that this is a guitar with 10 different voicings. If you want to be able to switch between acoustic and electric tone even in the middle of a song, this is a guitar worth checking out.

Our Star Rating

Because this guitar is essentially an acoustic guitar and a Fender electric guitar in one, we think it has the best versatility on the list. We give it five out of five stars.

Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat -- Best Signature Guitar

Important Features

  • Because it's modeled after Tim Armstrong's beloved '60s Fender acoustic, it's a great choice for Rancid fans
  • Solid mahogany top gives you beautifully warm acoustic sound
  • Fishman electronics with onboard preamp and built-in tuner make it easy to perform with
  • Slim-profile neck makes it highly playable
  • Special Hellcat inlays give it a distinctive look

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's one of the most affordable acoustic options on the list
  • Solid mahogany top is a departure from commonly-seen spruce tops on most fender acoustics
  • Quality Fishman Isys III electronics give you great live sound

Cons

  • The back and sides are made of laminated wood
  • Absence of a cutaway may make it harder to access frets further down the neck

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Some artist signature models are very expensive, but the Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat acoustic is a surprisingly affordable choice. This concert-body, satin-finished Fender acoustic guitar is also a departure from the spruce tops we so often see.

It has a beautiful solid mahogany top for warm, midrange-heavy tone with plenty of sustain, and the laminated back and sides help keep it both beautiful and affordable. The C shaped neck is fast and very playable, and the onboard Fishman pickup system with a built-in tuner mean this is a stage-ready guitar.

Our Star Rating

This is a well-made guitar in its own right, and it still manages to be affordable. We think that makes it the best Fender artist signature guitar on the list, and we give it four out of five stars.

Fender Redondo Classic -- Best Playability

Important Features

  • All-solid construction gives you full sound plugged in or unplugged
  • Slim neck makes it play as easily as an electric guitar
  • Matching body and Fender Strat-style headstock give it a unique look compared to most guitars
  • Custom-voiced electronics make it sound great live

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's very affordable considering the fact that it's made of all solid wood
  • Quality electronics make it great for playing live
  • It has the uncommon combination of full dreadnought acoustic sound and electric guitar playability

Cons

  • Some players might prefer guitars with an all-natural, traditional acoustic finish

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

This nice-looking guitar is another installment in Fender's California Series of unique guitars. It's a dreadnought with a cutaway, so you can enjoy the combination of full, overtone-rich acoustic sound and easy playability. The Redondo Classic has a solid Sitka spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides for balanced tone that suits any genre.

And like other guitars in the California series, it has a slim-profile neck and a headstock that's painted to match the body. This guitar comes in either Cosmic Turquoise or Hot Rod Red Metallic. It comes equipped with custom-voiced Fishman electronics for natural live acoustic sound.

Our Star Rating

Thanks to its electric-style neck and cutaway, we think that this guitar has the best playability of any of the Fender guitars on the list. We give it five out of five stars.

Fender Paramount PM-3 -- Best All-Acoustic

Important Features

  • All-solid mahogany build makes it an incredible value
  • Beautiful open-pore finish and checkered purfling gives it a vintage look reminiscent of a '60s Fender acoustic
  • It comes with a deluxe case and humidifier, which you don't often find with guitars that are this affordable
  • Triple-zero/auditorium build is compact and comfortable to play compared to larger guitars

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's all solid and still affordable
  • Mahogany gives this guitar a warm, woody tone
  • Compact Auditorium body lets this guitar project nicely

Cons

  • It does not come with electronics
  • Some players might prefer a brighter soundboard material like spruce

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Fender's Paramount Series guitars combine incredible craftsmanship with great value. The PM-3 is one of the most affordable guitars on the list, and it's also one of the only ones made of all solid mahogany.

This guitar has a triple-zero (auditorium) body with a cutaway, making it easy to hold and play. The top is a distinctively beautiful open-pore mahogany, and the contrasting checkered purfling gives it vintage appeal. This guitar also comes with a Fender hardshell case and humidifier to keep it in peak condition.

Our Star Rating

This is an affordable all-solid guitar, and we think that makes it the best true acoustic guitar on the list. We give it five out of five stars.

Fender FA-235E -- Best Unusual Finish

Important Features

  • Truly stunning Moonlight Burst finish on the flame maple top makes it ideal for performers who want to stand out
  • Small concert body guitar is lightweight and easy to handle and play
  • Mahogany neck helps warm up the tone
  • Fishman electronics make it a performance-friendly guitar even if you're on a budget

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Unique and beautiful looks
  • Small and easily portable concert-style body
  • Fishman electronics with tuner and preamp makes it easy to perform with
  • Affordable price point makes it a good choice of acoustic guitar if you're on a budget

Cons

  • All-laminate build likely won't sound as good as a solid top acoustic guitar
  • The lack of cutaway make make access to higher frets harder

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Fender is a manufacturer that isn't afraid to go outside of the bounds of traditional finishes on acoustic instruments. This beautiful concert-body acoustic guitar has a flamed maple sunburst finish that's reminiscent of moonlight, and the headstock is finished to match.

While it's made of all laminated woods (the back and sides are made of laminated mahogany), this is a good affordable acoustic-electric guitar. It comes equipped with Fishman electronics and a built-in tuner.

Our Star Rating

This guitar's stunning looks mean that it has the best unusual finish on the list. We give it three out of five stars.

Buying Guide: What Should You Think About Before Buying a Fender Acoustic Guitar?

Fender's vast selection of available acoustic guitars can be overwhelming, especially if you aren't quite sure what you want in an acoustic guitar. In this section, we'll go over some of the things to consider before buying your next acoustic.

Which Body Style Do You Need?

Any acoustic guitar buying guide will tell you to pay attention to body styles. Fender's collection of acoustic guitars goes beyond your average dreadnought and concert-style instruments--you may find yourself drawn to the unique aesthetics of the California Series guitars. The Fender Acoustasonic series--while it's somewhat controversial--is arguably a true acoustic/electric hybrid that gives you two guitars in one, making it more versatile than most acoustic body styles.

Because Fender acoustic guitars often transcend traditional acoustic body shapes, it's a good idea to listen to sound demos of any guitar you're considering purchasing. Ideally, try to find sound demos played by a few different people--this will give you a better sense of the guitar's sound. You can easily find a dreadnought or auditorium-style Fender guitar, but if you want to try playing something different, this brand will let you do that too.

Playability Features--What's Important?

Many guitarists love the full, nuanced sound of a classic dreadnought acoustic. However, bigger dreadnought guitars are sometimes a bit more difficult to play, especially for smaller players. Many newer acoustic guitars from Fender have playability features that make the playing experience easier and more comfortable.

Here are some of the features you may want to look for as you compare acoustic guitars:

  • Slim-profile necks - Many new Fender acoustic models have slim-profile necks that play more like an electric guitar. If you're used to playing electric guitars, you might prefer this easier-playing neck profile.
  • Thinline bodies - Thinner-bodied acoustic guitars are excellent when it comes to projection, and they also can be easier to play, especially while performing.
  • Cutaways - Many Fender acoustic guitars have a cutaway that lets you easily access frets further down the neck.
  • Fast-playing fingerboards - Some higher-end Fender acoustic guitars have ebony fingerboards. Ebony is a beautiful wood, and its tight grain pattern gives it a slick feel that some players love.

Solid vs Laminate Guitars

While acoustic guitars made of all-solid wood sound much better than guitars made of laminate, many all-solid acoustic guitars are prohibitively expensive for many. If you can't afford an all-solid guitar, keep in mind that a solid top is most important when it comes to tonal quality. Laminate back and sides probably won't sound quite as natural as solid back and sides, but there's a world of difference, sonically speaking, between a solid-top and laminate-top acoustic.

In Conclusion

Fender's acoustic guitars are known for being both high-quality and affordable. We think you can't really go wrong with any guitar on the list, but our top choice is the Redondo Player. This guitar is affordable, but it's made with all solid wood and comes with quality electronics. It also has an easy-playing, slim neck and an eye-catching finish.

That said, if you have a little more to spend and want the best tonal versatility, we think the Acoustasonic Telecaster guitar is a great choice, especially if you need a guitar for live performance. And lastly, if you don't need a guitar with electronics, the beautiful and vintage-inspired all-solid Paramount PM-3 is one of the most incredible values on the list.

Make sure you listen to demos, think about the features you need, and weigh the pros and cons of each acoustic you consider, and you'll be well on your way to finding the best one for you.

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