Price paid: C$ 250
Purchased from: Mountain Music
Features — 8
Folk-sized, smaller bodied guitar made off-shore sometime in 2013. Laminated spruce top with laminated mahogany back & sides. Solid mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard. High-gloss finish. Very nice looking guitar. You can find the rest of the specs on the Fender site. No electronics. Comes with a very nice hard case, with a wooden Fender logo on it. Normal neck, maybe a bit on the thick side (I'm used to the neck on my Guild, which is a little thinner than normal). Fender brand sealed tuners, well made.
Sound — 8
Very nice, even sounding guitar. Sometimes a smaller-bodies guitar can sound boxy, but this guitar is very balanced. Using 80/20 strings really brightens it up. Fine for either strumming or fingerpicking, although aggressive strumming may cause a bit of rattle due to the shorter scale. I play classic rock, blues & fingerstyle. Very comfortable to play. I'm just playing this acoustically (no pick-up) and I haven't tried recording it with a mic yet (didn't really buy this with recording in mind).
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Action is very nice from the factory. Plays very easily, even with a slightly chunky neck. Smaller body makes it very comfortable to play. I couldn't find any flaws at all on this guitar. It's a very nice looking guitar, beautiful woodgrain on the back, sides & neck. Even the imitation mother-of-pearl rosette looks very nice. Only criticism is the bridge pins are small, cheap plastic (easily upgraded, I had some rosewood pins with mother-of-pearl dots kicking around which really looks nice with rosewood bridge).
Reliability & Durability — 9
I use this mainly as a travel guitar. I bought a soft case for it as the hard case is bulky & heavy (but built very well). I actually traded a Martin LXM for this, with no regrets (the LXM is the worst guitar I've ever owned, it's beyond me how it's getting such good reviews - maybe I got a dud). This guitar feels very solid, and as it's laminated it should stand up pretty well. Tuners are fine, strap buttons are solid, but it's odd that the front one is on the body & not the neck. It's very glossy so it may scratch easily, but also makes it very nice looking.
Overall Impression — 9
I'm mostly a strummer (classic rock, blues), but I play a fair amount of fingerstyle as well. I also sing, and the moderate volume of this guitar matches my vocal levels well. I've been playing for about 20 years and I've played a lot worse guitars that cost a lot more. I previously owned an older Fender acoustic that I was never completely happy with, so I discounted the new Fenders until I picked one up (different model). It seems that Fender has really improved their acoustic line-up, offering good sounding, playable guitars at affordable prices. My only issue is the neck thickness, but as I mentioned, my main guitar is a Guild GAD-50, which has the thinnest neck of any acoustic I've played, and I'm more used to that. I also don't have the biggest hands, so neck thickness is always a factor for me. I think this guitar would be a great starter/student/travel guitar for anyone. If lost or stolen I would buy another.