Price paid: $ 390
Purchased from: JAM
Sound — 7
This guitar is absolutely lovely in sound for this price-class. I play mostly blues and rock-country, and the tone rings for a real long time, and it's real smooth and nice. It can't compare to a real 1000$+ guitar when it comes to the smoothness of the board, but it is in my opinion still far better than the SCE. Also, the non-cutaway body provides more of a bass-and-vibrant sound than the cheap cutaways. A real tip is not to buy a cut-away if you wanna keep it cheap; with the non-cutaways you get more sound for the money. I use Fender dura-tone coated strings size.11, as I can use these medium-thick strings to create both a good sound, and somewhat play some blues-licks.
Overall Impression — 7
I have this along with a Japanese Fender stratocaster 70's reissue. I use the stratocaster for most of my playing, and this sonoran is mostly for relaxing, or playing more bass-sounds. So for the rock-country and bass-musics I use it for, it fits perfectly. I've been playing the guitar for about two and a half year, so don't boast about what I can do. But this guitar fits my needs excellently, in the right price-class and playing class. I figure that I'll replace it with something a bit better as I outgrow it, but for now it works well. If this guitar went missing, it would be a loss, no doubt, but I wouldn't buy a new one. Instead, I'd save up my money and buy something real deal. What I love about this guitar is the sound; it's really full and works excellently for my kind or music. It's a bit difficult playing the blues on it, but still, it works. Something I hate is that it doesn't have any pickups, yet I figure that if you want a nice-sounding guitar and you want pickups, you'll have to raise the price a couple of hundred $. I compared this guitar with a couple of other guitars in the same price-class, for example a Washburn and the SCE. I found the others lacing in sound compared to this one which has a much more full and vibrant sound. I think that if you are a beginner who doesn't want to pay to much, this is about the ultimate choice.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I think that once you've changed the tuners, this guitar will withstand for a long time as the finish will take any eventual dings, and these will not affect the body. The wood is holding together real nicely, and won't get any cracks unless you keep it in a freezer or in a room with no moisture. The guitar is solid. Were I to play it on a gig, I definitely wouldn't need a back-up unless I had a tendency to smash my guitars (which I haven't).
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
This guitar is Chinese-made and therefore not of the best quality. The knobs whit which you fasten the strings were real bad; broke the first time I changed strings. The high-E tuning gear is real lousy. However, these things are far from fatal; all you gotta do is change them. The wood in itself is real nice quality, and I haven't been able to inflict a single ding on it. The guitar in itself looks beautiful, with pearl-dot inlays and a really fine wood at the bridge tuning. The finish sets off the underlying wood perfectly.
Features — 6
My guitar is a rare model, the Fender Sonoran NAT. I haven't been able to find it anywhere else, not even on the Fender web page. It was made sometime in 2006 in China, and then shipped to Sweden, where I bought it in spring 2010. The guitar has 20 frets, and a C-shaped neck. The neck-material is probably rosewood, don't really know. It has a nice non-cutaway body with a small peg for a neck-strap in the bottom. The top is the mid-sized one used on most of the Fender acoustics. I don't really know much about the wood, so I won't go in on details. However, the finish is not satin, that much I know. The guitar is solidly acoustic, and has no pickups.