Sonoran SCE review by Fender

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (109 votes)
Fender: Sonoran SCE

Price paid: A$ 500

Purchased from: Allan's Music

Sound — 9
This guitar is suited to many different music styles. It has a quite bight sound which is suited to many different genres. I play mostly basic fingerstyle, but also Acoustic blues and some slide guitar. It handles these all equally well. I have plugged the guitar in only a few times, and it has worked very well. The graphic EQ works very well to change between a wide variety of sounds. I rarely plug Acoustic guitars in, but I have even tried using slight overdrive on it for a roots music kind of sound, and was pleasing for this as well. Overall, I'd say this is a good guitar for those who play numerous musical styles, but are on a budget.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I love this guitar. It sounds good both on its own and through an amp. I have been playing guitar now for over 8 years, and have been using this guitar for the last few, and I don't think it will be replaced soon. If it were stolen? Well, because of financial problems, I would be reluctant to buy anything more expensive, and I find it is definitely a leader within its price range. Most other guitars I compared it with were in the same price-range, and were had laminated tops. The only issue I have is the intonation, although this is easily fixed, it would be much preferred if it came set up a bit better from the factory. Overall, a very good buy.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have found this guitar to be very reliable. I have found with Fenders, especially their cheaper models, that some budget copies have given them a run for their money. Fenders, in my experience are generally of exceptional quality only when you start paying more money for them. For this guitar, that is not the case. It is incredibly well made, everything is where it should be and nothing has broken. This guitar will take whatever you can throw at it, and then some. The build of this guitar is where it excels, and it could easily beat some much more expensive guitars for its quality.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
This is what let this guitar down. I've found other people dislike the action on this guitar, but I like it, as I generally play with very high action. With heavier strings (12-52 or more), this guitar can also do slide guitar very well. The only real problem I have had was the intonation. I know this can be changed, but I was quite disappointed when I started down-tuning the guitar to find that the intonation is very poorly set up. It might not be a problem with all Sonorans, but it couldn't be overlooked on this particular one. Apart from that, everything is just fine as it was from the factory, but the intonation is definitely worth checking out before you had over the money.

Features — 10
I got this guitar a few years ago now, and the man at the store said it was a very new Fender model, now with a traditional Fender headstock and gold scratchplate. I have no idea when it was made, but it was made in China. It was a very decent price, one of the cheapest solid-tops in the store, and this is a big store. It has a natural finish on a good sized body, and very nice wood has been used. The neck is unlike that of many Acoustic guitars, almost resembling a traditional Fender electric style neck. This makes it very easy to play for someone like me who has mainly played electric guitars. It has a traditional style bridge, and is fitted with electronics, including level and a three band EQ.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'm fairly new to guitars, so I'm sorry if this sounds silly, but I recently bought this guitar in cherry red, and I was wondering how to play it through an amp? I've tried three different leads but the sound just comes from the guitar, and not the amp?
    As a "bedroom strummer" I have always prefered Fender acoustics, usually quite low-priced (usually less than 150). Two days ago I was in a music store in Manchester looking for something along the lines of a Fender Dreadnought (Sunburst) to replace a guitar that I was forced to sell when I first moved to England. I saw the Sonoran in candy apple red with that fantastic Strat-look head and just fell madly in love. The price tag was 279 and when I got to the till the guy was like: Oh, it's on sale ... it's only 200! So I saved a few quid and am blown away by how amazing this guitar is. The tone is warm; ideal for the simple strumming that I enjoy, although when I get my next pay check I will be investing in a small amp and a Zoom multi-effects pedal so I can see how it performs as an electric. I'm resigned to the fact that I will never own a Gretch Country Gent, but this is without a doubt the most beautiful guitar that I have ever owned. At 200 quid you can't go wrong....
    @rankka, most of us who buy guitars will never get to play the best guitars in the world let alone buy one so if people are happy to give there guitar 9s and 10s thats there experience, after reading the reviews im going to purchase the fender, cheers for the reviews guys
    I just bought this guitar as a beginner - I already had some knowledge and returned the Fender Squire natural as one of the strings was too buzzy! This however as soon as I picked it up - I fell in love with it, looks beautiful, sounds beautiful and is an electro/acoustic which will come in handy. I decided to stretch to buy it as I loved it and it will last me FOREVER!!!! It's also a solid brand name Fender so is unlikely to have problems or cheap materials. There is a tiny buzzing in the low d string but by moving your hand closer to the fret and use the right pressure, this should be no problem. A must buy!!!
    Just bought one from craiglist Clev. Ohio it was weel neglected, missing pieces from the the bridge, an added shim to the nut, after some hours of T.L.C. resoldered the wires to the pin connector, and reset the bridge,I tryed to set it with some low action but I got that buzz at the 15th fret on the 1st string, no problem though a little tweek and it was fine. For the money, I wound up with a real gem, although when plugged in I have to flood it with bass it seems real bright and the more the volume the more distortion comes to play.