FA1DN review by Freshman

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 6 (1 vote)
Freshman: FA1DN

Price paid: £ 100

Purchased from: Music store

Sound — 8
Being a Mahogany full sized body it has plenty of base but just enough clarity for finger picking, in fact it is probably a half decent guitar for most styles. As my first Dreadnought, I have little to compare with, however you can feel the chords resonate throughout the body and seems loud enough.

Overall Impression — 9
When I first bought this guitar I hardly played it for over a year, it hurt my fingers and was a pain to play, as an entry level guitar it would have put anyone new to guitar off for life, eventually, I took 2/32 off the bridge to lower the action and changed to Rotosound 10s; what a difference, it is now great and I think with elixir 11 strings it could be even better. I think a bone nut would make a huge difference to this guitar. It seems to have been replaced with a new model the FA1 DNS, solid top with gold hardware RRP 199 which is around 25 more for that solid top, all else seems the same. Access to the fretboard past the 12th fret is nigh impossible, if lost or stolen I would not buy again, probably get a Taylor GS Mini. I choose this guitar based on price as a cheap acoustic to add to my collection, I am however playing it more than my electrics recently, mostly strumming. My 9 rating is based on how it plays now, not on the factory setup. If willing to invest 20 mins to sand the bridge, this would be a great starter guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 8
So far so good, comes with no strap button on the neck, only at the base, no big deal use a shoe Lace as I do, the finish seems duarable enough time will tell. I think the guitar is solid enough for live playing, I did notice a small score in the 12 fret which I had to sand down, not sure what caused this, so it may be that the fret wire is a little soft, I have not noticed any issues on other frets.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The factory set up was poor; string height at the 12th fret was 5/32. There was some evidence of dried clue around the sound hole, no big deal just sloppy and could have been avoided with a little care. The nut seems to be made of hard plastic and pinched the 12 gauge strings that were factory fitted. The tuning pegs started to exhibit a little play however tightening the small screw on the end of the peg seemed to resolve the problem. I have rated this guitar a 7, as the high action really let the side down on what is really a nice guitar.

Features — 8
This is an entry level guitar from Freshman guitars who are based in Glasgow Scotland. I bought the guitar in 2009. It has 20 frets Dreadnought body with Laminated Sitka spruce top and Laminated Mahogany back and sides, there is a white plastic binding on both front and back of the body, and on the neck as well. I assume the neck is also Mahogany though there is no info available. The fret board is Rosewood. It has geared die cast machine heads. It came with a basic gig bag and nothing else. It has a gloss Natural finish. These guitars are made in the Far East they are however assembled and setup in Scotland. Freshman state they also personally choose the woods for their guitars. The RRP is 175. You can pick them up much cheaper if you are willing to shop around.

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