Product Type: Fender guitars and bass guitars
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The Fender CD-60CE: King of the Budget Electro-acoustic Guitars
Fender CD-60 CE
Member Name: PCLM
Fender CD-60 CE
Date: 16/03/10, updated on 25/03/10 (4160 review reads)
Advantages: Fairly priced, warm yet defined sound/tone, electro-acoustic, handy tuner and pre-amp, pre-strung
Disadvantages: Doesn't come with the hard carry case which is standard for North American customers
When my old £30 Westfield acoustic gave up the ghost a few months ago I knew it was time to invest in a guitar which was worthy of my 10 or 11 years of experience, and the Fender CD-60CE was within my price range and was obviously from a reputable manufacturer of high quality guitars. There aren't too many in-depth reviews of the instrument online that I could find, and the YouTube videos featuring the instrument don't really go into much detail about the product, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and just give it a shot. I ordered it online from Littlewoods, hence the risk factor involved in not knowing what it sounded like beforehand, and I was extremely pleased and in fact surprised by the quality of the product and the quality of the sound it produces.
The guitar sports a spruce top and laminated mahogany back/sides and scalloped bracing, which means little to me given that my years of guitar playing have mainly involved two or three different guitars which were simply affordable at the time of purchase, but these woods are apparently what contribute to the warm yet defined sound offered by the guitar, as does the Indonesian sonokeling fretboard (with a nato neck) which I understand comes from the same tree as Indian rosewood but they have differences brought about by variations in climate and plantation origins, and these differences presumably carry over into the tone produced when they're used in guitar manufacturing. Also made from sonokeling is the bridge which has a compensated saddle. Additionally, the guitar has a black pickguard, dual action truss rod and dot inlays.
There is one consideration I did want to be met before I decided to buy it, and that was the cutaway body shape. The cutaway design allows access to the higher frets, given that a chunk of the body has been removed. On non-cutaway dreadnought designs you'll be lucky if you can reach the 15th fret comfortably, which begs the question "why bother including these frets at all?". The CD-60CE has 20 frets which are all accessible and sound crisp and clean, which was a relief for me when I first tested her out. My guitar is the black one pictured, but it also comes in sunburst and "natural" colours. The "natural" variation has more of a cream coloured body, if that appeals to you.
The guitar is electro-acoustic, meaning you can plug it directly into an amplifier using a normal guitar lead. The strap-button on the bottom of the body doubles up as a standard guitar jack. There's a built-in chromatic tuner and a button-activated Fender FTE3-TN Active On-Board pre-amp with volume, treble, middle and bass knobs to be twiddled at will. The whole installation requires an easily replaced run-of-the-mill square battery - one of which is helpfully included. The pre-amp doesn't need to be switched on in order for the guitar to be playable through an amplifier, however, but is required only if you want to make use of the tuner and the pre-amp.
The guitar comes pre-strung with D'Addario EXP-26 Phosphor Bronze 11-52 strings, which sound nice and bright/tinny. I personally prefer much heavier strings but I thought it'd be a waste to change a perfectly good set for no reason! That, and the fact that I'm not made of money.
The guitar is fairly solid, and has a nice overall weight. It plays smoothly and the action is nice and low with its fret wires being of a non-obtrusive thickness. The neck is a nice comfortable width allowing fluid movement and stability. I would consider this guitar to be the best acoustic I've played, which admittedly doesn't amount to much given that I'm not an aficionado of instruments despite my many years of playing, but I like the sound, the feel and the look of this guitar and I think it's very reasonably priced given its high quality.
Unfortunately for us poor schmoes in the UK/Ireland we don't get a free hard guitar case with the guitar as is standard in the States and Canada, which is a little annoying because they generally cost upwards of £45. Even with that in mind the guitar is still a great all-around winner for a price most of us can afford. Score one for Fender.
Summary: One of the best acoustic guitars I've ever played, and for a price which won't leave you penniless.
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