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Brand/Model: Fender FA-235E
Number of Strings: 6
Hand Orientation: Right
Body Material: Mahogany/Maple top
Neck Material: Nato
Fretboard Material: Rosewood
Price Range: Under $300
Our Rating: 8.5/10
Fender FA-235E Acoustic Electric Guitar Review
With just one look at this acoustic-electric guitar, and you’ll fall hard for it. Its chic, vintage, and sleek appeal is sure deserving of more curiosity. So, that’s exactly what we did. We gave it a thorough once-over to get down to the bare bones to see if there’s any hidden skeletons in the Fender closet!
The guitar is gorgeous on the outside. The flamed maple top is sure to attract some young and hip players. It has a concert body shape, and the entire guitar is a fully-laminated machine. Laminate mahogany make up the back and sides.
The nato neck is adorned with a rosewood fretboard that pairs with the Viking rosewood bridge.
The neck has 20 frets with a Graph Tech TUSQ nut and pearloid “Keystone” inlays. You also have open-backed geared tuning machines, a 25.3″ neck scale, and aged white binding for the body. It’s also been outfitted with a Fishman preamp and built-in tuner.
You have onboard controls with volume, bass, and treble for stage-ready amplification. The modern Fishman electronics can have a beginner guitarist ready for live performances with that iconic Fender sound. The sound is lively, note defining, and high in the trebles, however, it’s also well-balanced with mahogany to produce to some warmth and oomph.
Priced just right, this Fender guitar might appeal more to the young crowd, but it’s not the only finish/color option in the bucket. If you old school artists are intrigued by the flame maple top, you might want to see what other options are in store for you. Check out the Q&A below!
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Viking bridge
- TUSQ nut
- Concert body
- May require setup
Unfortunately, the buying crowd hasn’t picked up on this newly-released acoustic electric guitar. While there’s not much to be said of it at this moment, it’s a Fender, we’re sure to see quite the buzz in the near future.
Fender has a long-time reputation with the masses. Fender may very well be the go-to brand to put into the hands of a beginner, and this FA-235E just might be the way to go. However, we’d say that this guitar has far more potential than to accept a fate as a starter guitar. This can be used and abused in the hands of a seasoned player.
It’s a great all-round guitar that can handle its 15 minutes of fame as well the quiet nights at home or at a bonfire rage. It’s never been a bad thing to make a Fender your go-to guitar – newb or not!
Alternatives to Consider
In this price point, Fender may very well rule the market. For under $300 you can also strum by the Fender CP-60S with its solid spruce top, rolled fret edges, and its Easy-to-Play neck. Take note first that this is an acoustic only guitar. You’ll have to forfeit your plug-in power!
Another Fender in this price range is the T-Bucket 300CE. This is also a laminated guitar, but it has a very vintage quilted maple top that provides its own kind of appeal. It’s larger than the FA-235E since it’s a dreadnought guitar, but it also has a cutaway to provide comfort and style, and Fishman’s Isys III electronics to amp up your playing niche!
Outside of the Fender family, you might want to consider the Yamaha FGX800C with its scalloped X bracing. The additional support from the bracing lends to its rich sound and intonation. It’s a hit in the ratings with its under saddle piezo pickup and 3-band EQ. The natural finish puts this guitar right in your price range. Check it out today!
Fender FA-235E Q&A
Laminate is used as an alternative to real tonewoods to build a guitar. It’s essentially plywood with a laminate on top to provide the exterior of the guitar. Using laminate allows for lower production costs and a lower price for the consumer.
It’s also more resilient to damage and to humidity that can harm a solid top guitar.
This is the flame maple top with a moonlight burst finish. There is also a 3-tone sunburst and natural finish.
Yes, the other FA-235E models have the exact same woods and specs as the featured moonlight burst guitar.
The width at the nut is 43 mm.
Yes, this is still considered a full-size guitar with its concert body shape. It is smaller than a dreadnought, but it’s still intended for adult and older children.
The rosette has a pearloid “Keystone” design that matches the pearloid “Keystone” inlays on the fretboard.
The guitar has a gloss finish on the neck and body. This provides a smooth finish while also providing a shiny, glistening sheen.
Hardware/Electronics You’ll Need:
It’s customary to see guitars in this price range lacking any accessories included in the buy. Following the trend, the Fender guitar doesn’t come with any much-needed essentials. What are those essentials? We’ll list a few suggestions here, but we highly encourage you to make your way over to our mega guitar accessories guide to see a complete list.
This list will make it a lot easier for beginners to get a grip on what can be bought later and what’s an absolute need for right now.
- Guitar Amps
- Extra Steel Guitar Strings
- Capo (optional)
- Metronome (optional)
- Stringwinder (optional)
- Aesthetic appeal
- TUSQ nut
- Concert body
Our Verdict on the FA-235E
To strum it up, we didn’t find any hidden skeletons in the Fender closet regarding the Fender FA-235E guitar. It’s a legit guitar that will soon see a solid rating in the rankings. We wouldn’t blame you if you bought this guitar just for the looks, we would too!
- Concert Body style
- Flame Maple top
- Laurel Fingerboard
- Mahogany back and sides
- Fishman preamp and built in Tuner