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Author Topic: Surprised (again) by a FENDER all-laminate acoustic guitar  (Read 1875 times)
Mikeymac
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« on: December 04, 2015, 09:15:47 AM »

I certainly didn't need another guitar... but there I was, minding my own business in a Music Go Round shop after meeting a colleague for coffee, and I was looking through all the used guitars hanging on the wall with little expectation of finding anything left-handed that would interest me.

And there it was... nothing special for sure, and I almost didn't play it - but they had a lefty Fender dreadnaught acoustic with a cutaway, and it looked like it wasn't all beat up (like a lot of their stuff - pure junk and old crap). So I pulled it off the wall, tuned it up a bit and started playing. Hmmm... sounds pretty good for an all laminate guitar. Action was reasonable, too (although I could tell it had never been set up properly - strings were too high at the nut - a pet peeve of mine).

I have no idea how old this one is, but it's in great shape except that the nut was broken next to the low E string (but the string still stayed in its slot, and didn't buzz or rattle).

They had it priced at $139. Since it played pretty well and sounded pretty decent, I plugged it in and the pickup worked (tuner did not, even after a battery change), but it didn't sound too good (but I learned later that was the cheap amp I was plugged into - I won't say what brand, since it was used as well).

After very brief wheeling and dealing (pointing out that the nut needed to be replaced) I walked out with it for $100! When I got it home I replaced the nut with one I had in my stash - after some brief set up and new strings, it looked and played great!

Plugged it into my older (non-DSP) Fender Acoustasonic Jr. amp, and was very surprised - sounded very good to excellent with a little knob tweaking on both the guitar and amp! (The pickup on this is low end - volume knob and B/M/T sliders, plus the tuner that didn't work.) This guitar is actually very giggable - it has great action, and the notes sound balanced all the way up into the cutaway - and I wouldn't worry about taking this $100 guitar to some fairly rowdy places, or out into the heat or cold. I had thought about mounting an LR Baggs sound hole magnetic pickup in this thing (I have one sitting around), but the internal pickup sounds good enough - why bother?

I've noticed that Fender has built a few laminated top models that sound quite good - I was with my band's bass player at a local shop a couple months ago, and picked up a random low-end Fender acoustic off the wall, and was very surprised at how balanced, rich and 'woody' it sounded - not typical at all of all-laminate guitars. It sounded better than a couple of Taylors and Gibsons hanging on the wall.  Someone said that Fender recently hired a luthier designer (don't remember who they used to be with - Guild? Tacoma?) who has helped them revamp their acoustic line and raise the bar - if these two guitars I've played recently are any indication, they're doing things right.

I sure didn't need another guitar, but am pretty happy with this one...

Here's the newest version of this Fender CD100 CE Left-handed at Musician's Friend. The only real difference between mine and the one in the pic: mine has a standard, Martin style bridge on it, not curvy like this one, and on mine, the battery is in the preamp module (so only one hold in the side of the guitar!).

 nice guitar

 
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Scrambler17
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2015, 12:24:44 PM »

I played a Fender D with a cutaway that I bought around 2000 for over a decade as my only acoustic, I do think it was solid wood.  While it doesn't hold a candle to my Larri, it had a pretty good sound and playability, especially for a guitar that cost somewhere around $400.  I've kept it as a beater, but really haven't gotten it out at all since I've moved on :)  Congrats on the find. 
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2015, 01:56:08 PM »

Going to be running out of room soon Mike, better save a little for the 50th Anniversary 
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2015, 10:26:56 PM »


Going to be running out of room soon Mike, better save a little for the 50th Anniversary 


Yes...even as I was walking out of the store with this thing I was thinking to myself, "What am I doing? What is wrong with me? I have a sickness!"

But, part of my sickness is the same thing Danny suffers from - I like the challenge of fixing up or improving an instrument. I'm certainly no where near the level Danny is, but I can do basic set-ups and tune-ups. So after I changed out the nut, lowered the nut slots, cleaned off the fretboard and restrung it, it played great, and sounded even better. I didn't even have to touch the truss rod.

It's actually a very serviceable instrument, with better than expected tone for an all-laminate - and plugged in, it's above average.

See...we can always justify our dysfunctions...

 
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All guitars are left-handed:
1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
2016 L-05 Custom
broKen
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2015, 11:39:03 PM »


It's actually a very serviceable instrument, with better than expected tone for an all-laminate - and plugged in, it's above average.

See...we can always justify our dysfunctions...

 

It helps if you can play well too. Every time I get close to buying another, I'm reminded of that. My wife helps with that.  blush
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2015, 02:39:36 AM »


Every time I get close to buying another, I'm reminded of that. My wife helps with that.  blush


See...perfect example of family dysfunction. Your wife, I mean...  whistling
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All guitars are left-handed:
1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
2016 L-05 Custom
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2015, 12:36:41 PM »

See...perfect example of family dysfunction. Your wife, I mean...  whistling
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Danny
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2015, 03:38:21 PM »

Yes...even as I was walking out of the store with this thing I was thinking to myself, "What am I doing? What is wrong with me? I have a sickness!"

But, part of my sickness is the same thing Danny suffers from - I like the challenge of fixing up or improving an instrument. I'm certainly no where near the level Danny is, but I can do basic set-ups and tune-ups. So after I changed out the nut, lowered the nut slots, cleaned off the fretboard and restrung it, it played great, and sounded even better. I didn't even have to touch the truss rod.

It's actually a very serviceable instrument, with better than expected tone for an all-laminate - and plugged in, it's above average.

See...we can always justify our dysfunctions...

 
  when I first joined the forum I had two Fender acoustics, one was a 12  string, the other all solid wood made in the U.S. in 1970 by Harmony.  The 12 string is long gone but the Fender/Sovereign is in the total rebuild, Ladder to X-brace queue.
     Yup, I am sick, and Mike you got the same bug.  blush

But it's good to have some less expensive guitars to give to friends and family.
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2015, 10:25:13 PM »

   
Yup, I am sick, and Mike you got the same bug.  blush

But it's good to have some less expensive guitars to give to friends and family.


I agree, Danny... I just need to find some more lefty players to give a few of mine new homes.
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All guitars are left-handed:
1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
2016 L-05 Custom
Gordo in OZ
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2015, 03:13:49 PM »

Fenders are weird. Most of them are ho hum at best but every now and then you find a cheap Fender that has it all. I always try them out when I see them and when the price is bargain. They make good presents as there are already too many instruments in this house.
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Loads of old concertinas, harmoniums, mandolins and auto harps.
cwa11is
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 09:18:35 PM »

A ha! I'm sick too, but maybe not alone. Bought my first guitar of my 2nd attempt to learn how to play seriously  about 2 years ago. A Fender cd-140. It looks and sounds good to my beginner ears and fingers, but now I want something really good. Ordered myself a L-09 for Christmas that I won't even have for 6 to 10 more weeks and I'm already heavily researching Les Paul Standards and amps.  I am the sole inmate running my own asylum and I know what is going to happen.  Fly away money, fly away!!!   
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2018, 06:26:16 PM »

A ha! I'm sick too, but maybe not alone. Bought my first guitar of my 2nd attempt to learn how to play seriously  about 2 years ago. A Fender cd-140. It looks and sounds good to my beginner ears and fingers, but now I want something really good. Ordered myself a L-09 for Christmas that I won't even have for 6 to 10 more weeks and I'm already heavily researching Les Paul Standards and amps.  I am the sole inmate running my own asylum and I know what is going to happen.  Fly away money, fly away!!!   

Wow, you really dug up an old thread! But welcome to the Larrivee Loony Bin: "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

I've still got my Fender mentioned in the OP, but it doesn't get played much as I have much nicer acoustics. I was going to use it to go caroling this Christmas in the Minnesota cold, but then decided we didn't need a guitar along - voices alone are better.

I'd reassess my original optimistic review of the tone down a couple notches, just because over time I've come to realize how much better the all solid acoustics I have are (shock, right?).  Those include several Larrivees, Martins and a Gibson J-45, so ovbiously there's no comparison.

But it still remains a good "beater" guitar to have around when you're going to be in an environment hazardous to a nice acoustic...

 
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All guitars are left-handed:
1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
2016 L-05 Custom
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2018, 01:56:58 AM »

It is an old thread. I didn't read the dates on these. I'm just a old guy beginner soaking up the information as fast as I can. Sorry. It's all new to me.  Posts like yours make me feel like I fit right in with the mindset at least. Thanks.  .

Also, I'll be new for the rest of my life, so do I post doughnuts perpetually?
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Danny
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2018, 01:59:11 AM »

Heh, I'm 65, you are doing fine, welcome and thanks for the donuts. 
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2018, 03:46:55 AM »

Heh, I'm 65, you are doing fine, welcome and thanks for the donuts. 

And I just turned 60 on Thursday, so welcome the the good ol' boys (and girls) club...

Keep reading and posting - it's a great place to learn.
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All guitars are left-handed:
1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
2016 L-05 Custom
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