Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Last updated date: August 27, 2021

DWYM Score

8.8

Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

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We looked at the top Acoustic Guitars and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Acoustic Guitar you should buy.

Update as August 27, 2021:
Checkout The Best Acoustic Guitar for a detailed review of all the top acoustic guitars.

Overall Take

The sound of the Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar suffers a little due to the laminated wood build. However, it has a synthetic bone nut and bone saddle, which somewhat makes up for it. You'll also get a nylon bag with your purchase, allowing you to take it on the road with you.


In our analysis of 79 expert reviews, the Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar placed 13th when we looked at the top 19 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Getting started as a guitar player was never easier than with the Fender FA-100 Acoustic. It’s priced so affordably that jumping in doesn’t require a big investment. This instrument features a protective and glossy finish encompassing the body, time tested quartersawn X bracing, a compensated saddle and laminated Spruce top. Included with purchase is a Fender padded gig bag that lets you safely carry it wherever you go. Also included with purchase is Fender’s limited lifetime warranty.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

9.3
8 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.8
255 user reviews

What experts liked

Bright, responsive tone. Affordable price, especially for a Fender. Includes padded gig bag and other nice to have features.
- BestReviews
January 1, 2019 | Full review
For a guitar on the entry level, the Fender FA-100 has a very distinctive and incredible sound.
- Guitar Junkie
Playability- Lightweight and with rosewood fingerboard, this guitar’s playability is out of the discussion.
- CMUSE
April 10, 2018 | Full review
This guitar offers a very good projection for the materials, aided by the X bracing, while the overall sound is crisp, clear and pleasant.
- Guitar Fella
March 7, 2018 | Full review
That said, the Fender FA-100 has a shallow action, meaning its strings are very near the fretboard. Not only does this improve the guitar’s playability, but it also makes pressing strings down much easier for beginner’s.
- 429 Records
December 27, 2018 | Full review
The FA-100 Dreadnought is Fender’s cheapest beginner guitar.
- Music Advisor
What was a surprise to learn was that they use a synthetic bone nut and a compensated synthetic bone saddle. That’s pretty cool that they don’t just use cheap plastic on such an inexpensive guitar.
- Six String Acoustic
January 14, 2019 | Full review
All in all, the FA-100 starter pack is an excellent option for anyone looking to dip their toes (or fingers) in the world of guitar playing without having to invest a significant amount of money in an instrument.
- Best Acoustic Guitar Guide

What experts didn't like

Spruce top is laminated and could be somewhat less conducive to resonance.
- BestReviews
January 1, 2019 | Full review
Sound quality is not the best. Beginners won’t notice the difference though.
- Guitar Junkie
For beginners only- Anyhow, we do not suggest semi-pro and professionals to try something more serious with this guitar.
- CMUSE
April 10, 2018 | Full review
You probably won’t want to gig with it, but for lessons, practice and campfire performances you couldn’t ask for much better without stretching your budget.
- Guitar Fella
March 7, 2018 | Full review
One shortcoming of the Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar is the sealed, laminated wood. As is commonly known by experienced guitarists, laminated lumber can never match the sound quality of open, natural wood.
- 429 Records
December 27, 2018 | Full review
The only downside to this feature is that the strings have a greater tendency to buzz when strummed hard, but that can easily be fixed with a quick tweak of the action.
- Music Advisor
The tone is pretty empty and flat, it’s lacking any real character and projection
- Six String Acoustic
January 14, 2019 | Full review
As far as the guitar’s setup goes, the action, while not excellent, is low enough to play comfortably.
- Best Acoustic Guitar Guide

Our Expert Consultant

Lewis McGehee  
Professional guitarist, songwriter and private guitar teacher

Lewis McGehee is a professional guitarist, songwriter and private guitar teacher. He began playing guitar at the age of 7, playing in bands at 11 and was signed to Lifesong Records as a singer-songwriter in his early 20s. On the strength of his live shows, he went on to perform with many national acts such as John Prine, Robert Palmer, Talking Heads, Christopher Cross, Bob Dylan and Christine McVie. He also completed a multi-city tour as an opening act for Bruce Hornsby and has been teaching private acoustic guitar lessons for over 40 years.

An Overview On Acoustic Guitars

If you’ve always wanted to learn to play guitar, you aren’t alone. In fact, research has found that learning to play the guitar can improve a person’s quality of life. For that reason, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of people are picking up the guitar for no other purpose than to have fun.

Whether you have aspirations of becoming a professional musician or you simply want to entertain at parties, an acoustic guitar will get you started. Buying a guitar is easier than ever, with models available for every experience level. But before you start shopping for one, you’ll likely want to know the most important features.

Sound is, of course, of top priority. It can help to first know how an acoustic guitar works so that you’ll find one that puts out the best audio. Although you make music by moving your fingers over the strings, they actually make very little noise themselves. The sound comes from the way the vibration of the string is transferred by the bridge and saddle to the body of the guitar. This setup describes why the size and build of the entire guitar play an important role in the music you get from it.

Beyond the way your guitar sounds, though, it’s important to consider the look and feel of it, says Lewis McGehee, a professional guitarist, songwriter and private guitar teacher.

“A guitar is very personal,” McGehee says. “It needs to feel good, look good and sound good to you, which are all very subjective things. Everyone’s hands and bodies are different, which can determine how you hold and play a guitar.”

McGehee also recommends keeping the intended use of your new guitar in mind while you shop.

“Is your primary goal to have it strictly for personal use around your home or do you want to play it at an open mic? At your church? In a band?” he says.

Some guitars are smaller and lighter than others, so keep that in mind as you shop. You’ll also have the choice between various body styles, including the popular dreadnought or concert guitar body type. The latter is often more popular with beginners, who eventually graduate to dreadnought as they evolve.

You’ll also want to consider the quality of the wood used to make your new guitar, says McGehee. Some brands use better, tighter grain woods, which generally sound better, he added.

“High-quality wood — and if it is solid wood or veneer — has a big impact on the sound of the guitar. Solid wood guitars age better, which means they will sound even better in 10 years than they do now. If the guitar is made of veneer, it also has glue involved which affects the resonance of the guitar itself,” he says.

Also on the topic of wood, be sure to factor in your local climate when purchasing and maintaining your guitar.

“Because you are purchasing a wooden instrument, keep in mind that the environment in which you keep it matters,” says McGehee. “Radical changes in temperature or humidity can affect the wood of the guitar and make it require servicing. Wood can be very temperamental.”

Lastly, there’s the matter of price. If you’re just starting out, you may prefer a budget beginner’s guitar. Prices can vary dramatically, so consider whether you plan to continue to play your new instrument for many years before making a top-dollar commitment.

The Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide

  • Sound is probably the most important feature in a guitar, and you’ll get good music from even entry-level guitars.
  • Some guitars are built using laminated wood, which experienced guitarists know as problematic when it comes to sound. Although you’ll get good enough sound to learn to play, you’ll notice a slight difference between the results you get from these models as opposed to guitars made from natural wood.
  • Some acoustic guitars come with a built-in tuner, which keeps your guitar sounding good session after session.
  • Size is an important consideration, especially if you’re buying the guitar for the little ones in your household. There are beginner acoustic guitars that weigh only 2.2 pounds and are only 38 inches long, compared to other guitars in its range that weigh in the 9- to 13-pound range and are 43 inches in length.
  • Some guitars are quite impressive, with details like a rosewood bridge and synthetic bone saddle. These small things can make a difference in sound quality.
  • The amount you pay for your guitar will likely be linked to your level of commitment. Beginners simply interested in learning may veer toward a model that retails for a little less. More advanced musicians will be fine with the higher price tag for a more professional acoustic guitar that has all the bells and whistles.
  • When considering price, it’s also important to factor in whether it includes accessories. Sometimes the highest priced acoustic guitar doesn’t come with any accessories, which makes it not such a great deal. On the other hand, you may come across a more affordable acoustic guitar that includes a guitar pick, shoulder strap, pitch pipe, digital tuner, extra strings and a carrying case.
  • Look for a guitar that gives you options that you don’t have with other guitars. You can choose an all-acoustic or electric-acoustic combination, as well as picking from the ultra-popular dreadnought body type, which is an easier-to-play version for beginners.
  • There are various ways that the build of a guitar makes it better-suited for the novice musician. One is the location of the strings. Some guitars place their strings closer to the fretboard than others, which means you won’t have to press as hard.
  • Size and string location are important to easy playing, but so is the makeup of the frets. Frets are those metal strips you see along the fretboard, which is the part that extends from the guitar’s body. The frets separate the fretboard into segments, with the first segment closest to the very top of the guitar, called the head. Look for a guitar that has smooth frets, as this makes for a great experience for someone learning to play for the first time.
  • If you’re left-handed, it’s important to make sure you can play the guitar you purchase. Guitars are built for right-handed players, so you’ll need to reverse the guitar and change up the instructions as you learn to play. It’s important to note, though, that one of the best-known guitarists of all time, Jimi Hendrix, was left-handed.