Fender has provided us with yet another solid low cost, yet high quality acoustic electric. With a street price of less than $300, there’s not much to complain about with the Fender CD140SCE.
I’ll never forget my first experience with a Fender acoustic guitar. I knew that Fender made incredible electric guitars and had even owned a Stratocaster for about a year. I didn’t really know much about how to purchase a quality acoustic guitar, but it was Fender, so it had to be good, right? Wrong. It was a 1970’s Fender Villager acoustic that I bought used for $200. It had a “hockey stick” neck and was an absolute nightmare. A real piece of junk. For years, I thought Fender just couldn’t produce a quality acoustic guitar.
Well, Fender has proven me wrong in recent years, and the CD140SCE acoustic-electric is proof that Fender has learned a few tricks about making quality acoustic guitars. Let’s see why it’s a viable contender if you’re in the market for a good low-cost acoustic electric instrument with a street price of less than $300.
The Fender CD140SCE is a cutaway acoustic-electric that sports a solid spruce topic, mahogany back and sides, nato neck, tortoiseshell pickguard, and rosewood fretboard and bridge. The electronics consist of a Fishman Aero with onboard tuner, 3-band EQ, and mid-sweep. The scale length is 25.3″ with a nut width of 1.69″. Available finishes are natural or black gloss.
As a guitar aimed at the beginner or budget-conscious player, the CD140SCE needs to meet a few narrow but crucial critia. It has to have a good action. After all, nothing discourages a beginning guitarist more than a guitar that’s difficult to play. It also has to have a build quality that can take abuse from people who don’t quite yet know how to take care of a guitar properly. The Fender CD140SCE excels in all of these areas. All that was needed was a minor adjustment of the truss rod. Once the guitar was set up properly, it played well with a nice low action that was sounded good all the way up the fretboard. The cutaway made access to the upper frets effortless. The gloss finish was similarly well done, particularly for a bargain-priced instrument. You won’t confuse it with a high end Taylor or Martin, but you won’t be disappointed either.
The sound was exceptional for a guitar in this price range. Though some traditionalists might be put off by the cutaway this is a guitar that could conceivably be used for everything from country and rock to blues and folk. The Fishman and Fender electronics do a fine job in translating the guitar’s naturally good sound into a signal usable by either an acoustic amp or PA system. The onboard tuner does a great job as well, though the tuner and preamp combo does eat batteries fairly quickly. I’d keep a spare set in the case that, unfortunately, you’ll have to buy for yourself since Fender doesn’t provide one.
These minor problems aside, Fender has provided us with yet another solid low cost, yet high quality acoustic electric. With a street price of less than $300, there’s not much to complain about. Sure, a decent hard case would be nice, but that’s a rarity in this price range. If you want a quality acoustic electric that’s versatile and fairly priced, the Fender CD140SCE is worth a look.
Name of Gear: Fender CD140SCE
List Price: $386.99
Manufacturer Info: Fender Musical Instruments; fender.com
Pros: Solid budget acoustic; excellent sound for a budget guitar; good onboard preamp and tuner
Cons: No case