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The Fender CD-60 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Updated on February 14, 2011

If you’re looking for an acoustic guitar but don’t want to spend a huge amount of money, there’s a wide choice available. Unfortunately a lot of cheaper acoustic guitars tend to be poorly made and don’t sound very good, making them unpleasant to play. But there are some exceptions, and Fender’s CD-60 acoustic guitar range is among these.

Fender is probably better known for its iconic electric models such as the Stratocaster and Telecaster than its acoustics, but the company produces some nice acoustic models too. The CD-60 guitars have recently been revamped, and now offer some really nice features for a low price.

Materials & Construction

This is a dreadnought acoustic, and the large body gives the guitar a full, rich tone. The CD60 is available in three colours, with a glossy finish: sunburst (the most attractive in my opinion), black and natural.

The body is made from laminated wood, with a spruce top and nato (eastern mahogany) wood sides. Laminated woods are common in lower end guitars, and are looked down on by some guitar enthusiasts because they tend to have a poorer tone than the solid wood you get in expensive guitars. However, this doesn’t mean that a laminated instrument can’t sound good, as much depends on the woods used, and the quality of construction (and also the strings used too – quality strings can make any guitar sound better). The CD60 has gained a lot of positive reviews for its attractive sound quality, especially compared to other guitars in this price bracket. Obviously it’s not going to sound as good as a guitar costing a few thousand, but for the price you could do a lot worse. Another advantage of laminate woods is that they have a more stable tone quality than solid wood instruments, since they’re not as susceptible to changes in environmental conditions.

The neck is also made from nato, whereas sonokeling wood is used for the bridge and fretboard. This is a hardwearing wood with a pleasant brown colour. Small dot inlays are used on the fingerboard, and the scale length is 25.3” (64.3cm), with 20 frets. The action is fairly low, although as with most new guitars, some instruments may require small adjustments in the action if fret buzz is present (this shouldn’t normally be an issue though). The CD-60 has a dual action truss rod – this type of truss rod can correct both forward and backward curvature of the neck.

The tuners are made from die-cast chrome, and hold their position well, so the guitar won’t go out of tune easily.

Aesthetically, this is a nice-looking guitar, although nothing too fancy. The sunburst model is a rich orangey-red colour with black edges, whereas the natural and black versions are plainer. Black binding on the body and neck, as well as a black pickguard, bridge and end-pins make for a co-ordinated look. The soundhole rosette isn’t flashy, but has a nice-looking mother of pearl inlay. In general the guitar is well-made, without the ‘rough edges’ you sometimes get on cheaper instruments.

The CD-60 also comes with a hardshell case; considering that hard cases can cost around $50 or more, this is a nice extra, especially in view of the low price of the instrument. So if you’re planning to take the guitar out of the house, or just want a secure place to store it, you won’t need to buy anything extra. Unfortunately though, this is only available in the US or Canada, which seems rather unfair on Fender’s part.

Is It Worth Buying?

Overall, this is a great value entry level guitar, and if you’re a beginner who wants to learn on a decent instrument without spending a fortune, it’s a good choice. It does cost more than many ‘bargain basement’ beginner guitars, but buying ultra-cheap instruments is never really a good idea, since 9 times out of 10 they won’t be very nice to play. By spending just a bit extra to get a nice quality acoustic like this Fender, you’ll have a guitar that will last for years and will be a pleasure to practice on.

The CD-60 isn’t just limited to beginners though – it also makes a good choice for players with some experience who want to expand their collection without spending a lot of money, or who want a cheaper guitar for playing in environments that aren’t suitable for an expensive model, as it plays and sounds good enough to be satisfying to many more advanced guitarists too.

Fender CD60-CE Acoustic-Electric Guitars

If your tastes run more towards acoustic-electric models, you can also get an amplified version of the CD60. The CD-60CE is available in the same colours with similar specs to the CD-60, but has a cutaway body and a Fishman® preamp which includes a built-in tuner. This makes it a great choice for gigging, or just enjoying the great sound at home. At around an extra $70, it does cost a little more than the CD-60, but is still a great bargain.

Where To Buy The Fender CD-60 Acoustic Guitar

You might find this guitar in your local music stores, although if you’re looking for the lowest prices, shopping online is the best option, and it’s carried by the major guitar and general music sites, as well as by


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