Fender FA-100 Upgrade Acoustic Guitar Review

I am writing this Fender SA-100 Upgrade Acoustic Guitar review from my own experience. My first encounter with the Fender SA-100 Upgrade Acoustic Guitar was when I first decided to learn the exciting and soothing art of guitar playing. Back then, Fender guitars were as popular as they are today, so naturally I picked the SA-100 to be my first guitar and boy was it a good pick.

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Fender SA-100 Upgrade Acoustic Guitar Review:

Priced at less the $ 200, the SA-100 is perfect for beginners. Apart from it being affordable, there are several other reasons why you should consider this as your first guitar.

Construction And Design:

Fender SA-100 Upgrade Acoustic Guitar body

With a dreadnought body constructed of wood of superior quality, the SA-100 does justice to its manufacturer’s legendary reputation.

The guitar sports a laminated spruce top and a rosewood bridge and fretboard fitted with 20 nickel-plated frets. The sides and neck of the guitar are fashioned from laminated Agathis.

To further sweeten the cherry, the SA-100 has a neat gloss Polyurethane finish that is hard to find in guitars costing less than $ 200. Fender’s team of research and development is the brains behind the SA-100’s impressive design.

Sound Quality:

Fender SA-100 Upgrade Acoustic Guitar neck

The Fender SA-100 does not only look good, but it also sounds great. The solid laminated spruce top improves the guitar’s sound with age.

As such, the SA-100 is like good wine that gets better with age. However, this is not to say that its sound is bad when it’s brand new.

On the contrary, the laminated spruce top does not interfere with the guitar’s sound quality. In fact, the laminated top adds a touch of elegance to the overall appearance of the SA-100.


Albeit it is not the lightest acoustic guitar out there, the SA-100 cannot be considered to be a bulky instrument, thus, it is neither bulky nor light. The benefit of this is that it is not fragile, handles well and feels solid. To enhance tuning, the guitar comes with an electric tuner guaranteed to keep it in tune for lengthy periods.

Also, the guitar’s bridge has a compensated saddle that adds to its tuning stability. The width of the nut is 1.65 millimeters, which is the best guitar for beginners. The factory set action feels a bit high; however, this is standard for most budget guitars. Additionally, it is possible to set-up the guitar if you feel the action is too high.

Previously I found using the hex key difficult, but after three years with the SA-100, I no longer find it difficult to use. When you are a beginner with no experience with the hex key, it may be better to consult an expert. The hex key is included to be used in adjusting the guitar’s truss and rods.


Included in the package are a host of useful accessories that include a gig bag, tuners, and picks. The gig bag is not the best, but it’s sufficient to protect your instrument from the extremities of weather.

The bag is devoid of padding and pockets; thus, you might need to purchase another bag. Also included in the package is a strap that connects to a strap pin located on the upper bout.

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  • Awesome beginner guitar
  • Great price
  • Neat finishes for a guitar within its price range
  • Not too big and not too small
  • Has a great tone for a guitar costing less than $ 200
  • Looks beautiful
  • Comes with a host of accessories
  • Equipped with electric tuners that keep it in tune
  • Durable thanks to the laminated spruce top
  • Easy to tune


  • The gig bag is of low quality and may require replacing
  • The action is a bit high and makes it tough on beginners’ hands
  • Some users have complained of the strap not connecting to its strap pin

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Question: How big is this guitar?

Answer: The Fender SA-100 is a standard full sized guitar measuring 44 inches by 20 inches by 7 inches. The neck measures 25 inches in length. This guitar may feel slightly bulky for persons aged 15 years and below. Nonetheless, it feels comfortable to hold for an average sized adult. In regards to weight, the guitar weighs nine pounds.

Needless to say, this guitar feels large for children aged below ten years but is manageable for teens and adults of below average height.

Question: Is it a right or left handed?

Answer: To tell whether a guitar is left or right handed look at the thickness of the strings while the guitar is in an upright position. If the thickest string is on the left, then the guitar is a right handed guitar whereas if the same string is on the right, the guitar is a left-handed one.

The SA-100 is a right handed guitar and is not available for left-handed players. If you are left handed you might want to try a different guitar.

Question: Is the SA-100 a good beginner guitar and is it different from the FA-100?

Answer: Fenders SA-100 was designed to be a budget guitar ideal for beginners. Thus, it is a quality beginner guitar that has no rival in its price range. Additionally, the sound quality on this fender is astonishing given its price tag. As for comparing it to the FA-100, there are significant differences between the two.

However, they are both beginner guitars of superior quality. It is not possible to pick out the winner between the two as it depends on an individual’s preference and taste.

Final Verdict

Fender is one of the most trusted names in the guitar making industry. As such, you should not expect anything but the best from the manufacturer and the best is what you get with the Fender SA-100. The latter’s sound quality and craftsmanship cannot be compared to other guitars within its price range.

And although its gig bag is of very low quality, it fits into most standard dreadnaught bags. Hence, you can always purchase another gig bag for it while the light gauge strings can always be replaced after purchase. In regards to the high action, it is possible to adjust the truss rods with the included hex key.

In conclusion, it is hard to believe that the Fender SA-100 Acoustic guitar costs less than $ 100 and comes with picks, tuners, straps and even a gig bag.

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About the Author Michael J. Bass

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