Review: Fender Limited Edition CD-60S

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Review: Fender Limited Edition CD-60S

Words by Cambell Courtney

Fender Music Australia | Price: $349

Finding a new guitar can be as stressful as it is exciting. These days, there is so much information and options that it can be overwhelming. A balancing act of budget, quality, aesthetics, and feel. So many options at all price ranges.

Generally, with musical instruments, you get what you pay for. Instruments that are expensive, typically have a reason to be. However, ‘generally’, isnt ‘always’. If you know where to look and do some extra research, there are heaps of hidden gems and fantastic guitars that get overlooked because they are at a ‘budget’ price point. The Limited Edition CD-60S from Fender is what I would consider to be one of these guitars.

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Fender needs no introduction. It is arguably one of the most iconic and influential guitar manufacturers of all time, dominating the electric guitar and amplifier market, with a strong foothold in acoustics, effects, and accessories. With Fender, you can rest assured you are going to get an instrument of high build and sound quality, regardless of what your budgetary restrictions are. The CD-60S is an upgrade to the long standing CD-60 – improved by the solid spruce top that adds more vibrance and resonance to the instrument. 

The first thing I noticed when unboxing the guitar is the finish.The beautiful glossy finish and the wood grain of the flame maple back and sides look fantastic in person, something that photos online fail to capture.  The body is a traditional dreadnought style with a black and orange sunburst finish. The walnut fretboard and mahogany headstock suit the darker finish to give it a refined, elegant look. The sunburst finish is restricted to the limited edition variant of the CD-60S, with the standard models available in black or in the spruce wood’s natural colour. 

Loaded in the CD-60S is a spruce wood top, with flame maple back and sides and an ‘X’ style bracing. The neck is made from mahogany with a walnut fretboard and bridge. There are no pickups or amplification hardware, so there is no option to plug in and play through an amp, however I see this as more of a practice and casual use guitar, made to play for your friends at a party or campsite. If you plan to use this as a stage instrument, just keep in mind you’ll have to mic it manually at the venue or invest in an acoustic pickup. Not a major issue but something to keep in mind when considering the CD-60S.

The CD-60S may only be $350, but it certainly doesn’t sound like $350. Again, I was pleasantly surprised at the sound quality for the price point of the guitar. The tone is rich and vibrant, and playing chord-heavy and strumming-focused songs sound fantastic. I could sit down and strum random chords on this thing all day. It even performed well with ‘lap tap’ style playing without any adjustments to the action or hardware, showing me the versatility of the instrument.

The guitar itself feels very comfortable to play. Although this is certainly a subjective opinion, as everyone has different preferences, the ‘easy-to-play’ neck with rolled fingerboard provides a very comfortable hand position, and gripping the neck for chords, barres chords, and thumb-over positions is effortless. This is especially the case when compared to high-end acoustics which typically employ thicker, more rounded necks. The neck profile would suit anyone with a smaller hand size, anyone who is more comfortable with electric guitars, or who just plain doesn’t like thick necks. 

From the moment I picked up the guitar, I was assured of the build quality. Everything felt solid and comfortable, and there was nothing on the instrument that was indicative of the low price point. The bridge and the action felt great right out of the box with no set up or adjustments, and the tuners rarely drifted out of tune. I honestly did not run into any common issues that can be expected when buying at this price.

Overall, I can’t overstate how impressed I was with the quality of the guitar, in looks, feel, and sound, which is only made more impressive considering the guitar is only $350. In terms of the overall package, the Fender CD-60S is an ideal acoustic guitar for beginner and intermediate players, and I would even recommend it to advanced players looking for an affordable practice guitar or something you wouldn’t mind getting a bit dinged up while travelling.

Although the lack of electronics mean that it’s not the most convenient guitar for the stage, this can easily be circumvented with the addition of a mic or an aftermarket acoustic pickup. I am surprised by the build and sound quality considering the price, and I would happily recommend it to any player looking for an acoustic guitar within this price range. 

Head to Fender for more information. For local enquiries, reach out to Fender Music Australia.

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