If you are looking for information about vintage Fender acoustic guitars, you have probably already discovered that there is not a multitude of information about the topic. While Fender is not known as strongly for their acoustics as they are for their electrics, the company's role in the history of the acoustic guitar is crucial.
Background on Fender and The Acoustic
Fender has always been a prominent name in electric guitars. Their guitars are inventive, affordable and easy to play. In the 1950s and later, Fender applied the principles behind their famous electric guitars to make acoustics. As flat tops with patterned rosewood designs, the models were attractive. They also featured two screws in the pickguard, a tuner on a single side of the neck for most models and a metal neck plate on the back.
Many speculate that these acoustics were not up to the sound quality for which Fender is famous. However, for both Fender fans and guitar collectors, the period of vintage Fender acoustic guitars is well worth mentioning. The period also gave rise to acoustic-electric guitars, something for which Fender has become a go-to source. What some view as a blemish on the Fender record, others view as an important marker.
Vintage Fender Acoustic Guitars
While Fender might not be known for acoustics, there are some popular models that still draw acclaim.
The Fender King or Kingman
The Fender King was an acoustic made by the company in 1963. The guitar was redone under the name Fender Kingman in 1966 and discontinued in 1971. At the time, the guitar was relatively popular. The neck was of high quality and had a tone bar added to the body. The guitar was available in different inlays and colors, including the odd Wildwood line of the time. The Wildwood line was a side project of the Fender Kingman that featured a three-ply beveled edge pickguard and dyed colors including purple, gold, green and blue. The colors were made by injecting live beech trees with the color prior to harvesting.
The Shenandoah guitar was a 12-string version very similar to the Kingman that was made in the 1950s and 1960s. It was discontinued in 1971 as well. The guitar featured mahogany back and sides with dot fingerboard inlays. Two popular colored varieties included the silver to black sunburst (made in 1967) and the sunburst or black finishes (made in 1968).
Fender Classic Guitar
With 19 fret fingerboards and classic bridge and loop anchored strings, the classic guitar was meant to be a standard in the Fender collection. Released in 1963, the guitar also did not have a pickguard. It was available in Brazilian rosewood, Indian rosewood or maplewood. The Fender acoustic folk guitar was a very similar guitar with steel strings and a tortoise pickguard. The Classic was discontinued in 1966 while the folk guitar lasted a single year from 1963 to 1964.
Other Fender Acoustic Guitars
Fender also produced a few other models of acoustic guitar that were also discontinued around the same time period. These models include:
- The Palamino guitar
- The Newporter guitar
- The Redondo Guitar
- The Villager guitar
- The Malibu guitar
- Tarrega Classic guitars
Where To Find Fender Acoustics
If you have your heart set on finding a Fender acoustic, consider scouring the auction sites like:
- Online Auction
You'll never know who is selling the acoustic Fender of your dreams on one of these sites. You can also consult pawnshops and older guitar dealers in your area.
While Fender may not be known for their acoustic guitars, they are known for being a standard in the guitar industry. Fender acoustics are not for the beginner or even many experienced players, but for some, Fender acoustics are still king.