Most steel string acoustic dreadnought guitars are copies of either a Martin D 28, or a copy of a Martin D 18. The Fender F 65 is a very good copy of D 28. I had no idea how good a copy it is though, until I put a brand new set of medium gauge Elixir strings on the thing.
I haven’t done the research yet to find out what year this thing was made, or whether or not it was made in Japan instead of in the USA. Those things are important to some people, but they aren’t that important to me. Needless to say, as my Grandmother’s guitar – this guitar will never, ever be for sale.
The link that I’ve provided (to the right) is outstanding in many ways; but I might figure out how to contact the guy that runs the site to ask him a few questions about this guitar. I know that the back and sides of the F 65 Fender are East Indian Rosewood. I just can’t find it in writing that they are SOLID and not LAMINATION. From looking at the wood grain pattern from the inside and then on the outside, I believe that this is all solid East Indian Rosewood. I can’t for the life of me imagine that such a high grade Solid Spruce soundboard as the one on this guitar would be on a laminated body instrument, as that wouldn’t make a bit of sense.
I’m telling you here – I know acoustic guitars very well, and the spruce top on this guitar is SUPERB. Visually, one can often get an idea on the quality of the spruce used by seeing how tight the grain patterns on the top are. I’ve owned a four thousand dollar Martin D 18 Golden Era before that didn’t have a better spruce soundboard than this Fender F 65 has.
I know you can’t see it from my cell phone photos here – but the top of this guitar has the most beautiful abalone binding all the way around it, and again, making the circle of the sound hole – otherwise known as the rosette. It also has abalone “snowflake” pattern inlay on the rosewood fret board as position markers, double action steel truss rod (a very standard feature for any fine steel string acoustic guitar) and a solid mahogany neck.
The major deviation from the standard Martin D 28 design on this guitar is the stainless steel adjustment on the bridge. I don’t exactly like that, but I don’t exactly dislike that either. I don’t even know how to operate it, and I have no reason to want to adjust it at all at this time – the set up and action of this thing is perfect.
The only problem at all on this guitar outside of natural wear and tear that we owners and players must always consider as maintenance issues, is that the clear coat finish on the East Indian Rosewood back and sides has sort of clouded up, and now has a “milky” appearance. I do not yet know what the cause of that is – but I want to venture a guess that it’s the result of having got too hot at some point or another, or for extended periods of time.
I’m not complaining. I’m practically rejoicing. I recommend one of these guitars as a first rate instrument to anyone. The thing is – because it’s most probably made in Japan, and because it’s a copy of a Martin, and made by Fender, a brand that is mostly associated with great electric guitars – these Fender F series acoustic guitars are a real bargain, and especially on the used market.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about mine, but I promise you that you couldn’t possibly enjoy it as much as I have, for obvious reasons.