I am an amateur guitarist and want to buy an electro-acoustic guitar. I tried a lot of them, but two just struck my heart: Fender CD-100CE and Fender CD-60CE. I am confused about the significant differences between the variety!

What should look for when buying an electro-acoustic guitar for the first time?

  • 1
    Welcome to the Site. I had to edit your question a bit, because the kind of question you asked was off topic here, since it was pretty much a shopping question. Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 6:24
  • 2
    Have you looked at guitars other than Fenders? Not that Fenders aren't great, but you should try out some other brands as well.
    – MrTheBard
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 12:44

3 Answers 3


There are many things to consider when buying any guitar. Here are my important factors:

  • price
  • action/playability
  • construction materials
  • sound when plugged in
  • sound when unplugged (I play almost always plugged in, so this is less important)

Takamine have a great range of cheap guitars that sound amazing and have great playability. Check out the D series.

  • I would completely agree about the action needing to be right
    – user30646
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 0:27
  • Honestly @Unknown, it's almost the most important thing for me.
    – scrowler
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 0:27

Have you looked at the Fender website?

There are only three differences, according to the Specs tab:

  • The 100 has mahogany back and sides, whereas the 60 is nato;
  • The 100 has a satin finish to the body and neck, whereas the 60's is gloss; and
  • The 100 has a rosewood headstock veneer, which the 60 doesn't.

Basically, there are four criteria:

  • Does it sound good?
  • Does it feel good?
  • Does it work good?
  • Does it look good?

The first is most important. Go by your own ears, but be aware that as a new player, your ears are not well-developed. If you only intend to play by yourself or accompanying a singer, then test it in a quiet environment, but if you're going to play with others, then play in context of other instruments and see if it's frequencies work with other instruments. An A/E guitar in an otherwise electric band functions essentially as a tuned snare or hi-hat, so a nice solid bass will be wasted in context. You will want to try both acoustic and through an acoustic amp or PA system.

Feeling right can come to several things. Does the guitar have a thin/thick/narrow/wide neck? Is the glossy finish sticky to your hands? Is the action high? Some of this can be corrected by a setup, but some of it can't.

Turn the tuners. They should move smoothly. Move the pots up and down, looking for scratchy pots. You're talking inexpensive in-production instruments, so I doubt there will be issues, but if there are, tell the store's staff and choose another instrument.

Fernando on SNL used to say "It is better to look good than to feel good", but it is better for guitars to sound good than to look good. I wouldn't play a guitar covered with pinup stickers in church, and I might not play a sunburst Strat in an 80s glam metal cover band, and the aesthetic choices for low-end Fender acoustics are few, but it is an area of choice. More importantly, a floor model might have nicks and scratches and cracks. Often they mean nothing, but they might mean repair bills or replacement costs later. If you're buying new, you shouldn't have to worry about blemished instruments; unless it's the one, put it back on the wall and try another.

You might worry about solid wood vs laminate. A solid top is a nice thing, but, unless I'm wrong about the context, it shouldn't be a worry.

Good luck and happy playing!

  • 1
    +1, great answer. I would take issue with the "tuned snare" part -- it's true, but only if the guitar is played in a certain style.
    – slim
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 13:30

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