Review: Fender California Series Player Acoustics

(Image credit: Fender)

The sub-$500 acoustic market has become one of the most exciting categories of guitar manufacturing in recent years. Long gone are the days when acoustics in this lower price range were predominantly drab, dreadnought knockoffs with thick plywood tops, even thicker polyester finishes and playing actions higher than Seth Rogen after a visit to a Hollywood dispensary. These days hundreds of acoustics are available in this budget price range that play and sound great, and the variety of body shapes, features and wood options are rapidly expanding.

Fender’s new California Series Player acoustics are impressive examples of just how much progress has recently been made in the sub-$500 market. In addition to playing and sounding excellent, Fender’s Player acoustics offer built-in pickup and preamp systems and original designs. With a wide variety of extremely cool finish options, these guitars also boast a ton of distinctive style. We took a closer look at the Newporter Player and Malibu Player models from Fender’s California Player lineup, which also includes the Redondo Player.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.