Fender is one of those brands that has shaped the history of music entirely. With its excellent electric guitars, such as the Stratocaster and Telecaster, bass guitars, including Jazz Bass and Precision Bass, and naturally its incredible range of amplifiers that have created music as it is today. However, the brand’s acoustic guitars are going always under the radar, but we have seen some exceptional models coming in from the brand’s lineup. one of the most notable of them in the last few years has been the Fender Newporter. This is a contemporary acoustic-electric guitar that has been a fan favorite, and based on reviews from buyers I think it is a model that demands your attention.
The Fender Newporter comes from the brands California Series that like its name implies takes inspiration from Californian beaches, and this guitar certainly gives the Newport Beach vibes. From the price of this guitar, you know for who this guitar is made for. It is not anything Custom Shop or any limited edition model, but it looks to be a great guitar for acoustic guitarists that shop in the value-based market. It has a value-based price and if you want an acoustic guitar from the big name brands I think that it might be a good model. For that reason, I want to test the full capabilities of this guitar and see what it can deliver.
Specs and Features
Generally, acoustic guitars don’t have extensive feature and spec sheets, because there are that many components that make such a guitar. The Fender Newporter fits the mold as well. Yet this electro-acoustic guitar delivers an interesting set of features and specs that look impressive overall. Our job is to take a look and see if they are worthy.
First off let’s say that the Fender Newporter has a medium-sized body that is pretty good in terms of dimensions, it measures about 45.5×17.7×7-inches. It also weighs just about 9.25-pounds in total, so you won’t have any difficulty while carrying it around, and also while playing. The Fender Newporter is constructed with a solid spruce top with its auditorium body type. On the back and sides, the Fender Newporter is made out of mahogany and it has a 6-in-line matching headstock. This binding is specifically implemented here to decrease the mass and increase the resonance.
What impressed me the most about this guitar is that it has some interesting modern features, that are excellent for this contemporary guitar. Let’s not forget that the Fender Newporter has a superb neck that is made out of mahogany as well, which is more than necessary for this guitar. The material will keep the tension appropriately and it will make this guitar very durable, besides its wonderful warm tones. The neck has a Strat-style, slim-taper C profile that focuses on playability above all else.
The scale length is about 25.5-inches which is classic Fender and it has a laurel walnut fretboard with 20 jumbo frets to allow you to have plenty of fun with this guitar. The fretboard radius is 15.75-inches and it has a nut width of 1.65-inches. Moving on to the hardware it has a Fender sealed nickel tuning machines. On the other side, the nut and saddle are made out of Graph Tech NuBone, which has proved time and time again to deliver superb sustain.
In terms of electronics, despite being an acoustic-electric model it doesn’t have anything special. However, it is pretty good overall as it has a custom-voice Fishman preamp and tuner that are combined with super simple controls. Bass, mid and treble controls, and nothing else, but it should be good enough to shape the tone to your needs.
I have mentioned before that this is a modern and distinctive model, and when I received it I knew why it was described as that. It has an excellent design with some beautiful vibes to it. For example, it has a rounded single-cutaway body shape that combines well with the auditorium body type and shallower body. The headstock is also extremely beautiful as it is a classic Strat-style one with the same coloring and finish as the body adding a nice aesthetical value to this thing. The Fender Newporter comes in a beautiful colored finish that makes it ultra attractive as well. You have the option to choose the Hot Rod Red and the Cosmic Turquoise, the latter which is my favorite. I would recommend you investing in a good quality case to keep the instrument protected though, the Gator Acoustic Auditorium Case will do the job perfectly.
Everything about this guitar is made to grab your attention, for example, the soundhole rosette looks subtle and delicious. A very tasteful acoustic guitar, definitely not your traditional one. When you get a Fender you don’t get just performance but looks as well, which are always iconic and over the top. The Fender Newporter feels pretty nice in hands and the shallow body actually makes it very easy to hold and play from a natural position. On top of that, the weight also adds to the playability and you can have plenty of fun with it.
Sound and Playability
First off I have to mention that the Fender Newporter is definitely extremely playable and I think that it feels pretty much like an electric guitar when playing. So I can comfortably recommend it for those who want to transition from electric to acoustic models. The tonality of this guitar is unmatched in its range. The spruce and mahogany deliver a pretty nice balanced tone, and I tested it with different genres and styles. Fingerstyle was pretty good though, surprisingly, but strumming was over the top. I plugged it in with the Roland AC-60 which is one of my favorite amps for these kinds of guitars and it shined plugged to it. I can say that the difference was very significant, and I wouldn’t play this one without an amp, as it achieves its full potential.
The Fender Newporter is surely one of the most interesting guitars out there. It is not a guitar that is dedicated to beginners and I wouldn’t recommend it for such players. But if you are experienced and need an instrument you will plug it in with this is it. It is better suited for guitarists that switch from electric models as it feels pretty much the same in terms of playability. Warm and heavy tones just like any Fender guitar, plus killer looks make for a perfect package.