FENDER CD-60SCE-12 STRING DREADNAUGHT ACOUS­TIC GUI­TAR

FENDER RE­VAMPS ITS CLAS­SIC DE­SIGN WITH UP­GRADED FEA­TURES, NEW MOD­ELS AND A DE­CENT AMOUNT OF LEFTYS. BY PETER HODG­SON

Australian Guitar - - Reviews -

Fender’s acous­tic line has long been pop­u­lar as an af­ford­able, good qual­ity op­tion for bud­get­con­scious acous­tic play­ers on a tone quest, and the Clas­sic De­sign se­ries has re­cently been in­tro­duced to give play­ers the ul­ti­mate in wal­let-friendly qual­ity: there are eleven new mod­els across the range plus var­i­ous lefty op­tions. Fender sent us four mod­els to check out, and we’ll start with the CD60SCE-12 String Dreadnaught. New mod­els launched in 2017 in­clude the CC-60S in right and left handed ver­sions (Ma­hogany back and sides, solid Spruce top dread­nought); the CC60SCE and righty and lefty (sim­i­lar to the CC-60S but with a cut­away for bet­ter up­per-fret ac­cess); the CC-140CSE (top-tier model with Rose­wood back and sides, solid Spruce top and tor­toise­shell pick­guard); CD-60S in right and left­handed (en­trylevel dreadaught also avail­able in CD-60SCE cut­away ver­sions); CD-60SCE All-Ma­hogany (pretty easy to fig­ure that one out from the model name); The CD-60SCE 12-string re­viewed here; and top-tier CD-140SCE with solid Spruce top, Rose­wood back and sides and a Fish­man Presys preamp; CD-140SCE All-Ma­hogany (again, same specs but Ma­hogany back, sides and top); and the CD-140SCE 12-String. New mod­els launched in 2017 in­clude the CC-60S in right and left handed ver­sions (Ma­hogany back and sides, solid Spruce top dread­nought); the CC60SCE and righty and lefty (sim­i­lar to the CC-60S but with a cut­away for bet­ter up­per-fret ac­cess); the CC-140CSE (top-tier model with Rose­wood back and sides, solid Spruce top and tor­toise­shell pick­guard); CD-60S in right and left­handed (en­try-level dreadaught also avail­able in CD60SCE cut­away ver­sions); CD-60SCE All-Ma­hogany; The CD-60SCE 12-string re­viewed here; and top-tier CD-140SCE with solid Spruce top, Rose­wood back and sides and a Fish­man Presys preamp; CD-140SCE Al­lMa­hogany (again, same specs but Ma­hogany back, sides and top); and the CD-140SCE 12-String.

12 REA­SONS WHY

This is ac­tu­ally the same basic gui­tar as the sixstring CD-60SCE, which means it has a solid Sitka Spruce top and solid Ma­hogany back and sides, and a smooth cut­away for up­per-fret ac­cess – in fact it lets you get all the way up to the very high­est fret with in­cred­i­ble ease. Up­grades as part of the CD line in­clude a new black pick­guard, mother-of-pearl acrylic rosette de­sign, a new com­pen­sated bridge de­sign for bet­ter in­to­na­tion, white bridge pins with black dots, and smaller dot fin­ger­board in­lays.

Per­haps the best up­grade found in this line though is the move to a new ‘Easy-to-Play’ neck shape, com­ple­mented by rolled fin­ger­board edges. Playa­bil­ity is im­por­tant on any acous­tic but es­pe­cially so on a 12-string where you’re at the mercy of those ex­tra strings and fin­ger fa­tigue.

Other fea­tures in­clude scal­loped X brac­ing, a

20-fret Rose­wood fin­ger­board, dual-ac­tion truss rod, die-cast tuners, Ivoroid nut, chrome hard­ware, Rose­wood head­stock ve­neer and a Fish­man preamp and pickup sys­tem with tuner. It’s a pretty basic preamp - just vol­ume, tre­ble and bass con­trols - but it gets the job done.

It’s worth not­ing that the glossy fin­ish of this model, com­bined with the com­fort­able neck and slightly sleeker dreadnaught out­line com­pared to, say, a Martin, gives this gui­tar a def­i­nite mod­ern feel. If you’re into acous­tics that feel old, lived-in and earthy, this isn’t it (at least, not un­til you’ve played the hell out of it over many years).

GET REAL HIGH

The great test of any 12-string gui­tar is not how it per­forms on first-po­si­tion cow­boy chords, but how it han­dles barre chords or weird chord shapes higher up on the neck. Is your hand go­ing to cramp? I’m happy to re­port that the Easy-to-Play neck does as ad­ver­tised, and the fac­tory setup is a dream to play from the first fret to the 20th. So you cer­tainly don’t need to feel re­stricted to those first few frets. Hav­ing said that, if most of your play­ing hap­pens down there at the open po­si­tion you’ll find that even the no­to­ri­ously 12-string-un­friendly stan­dard F chord shape is easy to fret and hold.

As for the sound, this is a nice even-toned gui­tar, not too ag­gres­sive and not too sharp in the high end. The low end isn’t too boomy, which can be a prob­lem with dread­naughts some­times, and the midrange feels a lit­tle scooped which al­lows in­di­vid­ual notes to speak clearly within chords rather than mush to­gether. It has a cer­tain sweet­ness to the voic­ing which will work well in a wide va­ri­ety of mu­si­cal sit­u­a­tions. The nat­u­ral vol­ume is rea­son­able, not mega-ultra loud but cer­tainly loud enough to ac­com­pany pow­er­ful vo­cal­ists in an un­plugged set­ting.

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