There are a few names in the music business that stick out even to non-players, and one of the most prominent is Fender. Fender’s electric guitars are pop culture icons in their own right, but the downside for aspiring owners is the price, with entry level models coming in at over $700. Fender’s acoustic guitars, on the other hand, start at a much more attainable price point – for example, the Fender CC-60S.
The Fender CC-60S is a budget concert style acoustic that has become a favorite in the entry level segment – but is it really worth buying? Or are you simply paying for the Fender name?
In this KillerGuitarRigs Review we take a detailed look at the CC-60S, the guitar we named as our Best Budget pick in our roundup of the 7 best acoustic guitars.
If you’ve been thinking about buying a budget acoustic, this is a review you’re definitely going to want to read!
Who Is This For?
The Fender CC-60S is a guitar that’s very much aimed at beginner players. It’s a comfortable and forgiving guitar, and the concert body shape makes it a good choice for smaller players, too. It serves up good tones, and it’s a good looking guitar overall.
Above all else, it’s reliable, and will allow novice players to focus on the fundamentals without having to worry about stopping to tune up every few minutes.
The Fender CC-60S is a concert style guitar, making it noticeably smaller than CD-60S, the dreadnought sister model from Fender. It was built with a solid spruce top, which was definitely a nice feature to see at this price point. Its back and sides were made with laminated mahogany, which wasn’t at all unexpected, and while solid woods are always nice, use of laminates does help with durability.
It came in an all black gloss finish, which gave it a really Johnny Cash vibe. It looked quite impressive, and backed up the aesthetics with great feel.
It featured a nato neck with what Fender calls their “Easy to Play” profile. It was incredibly slim, and like the name suggests, easy to play. As well as having a slim profile, the walnut fretboard even had rolled edges – something rarely seen at this price point. These rounded edges added a lot to the comfort. Our one criticism of the neck was the high gloss finish, which did make it feel a little sticky after a while.
The tuners were pretty basic sealed gear machines, but they still performed well. We didn’t have any issues with tuning stability, which as mentioned earlier is a big deal in a beginner guitar.
It came in a bundle, so in addition to the guitar itself, it included a nice padded gig bag, a strap, picks, and even a set of spare 12 gauge strings. Because it’s a Fender product, it also came with a free 3 month trial to Fender Play, which is one of our absolute favorite online guitar lesson packages.
Performance / Sound
The CC-60S was a strong performer during the review period. Playability was strong, with a nice low action out of the box, with no fret buzz or dead spots. The fretwork was very nicely finished, with smooth edges, and good leveling.
The concert style body had good ergonomics, which really increases the appeal to new players over something with a dreadnought shape. If you’re concerned about comfort, you needn’t worry with this Fender.
After spending some time playing, we came to realize that it was much more responsive than we thought it would be. The playing dynamics were great, and we found that it could switch up from very quiet, delicate styles of play, to hard strumming without losing composure.
Considering it was part laminate, we were impressed with the overall resonance. It had great sustain, solid projection, and tons of character.
Thanks to the solid spruce top the upper registers were bright and sparkly, and the mahogany kept the mids thick and full. When played fingerstyle we found the CC-60S to be at its best. It had good articulation and great note separation.
Unfortunately the bottom end was a little thin, but that is largely due to the smaller body style, and of course the laminate back and sides. Regardless, when you consider that this is targeted at beginners, this is an extremely minor criticism.
Other Guitars to Consider
The Fender CC-60S is definitely the class leader when it comes to budget acoustic guitars, but there are still some great alternatives on the market that you might like to consider, too. Here are a couple of our favorites.
The Yamaha FS800 is the famous Japanese maker’s entry level concert style model, and is comparable to one of our favorite beginner dreadnoughts, the FG800, in terms of features and overall quality. It’s well made with great woods and better than average components, and the tones are simply wonderful. It’s an excellent alternative to the Fender, and definitely offers more traditional looks if you’re not into the noir aesthetics.
We’ve reviewed a few Breedlove models at KGR and have always been impressed. The beginner focused Breedlove Eco Discovery S (full review here) really lives up to the reputation with its strong performance, both in terms of playability and tones. It’s a sustainably made model, and definitely worth your consideration if you’re looking for something premium feeling and sounding, but at an attainable price point.
Final Thoughts on the Fender CC-60S
The Fender CC-60S isn’t going to tear anybody away from their Martin 000s, but as a beginner guitar, or a quality instrument for a more experienced player on a tight budget, it absolutely fits the bill. It sounds great, and it looks good, too. We found that it offered excellent playability, and incredible forgiveness – 2 things that are essential to quickly developing the skills to make you a better player.
Even if you’re not a new player, the CC-60S makes a great travel guitar or campfire strummer. The compact body takes up less room than a dreadnought, and it still has enough punch to be heard in a group singalong. Plus, the durable construction means it should hold up to the rigors of life on the road, too.