Throughout my many years of teaching music lessons, I have always emphasized the importance of owning a good instrument to my students from day one. Many people tend to think that the quality of an instrument only matters when you’re really good at your craft, but that’s simply not true.
The guitar that you choose to learn on can impact how quickly you learn, how good your music will sound, and how motivated you are to pick up your instrument and practice. This is true for any level of musician, from beginners to professional players.
That being said, most of us don’t have a lot of money to drop on a big purchase like an expensive, high-end guitar. However, there are many options available to those of us who are looking for a low- to a mid-range priced guitar that will still have a good, professional sound. In this Fender DG-8S Acoustic Guitar Review, we’ll discuss how the Fender DG-8S fits into this category and why it may or may not be a good choice for you.
Fender DG-8S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
The Fender DG-8S is a dreadnought style acoustic guitar created by, of course, the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. Fender has perhaps been the best-know maker and seller of guitars for the past several decades. Founded in 1946, Fender has been making instruments for a long time, and have had quite a while to develop their good reputation.
The company is popular for a reason; they do make quality guitars and leave their customers feeling good about their purchase. Unlike many lesser-known brands, Fender guarantees that your instrument will be worth the price, and even offers a lifetime warranty on many of their products.
Fender is especially popular among beginner or intermediate guitarists, and the Fender DG-8S is no exception. With a reasonable price, quality sound, and some especially nice features, this guitar is great for aspiring and intermediate players alike.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the pros and cons of this model:
What we Liked
- Excellent quality sound, even when played by beginners.
- Great value; high quality for a low price.
- Solid spruce top adds a lot to the sound quality and is rare in guitars in this price range.
- Glossy laminate body helps protect the body and adds a professional look.
- Comfortable feel and average weight.
- The mahogany back is durable, attractive, and resonant.
- The rosewood fretboard adds to the warm tone.
What we didn’t Like
- Some complaints about frets buzzing when playing lower strings or specific notes.
- The tuning mechanism isn’t terrible, but the instrument is not the easiest to tune or keep in tune.
- Because of the cheap price, some of the parts are not made or attached with the best quality material and may malfunction (see below under “what customers are saying”).
Dreadnought Style Body
Dreadnoughts are the most popular style of acoustic guitar and is likely what you’ve seen other musicians performing on most often. The dreadnought body is symmetrical in shape, with even shoulders and a square bottom. The fretboard usually connects at the 14th fret.
While many people say that the style of body is really just for visual aesthetic, others claim that the dreadnought offers a more full, resonant sound than other styles, such as auditorium bodied guitars. I personally find dreadnoughts guitars more comfortable to hold and play as well, and it’s easier to switch between unfamiliar instruments if you’re used to playing on a dreadnought, as most other guitars you encounter will be the same (or similar) style.
The bracing refers to the way that the beams inside the guitar body are arranged. The wooden beams are arranged under the guitar top to offer support to the body and depending on how they are arranged, they can affect the way the strings vibrate and the way the sound resonates.
The Fender DG-8S has scalloped x-bracing, as opposed to a guitar with straight bracing. The main purpose of using scalloped bracing is that less wood is necessary to support the body and therefore the top is more flexible. This allows for more vibration, especially in the bass. Some guitarists consider this a major bonus, while others like the bass to have a more even temperament. It’s all about preference, so try out a couple of different kinds to find one that works for you.
Excellent for Beginners
This guitar has just about everything an aspiring guitarist could ask for. Aside from being affordable, this guitar is easy to play, even for beginners. The ‘C’ shaped neck makes the instrument comfortable to hold, and the excellent sound quality will have you sounding like a pro in no time.
Additionally, you can also find bundle offers for this guitar where the DG-8S is sold as a package deal with other accessories such as a bag, a tuner, strings, picks, and more. This will give a beginner guitarist everything they need to start learning and playing. Here’s one example of a bundle that’s available on Amazon for a great price:
Check out the Bundle Here.
Solid Spruce Top – Rare Feature for Guitars in this Price Range
Unless you’re very familiar with the physics of guitars and how the sound is produced, a “solid spruce top” probably doesn’t sound all too exciting. However, this type of top is actually very important to the sound and is rarely found in guitars within this price range.
The strings create sound through vibration and therefore need flexible material on the top in order to allow the strings to fully vibrate and create the best sound possible. However, the material also needs to be strong enough to not break or warp over time.
Most inexpensive guitars have a laminate top, which is not ideal. The laminate errs on the side of rigidity, and much of the resonance is lost in the too-stiff, cheaper material. The strings are unable to fully vibrate, and the sound quality is lessened.
The Fender DG-8S gives you the exact level of rigidity that you need, which lends to a good tone, and more volume. Another perk of the solid spruce top is that the wood will open up and become less rigid with use and with age, creating an even more rounded and resonant sound.
|Dimensions||44 x 14 x 7 inches|
|Back Material Type||Mahogany|
|Body Material Type||Laminated and Solid Wood|
|Fretboard Material Type||Rosewood|
|Top Material Type||Solid Spruce|
What the Customers are Saying?
Overall, customers had a lot of positive feedback on the instrument. Many beginner guitarists have noted the great sound and physical comfortability. Even more advanced players state that they are pleased with their purchase and would recommend it to others.
Despite the majority of reviews being glowing, there were a few small issues that popped up with some guitarists. For example, there were a couple of complaints about the strings buzzing on the frets when certain notes or strings were used. This is unfortunately pretty common among cheaper guitars and isn’t easily avoided in this price range.
Other reviewers noted that some of the parts (such as the pickguard) were cheaply made or attached and would easily malfunction. None of these issues mentioned were from vital parts and overall, they did not affect the quality of sound of the player’s ability to use the guitar.
If you’re interested in hearing a sample of what this guitar sounds like or hearing a little more about its features, check out this video on YouTube:
If you’re looking for a decent low- to mid-range priced guitar, the Fender DG-8S is certainly worth consideration. The guitar is comfortable, easy to play, inexpensive, and has a better sound than most guitars with a similar price.
Although this instrument is especially great for beginners, the Fender DG-8S is a great choice for musicians of all skill levels. The dreadnought body, glossy body, and solid spruce top work together to create a quality guitar with a professional look and sound. For those guitarists who are looking for something that won’t break the bank, this is an excellent choice.