WOW. Well, if you take a chance on somethings a lot of times you'll be happy you did. I am a gigging accoustic musician who plays acoustic guitar, and to be honest, my last guitar was a Yamaha acoustic which I really loved playing. I loved its smooth, easy action.
A couple days ago that guitar was damaged to a degree that repairing it would have cost as much as replacing it, so I went looking for a replacement for this weekend's gig. (No guitar = no gig = no $$$$). I was searching all of the on-line music gear sites (Guitar Center, Musicians Friend, 123 Music to mention only a few) and was going to select one from those and hope they arrived in time for my performance on Saturday. As the week moved towards the weekend I knew the odds of getting it in time were diminishing by the minute and was starting to get that terribel queasy feeling in my gut. Well, my wife and kids and I were out shopping tonight and I saw the Fender Starcaster acoustic kit. I was a bit hesitant because we were in a regular retail store with a small musical section. I had always sworn I would never buy any instrument in that type of venue. But...it wasn't too expensive (approx $150.00) and it was a Fender (which has a sterling reputation) so I decided to take the chance and buy it. I brought it home, checked out the goodies that came with it (basics: guitar strap, strings, chromatic tuner, picks, allen wrench, dvd for beginners and gig bag (which isn't really too bad for light use). I took the guitar out and spent a few minutes tuning it. At first the strings were a bit hard to get tuned (which is common with many new guitars). But after I got it tuned I was incredibly surprised and pleased with the instrument. It is full sized, and has a very nice tone...very solid sounds. Whether playing lead melodies or chords (including barred), the sounds are excellent. I would expect this quality of sound from a much much much higher priced instrument!
Like I said, the guitar's sound is great. Appearance??? It's really gorgeous. It's a full size dreadnought and the neck and fretboard are easy to move up and down on as you play. The action is nice. The strings that were on the guitar are a little heavier guage than I usually prefer but they are comfortable to play on and I'll probably keep them on for a while before I change them. The finish is beautiful. I have one that has an ash finish with black plateguard and an ebony back and sides. The fingerboard is rosewood. Extremely nice looking instrument that is as much a joy to hold and look at as it is to play.
The accessories are alright! Like I said, the gig bag isn't something you'd want to do any heavy travelling or go on the road with, but it's good for going to local performance and will keep your guitar safe and in a nice presntable condition. The chromatic tuner is okay. I checked it out and it seemed to work well, but I've always preferred my trusty A-440 tuning fork... the strap is nice, picks and strings are okay. I'm already an experienced player so I'll give the dvd to someone who wants to start playing. It would be nice to have had a capo included to complete the ensemble, but again, I have a few already. But for the new and aspiring musician having one included in the goodies would be a great thing.
I highly recommend this instrument for anyone who wants a good, solid instrument but isn't ready or able to drop a lot of $$$$ to own a quality isntrument. I believe that Fender could charge a lot more for this instrument and it would be worth every penny. I'm glad I took the chance and purchased this!