Hardware Review: Fender Paramount Acoustic Instruments
Fender recently updated its line of Paramount Acoustic guitars and added a Bluegrass series.
Under the Paramount umbrella, there are currently three different tiers: All-Mahogany, Standard, and Limited.
For review, American Songwriter received the Paramount PS-220E Parlor Guitar. This is a new Parlor body shape for Fender. I found it very comfortable to play and it projected more like a full sized instrument. This acoustic came in 3 Vintage Sunburst colors, but they are also available in Natural and Aged Cognac Burst finishes.
New Fishman electronics have been added with pickup, volume and internal body tone controls directly inside the soundhole. Dreadnought, Orchestra and Parlor guitars are available with a solid spruce or mahogany top and mahogany back and sides.
Fender’s Paramount Bluegrass series now includes a mandolin, 5-string banjo, and resonator guitar. Player favorite updates have been made to bluegrass instruments to meet the needs of today’s players so you can plug in and play.
Main characteristics: The Paramount PS-220E has a new body shape, with a choice of mahogany or spruce top with mahogany back and sides. The snowflake inlays in the fingerboard are elegant. Fishman Sonitone-Plus pickup with piezo transducer for electronics. It features a black or tiger stripe pickguard depending on the color you select and comes with a hard case.
Manufacturing quality: Construction and binding are top notch. It looks and plays like an acoustic guitar which costs a lot more.
Sound and Tone: As mentioned earlier, the Paramount PS-220E sounds like a bigger guitar than it is. The new Fishman electronics also do an excellent job of reproducing tone through an amplifier without much need for EQ adjustment. This guitar will sound even better the more it is played.
Material: The open faced machine heads are well made and tune the strings with precision. The bridge, saddle and nut are professionally tuned, although for my style of play I would lower the action a bit. The electronics are discreetly hidden and work very well in the rosette.
Advantages: Well built solid wood guitar with the characteristics of an acoustic guitar twice as expensive. Fishman Sonitone-Plus electronics make this Paramount Parlor PS-220E acoustic guitar perfect for songwriter tours and writing sessions. The production-grade hard case is also a nice addition.
The inconvenients: Nothing
Verdict: Fender acoustic instruments don’t get the attention or respect that their electric counterparts automatically get, and that’s unfair. At $829.99 for the Paramount Parlor PS-220E, you’re buying a lot of guitar for less than $1,000.
Wood choices and electronics elevate the new Fender Paramount guitars to the next level. Play and plug one in for yourself and let your ears, eyes and hands decide for you. The new Parlor body is comfortable to play and hard to put down. I am impressed with what Fender has achieved with these new editions to the Paramount line and you will be too.