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Microphone Month 4

Fender FR-55 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 2 customer reviews
  • from Orange County, California June 13, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician - Once Upon a Time

    Fender FR-55 - I'm impressed!

    It's not a national resonator but it's pretty close! I was surprised - the Fender FR-55 is well made!

  • from Chicago February 6, 2012Music Background:
    3 years of guitar playing

    A true bargain

    For reference, I have never played a National or other high end resonator, but I own the Fender model that this one replaces and have played a Recoding King metal tricone. My sample of the old FR-48 has numerous tokens of sloppy manufacturing; from coverplate screw holes that don't line up with each other to fret wires that are not positioned properly so that some notes never sound right. The Recording King arrived with broken strings and tuners that stripped right off the bat, and even after replacing both the tone was dull so I sold it immediately. While my FR-55 has a few tiny cosmetic flaws, the build quality is far superior to either instrument. First off, Fender did a fantastic job with the sandblasted graphic, even extending the pattern onto the cover plate and "frosting" the sides. IMO the diamond pattern cover plate is much nicer looking than the old sieve style of the FR-48. The tuners appear to be the same; OK quality that will probably need replacing after a couple of years. The strings are nice Fender 80/20s - no need to get rid of these. My sample is free of any buzzes or rattles. And the tone? Also a significant step up. In particular, the trebles above the seventh fret have an amazing sparkling quality. The action is a hair too high even for slide for my taste and the saddle on the bass side is definitely too high, which creates a slightly muted bass response. When it comes time to change strings I plan on sanding the saddle down some - hardly a deal breaker. As for the cone, the quality is very good. I may replace it with an upscale model eventually, but it sounds fine for now. All in all, this guitar lives up to the hype: it is fun to play and to look at. Highly recommended.

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