Instrument Insight

Fender Squier SA-150 Review (An All-Around Beginner Acoustic)

Learn why Fender SA-150 is an all-around beginner acoustic from most of the aspects in our opinion in this Fender SA-150 review.

So, what’s the Fender SA 150 all about? In this Fender Squier SA-150 review, I’ll dive deeper into all the aspects of it so that you have a clear picture in mind in order to take an informed decision. Let’s begin! 

The Squier by Fender SA-150 beginner dreadnought’s six-string acoustic guitar is a good place for novice guitar players to start. This is a full-size guitar that is lightweight but still strong enough to stand up to a beginner’s use. It consistently rates around the 4-star mark across the board for user-friendliness, sound quality, value and build quality.

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It is sensible to trust Squier for acoustic guitar purchases because it is part of the Fender family. Even though they are quite big, these guitars are also suitable for younger players, especially as their hard-wearing construction means they will last for many years. All this for a very affordable price tag.

In addition, the dreadnought body shape is a very common guitar shape, and perfect for an all-around acoustic guitar.

At A Glance

9.7out of 10

Body And Neck9.8
Fretboard And Bridge9.7
Hardware And Finish9.7
Value For Money9.7

Best For Traditional Music
9.7/10Our Score
  • The slim easy to play neck shape is perfect for beginners
  • Steel string acoustic guitars are traditional in folk, country, and blues
  • Designed by Fender one of the most trusted and recognizable names in the musical instrument industry
  • The traditional dreadnought Body shape provides excellent tonal balance and projection
Pros
  • High-quality sound with stable tuning
  • Excellent tonal balance with good bass response
  • Dynamic playability at an affordable price
  • Durable and outstanding build quality
  • Wonderful mahogany back and sides
  • The natural finish multiplies the aesthetics
  • Lightweight and great value for the price
  • Build by a reputable and trustable brand
Cons
  • Doesn't come with any accessories if bought as a standalone
  • Many find all laminate construction as cons
  • Small people might find it difficult to access higher frets due to the dreadnaught shape

Popularity Over Time

History And Origin

Fender is a reputable name, known for iconic electric guitars, but the Squier brand, also owned by Fender, has been used for budget versions of the same well-known electric guitars such as Stratocaster and Telecaster since the 1980s, although Fender first acquired the Squier name in 1965.

Many of the guitars are copies of Fender models, but the brand also has unique models like the acoustic entry-level SA-150 guitar. These instruments are generally made in the Far East.

Body And Neck

The top of an SA 150 is either laminate basswood or Lindenwood, while the back and sides are laminate mahogany. The slim neck is made of Nato mahogany, which is favored by solid wood aficionados – it has been used in musical instruments for centuries, as it produces a mellow and rich tone. Laminate mahogany is cheaper, as it is slices of wood glued together rather than being a piece of solid wood. The neck is finished in gloss urethane.

Lindenwood is a relative of basswood and is used in the majority of Asian-made guitars.

Because the neck is slim, it is an easy guitar for beginners to start playing. Plus steel-string acoustic guitars are traditionally used in blues, country, and folk genres, which are frequently influential in encouraging people to start playing guitar. 

As said earlier, it has the dreadnought body shape which is a widely common guitar shape and perfect for the construction of an all-around guitar for all levels of players.

Squier by Fender SA-150 Beginner Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Natural Finish

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Fretboard And Bridge

The fretboard and bridge of the Fender Squier SA 150 are made of maple, which is often called ‘The choice of pros’. Usually, the fretboard is made of walnut or laurel in other guitars in this price range, but Fender has a tradition of using maple in the construction of their guitars, possibly due to the fact that it is the professionals’ preference.

The SA 150 uses stained maple for its fretboard and bridge, rather than natural colored wood, which is used in the iconic Fender electric guitars

Hardware And Finish

Laminate is what you have on a floor, or maybe a worktop, right?

Wrong.

It can also be used for guitars, albeit the cheaper end models. Laminate is hard-wearing and stands up to the rough life a guitar sometimes gets. It is made by gluing together layers of thinly shaved wood to make the desired thickness.

This may be slightly heavier than solid wood guitars but it is cheaper and more durable. Think of the pounding a kitchen worktop gets, and you’ll see why using laminate wood for guitars is a good idea.

The laminate is polished to a gloss finish to give the guitar a classic eye-catching shine.

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The SA 150 is supplied with Fender Dura-Tone acoustic guitar strings but many other string types would also fit this model and can be swapped in when the original ones break. Learning how to change a string is a rite of passage for every guitarist, and a skill that should be mastered early on.

Stevie Ray Vaughan may have had a backup electric guitar ready strung and tuned when he broke a string mid-song, but your average strummer won’t have that luxury.

The hardware, including the tuning mechanism, is chrome-covered.

Sound Quality

The traditional dreadnought shape allows for good tone and sound projection. Reviewers generally agree that it offers great performance for the money. And in my several playing sessions, I have found the absolute same as well.

The SA 150 is strong on ease of use and durability, which are usually more important attributes for a beginner than the quality of tone. At first, the player’s technical ability is likely to be more of a block to progress than other considerations taken into account by more proficient players.

The SA 150 is known for its rich, dynamic, powerful sound with good bass response. This means singer-songwriters might also be drawn to the model, as a strong complement to their voice.

Sound Demo

Build Quality

A good guitar is not always determined by the brand name. Especially for a guitar student, affordability and playability should be key considerations. However, affordability is nothing if the guitar starts falling to pieces within a short time. The Fender SA 150 has reliable build quality, plus it is affordable and easy to play, so it ticks all the boxes.

If parents buy an SA 150 for their child, it doesn’t cost too much if the child subsequently loses interest in playing, but it is also a good instrument to start on if the player then upgrades later as it can easily form the bedrock of a collection.

Buyers intending to use their guitars regularly should ideally keep a set of strings in reserve.

Playability

The SA 150 is marketed as a beginner’s instrument, both in price and useability. That makes buying one an easy decision. It’s a reliable basic acoustic model which will answer any student’s requirements for ease of use and cost. This guitar is, however, also suitable for a more experienced musician wanting something cheap and robust to take on the road.

It is easy to pick up and play right out of the box and is often recommended by guitar teachers as an excellent first guitar for their students.

Versatility

Gigging musicians report that it performs well when played on stage, which may be a consideration for some buyers, depending on their skill level. It is also suitable for novice players, and as such is a sensible first choice for any new student of the guitar, no matter their age which makes this a really versatile acoustic as well.

Design And Looks

The guitar has a gloss finish, scalloped x-bracing, covered chrome hardware, a dual-action truss rod, plastic saddle and nut, and a black pickguard. The scale length is 25.6 inches or 650mm and it has 20 frets with dot inlays. The laminate construction makes it lightweight but hard-wearing. It looks the part, in other words, and is a worthy companion to Fender’s famous electric guitars.

Because it is a laminate construction, the guitar is built to last. The use of laminate can result in a slightly heavier instrument due to the layers and glue involved in the build process, but it is easier to care for than a solid wood guitar.

Squier by Fender SA-150 Beginner Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Natural Finish

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Available Colors

Available in Natural, Black, or Sunburst finish, the guitar body is a mix of laminate woods: maple, basswood or Lindenwood, and Nato mahogany. 

Customization Tips

Buying a bundle deal may seem like an extra expense, but can actually work out to be better value for money, as it allows beginners to acquire essential items such as a spare set of strings, a bag (or a case from some suppliers) suitable for use with dreadnought bodied guitars, picks, and a strap at the same time as the guitar. That makes learning to play it a seamless experience, right out of the box.

Best For Traditional Music
Fender SA-150 Bundle 01 (Sunburst)
9.7/10Our Score
  • Full-size steel-string acoustic that offers big sound at a small price
  • All-laminate construction with lindenwood top and mahogany back and sides
  • Scalloped "X"-bracing, mahogany neck and a durable dark-stained maple fingerboard
  • Slim, easy-to-play neck
  • Full-bodied dreadnought tone

There is also the option of a clip-on tuner; a useful tool, even though the SA 150 generally seems to enjoy stable tuning. Membership in the Fender Play online guitar tutorial scheme, which is targeted toward beginners, is also included. Some suppliers will add in an instructional DVD for beginners and throw in a polishing cloth too.

Best For Traditional Music
Fender SA-150 Bundle 02 (Black)
9.7/10Our Score
  • Full-size steel-string acoustic that offers big sound at a small price
  • All-laminate construction with lindenwood top and mahogany back and sides
  • Scalloped "X"-bracing, mahogany neck and a durable dark-stained maple fingerboard
  • Slim, easy-to-play neck
  • Full-bodied dreadnought tone

Value For Money

The Fender SA 150 is an affordable, basic, acoustic guitar. It is durable and versatile, can be used for students or gigs, and is suitable for all players, although the target market is guitar students.

It is good value for money due to its build quality and versatility. The guitar is sold as a standalone item or as part of a bundle with added accessories which in my opinion adds more value to its customers.

Fender SA-150 Review Insight

Squier By Fender SA-150 Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Squier By Fender SA-150

Product Description: Offering big sound at a small price with a full-size dreadnought style steel-string acoustic, the Squier by Fender SA-150 is a gem for entry-level players which is perfect for everyday uses because of its all-laminated construction with Lindenwood top and mahogany back and sides. With all the features like scalloped bracing and dark-stained maple fretboard, this instrument looks as good as it sounds. The guitar also features an easy-to-play slim neck profile with an excellent dreadnought tone that is up to the mark for traditional music like folk, country, and blues.

Brand: Fender

  • Build Quality
    (4.9)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.9)
  • Playability
    (4.9)
  • Versatility
    (4.8)
  • Looks
    (4.9)
  • Value
    (4.9)

Specifications

  • Body Style: Dreadnought
  • Body Material: Basswood
  • Top Material: Lindenwood
  • Back Material: Mahogany
  • Body Finish: Natural
  • Neck Profile: Slim
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material: Mahogany
  • Number of Frets: 20 (14 open)
  • Pickup Configuration: Piezoelectric
  • Bridge Type: Fixed
  • String Material: Steel
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Orientation: Right-Handed
Overall
4.9

Unboxing Video

Choose Fender SA 150 If

  • You want an affordable entry-level guitar
  • You are a novice guitar player and need something that is easy to play
  • You want a reputable brand of acoustic guitar
  • You need a durable instrument
  • You need an all-around beginner acoustic with good playability, versatility, and build quality

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Don’t Choose Fender SA 150 If

  • You may have trouble reaching the higher frets due to the dreadnought shape
  • You prefer a guitar with a bright tone (the use of mahogany tends to enrich and dampen the tone)
  • You prefer a smooth fretboard, as many examples have been said to have a rough finish to the fretboard

Alternatives

Ashthorpe Thinline Acoustic-Electric Guitar Package
Best For All-Around
Ashthorpe Thinline Acoustic-Electric Guitar Package
9.9
  • Incredible sound: Perfect for musicians-in-the-making or advanced players.
  • Fine hardwood construction: Guitar is made from X-braced, A-grade Spruce wood, known for its resiliency and versatility and Basswood for warmth.
  • Thinline cutaway design: The body of this full-size (41") guitar is cut away at the neck for better access and more comfortable playing of the top frets.
  • Loaded with upgrades: On-board 4-band pickup/EQ (bass, mid-range, treble, and presence), two sets of upgraded phosphor bronze strings, and an ultra-glossy, tough-as-nails finish with chrome tuning pegs.
  • Complete kit: Bundle includes the Ashthorpe guitar, a soft nylon "gig bag" guitar case, thin, medium & heavy celluloid picks, on-board 4-band pickup EQ, guitar cable, a shoulder strap, an extra set of strings and an owner's manual.
Rogue RA-090 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
Best For Balanced Tone and Durability
Rogue RA-090 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
9.5
  • 6-string
  • Dreadnought design
  • Whitewood body
  • 25-3/8" scale length
  • Nato neck
Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar
Best For Big and Bold Sound
Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar
9.5
  • Features a Spruce Top
  • Laminated Nato back & sides.
  • Satin Finish
  • Chrome covered Tuning Machines
  • Rosewood Fretboard
Jameson Thinline Acoustic Electric Guitar Package
Best For Tight Budget
Jameson Thinline Acoustic Electric Guitar Package
9.3
  • Classic acoustic guitar design: This full-size 41" acoustic-electric guitar from R.W. Jameson features a beautiful design and exquisite sound.
  • Electric-acoustic versatility: It offers the option of various sounds. Unplugged, you can take advantage of the clean, raw, acoustic tones. Plugged into an amp, it produces a customizable electric tone with its on-board 4-band pickup/EQ.
  • Perfect for students and all levels: Whether you are a beginner or student, an intermediate guitar player, or a seasoned advanced guitarist, this guitar offers endless appeal.
  • Designed for comfort: This guitar features the classic cutaway shape that allows for higher positioning and ample comfort.
  • Sold as a complete kit: This guitar is part of a complete package. Included is a perfect-fitting guitar gig bag, a shoulder strap, an extra set of strings, three celluloid picks, and a cable.

Final Verdict

Reviews of the Squier by Fender SA 150 acoustic guitar are generally positive, as would be expected from novice guitarists. However, they all note that it is easy to play, with a simple style and good quality of tone. Guitar teachers also seem to agree that it is a good model for their students.

The SA 150 is durable, forgiving of rough treatment, and versatile. This acoustic sounds good whether used for learning, composing, gigging, or busking. It is good value for money, simple, basic, yet backed by the famous Fender name making it an all-around beginner acoustic that is best for traditional music.

So, there you have it! That’s my Fender SA 150 in-depth review. Hope you’ve gathered some insightful information before your purchase.

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Author | Acoustic and Classical Guitar Expert at Instrument Insight | Website

James B. Laskowski was born and raised in Fresno, CA. He has been working as an acoustic and classical guitar expert at Instrument Insight for over 5 years. In this time, he has gained a great understanding of acoustic and classical guitars and gears, their materials, build quality, playability, and versatility. James also has an in-depth knowledge of the history and origins of many acoustic and classical guitar brands.

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