Fender Kingman Review: Acoustic Bass with Classic Style

As a musician specializing in acoustic instruments, I understand the struggle of finding the perfect acoustic bass that combines sound quality, playability, and aesthetics. I know how hard it is to choose one model from so many great options!

That's where the Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass comes in, solving these problems by offering a versatile and reliable instrument that fits various musical styles.

Before buying an acoustic bass, it's essential to consider factors such as build quality, playability, and sound characteristics. You want a bass that not only looks great but also feels comfortable to play and delivers exceptional sound whether you're practicing at home or performing on stage.

I think the Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass might just be the solution you've been looking for. In this review, I'll share my experience of what the excellent Fender Kingman Bass delivers!

Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass: Overview

Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass

Average Rating: 4.5/5


  • Body - Solid Sitka spruce body, laminated mahogany back and sides, x-braced solid spruce top
  • Body Finish - Gloss Poly
  • Body Shape - Grand Auditorium
  • Neck Finish - Satin urethane
  • Neck Shape - Maple, Slim "C" shape
  • Neck Material - Mahogany Jazz bass neck
  • Fingerboard - Walnut
  • Scale Length- 30"
  • Electronics -Fishman Presys Plus
  • Colors - Sunburst, Natural, Black

Why I Liked It

  • Delivered a rich, full-bodied tone with deep acoustic projection, with the inspired style of Fender's electric bass DNA.
  • With its slim C-shaped neck and comfortable scale length, it was easy to play, even as a guitarist transitioning to bass.
  • Has all the quality and depth you expect from Fender electric guitars, and exudes classic Fender vibe

What I Thought Could Be Improved

  • The onboard Fishman preamp was decent but could have used an upgrade for better sound clarity and control.
  • Out of the box, the action was a bit high for my preference, requiring a professional setup.
  • It was slightly heavier than some competitors, which was a concern for prolonged playing sessions.

The short-scale Kingman Bass is a high-quality instrument that incorporates classic Fender design elements into a new style of acoustic-electric bass. It captures the best of both worlds, giving you a rich acoustic tone, but also offering an electronic pickup to capture the bass's amplified sound.

Compared to market leaders, such as the Taylor GS Mini-e Bass, the Kingman offers a distinctive retro aesthetic and a more affordable price point while still delivering excellent sound quality. In comparison to other Fender acoustic basses, the current Kingman features improved electronics and a more refined neck profile, enhancing both its sound and playability.

The Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass stood out in its category due to its unique blend of classic Fender design elements, high-quality construction, and versatile sound. I found its slim neck and short scale made it a joy to play, especially as somebody more used to playing guitar than bass. I also love the inclusion of a pickup, making this a very versatile instrument!

Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass: Features & Benefits

Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass

I love bass guitars, but I've also always had an interest in acoustic basses, I think they have a unique sound, and it's always fun to be able to play bass unplugged.

After spending some time with this instrument, I decided to share my review focusing on its build quality, playability, sound quality, and value for money. I tried the fretted version of the instrument, but I have seen that it comes in a Fender Kingman fretless variety too, which might be of interest to some players!

Build Quality: 4.5/5

The first thing that struck me about the Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass was its solid construction. Holding it in my hands, I could feel the quality of materials and craftsmanship that went into its design. The body features a solid spruce top, which is known for its excellent resonance and projection. This is paired with laminated mahogany back and sides, adding warmth to the overall tone. The combination of these woods not only provides a robust sound but also ensures durability.

The gloss polyurethane finish is another highlight. It not only enhances the visual appeal of the bass but also offers a layer of protection against scratches and dings. The finish is smooth and even, giving the instrument a premium look and feel. The classic Fender headstock and the vintage sunburst finish add to its aesthetic charm, making it a standout piece in any collection.

No area of the instrument felt like Fender was taking shortcuts – everything feels well made, and the materials are good. The tuning stability was pretty decent too. It only needed a slight retuning after every playing session, but it mostly held itself in tune during my playing.

However, I did notice that the bass is slightly heavier than some of its competitors. While this weight adds to the feeling of solidity and quality, it can become a bit cumbersome during extended playing sessions. Despite this, the overall build quality is impressive, reflecting Fender's long-standing reputation for producing reliable and durable instruments.

Playability: 4.7/5

Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass

When it comes to playability, the Kingman Acoustic Bass truly excels. One of the key features that contribute to its playability is the slim C-shaped neck. As someone who also plays the guitar, I found this neck profile incredibly comfortable. It allowed for smooth movement around the neck and easy access to all frets.

The 30” scale length is another plus, especially for guitarists making the switch to bass. It feels natural and less intimidating compared to the longer-scale lengths of traditional bass guitars.

The walnut fingerboard is smooth and well-finished, providing a comfortable surface for my fingers. The frets are meticulously crafted, with smooth rounded fingerboard edges. This attention to detail in the fretwork makes a significant difference in the overall playing experience.

However, I did find that the action was a bit high out of the box. For those unfamiliar with the term, "action" refers to the distance between the strings and the fretboard. High action can make the instrument harder to play and may require more pressure to produce clear notes.

Fortunately, this is a common issue that can be easily remedied with a professional setup. After having the action adjusted, the bass played like a dream, with smooth and effortless string movement.

Sound Quality: 4.6/5

Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass

Sound quality is arguably the most critical aspect of any instrument, and the Kingman Acoustic Bass did not disappoint. The combination of a solid spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides produces a rich, full-bodied tone. This bass is capable of delivering a versatile sound that works well across various musical genres, from folk to rock to jazz.

Unplugged, the Kingman has a warm, resonant tone with excellent projection. The bass notes are clear and defined, without being overpowering. This balance is crucial for maintaining clarity in both solo and ensemble settings.

One of the standout features of the Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass is its Fishman preamp system. When I plugged in for the first time, I was impressed by how well it captured the natural, warm tones of the bass. The preamp includes basic controls for volume and tone, along with a built-in tuner, which is a handy feature for quick adjustments on the fly. The onboard controls made it easy to dial in the perfect sound for different settings, whether I was jamming in a small venue or recording in the studio.

While I thought the pickup was very good, it lacks the nuance and clarity found in higher-end systems. This is a minor gripe, considering the overall sound quality, but for those seeking the utmost in amplified sound, it might be worth upgrading.

Overall, I'm very impressed with the sound of this bass. It has a nice woody, balanced tone with all the low-end and articulation you need.

Value for Money: 4.5/5

Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass

When assessing the value for money, it's important to consider the features and quality that the Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass offers compared to its price point. Priced in the mid-range for acoustic bass guitars, the Kingman provides excellent value for the money. It combines high-quality materials, solid construction, and versatile sound in a package that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

While it may not have the same level of refined electronics as some higher-end models, it makes up for it with its playability and classic Fender charm.

Additionally, the improvements made over previous versions are notable. The current model features upgraded electronics and a more refined neck profile, enhancing both sound and playability.

The version I got from Sweetwater also came with a high-quality gig bag, which is a nice extra touch.

I think this bass offers excellent value for money. It's very modestly priced, but the overall build quality is high, and it looks and sounds great. I think it even competes with more expensive models on the market.

Best Alternatives to Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass

While I think the Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass is a leading instrument in its price range, there are several excellent alternatives available. Each of these basses has slight variations and design styles that suit different preferences and players.

Here are my three top alternatives to consider:

Taylor GS Mini-e Bass vs Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass

Taylor GS Mini-e Bass

The Taylor GS Mini-e Bass is a popular choice for those seeking a high-quality acoustic bass with a compact design. It features a much smaller body than the Kingman, but still has a warm and deep tone. It's also more expensive than the Kingman but excels in portability and playability. It's ideal for musicians who prioritize a more lightweight and compact instrument without compromising on sound quality.

Ibanez AEB10E Acoustic-Electric Bass vs Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass

Ibanez AEB10E Acoustic-Electric Bass

The Ibanez AEB10E is a budget-friendly alternative that offers solid performance and great value for money. It comes equipped with a Fishman Sonicore pickup and Ibanez AEQ-SP2 preamp, providing good amplified sound. This bass is perfect for beginners and intermediate players looking for an affordable yet reliable option.

Guild B-240E Acoustic Bass vs Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass

Guild B-240E Acoustic Bass

The Guild B-240E is another excellent alternative, known for its robust construction and deep, powerful sound that comes at a very similar price to the Kingman.

It features a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides, similar to the Kingman. The Guild B-240E offers exceptional build quality and a rich, full-bodied tone. The main differences are the body shape and build design. but the Guild also comes with a more simplified electronic circuit, which might not be appealing to some users.

Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass Final Verdict

Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass

Overall, I think the Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass is a versatile and reliable acoustic bass that suits various musical styles and comes with a bunch of nice features. For starters, I think the build quality is very impressive for this price range, and it has a lot of attention to detail in the manufacturing.

It has a rich, full-bodied tone when unplugged, and the included electronic system does a decent job at capturing its tone when plugged in to a bass amp and also makes it more versatile and functional. It's very comfortable too.

If you're looking for an acoustic bass guitar in this price range, I think most players will be very pleased with the Fender Kingman Acoustic Bass.

If you're considering alternatives, I recommend the Taylor GS Mini-e Bass for its portability and sound quality, or the Ibanez AEB10E for its affordability and reliability, especially for beginners and intermediate players.

Leave a Reply

Adam Levine Is Returning to 'The Voice' Ready For Battle

Adam Levine Breaks Silence on His Return to ‘The Voice’ With a Message for His Fellow Coaches

"DIO Dreamers Never Die" Premiere - 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals

Sebastian Bach Points Out Fan, Rants About Skid Row at Recent Concert