Fender has recently updated their Paramount Acoustic guitar line and added a Bluegrass series.
Under the Paramount umbrella, there are currently three different levels: 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 to be very comfortable to play and it projected more like a full-size body instrument. This acoustic arrived in 3-color Vintage Sunburst, but they are also available in Natural and Aged Cognac Burst finishes.
New Fishman electronics have been added with the inner body pickup, volume, and tone controls right inside the soundhole. The Dreadnought, Orchestra, and Parlor guitars are available with a solid spruce or mahogany top and feature mahogany back and sides.
The Paramount Bluegrass Series, by Fender, now includes a Mandolin, 5-string Banjo, and a Resonator Guitar. Player preferred updates have been made to the bluegrass instruments to fit what today's players require so you can plug in and play.
Key Features: The Paramount PS-220E has a new body shape, with a choice of mahogany or spruce top with mahogany back and sides. Snowflake inlays in the fretboard look classy. Fishman Sonitone-Plus pickup with a piezo transducer for electronics. It features a black or tiger stripe pickguard depending upon the color you select and comes includes a hard-shell case.
Build Quality: Construction and binding are top-notch. It looks sounds and plays like an acoustic guitar that cost much more.
Sound and Tone: As mentioned earlier the Paramount PS-220E sounds like a larger-bodied guitar than it is. The new Fishman electronics also do an excellent job of reproducing the tone through an amplifier without much need for adjustment in EQ. This guitar will sound even better the more it is played.
Hardware: Open face machine heads are well made and tune the strings to pitch accurately. The bridge, saddle, and nut are professionally set, although for my playing style I would lower the action a bit. Electronics are discretely hidden and work great in the soundhole.
Pros: Solid wood guitar that is well constructed and has features of an acoustic guitar twice this price. Fishman Sonitone-Plus electronics make this Paramount Parlor PS-220E acoustic guitar perfect for songwriter rounds and writing sessions. The quality hard-shell case for production is a nice addition too.
Verdict: Fender acoustic instruments don’t get the attention or respect that their electric counterparts achieve automatically, and that is unfair. At $829.99 street for the Paramount Parlor PS-220E, you are buying a lot of guitar for under $1,000.
The wood choices and electronics elevate the new Fender Paramount guitars to the next level. Play and plug in one for yourself and let your ears, eyes, and hands decide for you. The new Parlor body is comfortable to play with and hard to put down. I’m impressed with what Fender has achieved with these new editions to the Paramount line and you will be too.