An affordable all-mahogany 000 acoustic guitar with a cutaway.
by Teja Gerken
July 10, 2017
Based on original interpretations of classic flattop guitar designs, Fender’s Paramount Series offers affordable instruments with clever combinations of body styles, woods, and appointments. Earlier this year, Fender expanded the series by introducing the Paramount All-Mahogany NE line, which includes the PM-1 Dreadnought, PM-2 Parlor, and PM-3 Triple-0. We had a chance to check out the PM-3 in the Peghead Nation video studio.
As the line’s name indicates, the PM-3 uses mahogany for the entire body and the wood is solid all around, which is impressive for a guitar at this price. Its 25.3-inch scale puts the PM-3 closer to an OM-style guitar than a 000 (the two have the same body but different scale lengths). The guitar has scalloped top bracing, is very lightweight, and includes a thin open-pore finish. White binding and cool “checkerboard” purfling (as well as a checkerboard rosette) offset the mahogany’s dark brown color, and simple fingerboard dots serve as position markers.
We found the PM-3 to be a highly responsive guitar that excelled when played fingerstyle and also sounded great when strummed. It had a nicely balanced voice with a touch of the slight compression often associated with hardwood tops, but it avoided the pronounced midrange that is sometimes found in these instruments. The PM-3 wasn’t a super loud guitar, but it had a sweetness and tonal complexity that belied its low cost. Anyone looking for an affordable mid-size steel-string with great playability should check out the Fender PM-3, and fans of other body styles may find what they’re looking for in other models in the Paramount All-Mahogany NE line.
SPECS: 14-fret 000-size body with cutaway. Solid mahogany top, back, and sides. Mahogany neck. Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. 25.3-inch scale. 1.69-inch nut width. Open-gear tuning machines. Designed in the USA, made in China. $599 list. fender.com
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