Guitar Review: Fender Paramount Series Deluxe PM-1 Dreadnought

This is the “Golden Age” of guitar making. Acquaintances in the guitar stores I frequent enthusiastically agree with my non-professional assessment. Guitars, both acoustic and electric, have never before been so well made. America has been a leader in the innovations that produce such wonderful instruments. Manufacturers such as Taylor, Breedlove, Martin, Collings, and so many others, have changed the guitar world. However, their innovations aren’t held within the geographical boundaries of the United States — the quality of asian made guitars matches those of America and Canada. I have reviewed two Eastman guitars, two Bedell Performance Series guitars, and one Cordoba Acero Series guitar previously in this blog. All of these guitars are manufactured in China — a put-off for some guitarists — but a blessing for guitarists who want a quality instrument at a more affordable price. In this posting I review Fender’s PM-1 Deluxe Dreadnought, a guitar that is part of its new Paramount line of acoustics.

I would generally pass by a Fender acoustic, as “tossers”, as an Englishman I know remarks. In the past, I have agreed with his opinion. However, recent guitar publications have raved about some of Fender’s new acoustics. Their Paramount Series was noted in the July, 2016 edition of Acoustic Guitar. Now it’s my turn to put forward my humble review.

Tacoma’s Ted Brown Music is an incredible music store with great staff, and a good selection of guitars, and they carry a full lineup of Fenders including a few Paramounts. I noticed the PM-1 Deluxe Dreadnought on display and picked it up, sat down with it, and started playing Norwegian Wood (one of my go-to’s). Its sound and feel were truly surprising and I stayed with it. I was impressed!

The Paramount dreadnought was easy to play. The nut width is a dread’s typical 1 11/16 inches, and string spacing nearer the bridge allowed good articulation for playing arpeggios with a pick. With arpeggios, the bass is noticeably clear and strong. Treble was also clear and ringing, and everything in the middle was equally clear. When strummed, the tone was pleasing. The boom-chuck rhythm of songs such as “Ring of Fire,” and “Teach Your Children” held up nicely to my ear.

20160722_182639This dread, and all guitars of the Paramount Series, has all solid woods. The Deluxe models have spruce tops and rosewood backs and sides. It has a glossy, sunburst finish. The fretboard and bridge are ebony. The inlays are lovely. All models have Fishman electronics: base, volume, and treble. An onboard tuner sits atop the controls.

Asking price at Ted Brown Music is $999 for all Deluxe models. On-line prices are the same (the mahogany models are sold at $799).  Truly, this guitar is well worth trying out. It will stand up to any competitor in this price range, perhaps beyond it.  Any Paramount will be a good investment and a keeper. Well done Fender!

Keep on playing!

Fr. Irenaeus

 



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