Latest Reviews: 4.5 Stars for FA1AHB from Acoustic Magazine | 5 Stars for FA400GA from Acoustic Magazine

RENOCSB (Guitar Interactive) FA400DCE (Guitarist)
FA400D (Total Guitar)
FA400GAC (Acoustic)
FA400D (Guitar & Bass)
FA400GACEF (Guitar & Bass)
FA400D (Guitar Interactive ’15)
FA400GACEF (Guitar Interactive ’15)
FA400DCEF (Acoustic ’15)
FA400GA (Acoustic ’15)

96% Overall Score
87% Overall Score
85% Overall Score

FA1AHB (Acoustic ’15)
FA1AN (Guitar & Bass ’15)
FA1DSBS (Guitar & Bass ’15)
FA1DNS (Guitar Interactive)
FA1AWR (Acoustic)
FA1AM12 (Acoustic)
FA1DCE (Perfoming Musician)
FA1TRAV (Performing Musician)
FA1AWR (Total Guitar)

FA500GAC (Acoustic)
SONGOTSB (Guitar & Bass)
SONGOTSB (Acoustic)
SONGDTSB (Guitarist)
SONGDCERW (Guitar & Bass)
SONGDCERW (Acoustic)
SONGOCRW (Guitarist)
SONGOC (Guitar Interactive)
SONGDCE (Guitar Interactive)
92% Overall Score

90% Overall Score

FA600DCE (Acoustic)
FA600DCE (Guitar & Bass)
FA600GA (Acoustic)
FA600GA (Guitar & Bass)

92% Overall Score

92% Overall Score
Apollo 3DC (Total Guitar)
Apollo 4OC (Guitar Buyer)
Apollo 4DC (Total Guitar)
AB3 Autumn (Guitar Interactive)
AB3 Summer (Guitar Interactive)
AB3 Autumn (Acoustic)
AB3 Summer (Acoustic)
AP3JEM12 (Acoustic)
AB3 Autumn (Guitar & Bass)
AB3 Winter (Guitar & Bass)

87% Overall Score
84% Overall Score
FOP1DN (Acoustic)
FOP3DN (Acoustic)
FJ2 (Guitarist)
FA200CE (Guitarist)
FA200E12 (Guitar Buyer)
FA300JBK (Total Guitar)
F335 (Total Guitar)
FA350FBF (Guitarist)
FA350D (Guitarist)

SONGDCE (Acoustic Guitar)
SONGDCE(Guitar Sèche)
FA1BN (Bassiste)
SONGOC (Akustic Gitarre)

User Comments

I love this guitar. It is just what I wanted, at the price I wanted. A very clear, sweet tone. A lovely action. Very well set up by John Darwin. I suspect it won’t be the last Freshman guitar I buy.

A revelation. I really did not expect this quality at this price!!

Fantastic guitar, loving playing it!

Lovely craftsmanship and sound.

I bought the guitar from Trevada Music in Camborne. When I played it, I fell in love with it there and then. I can\’t believe the quality of the instrument for the price I paid. Beautiful guitars. I looked at various makes, like Tanglewood, Faith, Martin. I played a few of the Freshman\’s and loved them. I had to buy one. I can\’t put it down. Thanks guys.

Excellent service from the staff, lovely instrument. Good value too

My second Freshman must be happy !!!!

Beautiful Guitar, love the all maple body and the sound, the sound, OMG!!! The best £200 I have ever spent!!!

Brilliant guitar – thank you!

Purchased online and delivered next day. Great service from Mansons and great guitar, nice one Freshman.

My third Freshman. I love them. The pickup is amazing. I’m looking forward to playing about with it more. A gorgeous guitar and so playable.

A great guitar with a beautiful tone worth a great price. I love this guitar, thank you so much to all the folks at Freshman.

Saw the guitar on Tuesday and thought it looked really beautiful and sounded very good! After thinking about it, bought it by telephone call yesterday and it arrived safely today in its sturdy hard case! I have an Auden and 2 Breedloves and think the Freshman stands happily beside them! Terrific value and a really pretty guitar that I will definitely enjoy playing! I am really impressed with the quality, excellent finish and sound!

Fantastic guitar!

Very nice guitar, loved it from the first strum!

Nice guitar to play. Feels like a much more expensive guitar.

I am absolutely delighted with this instrument. Everything about it feels and sounds just right. It makes me really want to play it. I was equally pleased with the advice and service received at the shop. Truly first class all round.

Very happy with my purchase, excellent instrument and I am a beginner 🙂

Amazing guitar, felt right from the moment I picked it up. Better quality than my other (more expensive) guitars.

Very nice travel guitar, plays and sounds great.

Everyone that’s played my Freshman has been impressed with the quality of sound and playability. It’s also one of the best recording guitars I’ve had or played.

Excellent guitar good value for money.

Fantastic instrument, great harmonics and tone.

Absolutely fantastic service! Great customer support and very friendly, gave advice and make sure I got the guitar I both wanted and needed.
The guitar is also incredible. Stunning to look at, the neck simply lets your hand slide to where it wants to go and the sound is very rich: great quality guitar.

Very pleased so far. The appearance, finish and tone met all my expectations. I’m a beginner and the instrument seems easy to play and ideal for my purpose.

Beautiful guitar at a great price. Very pleased and look forward to many years of ownership.

My second Freshman, absolutely love them!

Tried a £900 Gretsch, Fender Telecaster amongst others & this was by far the most versatile guitar with a great feel.

Discovered your company recently and quite by accident. Received my guitar today from Guitar Guitar. I ordered a Takamine but was told it was out of production. I am so glad it was because my second choice, the Apollo, is not only gobsmackingly beautiful, it’s also a great guitar to play. You guys are doing a fab job.

I was shown this guitar by the store owner. I was so taken by its sound, tone, and shape, that I knew it was the guitar for me. Having played and owned Fenders for quite a few years, I found this guitar has a mellow tone, and the thin body is a refreshing change from the dreadnought shape of my Fenders! Love the inbuilt tuning device. Actually as soon as I picked up this guitar, I bought it!

Fantastic the difference from the first guitar I bought. Feel much more confident with this guitar.

Beautiful guitar. Second one I looked at and bought it immediately.

Lovely guitar, just getting back into playing and really enjoying playing this guitar. Great quality for the price.

Awesome, I am nearly 50 and I am now playing your guitar in a band, I really never believed that would happen, thank you so much for such a fantastic sounding instrument. And furthermore I now have two other Freshman Guitars promoted in my Camper Van hire showroom for customers to borrow and play, maybe even around the campfire!

My first Guitar – 18th Birthday Present. Really love it!

I have loved having this guitar. First I just strummed and sang but as time has gone on I’ve taken up more and more complex stuff and the guitar has never been insufficient.
It’s even taken percussive guitar in its stride. The Fishman electronics with microphone blend and all-solid build make it ideal. I recommend Freshman guitars when I can. Thanks for such a brilliant bit of kit.

I love this guitar. It feels solid and excellent quality, the sound is really nice and it looks good.

Amazing sound. Amazing feel. Great guitar for such a good price.

Bought as a birthday present to myself! And very nice it is too. Thank you.

Very pleased. Excellent uke!

Sounds great. My first quality buy.

Wonderful guitar. Sound has knocked me out!

Excellent quality, sounds fantastic, easy action.

Great guitar, and astonishingly good value for money.

A quality guitar with a fantastic natural finish and a great sound.

My wife brought me this for Christmas 2003 and I was allowed to try it for about 15 minutes. I had to wait for a month before I got it back. She has been with me ever since and will stay with me forever. I have called her Fatty due to her size. Her action is as good now as when I got her and although, she had a great tone from day one , time has made it even better. The fishman electrics are brilliant too. I have tried many other guitars in the same price bracket and higher but none that would encourage me to let Fatty go. Every one who has played her say she’s excellent although, they didn’t all like the size of her. I use her through a Marshall AS50 and a chap recently said you must have spent hours getting that tone. I replied No, that’s just the way it is. Thanks to Freshman and the write up from Total Guitar I have a great acoustic guitar. I would recommend this model to anyone and certainly recommend trying other Freshman guitars before parting with a fist full of cash on a high end name. Remember the name on the headstock does not automatically mean a great guitar. The feel, sound and build quality are the most important.
Baz – Glasgow

After reading reviews of this guitar I went to try it out and it exceeded my expectations in all areas.
With a superb build and outstanding sound quality I just did not want to put it down so I bought it there and then. I don’t usually buy on impulse but having had a Martin and tried many very expensive guitars in the past this guitar simply puts most in the shade and is certainly equal to the best.Fantastic value.
Kieth – Edinburgh

This is my second Freshman guitar, and if the continue to create instruments of this quality and sound it will not be my last. The FA500DCE blew me away with its uality of sound, took me 10 seconds to decide to buy it.
Dennis – London

Hey guys recently my wife was fortunate enough to win an FA1DN via a competition in TG magazine. I was stunned at the tonality that can be achieved from this entry level guitar, the quality of the finish on the fretboard is loevly, the headstock is graceful, the logo unassuming. The tuners seem of a high quality for an entry level guitar. I’ve really put it through its paces and the guitar has no tuning problems. I was not certain about the photo gloss finish at first however I really like the way the guitar looks on a stand. It’s even better on the knee though, in fact it certainly gives my £500 Fender a run for its money. Maybe not as full in the bass but far too close a call to make up for the vast difference in price. Well done, what a great piece of kit.
Paul – Eccleston, Chorley

Hi Freshman Guitars, I recently put a deposit down on a FA400GA at my local guitar shop, what a find! I’ve been looking for a OM/GA guitar for a while after my taylor 312-ce was stolen in france whilst on a tried all the guitars in this category from guild, tanglewood, taylor, martin, gibson before finally settling on your FA400GA,the guitar is a credit to you in terms of materials used, build quality, design, and workmanship, ansd is the best guitar i think in its class today,the sound is incredible to my ears at least, i dont know how you did it? I had heard the Freshman name before but had never tried your higher end guitars, incredible value may i say and on a par with the big boys whose guitars are sometimes overhyped and overated and vastly overpriced,ive chosen your guitar for all the right reasons in my view and maybe at the right time as solid wood guitar prices start to soar, fair play to you,and many thanks for the FA400GA.

After reading several articles in Performing Musician I thought that I’d try out a couple of Freshman’s at a (nearly) local instrument stockist. With price being the overriding factor I thought this might mean me having to choose a slightly inferior quality of instrument.

On arriving at Eric Lyndsey’s in Reigate I was handed a Freshman FA1AN and immediately fell in love with it…imagine my surprise when I placed my capo on the 9th fret and it still stayed in tune!

I had to purchase it there and then as I had a to perform with it that night and having used it ‘live’ at the gig was complemented by all the guitarists in the audience who asked which make it was and where they could get one…a sure sign that I indeed held something very special in my hands.
Pete Fyfe

I bought a FA500GA and have been very impressed with it. I bought it as a guitar to play around with until I would buy a higher end name brand guitar. I haven’t bought one yet for a good reason. I don’t need to -I have a high end guitar now in the Freshman. The guitar has opened out beautifully as I have played it. I also recently played a high end Yahama LL cutaway dreadnought and was disappointed in it compared to the Freshman. Nor was the sound anywhere as good as the Freshman when it was similarly new. Keep making such good guitars. David McDowell I was prepared to spend up to £2,000 for a fingerstyle steel strung guitar, tried everything, including Martins, Taylors, Collings, Gibson, old, new etc. Finally selected the 400 based on tone, balance, overall sound, playability. Watch out Martin and Taylor (especially Taylor!)
Bill Dale

This was by far the nicest sounding guitar in the price range. I have a Gibson J50 and I found the tone similiar. Very nice.
T Hilliard

I have recently bought a Freshman Parlour guitar and am loving it. Very impressed so well done there. I am so happy with it I am considering another purchase.

Paul English

It’s been a few weeks since I got my new Freshman FA400FCES and now that the novelty of a new guitar such a wonderful instrument.

Aside from the quality of the build and beautiful minimal design this guitar has such an expressive range of sound it’s a real pleasure to play. It really sings when strummed but has a beautiful tenderness when fingerpicked.

I spent several months trying all kinds of guitars and was torn between a Martin and a Taylor (twice the price of the FA400) before I stumbled across a review in Acoustic Magazine of the FA400. So I decided to chance it and ordered one.

I’m so glad I did. I couldn’t be more delighted with it. Every time I play it I rejoice at the fact that I never spent twice as much money on a Taylor or Martin as in my opinion this is a superior guitar in every department.

Thanks again for a wonderful instrument, I couldn’t be more proud to own a Freshman.

Ian Longley

Brilliant quality, great help at the shop.

Declan Ramsey

Which ever member of you staff personally delivered this to guitarguitar Glasgow, I would like to thank you personally for a great service and a great Guitar, your stuff is the best, and I’ve not finished yet I will be needing some more cheers.


Very nice, bright and sweet but still lovely and mellow like you
get from a classical, very pleased indeed.

Eileen Cumming

I never thought it possible to purchase a new guitar with the build and sound quality of this one. Thanks to you and John at Windjammer Music.

Nigel Brady

Yesterday I received my freshman guitar and I am really pleased. The instrument is beautiful and sounds amazing.
I couldn’t be happier I’m never going to go to another brand of acoustic guitars. Thank everyone in the company for me and tell them that they do a great work. The service you gave me and shipment was really the best I have ever experienced about musical instruments. I hope your instruments get more known because I tried guitars that were about 3 or 5 times more expensive and didn’t sound far as good as yours so continue to amaze guitar players around the world. Best Regards,

Reynald Giroud, Switzerland

Just thought you may be interested to know that I used a Freshman FA1AN to play Vestapol at the Young Folk Award finals. It is featured on the Folk Awards 2007 CD compilation set ( on Proper Records ) disc 3 track 6.

You may also like the video footage of me playing Lindsay and Keel Row on this instrument at a recent performance at the Holywell Music Room. You can find it at I originally bought that guitar as a budget knockabout, but love it so much that I use it for most stage performances. Hope you find this interesting.

Thanks for providing great instruments at sensible prices. All the best,


I tested every guitar in the shop, this one I kept returning to. It gave an energetic, awake, lively voice to my playing that I was away with the moment, even in the shop atmosphere. This is my second Freshman in 3 years. In 2004 I bought a FA200E and have been absolutely over the moon with the sound, the performance and value for money in fact every aspect.
I have now bought the FA1DLX and am looking forward to many years of pleasure.

I bought an FA100 last year and it is totally great, all my mates are so annoyed at having bought similarly priced, but inferior guitars. Oh well, at least I got something right!

I bought a Freshman FA200D for my husband from Merchant City Music in Glasgow, and he wont stop playing it, can you please take it away from him!!! No, really it’s great and I cant get over just how well made it is for the money.

Thanks for making such a good value guitar – it’s a joy to play and it’s moved me on as a guitarist without doubt!

John Thomas

I’ve recently bought a Freshman FA400FBF and I’m extremely happy with it. This guitar outplays many more expensive guitars.

Gerry Hastie

Not knowing much about acoustics, I tried out nearly every acoustic in the shop, determined to find the one that was right for me. When I picked up the Freshman I fell in love with the sound straight away and was charmed by the simplicity of the look. I A/B tested it against everything else they had, including a couple of expensive Martins, and to my ears, it still sounded the best. To be honest, I was expecting to walk out with a “name” brand guitar, and having never heard of Freshman, was a little unsure. The sound and playability convinced me, and I am glad now that I made that choice, as it still sounds great. I haven’t even changed the strings!

Paul Brodie

I have just purchased a Freshman FA400FBF, (after some deliberations regarding it’s Chinese manufacture.) I was finally won over by the quality, playability and sound the guitar produces, and have to agree the guitar is is a fine instrument which has already given me great pleasure to play, at least equal to the Martin & Larrivee I also use.

Nicolas Ham

I have a Freshman FA1AN electro-acoustic,I broke my neck in a car accident a couple of years ago and after having to relearn to walk again (took a long year) I am finally getting back to where I was before the accident. I have unfortunately lost the sensation in my right arm and hand (the mobility is fine though). I just wanted to commend you on such a sweet sounding guitar and so easy to play. I now take my guitar into hospital each week as part of my rehabilitation so my little Freshman has become a major part of my life so….A very BIG thanks to making a usable, fun, great-sounding guitar.

Samual Atkins

I bought the FA200E as a cheap guitar so I didn’t have to worry about “dinging” my Seagull S6+ whilst my eyesight completed its long recovery from nerve damage. The fact that it was an electro too was a bonus as I could look forward to recording it through my sons Line6 UX1. I committed a cardinal sin – I bought the guitar without playing and entirely from customer and professional reviews. I expected something half-decent and playable though to turn up. One strum, one single solitary strum and the Seagull was destined for eBay. It has now been sold and I do not miss it. So musical is this guitar that random “noodlings” on the guitar sound like a beautifully crafted work of musical genius. Deliberate attempts at discord are still statements of musical intent. If this was Hi-Fi it would be a valve amplifier of the highest pedigree and cost thousands and as a mere guitar it should still cost the thick end of a grand (IMHO). The one problem – if you call it a problem – is that I now want the top of the range FA400D. Not because my playing justifies it (it barely justifies the FA200E) but because I want to see how much better they (Freshman Guitars) can get.

Mark Reilly

After many years of playing a relatively inexpensive acoustic I thought I’d treat myself to something of a bit higher quality. I road-tested a few of the usual suspects including Martins and Taylors up to and around £1800. However, before making a decision I asked the editor of a well know acoustic guitar magazine if there were any lesser known brands I should check out and he suggested the Freshman 400 series. On first viewing I was struck by the understated good looks, the quality of the materials and finish, and of course the price tag! Eventually I narrowed it down to a choice between the Freshman FA400DCE(S) and a Taylor with a price Tag of £1699. Both were beautifully constructed from top quality materials, had beautifully warm tone and amazing projection and responsiveness. However, the Taylor had no pickup fitted whilst the Freshman not only featured the great sounding Schertler Bluestick active pick-up system but also came in at almost £1000 cheaper… No Contest! I honestly believe there is nothing out there that can compete with this guitar until you get into the £2000 plus price bracket.

Russ – London

I recently bought one of your guitars from Nick Fisher Music in Hereford, who gave me your address. My intention had been to buy a modest standard acoustic for teaching purposes (please don’t feel insulted) since so many students attend with faulty instruments. Having got it home and played it, I felt I had to contact you with my thanks and admiration. It is not one of your most expensive, but I have to say its one of the most rewarding guitars I have ever handled and that includes Martin, DeAngelico & DeQuisto. The finish and setup are excellent. I used to demo for Ibanez and good setup was one of their features. A badly setup but otherwise great guitar may as well be a cheap nasty thing if it cant do the job due to sloppy finishing. I don’t believe the state that Gibson and others allow to hang on shop walls for sale these days. Anyway getting back to yours, the balance and neck profile are as good as it gets, intonation right on the money and tonal range from near the bridge to over the soundhole is amazing. The instrument projects a full sound surprisingly strongly. I am an electric jazz guitar player myself but like most players I appreciate a quality acoustic sound and we all have the influence of django somewhere in our heads. The electrics are a lot better than my experience of Ovation, the Yamaha APX series and Gibson. All in all its a delight and I have been playing and enjoying it for lots of hours. Thanks again for a very pleasant and unexpected surprise.

I recently bought a Freshman FA500DCE and I absolutely love it. I have been looking for a new electro-acoustic for a long time and have played many guitars from all the major manufacturers, but have not been able to find the acoustic sound that I have been looking for. I tried the 350 series a couple of weeks ago and was impressed with it’s sound, and wanted to try the higher range models. I then read the review of the new 500 series in Acoustic Magazine and arranged with Freshman to have one sent out to “Guitarguitar” in Edinburgh for me to try. As soon as I played it I knew it was the sound I had been looking for. The sound is bright, but also has a wonderful rich resonant tone, well balanced with a lot of volume. It has the dual Schertler pick up which sounds great. The guitar looks, sounds and feels wonderful – thank you.

Jon Farrimond

Hi, My name is Alan St. John. I’m 66 and registered blind. I have 5% vision in my left eye and the other is totally blind. I have been receiving “Acoustic” since it came out and think it’s fantastic. I manage to read some of it with my Jodrell sized magnifier and my wife reads me the rest. In issue 3 (Apr ’05) you reviewed a Freshman Guitar and, as it was my 65th birthday that month, my wife surprised me by buying me a FRESHMAN FA400J/F. It’s amazing! I have played guitar on and off most of my life but over the past 18 months I must have improved 300%! I now go out singing and playing in a duo called “Donkey Stone” (it’s a Lancashire thing!) and have just finished doing a series of theatre dates with Fred Dibnah’s widow in a tribute show for which I wrote four songs. But I digress. This letter is just a wake up call for all those people who would love to play guitar but for a variety of reasons (excuses) never get round to it. Your editor once said, in his column, that you should buy the best instrument you can afford and he’s absolutely right! My guitar has given me self confidence, hope and, above all, joy. Pure unadulterated joy. Thank you for a wonderful May. Yours sincerely, Alan St. John. p.s. My wife bought herself a Freshman and is currently learning to play also!

Many thanks for the recent info regarding the Freshman FEPBC Electric Guitar. As a result of this report and the opportunity to actually play the guitar, I am now the extremely pleased owner of this guitar.

As well as the Freshman, I also played four other guitars from different manufacturers- some cheaper in price and some more expensive. Result- subjectively, I found the Freshman to be the guitar for me- I think it looks great, feels good, gorgeous neck, playability, versatile sounds from Blues to Jazz to Rock.

On the downside however, it has become increasingly difficult for me to walk by the guitar and not stop for a quick play- this tends to develop into an extended play!

Dik Morgan

Wanted the fa400fces, but couldn`t quite stretch the extra money, but love this guitar, great quality and sounds lovely, easy to play and has a feel all of its own, great guitars and good brand thanks.

Martin White

Great sounding guitar, beautiful to hold, unable to put down.

Bhupinder Balu

Great from the word go, picked it up and liked it straight off, my ovation 12 string had better look out too!!!

Robert Gilchrist

Excellent guitar, great tonewoods, excellently finished, great playability and sound. Superb value for the quality of the product. Up there with the USA high end guitars. A name to watch.

David McDowell

I have purchased a wildly high quality guitar at a crazly cheap price, purchased as second guitar, becoming much preferred to my main guitar – over three times the price! What a fantastic little Guitar! Model FA1FBK – I love a bargain and I love a top spec guitar!

Paul Joseph Hart

Love the guitar, great sound, great looks, fantastic value for money.

Ian Mann

Wonderful sound, quality and playability.

Brian Parker

Beautiful sound and inspirational!

Matthew Rose

Fantastic tone, beautiful finish, lovely action for the money – top axe.

Karl Middleton

Great little amp – loud enough to annoy the wife!!!

Stephen Hill

I no longer use an electric and so exchanged my much loved Patric eggle for this beautiful 12 string, first impressions are of joy and happyness. We shall see what the future holds for us!!

Mark Bennett

I’m the proud owner of a Freshman FA350FBF acoustic folk guitar and I’m really impressed by the sound and value for money. I bought it in Glasgow last December and play it every day, and I recommend Freshman to every guitarist I meet.

Karen Reay

I recently purchased an FA500GACED from Macs Music in Herne Bay. It is everything I expected and more (expectations were high as a result of owning an FA400D, purchased around 2002/3). Beautifully finished, looks great and sounds wonderful. You may be interested to know I bought the 500GA to replace my Martin 00028LD Lonnie Donegan which I sold recently. I prefer the Freshman. An exceptional guitar.

Hi, just a note to say I have now bought my second Freshman guitar, the 12 string acoustic FA1. I already have the 6 string electro /acoustic version and I am really pleased with them both and would not swap them for anything. I will recommend them to as many people as I come into contact with. I am actually a roadie so make contact with lots of local bands. Glad to hear you are a Glasgow firm, keep up the good work and show the yanks. Thanks again.

George Hardaker

I bought a Freshman guitar 2 years ago and I must say that i’ve been mightily impressed since I played it in the shop. I played various high end guitars that day including a lovely Martin and the Freshman is the only one that blew me away. You can tell the craft and attention that has gone into making it and the sound is just awesome. Alan Ashcroft I bought a Freshman guitar 2 years ago and I must say that i’ve been mightily impressed since I played it in the shop. I played various high end guitars that day including a lovely Martin and the Freshman is the only one that blew me away. You can tell the craft and attention that has gone into making it and the sound is just awesome.

Alan Ashcroft