I find myself picking up my acoustic guitar constantly during the day. It’s such a good instrument to have on hand to let off some steam. If I’m taking a break from working on the computer, it’s usually a great way of resetting and getting pumped for the next round of grinding away at any project. I’ll be the first to admit that my bedtime is usually delayed by a couple of hours if I happen to pick it up late at night. Even after close to two decades of playing the instrument, it still has a pretty solid grip on me! If you don’t have one, or you’re interested in learning, there are many great, affordable options out there. Any of the three Epiphone FT-100s that I received is definitely a fine choice. They have a lot to offer for a reasonable price.
I’ve recorded a short video of the guitars in action. It includes various styles of playing, so you can get a good idea of the versatility of this model. It also documents my initial impressions of the instrument.
The generalist’s choice
The FT-100 is built upon the most widespread shape of acoustic guitar: the dreadnought. This shape offers a balance between ease of play, versatile tone, and decent volume. You’ll be at home whether you’re mostly a strummer and finger pick from time to time or vice versa. It doesn’t have the thundering boom of a jumbo, ideal for rowdier occasions and orchestrations, but a lot more than a delicate parlour or orchestra model.
Good selection of woods
The tone woods used add a lot of value to this guitar. The FT-100’s top is select spruce, which is the go-to wood for acoustics. Its solid sonic qualities make it the most popular choice for builders, and it has been a staple for over a century. The layered mahogany used for the back, sides, and neck is a real treat. This singing wood is usually reserved for more expensive models, but Epiphone found a way to make it work. It has a throaty, warm character, prized by guitarists of all genres. The fretboard material is as per the company’s website “Torrefied Engineered Hardwood”. Torrefied wood is usually stable and won’t crack when confronted with dry conditions—perfect for Canadian winters. The fact that it’s engineered hardwood might be frowned upon, particularly by purists. I didn’t notice any negatives about it, to be honest—probably because it’s the fretboard itself and not another part of the guitar.
The neck itself is quite comfortable, especially if you like slimmer types. With a SlimTaper C-profile, I think that beginners will definitely benefit from a more manageable neck profile. For those interested in more modern techniques, this will also make things easier to perform and play with fluidity.
Multiple finishes to choose from
All three guitars have glossy type finishes that shine in the light. There is a natural finish, which is basically transparent and lets you see the beautiful raw colour of the wood. The second one has an opaque black coating that’s very classy. A difference with this model is that it has a cream binding around the body and neck—a satisfying refinement. The third is very pretty, thanks to its wine-red colour. It will surely interest the players that are looking for something unique. It’s transparent, so you will get to see all the wood’s beautiful detail too!
Classic tone and ease of play
Out of the box, everything was well set up on the FT-100. The guitar’s action was easy to play, and after tuning it, I was off playing my favourite tunes and riffs. As mentioned previously, the guitar has a well-rounded character without any sort of dominant frequencies or tone. It probably doesn’t sound as open as broken-in, high-end models do, but we’re talking about models that cost at least 20 times more. Make sure to watch the video for an idea of the sound. The microphone and interface I used are very affordable, and this setup gives a good idea of what the instrument is capable of.
Thanks to a slimmer neck and a good factory setup, everything was very easy to play and will warmly welcome beginners and experienced players alike. The neck’s glossy finish feels nice and pleasant. I didn’t find it to stick, but that will depend on your hands and their oils. The low action didn’t produce any fret buzzing, and notes rang clearly. It’s hard to ask more from such an affordable guitar.
Ideal instrument for multiple scenarios
If you are a beginner looking for your first instrument, Epiphone has been successfully supplying countless people in your situation. It’s hard to argue about the value of a guitar such as the FT-100. With good wood choices, easy-to-play factory setup, and versatile tone, it will serve you well for a long time. It’s a great place to start your musical journey, and you’ll have a better idea if you want to invest in other possibilities once you’ve had some experience with a six-string.
For current guitarists, it’s a good choice as a first acoustic or maybe a backup instrument. It took a few years for me to get an acoustic, and I think there are many players in the same situation. This will provide you with the sound that’s missing from your arsenal without costing an arm and a leg like some models do nowadays. If you do own an expensive model, this is a great guitar to take with you. You won’t worry if you play it outside by the campfire or carry it with you on a plane or in any risky situation. Being an excellent all-around instrument, it’s ideal in this scenario. The only thing missing might be some electronics to plug into a PA or audio interface. Those are very personal to experienced guitarists, so you might even appreciate being able to install the system you prefer and that works best for you.
No matter your situation, check out the Epiphone FT-100 at Best Buy. It’s a great choice at an affordable price.