Crafter TB Rose Plus 01/06/2014
First of all, I am from Malaysia. It is difficult to get access to higher end Crafter models here. I tried to purchase one through Ebay (UK or US sellers) but the postage to Malaysia was way too high! It's like buying another guitar with those postage costs.
Then I found Richard's website and had a chat with him over the net (in fact, many chatting sessions over several days). I have to say Richard is a very nice guy, very patient and always answers my questions and doubts. He recommended me the model that suits my playing style, which is purely fingerstyle. And more importantly, his shipping costs are reasonable (and much lower than those Ebay sellers).
It's actually quite discouraging to buy a guitar online, especially if you have not played it. But since this model is not available here in my country, I took a chance with Richard, bearing in mind that the guitar will be fully setup by a pro before being sent out.
It was the Christmas season, and delivery was slower than expected. It took about 10 days to reach here, including holidays. The guitar arrived in perfect condition in its Hiscox case (which Richard kindly exchanged with the original Crafter deluxe bag - Thanks for that Rich!). The Hiscox case really has superb quality and fits the guitar like a dream.
Now the guitar. As expected, the guitar was setup in great condition, nice low action across the entire fretboard, clean strings. And the AHA.. moment was when I tried to tune the guitar to DADGAD (the only tuning I play, which Richard didn't know - Yes, I am a hardcore Pierre Bensusan fan!). I started tuning the low E and it just rings forever. The sustain is amazing. Put a capo on, the intonation is still perfect. Everything works out well. Harmonics are clear.
Note that this guitar has a lower bout that is as wide as a dreadnought, hence the great bass and volume. But it has a narrower waist, which makes trebles clear and bright. It really is perfect for fingerstyle. The nut width of 45mm is perfect (not many guitars at the price range have such a nut width - most of them have 43mm). The neck is not too thick nor too thin, just nice for great fingerstyle action up and down the neck. No problems using the thumb for the low string.
One more thing, which is not necessarily a bad thing - this guitar is kinda heavy. Maybe its the electronics that are fitted in. It is definitely much heavier than other acoustic guitars I have. Oh, and the looks is killing me. The more I look at the twin birds, the more beautiful they are. For your info, the twin birds and flowers on the fretboard and top of the guitar are all made of wood. Yes, wood. The guitar also features abalone fretboard markers, which is kind of a new feature on this model, as I have never seen any fretboard markers on any TB Rose Plus. A check on the serial number through the soundhole reveals this guitar was made in September 2013. Must be a feature recently added to the model.
In summary, this is a great guitar to have and it is definitely a keeper. Also, there is no doubt that I will buy all my future guitars from Richard, as the setup and the service provided is second to none.
Thanks for everything Rich, and God bless!
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