#1
SO.
This is my first post here, please excuse / point out any mistakes so I can correct them.

Apologies for asking a probably silly question, but I was thinking if someone could share their knowledge of the Crafter entry level guitars (the lite D/DE models - specifically the Crafter Lite DE/SP N guitar because I would like having a cutaway. I've seen the T/TE C models mentioned a lot but nothing about the dread spruce top model.

I've been reading for quite some time now and have seen Crafter recommended and highly regarded for a budget guitar. Also, since I'm in the second hand / used guitar market, how much do you think these guitars would be worth second hand, given that their condition is good? New, I could find them listed for GBP255, which is around USD 360. I found a used one for USD 275 but I'm guessing that's too high?

I'm in the United States, have some experience with playing the guitar but have never played any guitars that can be called good. Hence, I don't think my ears are very reliable. I do have some friends who play (intermediate I would say) but they haven't heard of Crafter. I would take them with me when I try the guitars out but it's always better to have the knowledgeable people here share their experience (about how much these guitars may be worth used).

Thanks!

EDIT: My budget is $300, and I'd prefer a used guitar since I believe that I can get a better guitar this way. What do you guys think?

EDIT2: I'm typically looking for a guitar that sounds... full(?). Basically not tinny. I know that the Crafter Lite DE/SP has mahogany B/S but it does have a sitka spruce top so I was hoping it'll sound full (I'll hopefully find out when I try it out at this guy's place). I have played dread shape full size guitars before (belonging to friends) and haven't had any problem with them - I am open with the shape and size as long as they sound good. I have a feeling that I'd prefer the sound of dreads or jumbo, but I don't have that much experience to predict what I'm going to like yet.
Only limitation would be that I would like a cutaway (stuff like Moonlight Sonata and / or Canon are a PIA without cutaway). Not that I'm any good at playing these yet but I would love to, at some point. And it's classical compositions like Moonlight Sonata that make me want to have a boomy low-end but still want a ringing upper end tonality. I'm probably asking for too much for the kind of money I'm willing to part with, but really wanted to give as much info as possible.

I normally play stuff like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin on my electric guitar right now (not much good at it yet), and would like to have an acoustic to play some of the songs that sound really really good on an acoustic (like Wish You Were Here or many of Agalloch's songs), and some classical compositions.

//end

Sorry for the really lo0ng post; it became way longer than I expected it to be. Thanks for taking the time out to read it and any help is appreciated!

Thanks!
Last edited by payod.lp at Mar 2, 2015,
#2
Well, I have 3 Crafters and all 3 seem to be built nicely. And now the bad news. There are not too many Crafter dealers here in the US. Certainly not on a par with the numbers you would find, should you decide to buy an Epiphone, Yamaha, or a Seagull. (Although, Seagull's most oft recommended model the "S-6 Original Cedar", is 25% above your budget).

Anyway, when dealing with a limited distribution item, you may not get the same rate of discount as you would on a brand(s), quite simply, you could find almost anywhere in the US.

All I can say for my 12 strings is they're nicely made, play well, and sound decent, nor have I had any noteworthy trouble with any of therm. Although, the OEM strings were absolute sh!t. I believe Crafter is shipping with D'Addarios now, at least on their 6 string models. Two of my twelves are Taylor T-5 knockoffs. (semi hollow body F-hole w/cutaway). Now these two are equipped with both piezo and magnetic pickups, so they fall under the category of, "hybrid" guitars, with (Mixing,+EQ & preamps). The 3rd, is a standard 12 string dreadnought, with L.R.Baggs electronics & standard piezo. Crafter is allegedly the OEM from Breedlove's import line. They also use Baggs electronics.

Crafters are sold all over Europe, and people from there who own them, are quite happy with them, and also recommend them.

As far as "locally", (48 contiguous states), I would also suggest you consider any of the lower range of Yamaha FG-xxx series, The FG_700 is the one most often purchased and suggested at this site. The FGX-700 is a worthwhile peek, as it adds cutaway and electronics to the package, Those guitars are $200.00 & $300.00 respectively. Both have solid tops.. You might also bump the Yamaha up one notch to the FG-720

Also, the $300.00 price point, you could check out either the Epiphone, "Hummingbird" (Mahogany body), or the Epi "Dove", which should have a bit of a more stinging, bright, rockabilly, type sound, since the B & S are maple. Epiphone is also campaigning a new guitar, "The Pro Ultra One", which is outfitted with very light strings. (Standard acoustic light is .012 to .053, "custom lights" are .012 to .052, and this Epi comes with "ultra lights" or "extra lights". Whatever they're called, these sets are .010 to .047, or about the same gauge as electric regular. So, the guitar would be very easy to play, but you would pay a penalty, in the bass response of the guitar. The seagull S-6 would be the premier instrument of this batch, but you'd have to call Musician's Friend, and not buy it online, to get an advertised coupon savings, which could run to 15% on a guitar of $300.00 or more. Plus, no tax and free shipping.

I'm simply not familiar enough with Crafter's line, to give you a yay or nay on the one you're looking at.

There are also, (if what I've heard is correct), a few models of Cort, or Recording King might be worth looking into.

I'm really, really left handed, which forbids me from running all over town, and annoying salesmen far and wide, by going into music stores and trying out guitars ad infinitum....

This person, Dennis from Adirondack guitars, stocks a number of Crafters in both left and right hand models, but most of them are pretty dear, and none seem to be dreadmoughts. Here's that page: http://www.adirondackguitar.com/accoustics/crafter/menu.htm

I would say, that a Crafter dealer here in the U, (I suspect anyway), is doing so because it relieves issues relative to price pressure, which would occur on the other guitars I've mentioned.

One last possibility would be an Epiphone, "Masterbilt". These are all solid wood, which is great, but you're have to save a bit more since they're "buy me new" guitar pricing is in the neighborhood of about $500.00 to $600.00,

Let us know if you need links for all this stuff.

To give you a clue how rare Crafter is in this country, the search results for the model you're looking into, had Amazon.UK, right at the top of the page.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 2, 2015,
#3
Thanks, Captain, for the highly detailed reply!

Worth mentioning here is that in my local city listings on Craigslist, I found a used Yamaha FGX720SCA, burst finish , with gig bag for $300 OBO EDIT - SOLD. I think $300 for a used one is sort of high, but I'm not sure. Also, not sure if I were to offer a "best offer" what ball park would that be in.

I hadn't mentioned the Yamaha before because I assumed that 300 was a high asking price and the Crafter (with gig bag) that I found for 275 seemed like a better value for money from the things that I had read on these forums (and others). Not sure if that assumption was ill-founded.

Oh and about this specific Crafter, it has a custom made bone nut, and replaced brass bridge pins (nut and pins replaced by owner).

Also I'd started the thread thinking I'll ask about this specific Crafter model, but I got carried away and made this a "please help me find my perfect guitar" thread. Sincerest apologies from the bottom of the deepest confines of my heart. ^^'

Other good models I've found on listings:
Seagull Entourage Black CW GT QI with gig bag - $300 - (no info on year) - Now this one doesn't have photos attached so not sure about the condition but it does look like a pretty sweet deal to me. Caveat is that it's black, and I have bad memories associated with a black acoustic (that was my first guitar, borrowed from a friend, which was so bad I gave up after some time but picked up playing again recently when I bought a used Epiphone LP Standard - which is a *sweet* cherry burst, and one of the reasons I'm veering away from burst finishes on the acoustic I'm looking for but not a deal breaker).

Tacoma Roadking DM8C with solid case - $400 - 2003 - I know, out of my posted budget, but it just looks so... different (offset soundhole)! The condition looks overall decent from the photos but one small dent on the top. It has a satin finish so I'm assuming that's to be expected from a 12 year old guitar? Also, have been reading really good things about Tacoma makes and models. This one has a solid spruce top, solid mahogany back, probably laminated (but possibly solid, unsure) mahogany sides. Also, 22 frets, 20 of which seem accessible through the cutaway. That prospect alone sounds so sweet! And it's unadorned natural finish, which I love on an acoustic. Maybe some frills here and there (inlays or rosette) but I love natural finishes.

Of the ones I found on Craigslist, only the Tacoma Roadking *seems* to fit all my criteria, except for price.

Stepping away from Craigslist, I would also probably go and try some instruments out in local music stores and check their used stock. That said, I'm not expecting to find Crafters or Tacomas there. I wasn't able to find any Recording King guitars in the used market, but again have heard great things about them on these and other forums too.

Those Epiphones look good! I'll definitely give them a look. Thanks!

One thing I would really appreciate comments on is used vs new acoustics. I personally feel I'm doing the right (for my wallet + bang for buck) thing by looking for used guitars instead of new off the shelf guitars (no eBay, only Craigslist). Am I right in thinking that as long as I look for at least solid top guitars? I'm not sure if the solid wood makes any difference in how the guitar ages at this price point.

As for strings, I'm probably going to use 12-gauge, since I want a balance between a deep tone and fingers usable in normal life (although I'm not sure what material I should choose. I remember using D'Addario's 80/20 custom lights on the other guitar that I had for a few months couple of years back).
Since I'm buying used I'll replace the strings anyway.

How do you guys feel about ordering online from places like Elderly?

Again, thanks for reading + sharing your knowledge!
Last edited by payod.lp at Mar 4, 2015,
#5
Quote by payod.lp
Thanks, Captain, for the highly detailed reply!

Worth mentioning here is that in my local city listings on Craigslist, I found a used Yamaha FGX720SCA, with gig bag for $300 OBO EDIT - SOLD. I think $300 for a used one is sort of high, but I'm not sure. Also, not sure if I were to offer a "best offer" what ball park would that be in.
OK, a gig bag is $20.00 brand new. I don't like the idea of using one on a solid top guitar, no matter what the price range. My house is small, stuff gets kicked, my cases look like shit, I can imagine what the guitars would look like in bags. Plus, the case mitigates changes in temp and humidity, much more effectively than a bag.

Quote by payod.lp
I hadn't mentioned the Yamaha before because I assumed that 300 was a high asking price and the Crafter (with gig bag) that I found for 275 seemed like a better value for money from the things that I had read on these forums (and others). Not sure if that assumption was ill-founded.
OK, I don't have a guitar blue book, and in all honesty, I can't picture myself buying a used guitar. Buying new is a crap shoot. But, buying used is perhaps more so. Especially in the price range we're talking about. If you're buying a used Gibson or Martin, the chances are the instrument has been well cared for, (ostensibly). With something in the low to mid price range, who knows. So, I don't recommend buying used, if only to cover my behind, when somebody gets a bad one.

Quote by payod.lp
Oh and about this specific Crafter, it has a custom made bone nut, and replaced brass bridge pins (nut and pins replaced by owner).
OK, the only things I've heard about bone is that it's inconsistent, and pretty much of what I've heard about brass bridge pins is, they're too bright, along with being too expensive.

Quote by payod.lp
Also I'd started the thread thinking I'll ask about this specific Crafter model, but I got carried away and made this a "please help me find my perfect guitar" thread. Sincerest apologies from the bottom of the deepest confines of my heart. ^^'
Oh that's OK. One day some clown came through asking me to give him the perfect chord progression. I think the subtext was,I was supposed to write him a hit song. That's way above my pay grade here.

Quote by payod.lp
Other good models I've found on listings:
Seagull Entourage Black CW GT QI with gig bag - $300 - (no info on year) - Now this one doesn't have photos attached so not sure about the condition but it does look like a pretty sweet deal to me. Caveat is that it's black, and I have bad memories associated with a black acoustic (that was my first guitar, borrowed from a friend, which was so bad I gave up after some time but picked up playing again recently when I bought a used Epiphone LP Standard - which is a *sweet* cherry burst, and one of the reasons I'm veering away from burst finishes on the acoustic I'm looking for but not a deal breaker).
OK,I like black guitars. If they made a left handed EJ-200-SCE in black, I'd likely go for the hat trick and buy one. (I have the natural and vintage burst). They only make the black one, in right handed.

Quote by payod.lp
Tacoma Roadking DM8C with solid case - $400 - 2003 - I know, out of my posted budget, but it just looks so... different (offset soundhole)! The condition looks overall decent from the photos but one small dent on the top. It has a satin finish so I'm assuming that's to be expected from a 12 year old guitar? Also, have been reading really good things about Tacoma makes and models. This one has a solid spruce top, solid mahogany back, probably laminated (but possibly solid, unsure) mahogany sides. Also, 22 frets, 20 of which seem accessible through the cutaway. That prospect alone sounds so sweet! And it's unadorned natural finish, which I love on an acoustic. Maybe some frills here and there (inlays or rosette) but I love natural finishes.

Of the ones I found on Craigslist, only the Tacoma Roadking *seems* to fit all my criteria, except for price.
I know less about Tacoma, than I do about Crafter Light.

Quote by payod.lp
Stepping away from Craigslist, I would also probably go and try some instruments out in local music stores and check their used stock. That said, I'm not expecting to find Crafters or Tacomas there. I wasn't able to find any Recording King guitars in the used market, but again have heard great things about them on these and other forums too.

Those Epiphones look good! I'll definitely give them a look. Thanks!

One thing I would really appreciate comments on is used vs new acoustics. I personally feel I'm doing the right (for my wallet + bang for buck) thing by looking for used guitars instead of new off the shelf guitars (no eBay, only Craigslist). Am I right in thinking that as long as I look for at least solid top guitars? I'm not sure if the solid wood makes any difference in how the guitar ages at this price point.
Yes, look for a solid top guitar. It does make a difference. There are good and bad laminates, mostly bad. In any context, they're usually considered a compromise to meet a low budget.

There isn't any way I'm going to enter a discussion about how a solid top will sound 10 years from now. No way, Jose.

Quote by payod.lp
As for strings, I'm probably going to use 12-gauge, since I want a balance between a deep tone and fingers usable in normal life (although I'm not sure what material I should choose. I remember using D'Addario's 80/20 custom lights on the other guitar that I had for a few months couple of years back).
Since I'm buying used I'll replace the strings anyway.
Well, if a guitar is "dull" or, "laid back", if you will,you go with brass 80/20 strings. A bright guitar often will work best with phosphor bronze. You just have to listen to what your ears and your friends are telling you. The string alloy really isn't something you can decide on ahead of time.At least I don't think you can. I use brass on certain guitars. It's intolerable, (to me), on a twelve string, nor do I think it would work well on my EJ-200's.

Quote by payod.lp
How do you guys feel about ordering online from places like Elderly?

Again, thanks for reading + sharing your knowledge!
Elderly has a good reputation. But I think they're a little high end, (at least in they're used department), to be included in this discussion.

TBH, I'm having a hard time getting my head around you out on Craig's List used guitar shopping. You don't have a wide enough knowledge of product, (I"m not claiming I do either), but as importantly, you lack self confidence, and seem a bit desperate. To me, that sounds like a recipe for disaster.

I honestly don't know how much help I can be in this context. You look at a guitar, you ask questions about it. A forensic discussion ensues. In the meantime, the guitar is bought by someone else. The cycle repeats.

There's a net result to many of these threads, which hinges on giving a TS too many choices, and too much information. The end result is often more confusion than was present originally.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 5, 2015,
#6
Sorry for replying late, and thanks again for the reply Captain!

Quote by Captaincranky
TBH, I'm having a hard time getting my head around you out on Craig's List used guitar shopping. You don't have a wide enough knowledge of product, (I"m not claiming I do either), but as importantly, you lack self confidence, and seem a bit desperate. To me, that sounds like a recipe for disaster.

I honestly don't know how much help I can be in this context. You look at a guitar, you ask questions about it. A forensic discussion ensues. In the meantime, the guitar is bought by someone else. The cycle repeats.

There's a net result to many of these threads, which hinges on giving a TS too many choices, and too much information. The end result is often more confusion than was present originally.


While I do agree with your last comment about giving the TS an information overdose and confusing him / her more than they started out being, I do want to argue (not fight - more like suggest) that what I'm doing, I'm doing because I think it will help increase my knowledge about these things. I am not sure if that is the right approach at all - just doing what I felt was right - try to get the best guitar that you can get for the money (from the available options), try out guitars out of my budget so I can see (hear) the differences, and not be too disappointed if the guitar I buy turns out to not be as good in the long run as I had thought it would be.

I understand that I might not have much luck with listings on Craigslist because of the very nature of the site - people might sell their stuff to someone else before I can make a decision if I'm researching my options instead of impulse buying. But to be fair, the guitar I have right now (an Epiphone Les Paul Standard) I bought off Craigslist too, based on reviews I read online and recommendations for others like me on forums. I'm pretty happy with it - maybe I just got lucky

Also, I do want to learn - I want to be able to tell a good guitar from a bad, I want to form a personal opinion of what guitars I like - develop a taste. I'm just not sure how, heck, I'm not even sure if I'm hoping for too much, or if what I'm hoping for is important in a general sense or not (it is sort of important to me personally but I just might be thinking irrationally, you know). I know that at least right now my wallet wouldn't allow me to keep buying different guitars to help me get more than a peek into the awesome world of guitars and tone and sound (I'm a student).

That said, I really really do appreciate you taking time out to help me out (in your mind, probably try to help me out - but this really has been a big help). If nothing else, an outsider's POV is nice, to realise maybe I'm overthinking it.

I'll just go out and try stuff out and let you know how my search ends up being. Thank you, Captain!
#7
I first encountered Crafter guitars over 10 years ago and I liked the first one I played so much that I bought it. I was amazed how such a great quality, great sounding and wonderfully playable guitar could be obtained at such a reasonable price. It's still going strong and it's played virtually every day.

Since then I've played very many different models and all have been very good instruments. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone. Of course, they do different types, different shapes, different specs etc and which you pick is very much a matter of personal taste but, spec for spec, I believe they are one of the best value-for-money guitar brands on the market.