Crafter JE18 N Jumbo Electric Acoustic Guitar

instrument review

Solid Red Cedar-Top Jumbo with Rosewood back & sides, deluxe chrome tuners with mushroom buttons, elegant wooden position marks, wooden Crafter sound hole inlay, LR-S Plus preamp & L.R. Baggs pickup. Satin finish Colour: Natural Cedar

I happened to be visiting the local mom-and-pop guitar shops in my area recently, as I often do, and came across many quality Acoustic guitars for the Musician On A Budget. There were several that stood out amongst the crowd, but there was one that won me over. After playing several mid-level Taylor, Alvarez, Yamaha, and other guitars, came a little gem by a company called Crafter. I played several of the Crafter models, and was immediately impressed by the fit, finish, and tone of these relatively unknown guitars. Because I love Jumbos, the JE18 N Jumbo caught my eye right away.  It could have been the wonderful solid red cedar top and solid rosewood back and sides that caught my eye, but the guitar was dressed so well that I couldn’t isolate a single point of attraction.  It has a beautiful rosewood finger board, die-cast tuners, nicely-done wooden fret inlays, and a beautiful wooden inlay around the sound hole.

It comes stock with an L.R. Baggs preamp and pickup and has all the tone one needs for a big open sound. The T-bracing really opens this thing up, and it has tons of warmth. I was really impressed by the build quality. No messy glue joints around the bracing as is usually found on the mid-level acoustics, and the action was nicely set right out of the box.  Although the machine heads are die-cast, they need to be changed from the get-go. They have a difficult time staying in tune, and that’s not what the recording musician needs in the middle of a great take. The nut, saddle, and bridge pins should also be on the change list. For me,  bone is preferable.  There are some minor intonation issues that can easily be taken care of by any seasoned pro luthier. All in all, these guitars are a great bang for the buck. The JE18 N cost me $640.00 U.S. with a Crafter gigbag. 

With a few tweaks, it can sound like a several thousand dollar guitar easily, with the fit and finish to match. Next time you see one of these guitars, pick it up and give it a play. I think you’ll be happy you did.

'Til next time, Play Well and Record Often.