REVIEWED: FENDER CLASSIC DESIGN ACOUSTIC SERIES
Fender’s Classic Design series of entry-level range acoustic instruments is aimed at providing first-time players a taste of all the availabilities offered by premium instruments at an affordable price. The series has since undergone a few changes: new offerings, redesigns and features. It appears Fender is striving to reduce the gap between the basic and premium model guitars by including features needed but seldom provided to lower range acoustics. It’s a value adding exercise sure to gauge the interest of first-timers. MIXDOWN took four models – CD-60SCE, CD-60SCE-12 string, CC-60S and CD-140SCE to suss Fender’s latest offering.
REVIEWED: CRAFTER HiLITE DE SP ACOUSTIC GUITAR
With a solid Spruce top, a Mahogany back, sides and neck and an Indian rosewood fingerboard and bridge, the HiLite DE SP features a traditional dreadnaught body shape. It is finished in an understated and clean looking matte gloss, and for those needing to plug in you’ll dig the CR-T NV Tuner/Preamp system.
REVIEWED: CRAFTER TC035 ACOUSTIC GUITAR
Producing instruments for over fourty years, Crafter have developed a solid reputation in their domestic markets as well as internationally. Offering a large range of acoustic guitars, basses and mandolins, they pride themselves on consistent quality products. Offering a high degree of playability and tone at a nice price, there is a lot to like about the TC035 semi acoustic guitar.
REVIEWED: CORDOBA GUITARS LEONA L9-E
Modern guitar makers, with their fanned frets, all aluminium everything and built-in lights and whistles, have come a long way from their noble origins. The centuries old tradition of guitar building survives, certainly within Spain as much as without, but it has for the most part shied away from the rampant advancement rife among its descendants. California’s Cordoba Guitars, named for a particular southern region in the mother country of the humble axe, has the full breadth of traditional guitar making in its sails, but there is uncharted territory on the map.
REVIEWED: COLLINGS CJ-35SB ACOUSTIC GUITAR
Collings’ fascination with the ‘Golden’ era of fretted instruments again comes into play with the CJ35 acoustic guitar. The pre-war era flattop guitars between 1930-1942 saw innovations in bracing and changes in body sizes, adjustments to the then status quo that justify their standings in the guitar history books. Throw that influence in the mix with Collings’ high regard for quality instruments at either end of the price scale, and you’ve got one dynamic, well-crafted piece of gear made by one of the most meticulous brands in the business.
REVIEWED: ESTEVE 3Z CEDAR CLASSICAL GUITAR
Esteve guitars have a long-standing reputation that's built upon prestige, authenticity and traditional craftsmanship that's been handed down from generation to generation. First established by Francisco Esteve in 1957, their workshop has grown from strength to strength since its initial inception – all the while retaining core values of old-world design, albeit updated with modern construction methods. With 52 craftspeople employed in their workshop, the end product is a guitar that feels like a Spanish heirloom, but holds the modern playability and intonation of a new instrument without suffering the shortcomings of mass-produced guitars.
REVIEWED: THE COLLINGS GUITARS WATERLOO WL-K ACOUSTIC GUITAR
Inspired by depression era guitars, Waterloo by Collings Guitars visits a time of basic and far from perfect instruments. The WL-K is an attempt at the best parts of a rich American past without the rag tag assembly.
REVIEWED: FENDER PM-1 STANDARD DREADNOUGHT ALL-MAHOGANY NE
In 2016 Fender expanded their foray into acoustic guitar production with the launch of the Paramount Series. A line of acoustic guitars developed to harness difference-making design traits, with fresh new features and inspiring aesthetic touches, bringing new life to the tradition of unadulterated acoustic sound. While the Limited, Standard and Deluxe models are equipped with preamps, the PM-1 Standard Dreadnought All-Mahogany NE is one model that does without – guided by a ‘less is more’ approach that makes it the most intriguing guitar out of the bunch.