Crafter Constantine DX Reviews
I bought this guitar from GigGear (or Hertford music) in Hertford, England. I went there initially looking to try out an Epiphone Les Paul Studio. It cost me £249.99. The shop assistants were actually of different opinions over which guitar I should chose, the Epiphone or the Crafter. I chose the Crafter in the end and I shall tell you why...
Phew, where to start? I know, I'll make a list:
1. It has the classic Les Paul design.
2. The amber quilt maple top is outstanding. It's bright, bound, unique on a les paul "copy" that I know of, doesn't have a really obvious line down the middle, is well varnished and is repeated on the headstock aswell.
3. The pickups are alnico magnets and sound every bit as good as the Epiphone's "Gibson designed" ones that I tested on the Les Paul Studio through a massive Line 6 amp.
4. The Gold hardware is great and really stands out on the pickups. Its even on the input jack!
5. The headstock is PRS style and not as craaaazily large as the Epiphone Les Pauls.
6. The inlays are really unique, they look like they're in a shell of some kind.
1. The neck binding next to the fretboard isn't perfect and is slightly rough in places. It's also got what looks a bit like dirt (but i'm pretty sure isn't) in a couple of places where the finish isn't perfect. It's hard to explain unless you have a guitar with neck binding, but just check for it if you go and try one out. My Dad's Hohner has a little bit of this, but not as much. The body binding has also been stained slightly by the paint (which is only visible on very close inspection). I think it may just be that it's not an especially expensive guitar so I can't expect perfect quality.
2. The action is quite high, but that may have been the store technician's personal preference and I could probably just lower it with the twist of the golden tune-o-matic bridge...
1. Solid neck joint.
2. Body made entirely of mahogany (like most Gibsons), not like the Epiphone which is part alder according to their catalogue, a lower quality wood if I'm not mistaken.
3. Gold hardware untarnished and looks like it wont rub off in any way.
4. Solid, but thin, body. It has been proven that body thickness has little do with sustain as long as the woods are good and the neck is well set anyway.
5. Tone and volume knobs don't turn especially easily, but they don't wobble or crackle either.
6. Neck is generally very good aside from the binding problem above.
To sum it up, I chose the Crafter because I played both it and a Epiphone Les Paul Studio on an amp that would show off the sound of both guitars pickups, and they sounded almost exactly the same. This puts them on level pegging then as I came to compare their looks. Undoubtedly the better looking guitar, the Crafter has gold hardware, a quilt maple top that's also on the headstock and body and neck binding. The Epiphone has none of these. Also the Crafter was considerably lighter and thus easier to play. On top of all this, the Crafter was £20 cheaper as well.
You might choose Epiphone because it's a "real" Les Paul, or maybe because you trust their build quality, but I know Crafter acoustics to be perfectly built and our one hasn't so much as gone out of tune for as long as I can remember. Sure its not exactly perfect, but for £250 it may as well be. The Crafter Constantine DX is in my opinion the best guitar around if you want a Les Paul at this price. sam_faf
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