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Sunday, August 11, 2013

C.R. Alsip Guitars Vintage SCDT,... (Review)


Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: $2,100 USD with case + shipping 

About: 
C.R. Alsip Guitars is a manufacturer of handcrafted, American made, custom, boutique electric guitars by master luthier Jake Willoughby, in Arkansas City, Kansas. 

This Vintage SCDT model has an alder body with the C.R. Alsip "drop top" flamed maple cap that flows into a 25" scale/12" radius maple through body neck with a matching maple fretboard topped with a 1-11/16" nut.  

Hardware: 
Chrome Grover machine heads with chrome knobs, hardware and bridge. 

Electronics: 
TV Jones Power'Tron Plus (B), TV Jones Power'Tron (N), 5-way switch (blade style), (2) low friction 500K pots, (1) vol (1) tone and a switchcraft 1/4" jack.  

Sound 

Amp used: 
Bogner Alchemist 2 x12
Peavey 5150 - Marshall 4x12 
Carvin V3M - Marshall 4x12 

Cables used: 
Intex

Strings used: 
Dark Horse 10-46 

Selector position 1: Just Neck
A dark rockabilly tone with hints of classic rock.

Selector position 2: Outer coils split 
A thin middle (2) P-90's or neck mini-bucker in series -- depending on the amp used.

Selector position 3: Neck and Bridge
A bright PAF middle with a boost in the mids. 

Selector position 4: Inner coils split 
A fat P-90 bridge.

Selector position 5:  Just Bridge
Classic rock lead /Billy Gibbons all the way.

Action, Fit & Finish:
The finish is beautiful -- just like the first C.R. Alsip I reviewed, her paint scheme reminds me of an old muscle car or vintage motorcycle. A gorgeous translucent blood orange over a flamed maple "drop top" cap that pops off of her black back and sides with a real silver leaf pinstripe. The action was low without any fret buzz and the intonation was dead on.

Reliability & Durability:
The guitar seems to be well made. It is solid through and through. There was no hum or crackles from the electronics and all knobs and hardware were installed snug and proper.

Impression:
In February of the this year I had the pleasure of reviewing my first C.R. Alsip Guitar and it change the way I look at "hair" metal/rock guitars as a guitarist. Personally, I'm a blues/rock player and I have always found that guitars designed for metal focus mostly on freatboard speed and the bridge but lack tone. To me, it feels like the average luthier puts the tone in the backseat so he/she can make a metal/rock guitar in a moderate price range. This was not the case with the C.R. Alsip I reviewed in February. Jake Willoughby, (head Luthier in charge at C.R. Alsip Guitars) has engineered a patent pending (SES) Sustain Enhancement System and offers features such as a "drop top" while using real copper shielding. This makes his guitars feel broken in like they have some age on them, but most importantly his guitars feel solid and are usable for all music genres within that same moderate price range. So to say the least -- I was excited to play the blues/rock version in this review. 

So, to the review: Besides the amazing pliability of this guitar, she has what I like to call the "all the in-between" tones that you normally do not get from just one guitar. To me she sounds like a cross between a solid body Gretch Jet and a vintage P-90 SG with the versatility of a PRS 408 (minus the 408's overkill). Her body is a slim flattop Tele-Paul with hints of a Strat that flows into a 25" scale/12" radius through body maple-on-maple 24 fret neck. I was able to dial in many different tones using her 5-way blade from Texas blues, to rockabilly but she sang the best with some good old fashion rock -n- roll. 

Overall this C.R. Alsip SCDT is an amazing handcrafted American made guitar that puts any Gretch, Fender, or Gibson to shame. The versatility that you have with this one guitar will suit the needs of any rhythm or lead blues, rock, rockabilly or jazz-fusion player... and she is so pretty. 

What I would change:
I would add a treble bleed circuit on the volume pot -- so I did. 

My advice:
If you are a blues, rock, rockabilly or jazz-fusion player you need to play a C.R. Alsip SCDT. 

This guitar is enrolled in the Local Music Gear artist lend program. If you would like to play the guitar in this review please contact Local Music gear. 

Contact:
C.R. Alsip Guitars
Arkansas City, Kansas. 



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Posted 8/2013
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