The entry-level Norman Protege range features nine dreadnoughts, including two cutaways and one 12-string, and the whole range is electrified – sporting Fishman's trusty Presys under-saddle/ preamp system.
Our B18 is very cleanly built with the unusual pairing of solid cedar for the top and laminated wild cherry for the back and sides.
The soundhole is a little unusual, but certainly lives up to the 'Canada's guitar' monicker with its stars and maple leaf motif. Your milage may vary, but we think it looks a little mismatched when paired with a coppery semi-gloss Sunburst (on the top only) and the tortoiseshell pickguard.
We have no reservations about the hardware, however – the enclosed tuners are solid, and the nut and saddle are Tusq – the latter fully compensated to ensure accurate intonation. The neck is a comfortable mainstream C shape, fretting is tidy and there's very little to complain about here.
Acoustically, despite the cedar top (from which we'd expect warmth and compression compared to spruce), we have quite a pushy, slightly hard- edged dread' tone, lacking a little bass compared to our reference Martin. That said, it sounds more than credible strummed, and with Fender-like 54.5mm spacing at the bridge there's enough air for your right-hand.
Plugged in, there's an almost generic quality to the tone, but in a good way. The onboard EQs are certainly well centred and broad, and overall, this a well-sorted electro dread'.