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Unlike the others’ Sitka or German spruce tops, this Crafter is Engelmann and is predictably whiter in hue, though more wide-grained and with little obvious cross-silking. That, however, doesn’t detract from the instrument’s overall smartness and the neatly executed trim includes an abalone-inlaid rosette, cream body-matching fingerboard binding and a mosaic centre strip along the mahogany back.
Amber-coloured tuner buttons are an attractive touch up top. In common with its rivals, the DE-8/N’s satin-finish mahogany neck is a three-piece scarf-jointed affair. The average width and string spacing are allied to a comfortable, shallowish ‘C’ profile, the only minor detraction being slightly abrupt fret ends - nothing a little extra dressing wouldn’t take care of.
As on all our contenders, the low-ish action set-up is very good.