Crews Maniac Sound Guitars Thread

Discussion in 'Other Single-Cuts' started by wulfman, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. Leddyman

    Leddyman Senior Member

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    I am a big fan of Navigators. The wood they use and the craftdsmanship is second to none. weight can be an issue. If you like a heavy guitar Navs are tops. I have a 9lb NLP380 that is considered light. My 350 Gold Top is a little over 10. Spectacular guitars and I don't really mind the weight as I am a big guy. and 9 lbs isn't that heavy anyway.

    That said, a Crews at 8 or a little under is sounding very attractive to me. Especially if you can find one with a Braz board and the old wood. Crews is definitely on my short list for my next purchase. Sounds like I might have to look a while to get the one I want. They are pretty rare.
     
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  2. Geogeo68

    Geogeo68 Member

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    No I'm not afraid by heavy guitars; my Tokai LS80 is around 9,2lbs :D
     
  3. El Kabong

    El Kabong Senior Member

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    Weights can go either way... my NLP 500/580 is only 8.73 lbs. and the Crews is 8.17 lbs. My only 10 pounders are Epis...

    Navs & Crews are both top shelf... when it comes to comparing guitars of that caliber you really have to nitpick to find superiority one way or the other... :cheers:
     
  4. Lumi71

    Lumi71 Senior Member

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    would also be interested in that comparison...
    even if they are one level- do they sound different?
     
  5. Geogeo68

    Geogeo68 Member

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    Duane, and If you have to compare your Edwards PM (because I've got one too;) )
    with the Crews
    For example my PM is more airy and got more highs compare to my old Tokai.
    The Tokai is fatter more basses but still precise.

    It's difficult for me to explain it in English (even in French :D )
     
  6. El Kabong

    El Kabong Senior Member

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    I don't think the stock Seymours in the Nav could ever compete with the Weeps... but unplugged they are both loud, rich and chimey and they both sustain for the proverbial days. All being equal, soundwise, in a practical way, would be more a comparison of pickups then guitars.

    Ah... now there's a worthy comparison! Old wood is lighter and airier than new wood, and while the neck on the fm59R is old wood, the age of the rest is unknown (at least to me). The maple on the PM is old wood, but again, the age of the rest is unknown. I think in both cases the unknown wood is most likely new and the same as is used on other similar spec models.

    Acoustically, my 3 PMs sound different. They weigh in differently 8.57/7.67/8.35 lbs. and each have their own character. Plugged in even more so (SD Custom Pearlies, Wizz Premium PAF Clones, Ox4 Limited Run Beanos). So in a direct 1:1 Shootout it would (or 1:3 rather) it would be a pretty close call but I would give the edge to the PMs... but only just. The fm59W or LTD run would probably be even closer yet and might actually nudge out the PMs.

    Again, at such levels of awesomeness we are comparing acoustic minutiae... plugged in would all come down to the pickups and amps... and whatever else can be found between them. :cheers:
     
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  7. DanVonP

    DanVonP Junior Member

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    Having just tested one of cheaper OLS models I'm quite impressed yet confused. I asked the store guys why some models are around 300k yen instead of the 130k ones and they just told me it's because of "hand wounded pickups, vintage sound". They said the woods are the same. ??

    Is that so? Are they all made in the same factory and the biggest difference is just the pickups? What do you think about the "cheap" OLS models?
     
  8. El Kabong

    El Kabong Senior Member

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    Some of the higher end models use aged wood, braz boards and maples with more AAAs... all of which tends to inflate the price. The store guys were right that the main draw is probably the pickups though, as K&T Pickups generally run about $1500 a set on their own. "cheers:
     
  9. DanVonP

    DanVonP Junior Member

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    Thanks Duane! Man that one I played was tempty...
     
  10. El Kabong

    El Kabong Senior Member

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    They are indeed quite tasty... :thumbs:
     
  11. lester square

    lester square Senior Member

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    1500? That is twice as much as for the already very expensive Throbaks and Stephens. I really must say that even if they are among the best available, 1500 for a set of humbuckers alone is just ridiculous. Can they be 5 times as good as Bare Kuckles, e.g. at 300 a pair? I doubt it.
     
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  12. El Kabong

    El Kabong Senior Member

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    Ridiculous indeed... welcome to the world of boutique pickups. :cheers:

    Is a $10K True Historic 100% better than a $5K R9 or 1900% better than a $500 Epiphone Bonamassa? Is a $250K Burst 49900% better than that same $500 Epiphone Bonamassa? Mathematics would lead you to believe they are, but prices don't necessarily reflect value... if you want them, that is what they cost... comparing prices to one another to determine value doesn't accurately follow the laws of economics. Its more about supply and demand... supply is limited and demand is high... hence the hefty price tag.

    I'm not sure how the NFS set of K&Ts in a Crews Guitar differs from a standard K&T set but they sound pretty close to my ear. Getting them in a Crews is a way to get a killer guitar with a killer set of pickups at a discount. :dude:
     
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  13. vegetto_456

    vegetto_456 Senior Member

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    I just read through the entire read and looked at the current KTR guitars at: MUSICLAND KEY KTR (Key to the Rock) PROJECT

    :wow::wow:

    Some of the most beautiful bursts I have ever seen on a Les Paul ever. Beautiful beautiful guitars! The link that I posted, that has the most up to date line up right? And they are considered superior to the regular OS line up?

    I have a mini list of high end guitars I want to own once I have the means, and these shot up to the top of the list!

    The list was this (if you were curious): Navigators, Momose, Tokai. Now the Crews KTR guitars are the top of that list ;)

    Would you mind posting some more glamour shots of your KTR guitars? I love the look of them :dude:
     
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  14. El Kabong

    El Kabong Senior Member

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    Here are a few from out in the sun this morning... I really love the looks and feel of the unbleached, non-fat removed nut... :thumb:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. lester square

    lester square Senior Member

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    I see your point and the equasion was just made to illustrate , not to really be taken literally or as mathematically correct, of course. You are right, if these pus are in high demand, one might ask almost anything for them, there will always be people buying them and paying the price, not matter what price. Btw if this Crews series cost about 3000 new I doubt that the pus can be 50% of the price of the material and work that goes into it. So maybe using them on these guitars is just a way of making them special and actually creating the demand ...
    But the interesting thing still is that there are quite a few "boutique" pickup makers out there creating, as many forum members will agree on, great stuff, but at a far more reasonable price point, so I think at least for myself it would be "ridiculous" to pay 1500 for this set of pus, no matter how good they are, when I can get a very good used guitar including good pus for the same amount of money. It is like the hype with all this G*** CS thing, the more you limit things (irrespective of actual quality) the more you attract those potential buyers who buy sth. mostly because it is rare and not because they need it or because it is really the best you can get. It then becomes a mere collectors' thing, which is rather sad and so much "not-rock'n roll".
     
  16. El Kabong

    El Kabong Senior Member

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    The thing with the K&Ts is that the maker proved himself 30+ years ago as a master winder. His Dry Zs are still some of the most sought after pickups today and while they don't fetch the prices of the new ones (yet) the prices are inching their way up and they are getting ever more difficult to find. He currently just winds a couple sets a week as it is all done by hand... each bobbin is carved to the specific shape he is after and it takes a couple hours per bobbin just to wind them. Then each one is tested and tweaked... this is no assembly line pickup. Whether or not they are any better than machine wound, assembly line, off the shelf pickups is purely subjective... those who think they are superior, will pay what it costs to get a set.

    In Japan, most things are highly secretive, and folks don't share information very readily... especially with outsiders. That is the culture. Those secrets are then passed down to family members who are either interested enough in them to actually do something with them... or they are forever lost to the ages. Unfortunately, the younger generation is often not savvy enough to know what they have, and thus opt for the latter.

    As far as modern boutique winders go... a lot of them are more marketing hype than substance, and take advantage of the confusion in the market. K&T Pickups rarely (if ever) advertises. Again, in typical Japanese fashion, their advertising is primarily word of mouth. Musicland Key picked up on this early, and rather than just selling the pickups as a distributor, they went one step further by collaborating with Crews and K&T to develop the K&T line. These are some pretty smart guys who know exactly what they are doing. They did the same with the Fullertone line... and those are actually better than Crews. They are absolutely amazing guitars and second only to a handful of replica builders as far as quality goes...

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsCXJRaZu18[/ame]
     
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  17. vegetto_456

    vegetto_456 Senior Member

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    Oh man that top! And the nut definitely screams creamy :D

    Thanks for posting the pics, that top literally made me inhale hard, I was like HNNGGGGGG. What a beaut!
     
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  18. lester square

    lester square Senior Member

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    You are probably right about everything as far as quality, craftmanship and attention to detail is concerned, still, the hype remains. Why would this master builder be the only one out there capable of these things? I do not think the DRY Z,that are always mentioned for reference, are the best there is, just possibly one of the best. Everytime something is claimed to be the best, it makes me sceptical. Qualities and arguments about quality get blown out of proportion and are finally only due to personal tastes. And yes, a lot of boutique builders have found that the labels "boutique" and "handmade" can make considerable dollar. Some overdo it, some stay on the ground. But that does not mean their products are inferior. I was not referring to any machine made, mass production pickup line. There are at least two pickup/guitar makers in my country who also build one set at a time and who probably can provide the same quality, and they are expensive too, still a world apart from 1500. It is like your judgement of the Momose Beano pu compared to the Crews' pu from videos on YT, I always try to find out, what of the sound I am hearing is due to the construction of the guitar, what element of the sound could be the pus, when this is actually impossible to do, it is even hard with your own guitar, it will always be much of a trial and error thing to change pus, so how do we, e.g., know these Beanos are worse than others? I guess you are a bit biased because you know the Crews and came to love them, which is perfectly alright and understandable, but could be wrong for somebody else. In the end, let's say 300 to 600 will get you a truly handwound and great set of HB pus that reproduces the flair and tone of the old PAF to an extent even demanding players find pleasing - remember that many many professionals use stock pus in their guitars and still sound amazing so sometimes I think I try to find better gear to compensate for deficiencies in my playing, and I am not the only one doing this - so anything beyond that is more in the area of esoterism - I have to check on the Fullertones, though, another mystery brand for westerners.
     
  19. El Kabong

    El Kabong Senior Member

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    I played a set of Beanos at Kurosawa this weekend and they didn't blow me away... nice, but hardly K&T territory. The Momose was nice though... Still... YMMV... :cheers:
     
  20. lester square

    lester square Senior Member

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    Beanos in a Momose MLS1? R or J or NJ model? Because the wood is different and might have a considerable effect. - Ah, well, I am prepared for that, I might change the pus in the pending Momose but I will not spend 1500 :)
    On the other hand, I got a new Maybach Lester LP model that at the moment is very popular in Europe, because you get at least G*** Standard US quality for considerably less money, it has real swietenia mahog. and a set of handmade German pus (Amber) that alone is worth 500 Euros, aluminum tailpiece, real good electronics with 50s wiring and all, and still you do not get the depth and complexity of tones you get from my Knaggs Kenai T2 with the "mass produced" Seth Lovers (but almost twice as expensive as the Maybach), so in the end the pus probably contribute considerably but if the construction is lacking sth changing the pus will not really help it or at least you might say, you can achieve some effect, but rather spend the money on a guitar of the next available quality level.
    Btw a Momose at Kurosawa, but not this one?
    http://www.kurosawagakki.com/items/detail/38043.html
    because according to their website it has different pus in it (Yuta YH-1, never heard of them). Still, this is the only Momose they are currently advertising. And the wood selection is similar to mine, meaning Hond. mahog. instead of African in the MLS1/R models.
     

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