Crews Maniac Sound Guitars Thread

Steve Chernota

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This is where mine came from. I happened to stumble on a KTR Next 5D with NFS BB’s. Hugely discounted because of a couple of small light scuffs on the back.
 

pylyo

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Just recently I got a LED model, Honduran mahogany all over, Braz rosewood, K&T pickups, full thin nitro... and amazing fretwork, a tiny bit better than Momose IMHO.
I owned Momose too and while I loved it big time, this thing is even better in pretty much everything (sound, playability, ringout, sustain, unplugged loudness and resonance), except attention to detail in build quality and finish, as you can’t go higher frankly, so they are at the same level.
But Crews resonates like my Frank Hartungs did, growly, punchy with bell like ringing bloom and long sustain, all frequency spectre covered and even, super articulated and “musical”, it’s one of those guitars that sound correct no matter what you throw at it, always sounds like a record.
Also, very dynamic, go and beat her with a powerful strungs and it will reward you with even stronger vibration punch to your guts, play it softly and it sounds sounds almost like a telecaster. Just like my Hartungs (I have a Mccarty which is even better at this).
So, it sounds like a got a perfect LP, right? It pretty much is, except 2 things.
I’m really anal when it comes to carved tops and I noted that Crews have shallower carves, compared to Gibson historics or vintage Tokais (which I have here too, these have the best carves IMO).
Another thing, which might be a deal breaker for me eventually, it has the biggest neck ever and I love big necks!
It’s bigger than my Momose was and bigger than my R8 I recently sold and which was the biggest neck until this one. It’s the biggest of them all and I owned and played a few Navis too but if I can recall correctly, this thing is easier bigger.
While I love it, it just starts to fatigue my palm after an hour or so.. hopefully I will develop a resitance to that strange feel/pain or will have to shave the neck.
Other than that it’s a jaw dropping guitar and exactly what I was looking for in a LP. Will take some pics when I manage to find some time, because whenever I pick it up, I end up playing for too long and forgetting on anything and anyone.. ☺
 
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Dle189

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It seems that Crews has had many limited runs of high-spec models. Some are similar across the board, e.g., Honduran Mahogany, Brazilian rosewood, k&t pickups. Does anyone know if there are drastic differences, say, in wood quality, from one run from the other? I ask because some are marketed as air dried for 10 or 30 years, coming from stashes of wood that have been collected for decades... In particular, the LED series and Collector's Select series. Generally, I feel like Crews has a more "buzzwordy" marketing strategy vs. Tokai, Navigator, or Momose. I hope I am wrong and that the product backs up the talk!

Anyhow, I just purchased a Crews K&T Gravity LP and can't wait to try it out.

For those looking to demystify some of the limited runs, here are some product links:

K&T Collector's Select Gravity and HRM models:
https://web.archive.org/web/20150316091444/http://www.musicland.co.jp/content/crews-kt-gravity-hrm/

K&T KTR Select FM and QM:
https://web.archive.org/web/20150319130110/http://musicland.co.jp/content/ktr/select/

Still looking to get some primary info on the LED series, since they seem to be the first few runs.
 

riscado

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It seems that Crews has had many limited runs of high-spec models. Some are similar across the board, e.g., Honduran Mahogany, Brazilian rosewood, k&t pickups. Does anyone know if there are drastic differences, say, in wood quality, from one run from the other? I ask because some are marketed as air dried for 10 or 30 years, coming from stashes of wood that have been collected for decades... In particular, the LED series and Collector's Select series. Generally, I feel like Crews has a more "buzzwordy" marketing strategy vs. Tokai, Navigator, or Momose. I hope I am wrong and that the product backs up the talk!

Anyhow, I just purchased a Crews K&T Gravity LP and can't wait to try it out.

For those looking to demystify some of the limited runs, here are some product links:

K&T Collector's Select Gravity and HRM models:
https://web.archive.org/web/20150316091444/http://www.musicland.co.jp/content/crews-kt-gravity-hrm/

K&T KTR Select FM and QM:
https://web.archive.org/web/20150319130110/http://musicland.co.jp/content/ktr/select/

Still looking to get some primary info on the LED series, since they seem to be the first few runs.
I have a KTR select for sale on reverb. I've recently sold a LED-1959 aged goldtop model as well. With K&T clicks (if I'm not mistaken).

They sound as different as different guitar of the same brand/model would sound.

The pickups seem to be similar enough that I can tell they are from the same type/family/brand.

The biggest difference for me being the neck profile which was a big/huge 58ish profile on the led vs a perfect slimmer 59ish profile on the KTR.

The wood grain is different on the body (very similar on the neck) but seems to me more due to the wood cut rather than wood type, both seem to be some sort of honduran/south american type mahogany, rather than the more stripey african mahogany.

Whether it's been dried for 1 day on a kiln or over a period of 30 years, I definitely doubt anyone can tell, and it might in fact be marketing bullshit, as no one at crews or musicland seems to be very upfront or communicative with foreign people (trust me I've tried).

It is possible that some KTR are "weight relief'd" what this means I don't know, I couldn't get a confirmation on any of it. Having had both a LED 1959 model and a special run KTR, I think any of them are fine guitars, no clear winner for me.

PS: Oh by the way, a not very important feature that I really like about the KTR select models is (as advertised) the neck heel shape. It reminds me of some of the older LPs I've picked up, I also like the fact that the body edges are not too rounded off, again reminds me of some 50s gibsons.
 
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jsrfo

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Mine is the Crews STD that's been mentioned and pictured on the forum. Number 040. Someone mentioned like 144 standards and 144 limiteds were made, but I can't say for sure. It just seems to fit me pretty well, so I love it.

There was some discussion concerning the pickups in the guitar, and I bought it from the seller with him stating that he did not know the pickup origin. After I received it, I pulled the pickups, and the do not have the K&T stickers on them, and do not have any identifying marks on them. I also removed the covers and they are not BB and ZB, so I know they aren't Weeps.

They sound terrific, however, I think if a set of Weeps comes my way, I will likely buy them for the guitar, because, otherwise, I really like the instrument. I'd like to try the Weeps to see what the fuss is about, but it's not an immediate need.
 

jsrfo

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Nice Burst. Mine is what looks like a Tea or honey burst plain top.

I like it a lot. Like I said, if I can find a set of Weeps, I'd try them. I just missed a pair on New Years day by about a half hour on Reverb....

20181119_192604.jpg
 

Hydra19

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I’m looking for info on the Crews SG models. Specifically the ktr sg-01 and sg-02. The models seem to run at similar prices used but I couldn’t find any info what are the differences between the 2. I’m looking for an mij SG and seems like Navigators are top of the line with honduras mahogany and I’m wondering how the Crews compare. They have some amazing colors but use African mahogany, at least on the ktr SG-02
 

kaputme

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How good are they compared to 80's Tokai or Greco?
 

riscado

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That's a loaded question... What you see in the picture I posted above is a 2010 N-LP-480 Navigator, a 2014 Crews KTR select and a 1983 Greco EG60-180. They're all different.

Different feeling, different sounding, different playing, different response... everything is different.

They're all good. So it's really hard to say how good one is compared to another. It really depends on your personal taste. They're all great guitars.

One thing that is cool about old Grecos, is that you don't need to go for an high-end model to find an amazing example. The early 80s, lower end models, like the EG59-50, are easily just as good, for a fraction of the price. I just got a 1984 eg59-50 that is lightweight and might be a serious candidate to being my favourite les paul ever.
 
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riscado

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I really really like Navigators and Crews as well as Grecos. All I'm saying is that if budget is an issue. You can grab a super sounding/feeling EG59-50 for around 50 000 yen. Which will be easily as good as the aforementioned brands.
 
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Dle189

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Crews Maniac Sound has the Vintage Line, a series of high-end guitars representing their take on iconic vintage guitars. They have replicated the blackguard Tele, 1954-1964 Strats, the 1961 SG, and of course, the 1959 Les Paul.

I had a high end Crews LP that wasn't from their Vintage Line. It was impeccably made and came with very nice K&T pickups (that I've ended up keeping), but it just didn't do it for me. It felt too... new? And I wasn't a huge fan of the top. I kept reading that their Vintage Line stuff was on a different level so I remained curious about Crews.

The various LED series are the Vintage Line Les Pauls, and are Crews's tour de force. Unfortunately I don't have one of those to share today since they go for quite a premium, even used, and are fairly sought after in Japan. The very first iteration of the LED series (LED Premium I believe) used wood that was air dried for over thirty years and was collected by the president of Crews.

Today I have a Strat model called "Texas Legend". It is SRV inspired, using a curved Brazilian rosewood fingerboard like a 1962 neck. It has K&T "Austin Legend" pickups. The one-piece alder body is among the most resonant woods from any guitar I've heard in person.

I typically purchase guitars from Japan so that I can play with them and appreciate them for a short period before selling them for what I've paid for. It is more of a learning experience than a quest for the perfect guitar.

Maybe it is because I've played so many Les Paul's compared to Strats, and the effect of playing a really nice Strat is more pronounced than playing a really nice Les Paul, but I currently have no intention of letting this one go. It is truly one of the nicest guitars I've played, period. Maybe I am a Strat guy that thought he loved Les Paul's, but this one just feels so special. I've had a Lentz, a Lentz Reserve, various custom shops, and a Fender Extrad. I knew this Crews would be very good but I didn't think I would prefer it over a Lentz.

With this experience, I would jump on any Vintage Line Crews given that the price is reasonable. New, they are very expensive.






 
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wulfman

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Wow! Nice looking guitar. Those pickups must be a treat as well.
 

riscado

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congrats on the new guitar.

I recenlty sold my Crews LED aged 59 goldtop to @pylyo here on the forum. And it certainly was a great guitar, really nice mahogany. Although I must admit I've kept a KTR select which I love just as much.
 

Roxy13

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Does anyone have a Crews with "the cloudy lacquer finish"? Does it wear quickly like the satin finishes Gibson puts on the less expensive guitars, or does it hold up as well as a glossy finish?
 


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