Ashland SF 70CE3TS

October 4, 2007

The electronics are simple but effective: an under-saddle pickup with a 3-band EQ, designed for Crafter by Shadow. The system is pleasantly voiced and sounded good right away when amplified. The lows were a bit murky so a little bit of the Bass slider went a long way for me. This guitar—like many acoustics with piezo systems—benefits from the notched mid/goosed treble EQ treatment and that’s how I ran it. The preamp has a Phase switch for feedback reduction, which is a good thing because this guitar seems to be more susceptible than some when it comes to howling. When a low string took off on me, I hit the Phase switch and that killed the feedback instantly. Shortly thereafter, however, high-pitched feedback crept in. Reversing the phase again got rid of that but then—you guessed it—the low feedback came back. Tweaking the EQ a bit helped and obviously this situation is not unique to Ashland. Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, it’s easy to recommend the SF 70. [Crafter has announced plans to re-release the SF 70 under the Crafter Silver Series name and include a hardshell case and on-board tuner for the same street price of $299.]

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