2008 Craig Anderson A-1 000/Mini-Jumbo Flattop Guitar

Craig Anderson was, apparently, building guitars up in Burlington, Vermont when he made this one in 2008. A typical price for something like this from his shop would've run somewhere between $5000 and $5500 when it was made. It's certainly built to a high spec and the top has tight, quality spruce while the back and sides are fairly eye-popping cocobolo. The multi-piece neck has an absurd amount of flame in it, too, and the grapevine says that Mr. Anderson tried to use reclaimed local woods so perhaps some of that flamed bit is from up here.

This pretty box's outline reminds me of Sobell instruments mixed with a '50s Epiphone vibe. Inside, though, it's braced like an homage to '30s Martins and contemporary "traditional" flattops -- light, very scalloped, on-the-edge-of-destruction braces. It's no surprise that the top "domes up" a little under tension in the way I'd expect from such bracing. It's that light bracing, however, that gives this guitar its huge, warm, full, sustained voice. It has a dark, chocolatey huskiness that pushes-out sound like nuts.

It has a long scale and to my ears it sounds best with a flatpick (in a rumbly, full-sounding, Martin-esque way) but the 1 3/4" nut width will appeal to heavy-handed fingerpickers. Post-repairs it plays on-the-dot action-wise and quite fast -- the neck is slim and easy to get around on and has plenty of spacing so notes don't get damped by accident.

Unfortunately, this guitar was used a bit hard. It doesn't have any cracks, but there's plenty of light scratches throughout and some bigger patches on the front and back that I've pictured down the post. The worst is a large area of buckle-rash on the back. Also, before I worked on it, someone had done a heavy-handed fret leveling job from the body joint and over the fretboard extension. I've leveled them again and rectified that situation. The dryness-killed original bridge needed replacing, though.

Repairs included: making and installing a replacement ebony bridge, new bone saddle, fret level/dress to fix a botched old level/dress job, cleaning, jack-hole plug and strap button install at the endpin, and setup.

Setup notes: action is perfect and quick with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE height at the 12th fret. The truss rod works and the neck is straight. Frets at the extension are quite a bit lowered from those on the neck, but still useful.

Scale length: 25 3/8"
Nut width: 1 3/4"
String spacing at nut: 1 9/16'
String spacing at bridge: 2 1/4"
Body length: 19 5/8"
Lower bout width: 15 3/4"
Waist width: 9 1/2"
Upper bout width: 11 3/4"
Side depth at endpin: 4 1/2"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid cocobolo
Bracing type: x, scalloped
Fretboard: ebony, bone nut
Bridge: ebony, bone saddle
Neck feel: slim D-shape, ~16" board radius

Condition notes: be sure to check the photos -- there's a lot of miscellaneous light scratching/scuffing throughout but the worst is a big area of buckle-rash on the back. The bridge and saddle are replacements but the pins are original. It was drilled at the endpin for a pickup jack but that pickup's sensor was damaged when the old bridge gave out. I yanked it and plugged the endpin hole with a mahogany dowel and parts-bin strap button.

It comes with: its presumably-original TKL hard case.