2008 Gibson Songmaker Series CSR-CE Acoustic, with Fishman Prefix Pro Blend Electronics.

The Blue Book Says:

CSR
– Grand Concert-style body, solid spruce top, solid rosewood back and sides, round soundhole with three-ring rosette, white body binding, mahogany neck, 14/20-fret rosewood-bound ebony fingerboard with abalone dot inlays, black headstock overlay, three-per-side chrome Gibson tuners, ebony belly bridge, white bridge pins, tortoiseshell pickguard, Natural finish with High Gloss overcoat, 25.5 in. scale, hardshell case included, mfg. 2008-09.
CSR-CE Cutaway Electric
– similar to the CSM, except has a single smooth cutaway and Fishman Prefix Pro Blend electronics, mfg. 2008-09.

 

I say:

This guitar has caused me quite a bit of worry.  Bought as ever off eBay, described as “in excellent condition,” – clearly one person’s definition of excellent is another person’s “with issues!”

The first thing I noticed was a small ding on the upper bass bout – nothing major – but I’m already down from “Excellent condition.” The spruce top is actually quite beautiful clear gloss finished and with a nice grain.  Whilst I was cleaning it I noticed that an area around the pick guard was lighter in colour – so I did a little investigation and realised that a previous owner has removed the standard “Songwriter” scratch plate and replaced it with a quite attractive wooden “Songmaker” style pick guard.  The top’s gloss finish is undamaged – so it does make me question when this was done.  The pick guard has a slight crack along the grain of the wood of the pick guard.

When I turned over the guitar it was quickly noticed that the lacquer had apparently clouded in one area, and had had some form of gloss lacquer sprayed, in a localised area, over the satin finish of the rear and sides.

The seller refused to admit any of this and even started accusing me of having done the damage myself! – sometimes there’s just no way of winning!

A week later I’ve had the back relacquered and Satin finished.  It’s not like new, but it looks OK to me, and certainly a lot better than it did!

So what are the good points.

It’s an attractive little guitar with a beautiful headstock, neck and ebony fingerboard. Unmarked frets and great  – really great – pickup and mic blend system electronics, with a frequency adjustable notch filter and phase switch.  The body feels a little less cumbersome than my J-200, J-45 and MK-72.  The sound is pretty fabulous – a deep but precise low end and shimmering highs.  The case is in great condition, and still has the Fishman instructions inside.

OK – the finish isn’t perfect, but if you fancy a light and beautifully toned guitar to bounce around on stage – this would cost a lot less than some of my other acoustics….