I own a Taylor Classic Deluxe T5Z and thought I was set, but I kept reading very good things about the Anderson Crowdster. Shoreline Music had a New Crowdster Player available and I kept looking at it for days. One night I just decided to bite and made the purchase. So after plugging both the Crowdster Player and the T5Z into a Roland AC33 acoustic amp, the face-off began and the results were sudden and not hard to analyze. Both are beautifully finished, well made instruments, thin bodied, nice and light with great playable necks. But as much as I love the T5z, it went back in it’s case for backup duty and the Crowdster Player is now the stud of the herd. To my ear, it is a wonderful guitar - every note just sings out. Also, I like to tune down 1/2 step and the Crowdster doesn’t mind that at all where as I was never very happy doing that with the T5z with any gauge string.
I have been playing acoustic and acoustic / electric guitar in bands for over 20 years. Being a gear nut, I have tried all the guitars you would normally consider when attempting to bring acoustic tones to that environment while limiting feedback; a Gibson Chet SST with upgraded electronics was my main guitar for a decade and I also owned the Taylor T5, Guild Peregrine, Alvarez FCF, Rennaisance R6, Fender Tele Acoustisonic, ESP TL6, Line 6 Variax 700 Acoustic and several others. I kept reading and hearing that the Crowdster was the top of the heap in this category and the demos were helpful, so I started researching them. I had owned an Anderson T-style electric and I knew the brand would deliver on quality....but I also find the tops on a lot of the Crowdsters a little too "bling" for my taste. I saw the "Player" model and figured if there was no compromise in sound, that was the guitar for me. Shoreline had one inbound and John was patient with my questions about the Crowdster Player. I placed the order and they gave me a good price, quick shipping, and excellent communication. I don't gig much these days but it happened that I had two gigs within 10 days of the Crowdster's arrival. I was hoping that the guitar would be well set up with fresh strings so I wouldn't have to unpack the guitar, slam new strings on and then rush out to play. Out of the case, it was perfect; strings were bright, neck felt great, and the Player was nice and light. Two gigs done with great results......it is hard to imagine this guitar being replaced. Not only does it feel great, the control layout is perfect for me (I need a middle control; not just bass and treble). The guitar is stunning to look at, and the neck is a joy to play. It is the best solid body acoustic I have ever played and I am pretty sure I have played them all.
Having now owned and played a Tom Anderson Guitarworks Crowdster Player for about a month, I can't say enough good about this guitar. Just picking one up for the first time is an experience. You feel the quality and attention to detail in the craftsmanship by merely holding it. Looking closer, you'll immediately realize the wood choices are excellent. A slightly figured, wood bound maple top and hollow chambered alder body show the fit and finish to be flawless. The selection of smart details on the surprisingly light weight Crowdster like mid-notched super-smooth tone controls, superior Buzz Feiten tuners, LR Baggs Piezo pickup and higher end case brings immediate confidence to the player. Initially playing it "unplugged," this guitar resonates in your hands with anticipation of a great amplified sound. Then plug it in...it's truly impressive!
I never expected so much sound to come out of this guitar! Pure, clear, clean, resonate and inspiring... this guitar must be played to be fully appreciated. Seeing them on stage, I never knew their impressive value until I played one for myself. As a frequent gigging musician, I find myself turning to this guitar more and more. For live, amplified acoustic sound (without fear of feedback) this guitar continues to impress me. People are often curious about it on stage and several have come afterwards asking about it. "Unique," "beautiful" and "amazing sound" are frequent comments I hear.
The shorter (24 3/4") scale requires a moment of familiarity to what essentially looks and feels like an electric guitar. But this slight adjustment affords the player exceptional ease of play. A 1.73" nut and small frets make for effortless roaming all over the rosewood fingerboard of the maple natural satin finish neck. Paired with a tunable DI and a good acoustic amp or going straight to board, you will be pleased. The Crowdster clearly surpasses similarly styled guitars...hands down. Play one and hear for yourself. You will be impressed.