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(NGD) Cheap Thrills: Canvas CTF-20

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by StrangerNY, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Every so often when I'm bored, I'll page through Reverb looking for something a little different from the rest of the stuff I've got. Maybe a different body design, different pickups, whatever. Last time I went looking I ended up grabbing a low-end Music Man that turned out to be a pretty good guitar. This time I stumbled upon a sort of oddball by a company called Canvas (I know, odd name). But the body design was pretty cool and the price was downright reasonable, so I ordered it. It just came in, and it's... interesting.

    canvas-2.jpg

    I took it out of the box, and it came in a pretty nicely padded, branded gig bag.

    The guitar has a mahogany body with a bookmatched maple cap, single bound, pretty nice poly finish. H-S-S pickup config, single volume and tone, 5-way switch. Bare maple neck with what looks like a rosewood board, scarf joint, 22 frets, graphite nut, Gotoh style sealed tuners, headstock kinda reminds me of a Firebird. 2-point trem (but no trem bar, dammit). Pretty good weight and balance.

    From what I could find on the web, Canvas Guitars was in business for around 4 years back in the mid-aughts, based in California with guitars built in China. I found another one of the same model on Reverb that said it was built in 2005. But the one I got still had the plastic on the pickups and control covers, so I'm assuming what I've got is some kind of NOS from 2005.

    canvas-3.jpg

    I plugged it in to see what it could do. The single coils sound great, full and bright and brimming with quack. The one weak spot is the humbucker - just sounds kind of thin and nasally, but I'm sure I've got something in the parts box to replace it.

    I pulled the control cover, expecting to find the usual tiny pots that usually come in Chinese-made guitars, but I was surprised to find full-sized 500K pots that look to be Alphas. The 5-way looks like one of the ones they use in Squiers, with the boxy-looking metal case around it.

    The neck profile is pretty odd - very thin at the nut, yet pretty deep. I guess you'd call it a 'D' profile, but I've never had one so it's definitely just a guess. Not uncomfortable, just different from anything else I've got. The only neck I can compare it to is that of an old Vox Tempest that I had back in the 60s. The fret work is actually pretty good - jumbo frets, no dead spots or sharp ends, although they do have a certain amount of tarnish on them from the guitar sitting for so long.

    Overall, not bad! I can see it getting some run in the studio from the single coil pickups, if I need a decent Strat tone. It probably won't displace my gigging guitars, but I'm sure I'll take it out to a jam and get plenty of questions just from its looks. Could have done a lot worse for the money.

    - D
     
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