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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

    Sep 6, 2010
    Somewhere out on that horizon
    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.


    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.


    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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