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Cort Classic Rock Series CR250 CORT Classic Rock Series CR250

A classic single cutaway design gets the Cort treatment… Words: Joey Setano

Cort produce well over a million acoustic, electro-acoustic, electric guitars and basses a year from their combined Indonesian and Chinese factories. These impressive figures couldn’t be achieved without the aid of state-of-the-art CNC machines but Cort is proud of the fact that generations of workers are still employed for their ‘hands-on’ guitar making skills, where strict quality control procedures have helped to maintain consistency and longevity within the brand for over 40 years. This is a proud company, and I know first-hand that extremely smart security guards in uniforms and white cotton gloves salute every visitor to the engineering plants, including workers in white coats with clip boards, real James Bond Stuff! The company’s new Classic Rock Series CR100, CR200, CR250 and CR280 are an obvious nod towards that pillar of Classic Rock: the Gibson Les Paul. Our review model is the CR250, an interesting and agreeably priced interpretation of a much-loved single cutaway solid body axe.


SRP £379.00

All prices include VAT CONT


HC Distribution T:

00353 59 9134268 W:

Construction Comparisons to the original are inevitable but for reasons of legality, whilst the headstock is fitted with vintage-correct Kluson style tuners bearing authentic light green plastic buttons, the headstock itself uses alternative profile that the Cort has obviously taken time to re design. With it’s glued-in mahogany neck and 22 fret bound rosewood fingerboard inlaid with white pearl rectangular position markers the CR250 looks and feels in the right type of ballpark. The familiar mahogany body is noticeably slimmer and has a slightly larger lower bout than a typical Gibson Les Paul, while an evenly sprayed trans-black burst enhances the decent slice of figured maple veneer used to form the arched top. Cort is renowned for its innovative ideas and all models are sprayed using an Electrostatic process that virtually guarantees a consistently smooth finish. Notably, the back of the headstock, neck, sides and rear of the body enjoy an evenly sprayed gloss black, a colour that can mercilessly show up every blemish. Our review model is amiss of any cosmetic imperfections and has a very tidy mirror-like finish throughout. In contrast to the chrome Tune-o-Matic bridge and stop tail piece, the two Classic Rocker II CR2N humbuckers are artificially aged to convey a vintage hue, although it might have been better to either go for shiny chrome throughout or else subject to remaining hardware to the aging process, purely for a more consistent overall look. Attenion to detail is saved for the inspection and setup: Cort is keen to stress that all its off shore models arriving at its distribution plant in Ireland are unpacked and inspected to ensure a quality set up

26 3

before shipping onward to music shops in the UK.

Indeed, all 22 medium jumbo frets

crowning the CR250’s 12in (305mm) fret board are smooth and well dressed. This, combined with the neck’s sleek C profile and cool low action, offers a supremely easy playing experience amiss of any rattles or buzzes, and string spacing is spot on from the perfectly cut Nubone nut.

Sounds Weighing in at approximately 7.7 lbs (3.5 kilos), the CR250 is significantly lighter than many of its more expensive USA made counterparts. It’s acoustic tone reflects the lively feel of a lighter guitar, and is certainly far less of a pain in the shoulder compared to, say, a real Les Paul. The lack of any density within the build is thankfully not reflected in the guitar’s tone or output. Often with a guitar in this price

bracket, it’s the electrics and pickups that let them down but any doubts regarding the pickups’ performance were quashed as soon as we hooked up to our test amp.

The typical fat and fruity Les Paul

sonics are as evident in the overall sound as the CR250 is in appearance, where both humbuckers excel in delivering their character sounds with just a little extra amount of cut around the treble frequencies. Often associated with high gain,

overdriven amps, it’s easy to forget how warm and versatile humbuckers can sound through a loud clean amp. In true mahogany bodied fashion, this guitar has a warm character from all the pickup permutations available. The neck unit has that polite woody, fluty percussive attack that’s ideal for jazzy rhythms and warm solo runs, and those classic ‘scooped’ twin humbucker sounds are easily triggered when engaging the neck and bridge unit combined, the latter of the two sounding sharp edged and clear without any nasty shrill overtones. With crunch or mid gain amp settings the CR250 delivers some great blues tones, and when driving the amplifier into meltdown with a ton of filth, the CR250 excels at those plump sining tones that makes this style of guitar such an enduring classic. PM


Whilst the CR250 has many points that echo the design of that iconic guitar from the 50’s, it’s not intended to be a direct copy. It feels like a really well made guitar that certainly exceeds its budget price within build and playability. OK, it may be a bit generic for some, but experienced players might find that this Cort makes an ideal backup guitar whilst LP fans looking to make their first purchase should find themselves well pleased with this cool looking and great sounding affordable alternative.

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