Norman B18
Norman B18

B18, Chitarra Acustica Dreadnought from Norman in the Protege series.

content in English
phraseland 05/12/2008

Norman B18 : Recensione di phraseland (content in English)


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Norman is built in Canada bei Godin Guitars. They also make Seagull, Art&Lutherie, LaPatrie and Simon&Patrick - basically so they can get into competing stores.
I will be reviewing a very basic Norman B18 with Antique Burst (I believe the one in the picture is the natural version).
This neck is attached at the 14th fret and without a cutaway that is as far as you will go. Usually most playing is done on the lower part of the guitar anyway. It is a Dreadnought with laminated Wild Cherry back and sides and a massive cedar top. The fretboard is made of rosewood and the body has a satin finish that has been greatly improved from the models in previous years. The guitar has a shorter scale (63cm) which reduces string tension and makes it easier to play.


I have to say that the neck feels very nice but also takes a bit getting used to. I have not been able to setup this guitar with a very low action - but then for most applications you don't really want that either (I usually beat my acoustic guitars quite a bit).
I can't say much about how ergonomic the design really is - Dreadnought shapes have been around for decades now and have become the standard shape for steel string guitars. Does that make them ergonomic? I guess so.
The main feature of this guitar is basically its sound. I really like the way they are built as well as I am not a big fan of cheap Abalone inlays (like a lot of China guitars). The whole construction really is quite simple but showcases the structure of the cherry wood very nicely. I think in the newest models they started to glue a 'rubber' rosette on some of their models...I hope this doesn't become standard as I really didn't like it at all. It looks cheap and actually is a distraction when playing the instrument.


This guitar is very good for rhythm playing. I have used it for a quite a few recordings because sometimes you just don't need all these deep, rich overtones - you just need the 'strum' sound. The cedar top sounds very nice with the Wild Cherry body and the sound is projected very well. Cedar doesn't give a lot of nuances and it doesn't getter better over the years (as does spruce). But on the other hand for the price this guitar sounds much better and has a much more unique character than most of the Chinese competitors.
I own an old Washburn (my baby) and a Taylor alongside this guitar and they do sound and play a lot better. But this guitar gives me a very basic, open sound that I don't get with more expensive models.


I have played the B18 for almost three years now and I love the way they are built and sound. At times the construction seems a bit too heavy and surely the sound is not for everyone (people are used to the sound of spruce tops).
I worked and managed a guitar store for five years - so yes I have tried many other models (some of which I talk about in my other user reviews).
I would recommend this guitar to anyone wanting to buy a good quality instrument that doesn't come from the far east. In its price range it is to me the best model around.