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  #16  
Old 01-08-2017, 05:41 PM
tdq tdq is offline
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Some years ago, living in Brisbane, Australia, a pretty humid place. My guitar at the time was a washburn which I'd lugged around to various places and it had really suffered - the neck had a backbow AND it had also raised a lot. It was in desperate need of a neck reset but I'd taken it to a couple of luthiers who told me that is wasn't repairable (due to this particular models neck arrangement). I was bummed to say the least. On a short job trip to Sydney I visited a music store one and saw this weirdly striped, black shiny 12 string guitar so ask for a spin. It was a Rainsong. I'd never seen nor heard of anything like this so and was amazed at how easy it was to play, especially considering it was a 12 string. Intrigued, I googled etc and ended up at the MacNichol forums and read up at how the necks don't warp, among other things! So after much research and consideration I decided I wanted a CA GX. Suddenly CA closes and there were some deals on the last of MacNichols stock, so I pounced and got one of the last Pre-Peavey GX's. Now shipping and duty to Australia is prohibitive but I knew I would be visiting my sister in law in San Francisco in a few months so I got it sent there. Quite an agonizing wait. Cut a long story short and it came back with me to Brisbane finally and a couple of years later I moved to LA so I got a chance to try a wide sampling of other makes and models of CF guitars, including a couple of trips to Ted's store. LA was like guitar nerd heaven for me and visited many stores and sampled many fine guitars, even some wooden ones. I'm now back in Sydney where the humidity still has no effect on the GX. I've moved on to other guitars now but the GX still has a place by the couch and gets played most days.
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  #17  
Old 01-09-2017, 01:10 AM
Minstermarce Minstermarce is offline
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I've owned 4 acoustics in my short time playing guitar (8 years). The first was a flea market no name, the second, a second hand Seagull Maritime SWS, the third, a Journey OF660 and lastly a Rainsong OM1000N2. The last two are the only ones I still have, so only a stable of CF acoustics (I do have two wooden electrics, however).

Switzerland has dry winters and relatively humid summers which is not the best where wood is concerned. In fact the Seagull's bridge developed a crack resembling a crevass in the 6 years I had it! No such worries with my CFs. The convenvience is unparalleled (light weight, low maintenance) and I think the tone is superb. Never played a top Martin or Taylor, so I can't make a comparison, but I am more than satisified.

The Mako shark inlay is also the icing on the cake for me (as is the case for another poster here). These super fast sharks are found in abundance around the waters of Hawaii, where my parents holiday annually so a nice nostalgic reminder every time I play her!
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  #18  
Old 01-09-2017, 05:13 AM
grandstick grandstick is offline
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My first CF instrument was my Chapman XG Extended Grand Stick. Having owned solid Indian rosewood and teak instruments, I grew tire of the constant truss rod adjustments required to keep the action as low as to optimize tapping the strings. My second was an NS Stick - a headless 8-string instrument designed by Ned Steinberger and Emmett Chapman. This instrument had a graphite neck with cherry body. I never really bonded with that instrument, and eventually let it go.

I still have that Grand Stick, and have no intention of letting it go. A few years ago, I picked up a pre-Peavey CA GX. It is a great guitar, with a big, beautiful tone. My only concern is the neck has a slim, electric profile- a wide nut, but it is very slim, which can make it uncomfortable to play for extended periods of time.

I hope to be able to try other CF guitars, but there are no dealers for Rainsong, Blackbird, Emerald, or any others in Richmond, VA that stock their instruments.


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  #19  
Old 01-09-2017, 05:41 AM
Finger Stylish Finger Stylish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandstick View Post
My first CF instrument was my Chapman XG Extended Grand Stick. Having owned solid Indian rosewood and teak instruments, I grew tire of the constant truss rod adjustments required to keep the action as low as to optimize tapping the strings. My second was an NS Stick - a headless 8-string instrument designed by Ned Steinberger and Emmett Chapman. This instrument had a graphite neck with cherry body. I never really bonded with that instrument, and eventually let it go.

I still have that Grand Stick, and have no intention of letting it go. A few years ago, I picked up a pre-Peavey CA GX. It is a great guitar, with a big, beautiful tone. My only concern is the neck has a slim, electric profile- a wide nut, but it is very slim, which can make it uncomfortable to play for extended periods of time.

I hope to be able to try other CF guitars, but there are no dealers for Rainsong, Blackbird, Emerald, or any others in Richmond, VA that stock their instruments.
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less than an hour from Richmond in Charlottesville VA stocks Rainsong Guitars.
http://www.specialtyguitarsplus.com/
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  #20  
Old 01-09-2017, 06:20 AM
ukejon ukejon is offline
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One night last summer I noticed a big Rainsong sale on Amazon Canada, which offered up a new OM1000N2 for $732! Checked with Ted to make sure this was all legit, and he kindly obliged with an answer from the Rainsong folks. So I pressed the BUY button!

Love this guitar....
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  #21  
Old 01-09-2017, 07:01 AM
penny penny is offline
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My first CF guitar was a 2009 RT Cargo from Dream Guitars, which is nearby my hometown. (When I went to check it out, Al Petteway was there!) I had been using my Larrivee Parlour with my work year round with kids and at summer camp in the oh so humid Blue Ridge Mountains. The humidity and temperature extremes were worrisome,, plus I wanted to be able to leave the guitar in the car sometimes. I saw a review of the Cargo in AG magazine and it sounded perfect for my needs. I played it and loved it. The one available didn't have electronics, I ended up shipping it to Marty at the Podium for an excellent setup and installation of a K&K Mini which I had in my wooden guitars. Never too happy with that pickup in the Cargo, but otherwise loved the tone and feel and worry free nature of the guitar. I still have it, but it has taken a back seat to a SFT Rainsong Shorty I bought used last year from a Forum Member. The Shorty is 'the one' for me, I really could happily get down to one guitar. I also had bought a now extinct Amber Emerald T8 from MacNichol, mostly for the electronics compared to the Cargo, it now also almost never gets played.
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  #22  
Old 01-09-2017, 11:12 AM
sirwhale sirwhale is offline
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I got into instruments when I lived in South America and heard the charango. After a while I thought I could learn to play one. That went on for a year, self taught, but I quickly ran out of materials to learn from and I wanted to branch out and play other things.

So I bought a ukulele, similar tuning and size and all that. Got into Daddystovepipe on youtube and learnt many of his blues for ukulele songs. Excellent stuff. But, then wanted more blues and again, I ran out of materials that I really wished there had been. I bought a few ukuleles during this year and a half, but always loved the idea of carbon fibre. I always had an eye on Blackbird. I bought a much cheaper carbon fibre ukulele from Thailand, but had to send it back as the neck was all bad. It was really heavy too.

Enter the guitar. I bought one on impulse and never looked back, the time had come! My eye was still firm on Blackbird. A few months later we moved to Barcelona from England and we had saved a lot for the move. In the end, we needed less than we had thought, so with money in the bank, the blackbird was bought, without ever seeing a Blackbird in person. I had only learnt the beginnings of say three months on the wooden guitar, so really, nearly everything I have learnt on guitar has been on my Blackbird; it's all I play. I suppose that makes me a very spoilt guitar player!

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Last edited by sirwhale; 01-09-2017 at 01:02 PM.
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  #23  
Old 01-09-2017, 11:41 AM
l80241 l80241 is offline
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I just got my first CF guitar in Dec 2016 so I could leave it out all year round and hopefully play alot more. I went with the Emerald X20 Opus and like it just fine.

Winters are super dry in Colorado and the forced hot air heating doesn't help so I have a room in the basement that I keep humidified for my guitars, but sometimes it's hard to get down there and other times I don't feel like being isolated from the family. By leaving this one out upstairs, I'll pick it up many times a day, whenever I have a few minutes the time really adds up.
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  #24  
Old 01-09-2017, 02:50 PM
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Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Thanks for all the replies, folks, so cool to hear the backstories.
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  #25  
Old 01-09-2017, 03:57 PM
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I had finally decided to upgrade to a nice Taylor and had spent several years looking at a few I was interested in. About this time my then toddler was a holy terror with everything breakable in the house. From sandwiches in the electronics to peeling the epaulet leafs off of my Ovation mandolin. I had to put all my instruments and computers out of reach and wanted a guitar I could leave out.

I stumbled on a carbon fiber thread which led to a nice conversation with Alistair. In the end I decided to take a chance on his X20 thinking it was a stopgap as I would get that Taylor once I didn't have to worry about the child.

The X20 opened my eyes to the land of CF and a year later to getting a Lucky 13. I find I have pretty much stopped looking for acoustic guitars. The Taylor(s) I was courting aren't any better than the X20 in playability or tone to me, so I probably will pass on getting that dream guitar as I already have the dream guitar(s) at home. I still check out a few guitars/brands when I am near a store, but I haven't found anything that makes me say time to upgrade to something else.
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  #26  
Old 01-09-2017, 05:13 PM
Rip VanWinkle Rip VanWinkle is offline
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My story is a little more mundane.....
I have doing business with Ted and Helene at L.A. Guitar Sales for awhile now. I live twenty minutes away so I've visited the shop more than a few times. I like to think I've put together a collection of guitars that make a nice "team" with everyone playing a role. Oh course it's a delusional rationalization to own too many guitars...but what fun is thinking like that? Every time I visited to audition something I would see the CF guitars hanging on the back wall but I never felt the urge to try one. Then a thread appeared on the AGF....maybe started by Captain Jim...talking about his latest CF acquisition. Something clicked in my head and I found a couple of Al Petteway videos on You Tube. Well they blew me away and I started to really consider the viability of owning one of these. So the next time I was at LA Guitar Sales I mentioned it to Ted and he simply told me to come back when I had some time to play through the range and he would give me "an education". I had convinced myself that I needed a guitar that I could travel with comfortably either by plane or driving (and leaving it in a hot car for a couple of hours). Well the rest is "Marriott Points" or "American Miles" I can't recall. After going back and forth for two hours or so.... I decided on a Rainsong C Om-1100NS, which is very much like the Al Petteway Special Edition. It's 12-Fret Om with the unidirectional top in a smokey muted black Only, I really wanted the "Sharks" and the abalone rosette. Oh... and I didn't want the barn door electronics either. (Just hate the way they look!) Ted said "no problem" and ordered one for me and it arrived in four weeks. Couldn't be happier with it! It's already been to Calistoga and Phoenix and probably New Zealand later this year. Everyone who has heard it is floored by how balanced and musical it sounds.
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Last edited by Rip VanWinkle; 01-09-2017 at 05:25 PM.
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  #27  
Old 01-09-2017, 05:48 PM
PeteCady PeteCady is offline
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My first was a CA Legacy (dread) that I purchased from a private seller on eBay in 2004 (I had tried a Rainsong OM back in '99, when they were still made in Hawaii, but wasn't impressed.) The Legacy was pretty good, but the appeal of CF to me was the idea of not having to worry about humidity changes, living in a partly wood-heated house in northern New England. The Legacy didn't make the grade in that respect. It did exactly the opposite of what wood guitars tend to do: the action got higher in the winter and sank in the summer. Investigation revealed that this was an early prototype, and had a CF neck but a wood (ebony) fingerboard. Of course, in the dry weather (winter up here), the wood shrank and the CF didn't, so the neck curved up. And then curved down again in the damper summer weather. It was '07 before I got to a place where they had other CF guitars to try (Elderly, a detour on a road trip west). I wanted to try a CA in the OM size, since I did like the sound, and was getting too stiff with aging to be totally comfortable with dreads. But they didn't have one of those in the full depth body. They did have a Rainsong OM, and I gave it a try. For an hour. Then I got out the card. And the rest is history...
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  #28  
Old 01-09-2017, 09:08 PM
JimCA JimCA is offline
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You carbonites are so good at intriguing us non-carbonites! Stoppit!!

Jim
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  #29  
Old 01-10-2017, 12:21 AM
Long Jon Long Jon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimCA View Post
You carbonites are so good at intriguing us non-carbonites! Stoppit!!

Jim
Yup. That's how it works alright Jim, beware.

I mostly hang out in open mic and general .... Looked in here only very occasionally.

Became seriously "carbon curious" a couple of months ago and checked out prices ... ouch !

Happened to see a used Emerald X7 on eBay the night before end of auction. Never played one, no time for any of the due diligence I would always advise others.

I think the eBayer's euphemistic term "won it" actually works for this one, it is in absolutely immaculate condition and it was ver'near half price.

I loves me wooden guitars, but carbon ones can be pretty special too. I've got enough room.
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  #30  
Old 01-10-2017, 08:42 AM
Strumalot Strumalot is offline
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Fun thread... thanks Ted!

If you were on the MacNichols CA GX road trip, you have played my first CF guitar.

I first became aware of CA during the pre-Peavey days, but didn't get seriously interested until my Taylor 710 had "issues" with our wood-challenged environment.

By that time, Peavey had taken over the company, but was not shipping guitars yet.

The road tip GX (narrow neck version) was one of the first Peavey CAs produced, and at the time, it was a 6 month wait to order one "new." As you know, a guitar in your hand is better than your name on a waiting list.

The original GX remains as the "founding father" of my carbon fiber "trilogy"... CA GX, CA Blade Electric, and Emerald X10N. It's the favorite of the bunch, and I keep checking to make sure they are available just in case something happens to it. It's still the only CF with an electric-like neck, a smooth transition between the neck and the body and a sculpted back that fits my perfectly.
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