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JerryM 05-15-2016 06:04 PM

Rainsong Parlor...which one? opinions?
Hi out there in carbon land,,,,spent the last week or so looking and thinking about which guitar to buy and have on the advice of Ted and videos, reviews etc. decided on a RS Parlor, 12 fret, best match for my rv travels to my oo Santa Cruz for switching without a great difference in scale
I also like the Kevin Michael but the real short scale under 23" concerns me. Also I think their price is a bit proud....
Now the decision i need to make is with or without a pickup??
Have any of you been installing after markets or going with the built in?? I really don't like trap doors much as if it craps out your guitar has a hole in it. But would a aftermarket be more troublesome as far as feedback etc. than the factory installed? I would assume, the factory pickup is tested to be the best solution?
It appears to be about a hundred bucks or so more than without so not a big deal in cost, most likely less than having one put in later?
I have a Marshall acoustic amp I am planning on using it, not a Fishman, but I would assume the factory would sound ok with it. I use the one channel for my mic as I only do small venues.
Any opinions from you that perform with these would be appreciated very much, the whole carbon thing is going to be new to me. I like the one with the Satin top and the regular carbon back and sides. Not flashy but I like the price point, and if I fall in love with the carbon guitar I can always upgrade later..... thanks, Jerry:D

EvanB 05-15-2016 06:17 PM


I have the Parlor nylon string. I don't like barn doors, but I do like the ability to electrify. I had a K&K installed and haven't look back. The guitar is well balanced and I do not eq control. Volume control at the guitar can be had with a volume control cord. I have a mini-tuner on the headstock that is unobtrusive and does the job.

The RS electronics are solid, but I prefer to avoid batteries and a door in my guitar.

AZLiberty 05-15-2016 06:20 PM

I really hate giant holes in the side of guitars. Now if you are gigging with it constantly I certainly understand the appeal of having all the controls right there.

I had a K&K pure mini installed in my Rainsong. Only issue with the K&K is that since it's passive it may or may not play nice with the house sound system. I have learned to always carry a DI box with me just in case. At home it's fine, and if the house board has good impedance matching it's fine as well.

Another advantage of the K&K is it's one of the least expensive options available.

Otherwise, I also am a fan of the Fishman Matrix Infinity with the soundhole mounted controls. I find that a battery tends to last several years, so the reduced access isn't a big deal.

Acousticado 05-15-2016 06:22 PM

I don't like barn door electronics. With the ever-changing, ever-improving not-too-expensive options available, it makes no sense to me to have a permanent hole cut in the guitar that can accept only one. Wherever you buy the guitar, they should be able to install whatever you want. From all my reading, although I haven't heard or tried one myself, the K&K Mini seems to be well-regarded. Whichever you get, if you don't like it, it's easily removed, sold and replaced. I have a Baggs Anthem in my Taylor 814ce, a Baggs Lyric in my Emerald Chimaera, and I think a Baggs of some type in my CA Cargo...none of which are barn door fits.

JerryM 05-15-2016 06:38 PM

Looks like my opinion on barn doors is shared, the pure acoustic is the least expensive parlor and like you guys said doesn't require a big hole in the side. My SC has a Baggs Lyric in it and sounds pretty good to me.
I must admit to being pretty lame about electronics, I tend to keep it as simple as possible, I wonder what the situation is with the end hole for a jack? I assume the regular with out pick up would just have a plain endpin and require drilling a new hole.

JerryM 05-15-2016 06:44 PM

I would imagine Ted at LA would be able to put in the pickup and that would save some hassle..I need to call him at the shop tomorrow, have not as yet because I had not made up my mind about which guitar I wanted, now that's settled i can just talk pick ups.:D

JerryM 05-15-2016 06:47 PM

Correct me if I am wrong here, if I get a passive system which I think means no battery in the guitar they have a thing you plug into between the guitar and the amp that powers it,,right? like a preamp? I would really like not to have a battery in the guitar if I can help it.

AZLiberty 05-15-2016 07:05 PM


Originally Posted by JerryM (Post 4936847)
Correct me if I am wrong here, if I get a passive system which I think means no battery in the guitar they have a thing you plug into between the guitar and the amp that powers it,,right? like a preamp? I would really like not to have a battery in the guitar if I can help it.

In general, you don't need a preamp if plugging directly into an amp or if the house board is properly impedance matched.

If you are plugging into a snake, or have a huge run to the soundboard you probably need a pre-amp or a DI box with ground lift.

Captain Jim 05-15-2016 07:39 PM

I have one guitar with a passive pickup, all the rest are with factory installed electronics. I'll go on record as being just fine with the barn door units - nice to be able to adjust tone and volume right there.

I don't have a Parlor, but the Fishman pickup in my Shorty sounds good. (Same pickup) Plug and play.

For the record, I have never had a factory pickup crap out on me. I just don't get the opposition to the factory units, barn door or otherwise (I especially like the ES in my Taylors). I had an Ovation for 14 years, and the pickup was working and sounding good when I traded it.

The RainSong Parlor is a nice guitar. Good luck with the decisions.

steelvibe 05-15-2016 07:44 PM

A quality outboard pre/di (starting at around the $100) range is essential in IMO. I just bought a Fishman Platinum stage at $119 and I'm very happy with it. No electronics in my Shorty, no wall wart. It is powered by a 9v battery and gives me 18V of headroom. This particular unit also is automatically phantom powered once plugged into the XLR. The best 2 benefits to spending the money on an outboard are:

1) the ability to convert from 1/4 guitar jack to XLR while better matching any pickup impedance to the PA

2) because of the added headroom it makes virtually ANY pickup system sound better. I use a Miniflex 2mic and I'm very happy with the results. It sounded good without the preamp but sounds fantastic with it

..and all this before other bells and whistles like phase cancellation, low cuts/boosts, compressors, tuners....

I do agree with Captain Jim's assessment here to an extent, RainSong has taken a great deal of thought into the Fishman Prefix + system- and what i've heard personally from those that use it live it sounds great (although I've heard running that same system through an Aura Spectrum is killer). For my tastes, I would rather determine an aftermarket setup that takes a bit of time dial in than be stuck with an onboard pre that will be outdated far before my CF guitar is- just my own 2 cents.

Good luck with your purchase Jerry. What you decide ultimately is all that matters!

jdinaz 05-15-2016 10:08 PM

The idea of a barndoor in my guitar is not appealing, but I have to admit that the one I had in the Shorty was rather nice. You always have an on board tuner and it sounded pretty darn good to me and was trouble free. If it did break, you can replace them. I wouldn't shy away from one in a CF guitar. Now a wood guitar....for some reason that's different.

Song 05-15-2016 11:10 PM

I have a black ice p12 with plus t through a sfx and I think it sounds heavenly

Almost like this

steelvibe 05-15-2016 11:17 PM


Originally Posted by We Walk in Song (Post 4937078)
I have a black ice p12 with plus t through a sfx and I think it sounds heavenly

Almost like this

It makes you sound like Andy? Maybe I should have opted for the stock Fishman :)

Earl49 05-16-2016 06:15 AM

I get the opposition to barn door systems on wood guitars - you are cutting out a chunk of side wood that cannot be matched later. But my WS-1000 with the Fishman system is the best sounding guitar I own on stage. Dial in a bit of mic to balance the UST and wow! Plus it is easy to use.

Like Capt Jim, i too have never had a factory pickup system die, but it could happen. Several of my guitars are 15-16 years old, and a couple have Fishman Matrix I pickups added aftermarket that are pushing 25 now. I don't gig much any more, so I prefer to buy without electronics, knowing that I have several guitars with pickups if needed.

darylcrisp 05-16-2016 05:28 PM

good stuff here, thanks folks, i too am totally naive on the pickup and plugin types.

interesting read.


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