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-   -   Played two new Rainsong Custom Hybrid guitars yesterday (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=472202)

gerardo1000 06-04-2017 09:35 AM

Played two new Rainsong Custom Hybrid guitars yesterday
 
At Huber and Breese, in Fraser, Michigan. I drove there on purpose. I was an early adopter of carbon fiber guitar, several years ago (when CA guitars still had the fretboard made of wood !). Had Rainsong, CA, Emerald. In the past years, however, due to the fact that I do not travel anymore as often as in the past, and that I play always at home, I switched back to traditional acoustic guitars in the price range of $ 300 to $600, which is still a price range that CF guitars cannot reach. But the carbon fiber idea still intrigues me, and I was very interested in the new Custom Hybrid series from Rainsong (a brand that I know very well, had several of their guitars) that I find beautiful and well priced (for a CF guitar). At Huber an Breese they had the parlor and the OM. They also had several other more expensive Rainsong, the Studio and the classic series. I tried the two CH guitars unplugged. Both sound very well and are extremely playable, with a perfect factory set up, low action with no strings buzz. The parlor is a bit quiet, and the bass is well defined but of course not very powerful. The OM is a better all around guitar in my opinion. Good bass, medium, trebles, all well balanced, good volume although - even if it is louder than the parlor - I can't say it is as loud as some Martin OM guitars that I have played.
The sound of both guitars is very defined and pleasant, but -compared to a traditional wood guitar- a tiny bit different, with more sustain and a more "metallic" tone (but not too much to hear the difference with a traditional guitar unless you compare one against the other at the same moment, which I did comparing the Rainsong OM with a Martin OM GT16 that had a comparable price).
I found that both the Rainsong CH parlor and OM excel as fingerstyle guitars, however I was surprised (negatively) that the strings spacing at the saddle is quite tight (54.5 mm) even tighter than other brands. This is weird because the strings spacing at the neck is almost 38 mm which is great for finger picking. Why a 1 3/4 neck width at the nut and then an almost "Yamahaish" tight strings spacing at the saddle ? A mistery to me.
The two guitars compared very well with other Rainsong non CH that I played in the store, I frankly cannot see a good reason to spend several hundred dollars more for the non CH models. In conclusion, two great guitars at a very competitive price for the CF market, however unless you have a passion for CF guitars or really need the superior durability - I still think that most traditional guitars still sound slightly warmer in the same price range. But of course, nobody established that a CF guitar MUST sound like a wood one. This is really a matter of personal opinion.

Ted @ LA Guitar Sales 06-04-2017 10:19 AM

Sounds like you had a good time at H&B, Gerardo. As to string spacing at the saddle, Rainsong uses the same 1-3/4" nut 2-3/16" saddle spacing combo used by Taylor on all their guitars, and used by Martin on their hugely popular models like the OM-28, 00-28, OM-21, 000-18, 00-18, 0-18 and so on. I actually prefer the 1-3/4" nut 2-1/4" saddle spacing combo, which is why so many of our Custom Martins are built that way, but apparently the folks at Taylor, Martin, and Rainsong did their homework and found the slightly tighter string spacing at the saddle is preferred by the masses who use a flat pick more often than not. Fact is, although I play mostly fingerstyle, the difference is barely noticeable, so definitely not a deal breaker for me.

gerardo1000 06-04-2017 12:27 PM

Thank you Ted. I measured the strings spacing at the saddle of the two CH Rainsong and it was just a tiny bit over 54.5 mm. I had Taylors (324, 322, 714) and Martins (OM 21, MMV dreadnought, 000-18) and their standard strings spacing at the saddle is between 55.5 and 56 mm. I may be wrong because I do not have access to so many guitars as you do, but this is based on my personal experience. In any case, I agree that it is not a big difference although for me it still makes a difference !

sirwhale 06-04-2017 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gerardo1000 (Post 5363713)
Thank you Ted. I measured the strings spacing at the saddle of the two CH Rainsong and it was just a tiny bit over 34.5 mm. I had Taylors (324, 322, 714) and Martins (OM 21, MMV dreadnought, 000-18) and their standard strings spacing at the saddle is between 35.5 and 36 mm. I may be wrong because I do not have access to so many guitars as you do, but this is based on my personal experience. In any case, I agree that it is not a big difference although for me it makes a little difference !

Are you sure your measurements are correct? My Blackbird has a 55mm string spacing and my Camps has a 58mm string spacing at the saddle. That's a big difference to your numbers.

AZLiberty 06-04-2017 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gerardo1000 (Post 5363541)
but -compared to a traditional wood guitar- a tiny bit different, with more sustain and a more "metallic" tone

I fixed the "metalic" tone on my Shorty by switching the factory 80/20 Elixirs to PB Elixirs.

As always YMMV.

gerardo1000 06-04-2017 04:48 PM

Sirwhale, you are correct and I apologize. I meant 55 not 35 ! I have corrected my post !

steelvibe 06-04-2017 08:43 PM

I have been saying on here for a long time- I play fingerstyle and want warmer tone on my RainSong I don't put bronze on it at all. Martin retro or other good quality nickel strings take the metallic sizzle right out. I still need to try the D'addario NB's on the Shorty but if those strings don't perform better than what I stated above than I'm right back to monel or nickel. YMMV :)

RainSong makes bright guitars but they are very good at capturing string character, 80/20 did not work for me either.

sirwhale 06-05-2017 12:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ted @ LA Guitar Sales (Post 5363580)
Sounds like you had a good time at H&B, Gerardo. As to string spacing at the saddle, Rainsong uses the same 1-3/4" nut 2-3/16" saddle spacing combo used by Taylor on all their guitars, and used by Martin on their hugely popular models like the OM-28, 00-28, OM-21, 000-18, 00-18, 0-18 and so on. I actually prefer the 1-3/4" nut 2-1/4" saddle spacing combo, which is why so many of our Custom Martins are built that way, but apparently the folks at Taylor, Martin, and Rainsong did their homework and found the slightly tighter string spacing at the saddle is preferred by the masses who use a flat pick more often than not. Fact is, although I play mostly fingerstyle, the difference is barely noticeable, so definitely not a deal breaker for me.

Ted, I am like you. I prefer the extra space for my fingers. I can see why flat pickers want something different though. 58mm - 60mm for fingers I think.

gfa 06-06-2017 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steelvibe (Post 5364188)
I have been saying on here for a long time- I play fingerstyle and want warmer tone on my RainSong I don't put bronze on it at all. Martin retro or other good quality nickel strings take the metallic sizzle right out. I still need to try the D'addario NB's on the Shorty but if those strings don't perform better than what I stated above than I'm right back to monel or nickel. YMMV :)

RainSong makes bright guitars but they are very good at capturing string character, 80/20 did not work for me either.

Yes, the Monels warmed up my H-WS quite nicely.

Ted @ LA Guitar Sales 06-14-2017 11:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sirwhale (Post 5364297)
Ted, I am like you. I prefer the extra space for my fingers. I can see why flat pickers want something different though. 58mm - 60mm for fingers I think.

To tell you the truth, for years I assumed that my Rainsongs, and Taylors, had my preferred 2-1/4" saddle spacing, imagine my surprise when I found out both feature 1-3/4" nut width 2-3/16" saddle spacing. :eek: Who knew I could be so happy playing finger style with this combo? ;)

Earl49 06-15-2017 08:07 AM

Interesting observation. My left hand is VERY sensitive to neck shape and nut width, but the right hand not so much for string spacing at the bridge. So I have never measured, and didn't even know the Taylor or Rainsong spec for that until just now, and I own several of them. I play about 70% finger style.

jonfields45 06-15-2017 09:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gfa (Post 5365985)
Yes, the Monels warmed up my H-WS quite nicely.

As soon as I run out of Elixir Polyweb 12s I'll try a set of Martin Retros. With Polywebs on my H-DR and week old 80/20 Martins on my duo partner's HD-28V, both guitars on stands, the tone and volume strumming them while listening to the projected sound is to my ear (and the others in the room), nearly identical (probably not true for tone to player while being held). I have a lower threshold for squeaks than most and the Polywebs excel in that area. But i really like fresh strings before an important gig, for fear of breakage, and the Polyweb habit seems wasteful.

Ted @ LA Guitar Sales 06-15-2017 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Earl49 (Post 5375640)
Interesting observation. My left hand is VERY sensitive to neck shape and nut width, but the right hand not so much for string spacing at the bridge. So I have never measured, and didn't even know the Taylor or Rainsong spec for that until just now, and I own several of them. I play about 70% finger style.

When Helene bought me my Taylor 714ce almost twenty years ago, I was mostly playing fingerstyle, and that was the guitar that felt the best to me. Took me over a decade to find out that I was using the "wrong" saddle spacing. ;)


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