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  #1  
Old 05-19-2019, 06:07 AM
Rivers Rivers is offline
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Default Most woody sounding CF guitar?

Curious as to what the general consensus is as to which CF guitar sounds the most woody?

I am contemplating of selling my Martin HD28E for a CF guitar as maintainance is tough in the high relative humidity levels where I am located.

Thanks.
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:37 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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The CA Legacy is the closest but is noticeable less loud. Also pretty close for tone and quite loud is a RainSong CH-WS, but it is an unconventional 12 fret short scale cutaway compared to an HD-28. Next would be a RainSong H-DR. There are some good YouTube videos comparing this model to various D-28s and I think all of them confirm that the H-DR is brighter. The 12 fret version can be custom ordered and generally 12 fret RainSongs are much closer to the darker tone of a wood guitar. Next even brighter would be a RainSong CO-DR which I used to own and A-B'ed against various Martin OMs and 000s and concluded it was very similar in tone to a smaller Martin, but louder. Here are my comparison videos of old (apologies in advance):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_D...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_D...ew?usp=sharing

I've not got any experience with recent Emeralds. The MacPherson Sable was designed by the same person as all the CAs and might be also worth checking out.
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:46 AM
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I've only played Emeralds, so I can't compare with Rainsongs or MacPhersons, or others. But the X20 and new X7 that I've owned both sounded very wood-like to me. I know some other folks have played them and don't agree, so there's no substitute for playing them yourself and forming your own opinion. I had a Martin 000-15M when I bought an X20 and I thought the X20 sounded closer to an old D28 I'd had for years than it did to the 000. The new X7 sounds like a smaller version of the X20, but very similar tone to my ear. Comparisons aside, I knew within moments of playing the X20 that it sounded like an acoustic guitar should sound, was more than up to my standards (which anyone is free to question - this is basically subjective after all). And I sold the 000-15M and haven't looked back.

If I won the lottery and could have a room full of great wooden acoustics and pay someone to take care of them, keep them well humidified, etc, I probably would. Not because they really SOUND better to me than the Emeralds I've played, but because I do love the aesthetic of wood guitars and there's a part of me that sort of misses that. But, on balance, as long as I'm solely responsible for taking care of my gear, I'm staying with carbon fiber. I love keeping my X7 on the wall and reaching for it whenever I want and not having to think about the humidity in the room or using humidipaks in the case.

-Ray
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:50 AM
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dogdog49 dogdog49 is offline
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CA and McPherson CF guitars sound more like wooden guitars than Rainsongs in general in that they are less bright, but they sound less like fine wooden guitars in that they lack the sustain and harmonic overtones that wood provides and sound a bit "dead" to me because of that. Rainsongs are actually more "woodlike" in that department even though they tend to have a slightly brighter overall tonal balance. I've owned all of the above as well as many fine wooden instruments and my personal conclusion is that the warmest Rainsongs actually sound more like my high-end wooden guitars in more important ways than my CAs or my Sable did. I recently demoed a CO-1005 model with the offset soundhole and couldn't believe how much it sounded like some of my best wooden instruments. My guess is, if you're looking for a 14 fret to the body dreadnought, that their hybrid carbon-glass model which is warmer than straight CF might be a great choice. There's a new, B-stock one on Reverb right now for $1279.00 or best offer. https://reverb.com/item/20791597-rai...rc=aw.ds&pla=1
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:03 AM
mot mot is offline
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Depends on what you want. My Lucky13 sounds a bit like a great but jangly blues box. My X20 is a strummer and great for finger picking way up the neck too. The sustain of either is about the same as the sustain of a Rainsong, but neither is quite as crystalline as the Rainsongs I messed with. I haven't touched a McPherson. I was sorely tempted by a few CA. Those are awesome, but the X20 won out. I have either gotten rid of my wood guitars or put them in storage. The X20 is my primary mover and shaker these days. By the way, it sounds like a great guitar. Probably somewhere in the Taylor line up if I had to come up with a wood comparison.

With me or anyone else you have to worry about cognitive dissonance. Since I own the X20 and Lucky13, they are the best versions of carbon fiber in my opinion. My opinion may be objectively wrong, but subjectively it helps me sleep better at night. The reality that is of most concern to some though is likely the intersubjective because it keeps the re-sale price higher. Subjective and objective is where I try to stay, but there's something to be said for the fictions of intersubjectivity. How else could I spend any money or communicate with friends and strangers? I always try to throw a little science into my conversations and observations. Sometimes more like here, but often much less. Most people don't bother to read them or more likely have the fortitude to give more than a quick intuitive once over, but perhaps the extra tidbits will make a difference to someone.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:24 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Mot;

Nice observations. I view any conversation regarding tonal qualities as subjective--in the ears of the beholder.

There are some aspects of the guitar that I think are objective; intonation, setup, quality of build and so forth.

My impression is that carbon fiber guitars are, by and large, objectively of high quality. The arguments start when we get to tonal observations..
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:32 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Ditto what Evan said. All of the CF builders have a slightly different tonal character, and they are also different from wood. Quantifying tone in any meaningful way is tough. Everyone hears differently and therefore judges tone individually. It might be possible to quantify aspects like bloom, relative strength of overtones, attack, sustain and even overall loudness (which is much harder than it appears). But still there would be discussion about which combination is better or "best". Ask four players and you will get five opinions.

From my experience, the Rainsong C-H (composite hybrid) series or others with uni-directional tops have the most wood-like and warmest tone. CA does well too with their Gx and dreadnought, but with less overall volume and projection. I am also quite pleased with the tone from my Emerald X20 and my old classic WS-1000. And I like the tone from my koa Taylor's and old Seagull S6 as well.
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:06 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Earl;

I like the "4 players, 5 opinions" notion; this forum is a good example of the point.

Good to hear from you, by the way. Hope all is going well with your recovery and that you are doing a Biden with your guitar (and your sweetie).
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:52 PM
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J.R. Rogers J.R. Rogers is offline
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Check out the Rainsong APSE model...
http://www.rainsong.com/concert/alpetteway.html

As jon mentioned, the Rainsong 12-fret models sound really good. Also, the CO-WS1005NS model is 12-fret but has a larger body. I've recorded a bit with this guitar and do enjoy the bigger bass sound from the larger body and also the playability of the short scale:
http://www.rainsong.com/concert/cowsns6.html

JR
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Old 05-19-2019, 03:32 PM
rmsstrider rmsstrider is offline
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I think my CA Legacy is pretty close. It can be on the "dark side?" With the wrong strings though IMHO..
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:31 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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My Emerald X20 sounds very much like a wooden guitar.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:40 PM
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raysachs raysachs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
My Emerald X20 sounds very much like a wooden guitar.
Out of curiosity, how would you compare it to the X30 you just parted with in this regard? I recall some comments from Byudazi in his X30 review video, but I don't recall a conclusion. I thought the X20 sounded quite woody when I had one, but it seemed the X30 was warmer/deeper yet...
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:50 PM
Rivers Rivers is offline
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Am considering the McPherson Sable and was wondering if anyone has had the chance to compare that to the X20 in terms of sounding woody / warm and which one sounds better plugged in?

Thanks.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:55 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raysachs View Post
Out of curiosity, how would you compare it to the X30 you just parted with in this regard? I recall some comments from Byudazi in his X30 review video, but I don't recall a conclusion. I thought the X20 sounded quite woody when I had one, but it seemed the X30 was warmer/deeper yet...
Ray, it's hard to describe so I'll try it like this. The X20 to me sounds like a dreadnought. It's smaller in size than my Gibson dread but almost as loud. The X30 has a totally different sound than the X20. I can't really compare it to anything that I've ever played. To my ears, and at least for the Emeralds I have/had, the X20 sounds more like a wooden guitar than the X30. I would have to put the X30 in a league of its own. It has huge bottom end that goes through the players body to make an awesome playing experience. The top strings don't thump like the X20, but the overall guitar does, if that makes any sense. I miss the X30 . There's features on each that I like over the other but I will give a slight edge to the X30 if I could only have one, just for that player experience.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:59 AM
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raysachs raysachs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
Ray, it's hard to describe so I'll try it like this. The X20 to me sounds like a dreadnought. It's smaller in size than my Gibson dread but almost as loud. The X30 has a totally different sound than the X20. I can't really compare it to anything that I've ever played. To my ears, and at least for the Emeralds I have/had, the X20 sounds more like a wooden guitar than the X30. I would have to put the X30 in a league of its own. It has huge bottom end that goes through the players body to make an awesome playing experience. The top strings don't thump like the X20, but the overall guitar does, if that makes any sense. I miss the X30 . There's features on each that I like over the other but I will give a slight edge to the X30 if I could only have one, just for that player experience.
Interesting. I always felt like the X20 felt like a 000 but sounded like a dreadnaught, my point of reference being a D28 I had for many years. But I was coming from an 000-15M and didn't really need the volume of the X20. And after trying an old and new model of the X7, settled on the new X7 as the perfect single acoustic for me. And to me, it plays like a parlor guitar but sounds a lot like a 000. I like the short scale and I like the sound of it even a bit more than the X20, although I'm sure I'm in the minority on that. But I have to admit, these impressions are getting kind of fuzzy as I haven't played a dread any significant amount since I sold that D28 around 15 years ago and now that 000-15M is getting to be many months in the rearview as well.

Given the way others have talked about the X30, I kind of figured if I ever wanted a bigger sounding guitar, I'd probably like the depth and warmth of the X30 more than the X20 as a companion to the X7. The X20 had a kind of ring-y tip end I was always trying to tame. I don't really have any desire for anything as larger or as loud as the X30. But if I ever developed the desire for another louder guitar... I wouldn't mind having a guitar with a longer scale length, but I'm not minding the short scale, so that's not a real issue.
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