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  #1  
Old 06-10-2020, 10:40 AM
imc2111 imc2111 is offline
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Default Is it just me or do CF guitars often sound really good when amplified?

I am often left dissapointed when listening to a steel string guitar when amplified, but not with CF guitars. What gives?
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:17 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Well this to me would have to be another "To each their own" scenario as my experience amplifying carbon fiber guitars is almost the complete opposite as yours. My 3 wood guitars have a Schatten HFN passive SBT and I'm very happy with the amplified tone from those. I could never get that same result from my 2 Emeralds for some strange reason. I also tried the Anthem and a few other different pickups in them but was never satisfied with the result. My X30 currently has a Barbera Soloist + an internal mic and that's decent enough for me to use live but still not close to my amplified tone from my wooden guitars with the passive HFN. I ended up putting a Baggs Element UST that I had kicking around, which happens to be my least favorite UST, in my X20 paired with a custom IR but never had a chance to test it in a live scenario yet due to the pandemic. Now on the other side of the coin the passive HFN works great in my McPherson Sable.

I guess it all comes down to what you expect out of your amplified tone. To me, any UST sounds like a UST no matter what guitar it's installed in. Some like the UST sound but most don't and that's the category I fall into. I prefer to get as close to the "guitar only louder" sound which is not always easy to do.
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:32 AM
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I put a Pure Mini in my Rainsong Vintage dread. It sounds great whether acoustic or amplified as does my Rainsong APLE with its stock Fishman setup....
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:44 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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All I can say is that my Rainsong WS-1000 is the single best sounding amplified stage guitar that I own, or have ever used. It is always my first choice for the stage. It has the barn door Fishman Blender as the OEM pickup. I use about 30% microphone and 70% piezo. In a loud bar band setting, I turn it to 100% piezo, to avoid feedback and because pure acoustic tone is not really the goal. The only way to beat it IMO would be using an external condenser microphone.

I normally don't replace pickup systems that come with the guitar. I have added a couple of pickups to unamplified guitars back in the day. But once my favorite brands all started coming with on-board electronics -- for better or worse -- I have not added or replaced anything gratuitously. YMMV, and probably will.
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Old 06-10-2020, 02:07 PM
zeeway zeeway is offline
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My Emerald X20 sounded awful amplified until I wound up with a Schatten HFN pickup ( third pickup in this guitar), playing through a Tonedexter, using the very first model I made. I have come to believe that the soundboard on an Emerald may be too resonant for a piezo pickup alone. But I finally became a happy camper ...yep, sounds like a louder version of my unamplified guitar.
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Old 06-10-2020, 07:50 PM
douglasfan1 douglasfan1 is offline
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It should depends on the pickup. For example, with using under saddle pickup, the pickup just capturing the vibration of string and then color it with its preamp. As a result, the output will be similar comparing with wooden guitar. Just my thought.
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Old 06-10-2020, 08:15 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Piling on to that thought, I had an experience worth telling at Gryphon Stringed Instruments years ago. I was looking at a pickup to put into my then new Martin J-40. I tried a D-28 with a Fishman Matrix I UST and internal pre-amp and was asking questions about how it would be different in my guitar. The salesman brought out a Martin Backpacker (!!) with the same pickup installed. Once it was turned up louder than the unplugged tone, they both sounded the same. Asked and answered, at least for piezo UST's.

A completely different pickup type would yield other results, of course. My pending custom X20 will have no pickup installed, but will be prepped for a K&K if I choose to add one later. I don't have any heartburn with the stock VTC or the Anthem (I have both in other Emerald guitars) but I don't perform or plug in any more. So why pay for electronics that will not be used?
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Old 06-10-2020, 10:30 PM
Chipotle Chipotle is offline
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My Composite Acoustics GX sounds fantastic plugged in... but that's in part because I got the optional Fishman Aura pickup with custom-generated GX images. Using Aura or Tonedexter-type tech will help any undersaddle pickup immensely.
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Old 06-11-2020, 08:08 AM
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In my experience of owning 7 carbon fiber guitars over the years it depended on the make, model and pickup system. Just like every wood guitar I've owned now that I think about it.

I will say that carbon fiber guitars that come with built-in proprietary or at least factory installed pickup systems with onboard preamp and EQ always sound much better than aftermarket installed pickup systems. Again, just like every wood guitar I've owned!
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Old 06-11-2020, 11:43 AM
bsman bsman is offline
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Depends. I have an old (2010) Emerald X7 with a B-Band (OEM) installed pickup and preamp that has never made me terribly happy and a Rainsong Shorty SG with the installed Fishman system I've been able to get really nice tones from.
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:52 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsman View Post
Depends. I have an old (2010) Emerald X7 with a B-Band (OEM) installed pickup and preamp that has never made me terribly happy and a Rainsong Shorty SG with the installed Fishman system I've been able to get really nice tones from.
Just the opposite for me: I have a second generation X7 with the B-Band pickup, and it is one of my favorites for acoustic amplification. I had a Shorty with the Fishman Prefix+T; decent amplified, but not as good as the B-Band to my ears.

Different strokes. I generally run my guitars through a Play Acoustic and into a Bose S1 or L1c. Each of those PAs color the sound a bit, as does the surroundings. I am probably not in the majority in that I don't expect the plugged in sound to be "like the guitar only louder"... if it sounds good, I'm good to go.
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Old 06-11-2020, 01:04 PM
bsman bsman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
Just the opposite for me: I have a second generation X7 with the B-Band pickup, and it is one of my favorites for acoustic amplification. I had a Shorty with the Fishman Prefix+T; decent amplified, but not as good as the B-Band to my ears.

Different strokes. I generally run my guitars through a Play Acoustic and into a Bose S1 or L1c. Each of those PAs color the sound a bit, as does the surroundings. I am probably not in the majority in that I don't expect the plugged in sound to be "like the guitar only louder"... if it sounds good, I'm good to go.
The only times I've used the Emerald is as a backup, when I used to run a Fishman Loudbox Performer (don't need that much power these days - so I donated to the local HS). For gigging, I would normally be using a Godin Acousticaster (to allow me to easily move from acoustic to more electric tones), and the Emerald was a backup. Using the same settings on the amp for the Emerald, no matter what I did with the onboard B-Band preamp I was never very happy. Perhaps had I devoted more time to it I could have gotten a better sound, but frankly the old X7 has been relegated to office guitar status over the past few years.
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Old 06-11-2020, 05:34 PM
jdinaz jdinaz is offline
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The interaction with any effects and different amplifiers has to enter into it somewhere....
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Old 06-11-2020, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdinaz View Post
The interaction with any effects and different amplifiers has to enter into it somewhere....
Of course. It's not just a wood vs. CF thing.

There are way too many other variables involved to jump to any conclusions.
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Old 06-13-2020, 02:34 PM
danielou danielou is offline
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Comparing my 4 Rainsongs (prefix plus T), 2020 Emerald X20 (Anthem) and my various Taylors with ES-ES2, I'd say from for stage the Rainsong is my go-to with the built in notch and contouring controls. The consistency between guitars is another huge plus so I can set up with alternate tunings/strings and the change-overs are a piece of cake. I'd give the Taylor ES2 a slight edge in fidelity but not as feedback resistant. The Anthem is good but needs more work to dial in, fussier overall, would have opted for no pickup if I did it again and put in a KK or Schatten +tonedexter.
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