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  #1  
Old 09-07-2023, 11:20 PM
hotroad hotroad is offline
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Default Which CF guitar sounds most true to a high end wood acoustic?

I have played and owned many CF guitars but let them go because I was disappointed in their tone. Which CF guitar do you think acoustically sounds most like a high end wood built acoustic? I am using a Gibson J-200 for my comparisons but use any wood acoustic.
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Old 09-08-2023, 06:41 AM
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David Eastwood David Eastwood is offline
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Originally Posted by hotroad View Post
I have played and owned many CF guitars but let them go because I was disappointed in their tone. Which CF guitar do you think acoustically sounds most like a high end wood built acoustic? I am using a Gibson J-200 for my comparisons but use any wood acoustic.
What CF guitars have you tried and rejected so far?

How many wood guitars have you let go because you were disappointed with them?

I really can’t answer your question, as I don’t know what wood sounds like. I do know what I like in an acoustic guitar, though, and my Emerald X20 delivers it in spades.
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Old 09-08-2023, 07:36 AM
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To add to David's response, hearing is subjective so any response is going to be equally subjective. My carbon fiber experience is limited to Rainsongs and Emeralds, and so the ones I've owned from those two manufacturers, I'd suggest the Rainsong jumbo with wood top and Emerald's X20 being the more woodlike in tone...

Last edited by RP; 09-08-2023 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 09-08-2023, 07:44 AM
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My CF guitars sound like...guitars. Just played my Rainsong H-OM at a jam with friends and it was like any other guitar, different from the others, as wood guitars are different from each other, but all sounding like a guitar. That said, my Emerald X30 sounds like jumbo wood guitar. I briefly owned a McPherson Sable and it also may be in the ballpark. I thought it was a bit heavy and didn't project as well as my others, so I let it go, but it had a wonderful tone profile.
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Old 09-08-2023, 09:24 AM
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I always say that carbon fiber guitars all sound like Brazilian rosewood and taste like chicken.

However, to qualify that, yesterday I had extensive hearing tests at the VA and they told me I need hearing aids. So I could be wrong about the Brazilian rosewood. Maybe they just sound like Indian rosewood.

As for "tastes like chicken", who knows? I am no expert.



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Old 09-08-2023, 10:17 AM
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I always say that carbon fiber guitars all sound like Brazilian rosewood and taste like chicken.

However, to qualify that, yesterday I had extensive hearing tests at the VA and they told me I need hearing aids. So I could be wrong about the Brazilian rosewood. Maybe they just sound like Indian rosewood.

As for "tastes like chicken", who knows? I am no expert.



Tony
For sure, CF guitars sound better than chicken. Or fish. Because, you can tune a guitar, but you can't tune a fish. I know: back in my corner.
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Old 09-08-2023, 10:26 AM
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Well, in my somewhat limited experience, I found the Emerald X7 to sound like a good small wood guitar, more of a mahogany vibe, really good for blues and similar, but that extremely short neck feels really cramped to me these days, so I don't have one any longer, but I've had a couple and liked them a lot. The McPherson Sable sounds a fair amount like a 000 or OM 28 - it's the only carbon fiber guitar I still have. I've also owned an X20 and McPherson Touring - didn't much like either of them. I played an X30 pretty extensively and was impressed by it, but it was ultimately too bass heavy to be a keeper for me.

But there's some inconsistency among CF guitars of the same model, much like with wood guitars, so I might just have gotten poor examples of the X20 and McPherson Touring. I've played a number of Sables and the one I still have is by far the best of the bunch - they've all sounded at least OK, but none of them came close to this one, and I can't see ever letting it go. Never played a Rainsong, so I can't comment on those...

-Ray
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Old 09-08-2023, 11:12 AM
Tf Tf is offline
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Not carbon fiber but to my ears the Blackbird El Capitan is the closest to a wood guitar tone wise, closely followed by the McPherson Sable. The Emerald X20 sounds great, but has a distinctive tone (not better or worse, just different)
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Old 09-08-2023, 12:43 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I usually don't respond to a thread with this title, because CF guitars sound like.... guitars. It is like saying that rosewood versus mahogany versus maple versus koa for body woods does not make any difference in tone.

I found the Blackbird El Capitan to be very much like my Taylor GA's in terms of size, playability, and sound. I liked it a lot and would have bought one at the ukulele festival where I played it, but Joe was not selling that particular example because of a minor neck angle issue. He reserved it only for demo purposes.
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Old 09-08-2023, 01:13 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Originally Posted by raysachs View Post
Well, in my somewhat limited experience, I found the Emerald X7 to sound like a good small wood guitar, more of a mahogany vibe, really good for blues and similar, but that extremely short neck feels really cramped to me these days, so I don't have one any longer, but I've had a couple and liked them a lot. The McPherson Sable sounds a fair amount like a 000 or OM 28 - it's the only carbon fiber guitar I still have. I've also owned an X20 and McPherson Touring - didn't much like either of them. I played an X30 pretty extensively and was impressed by it, but it was ultimately too bass heavy to be a keeper for me.

But there's some inconsistency among CF guitars of the same model, much like with wood guitars, so I might just have gotten poor examples of the X20 and McPherson Touring. I've played a number of Sables and the one I still have is by far the best of the bunch - they've all sounded at least OK, but none of them came close to this one, and I can't see ever letting it go. Never played a Rainsong, so I can't comment on those...

-Ray
My Sable sounds better than yours.

It is certainly plausible that there would be differences between examples of the same model. Also, McPherson tends to constantly fiddle with their designs, so it could very well be that your Sable suits you best. They do sound and play very nice.

Tony
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Old 09-08-2023, 01:15 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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For sure, CF guitars sound better than chicken. Or fish. Because, you can tune a guitar, but you can't tune a fish. I know: back in my corner.
Ah yes, ye olde REO Speedwagon vinyl. Nice catch (pardon the pun...).

Tony
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Old 09-08-2023, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by tbeltrans View Post
My Sable sounds better than yours.

It is certainly plausible that there would be differences between examples of the same model. Also, McPherson tends to constantly fiddle with their designs, so it could very well be that your Sable suits you best. They do sound and play very nice.

Tony
I thought it might be because the really good one was a newer model, with the etched logo, not the badge o the headstock. But then I bought a second that was actually newer, and it was really good, but not near as good as the first one. I sold the second one because it turned out I don’t need a carbon fiber instrument in the Oregon climate, where we now live eight months of the year. But I’m keeping the one in North Carolina, where we spend winters, because it can get VERY humid indoors there during the winter, where it’s often not warm enough for AC or cold enough for heat…

Yours might well sound better. All I know is the one I have sounds better than any of the others I’ve played, which I believe is at least five or six by now…

-Ray
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Last edited by raysachs; 09-08-2023 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 09-08-2023, 03:38 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Yours might well sound better. All I know is the one I have sounds better than any of the others I’ve played, which I believe is at least five or six by now…
Like Ray, I can also speak to the differences between various "identical" versions of the same guitar. I own a 2016 X20 and it sounds wonderful -- beat the pants off a custom shop Martin OM-28 a few years ago in a direct play-off, and not just my opinion. In 2020, I ordered a custom X20 and it turned out horribly brash and bright, but it is not clear what they changed or why the tone differed? I now also have a 2021 pinless version of the stock X20 and it sounds fine.

Things like resins, the CF cloth used, and layup techniques can change over the years, so it makes sense that some versions sound different. The guitars may come out of the same molds -- quite literally -- and if I should ever seriously consider a Sable it will be mandatory to pay attention to the year of manufacture. Or try multiple examples in one sitting. And revisit Ray's posts on the topic.
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Old 09-08-2023, 04:56 PM
Aspiring Aspiring is offline
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Originally Posted by Tf View Post
Not carbon fiber but to my ears the Blackbird El Capitan is the closest to a wood guitar tone wise, closely followed by the McPherson Sable. The Emerald X20 sounds great, but has a distinctive tone (not better or worse, just different)
I suppose this is somewhat of the point to this discussion. I have an El Capitan and an X20 along with several other CF that I have tried or own.

The El Capitan and the X20 are the two that I don't find lacking compared to my nicer wood guitars in tone. That said, I give the edge to the x20 for which one to me sounds more like my wood guitars.

Last edited by Aspiring; 09-08-2023 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 09-08-2023, 05:50 PM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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None of them ! Not better or worse, just different.
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