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Old 02-07-2020, 11:29 AM
Rivers Rivers is offline
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Default Best plugged in CF guitar?

I am looking for a CF guitar that works well plugged in. Does anyone have recommendations? Budget is probably around $1500 used. Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:31 AM
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steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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I am looking for a CF guitar that works well plugged in. Does anyone have recommendations? Budget is probably around $1500 used. Thanks.
They all do. CF is a great conductor of energy from the strings, body and player. Almost to a fault.

It really comes down to your taste in pickups and your signal chain.
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Last edited by steelvibe; 02-07-2020 at 11:38 AM. Reason: running from the grammar police
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:44 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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I agree with Steel Vibe--they all plug in nicely.
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:12 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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...they all plug in nicely.
Add a set if Martin Retro Monels to take the edge off the amplified tone, especially if you've got a UST pickup...
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:52 PM
jwellsy jwellsy is offline
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:22 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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That's a bit like saying: Which wood acoustic works well plugged in? I have 3 CF guitars, 3 different pickups - each gives me a great plugged in tone. If you want to adjust your plugged in sound beyond what the pickup or amp allows, you can go with a ToneDexter or a pedal like the TC Helicon Play Acoustic.

If you are looking at $1500 as your budget, you may be looking in used territory for a carbon fiber guitar (the Journey OF660 being an exception), so you might start looking around for guitars to audition.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:43 AM
Mkel12 Mkel12 is offline
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The best plugged in I have played is the Rainsong APSE. It uses a Baggs Anthem system. With the blend at about 60% microphone / 40% piezo, it produces a warm amplified acoustic tone. I have a Blackbird Lucky 13 with a Dazzo pickup installed which is a close second.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:52 AM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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As most people have said, the plugged-in sound has a lot more to do with what pickup/preamp system is being used, and what (if any) processing is used afterward. The *best* CF plugged-in tone is probably something that uses a Tonedexter or Fishman Aura or some other processing unit to "fill in" missing frequencies from a pickup system. There are fans of soundboard transducers, fans of specific under-saddle transducers, and fans of dual-source systems (both a transducer and a small onboard mic). There are even the purists, who only use some kind of microphone (think like a dpa 4099 on a body mount). So there's entirely too much variability at play for any of us to tell you what will work for you best. But if you tell us more of what you're aiming for, we can certainly give you some more pointed advice. Do you want plug-and-play, or are you willing to use some expensive and esoteric outboard gear, as well as extensive time and fiddling, to get it right? Are you playing in controlled environments where feedback is less of a problem? Are you playing with in-ear monitoring, or with big rock 'n' roll floor wedge monitors? Do you work with good sound mix engineers, or do you do your own sound?
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:17 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Originally Posted by MiG50 View Post
As most people have said, the plugged-in sound has a lot more to do with what pickup/preamp system is being used, and what (if any) processing is used afterward. The *best* CF plugged-in tone is probably something that uses a Tonedexter or Fishman Aura or some other processing unit to "fill in" missing frequencies from a pickup system. There are fans of soundboard transducers, fans of specific under-saddle transducers, and fans of dual-source systems (both a transducer and a small onboard mic). There are even the purists, who only use some kind of microphone (think like a dpa 4099 on a body mount). So there's entirely too much variability at play for any of us to tell you what will work for you best. But if you tell us more of what you're aiming for, we can certainly give you some more pointed advice. Do you want plug-and-play, or are you willing to use some expensive and esoteric outboard gear, as well as extensive time and fiddling, to get it right? Are you playing in controlled environments where feedback is less of a problem? Are you playing with in-ear monitoring, or with big rock 'n' roll floor wedge monitors? Do you work with good sound mix engineers, or do you do your own sound?
This is a good reply. Any guitar, carbon fiber, wood or whatever is only going to sound as good as your pickup and other outboard gear. I personally have experimented for years with different pickups, which was quite costly. I found my favorite pickup (finally), which is a Schatten HFN. I primarily use a HFN equipped guitar plugged straight into my Fishman Loudbox Artist amp and get a great plugged in tone. I also have a Tonedexter which is a great piece of hardware. I usually don't use it with this setup as I find the HFN is natural enough sounding and the Fishman amp removes any piezo character that the pickup has. If I were plugging into a mixer or something else I would use Tonedexter in between. I do have other guitars with different pickups and when I plug those in I use Tonedexter which works wonders on a UST or unnatural sounding pickups.

I have a Schatten HFN in both of my Emerald carbon fiber guitars and Jonfields uses the HFN pickup in his 3 Rainsongs. Any guitar that I might buy down the road will have a HFN added so I would prefer that a new guitar would come with no pickup. If your budget is around $1500 you would be looking at a used Emerald, Rainsong, composite acoustics, etc for a full carbon fiber guitar. There are cheaper alternatives such as Enya which offer guitars which are partial carbon fiber but I haven't had the opportunity to play any. Hopefully some of this info can help you. Happy hunting!
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:48 AM
dadio917 dadio917 is offline
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I really like my concert series Rainsong parlor with K&K. Without a preamp into a mixer sounds great. Run Thomasfield Infields strings. Versatile guitar given size and how well it sounds. but...might spoil you for your woodies.
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:09 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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My X7 thin-bodied, nylon strung, electric guitar is the best CF plug-in I've ever played. Not too many of those around and not likely to hit the price point desired. But worth thinking about.
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:54 AM
lat18 lat18 is offline
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I use my Composite Acoustics GX as my stage guitar. Like it better than the Rainsong or X20.
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:47 AM
Chipotle Chipotle is offline
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Quote:
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I use my Composite Acoustics GX as my stage guitar.
Me too. I ordered it with the built-in Fishman Aura that has custom GX images loaded. Sounds fantastic. As MiG50 points, out, adding the Aura or a Tonedexter is a great way to get a fantastic plugged-in sound.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:21 AM
Matt McGriff Matt McGriff is offline
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I have an Anthem StagePro in my Rainsong CH and it sounds fantastic running direct into the mixer.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:46 PM
itsLars itsLars is offline
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+1 for the Aura-equipped GX!
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