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  #1  
Old 03-31-2013, 04:27 PM
Alexander Coe Alexander Coe is offline
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Default Considering Emerald or CA Cargo

Seeing as a Shorty and Lucky-13 are out of my price range, I've settled on some Emerald (x-5, x-7, or t-8 maybe?) with a short scale or a Cargo guitar as my first carbon fiber. I know the Cargo has an absurdly short scale length, but really it's almost like capoing on the second fret, which I tend to do quite a bit! So I'm really concerned about the sound of such a short scale (and emeralds for that matter) and the comfort. What does everyone think?
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:14 PM
Doubleneck Doubleneck is offline
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You need to find a Cargo and play it. It is almost a cult guitar, some just loving them. It sounds very good like a big guitar but I could not have it be my main guitar too small. For Emerald my pick would be the X7 OS.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:53 PM
penny penny is offline
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I have had a pre-Peavey Cargo for a few years and recently got a T8. I find them both to be very comfortable to play and actually really enjoy the short scale. Lots of folks find the Cargo 'cramped;. but I also capo a lot on the 2nd fret, and never had a problem with it. The tone of the 2 guitars is SO different, and there's just no substitute for hearing/playing them yourself. But, to generalize subjectively: to me, unplugged the Cargo has very deep bass and sounds most like a quiet version of a much bigger, wood guitar. The T8 is bright in comparison, and balanced and louder and projects more. I love them both in their own way, and am happy to have two such different sounding small, more affordable, awesome CF guitars!
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:54 PM
Kindness Kindness is offline
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Another vote on the X7-OS...hearing great things about it, and I am hoping I will be able to play it at Kramsters once he owns one...uhumm, uhumm!

I love the Cargo RAW (its called something else now under Peavey). So far, the best sounding travel guitar I have played.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:57 PM
Bax Burgess Bax Burgess is offline
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Reasons I bought a Cargo:

Read a verbal description that its bass rivalled that of a larger guitar.
Listened to some youTube videos that supported that assertion.


It's not disappointing in that regard. The neck is a bit shallow in height, and strikes me as somewhat wide where it meets the body, but I figure that if it were a 25.5 scale, and of OM length, the width would be that of a more or less normally proportioned neck, so that's probably a positive.

Last edited by Bax Burgess; 04-01-2013 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:04 AM
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Acousticado Acousticado is offline
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I have not yet played an Emerald (though I have an Emerald 6/12 doubleneck on order), but I own an '08 Cargo with RT (Road Tough) finish and after 5 years, I still really like it and play it a lot. The short scale doesn't bother me in the least. When I bought it, there weren't other small CFs on the market, so perhaps there are now better sounding/playing ones, but I doubt one can go wrong with a Cargo. If Peavey has made any improvements, they'd have made a great guitar (for what it is) even better.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:39 AM
mchalebk mchalebk is offline
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I own a Cargo (raw pre-Peavey). It does indeed sound like a full sized guitar. It doesn't sound as good as my GX or Vintage Performer, but it sounds like it could be as big as they are and has a satisfying tone (certainly much more so than the Backpacker I used to use for travel).

The short scale, though, is an issue for me because I play with a capo a lot, as high as the 7th fret. Some songs get very tricky when I'm playing capo 7. If you don't capo much above the 2nd or 3rd fret, the short scale likely won't be an issue. If you capo on the 5th fret or higher, you might have issues with the scale.

My next choice would likely be the Emerald T8. I prefer the more traditional look of the "T" series Emeralds, and I think the tone would suit me better than the X7-OS. I haven't played either, though, so this is based on what I've read.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:57 AM
penny penny is offline
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Of the small Emeralds, I much prefer the T8 tone to the x7os, again, just personal preference. To me it is more balanced and better for strumming and I love the 'traditional' look. I also have an Obbligato hybrid saddle on the T8 which has also done wonders for the tone. The x7os has awesome ergonomic features and is much lighter weight, it's a great guitar, but just didn't suit me as welll overall. You've really just gotta play 'em!
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:46 PM
Alexander Coe Alexander Coe is offline
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I read an appreciate all replies, thanks guys!

I wont be able to play an Emerald because it looks like the closest deal to me (near Detroit) is in Chicago. I played a used Cargo today (2012, not post-Peavy, right?) with kind of a natural, sandy grey finish and I really liked it! Here's what I didn't like and I wonder if you all think that an Emerald would be better in these regards:

-The center of gravity is far towards the headstock so it's a little awkward to balance
-a little discomfort in the ribcage (it kind of wedges under my bottom rib!)
-higher frets are useless for a floppy finger guy like me
-no truss rod (correct?) so do I adjust action at the bridge?
-string spacing at bridge maybe a tad closer than I like for fingerpickin'

I did love the sound (good bass) and the short scale. And the offset sound hole seems to make the guitar easier to hear myself, which is great because I mostly play by myself.

Also I should note I can only afford these guitars trading in some other guitars, so mail order will only work if I sell my other guitars first. Also, do you think it's stupid to trade a d-15 with gold+ and hard case for one of these guys? I'd consider it a fair trade, myself. Thanks again, guys, I appreciate the input!

Last edited by Alexander Coe; 04-01-2013 at 02:54 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-01-2013, 03:19 PM
gitnoob gitnoob is offline
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I bought a Cargo a few years ago, and whenever a new small-body carbon fiber guitar comes out, I try it in the hopes that it'll be an upgrade.

I've tried several Emeralds. Nice build quality, but I've never been able to come to terms with their voice.

Anyway, I still have and love my Cargo after all these years.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:35 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitnoob View Post
I bought a Cargo a few years ago, and whenever a new small-body carbon fiber guitar comes out, I try it in the hopes that it'll be an upgrade.

I've tried several Emeralds. Nice build quality, but I've never been able to come to terms with their voice.

Anyway, I still have and love my Cargo after all these years.
This comment seems to be somewhat common about Emeralds. To me, you really have to try the different guitars and see first hand which is best suited for you. That is not often practical, considering that CF guitars, especially not Rainsongs, are difficult to come by in peron. In the Twin Cities where I live, I knw of nobod wh carries either Emerald or the Peavey CA Guitars instruments, much less Blackbird. Rainsong is available locally, however at The Podium. Guitar Center did carry these in the past, but it seems to have been a while that they don't stock them locally either. The Podium carried CA Guitars before they went under and then Peavey picked them up. So even in a metropolitan area that is rich with both guitar dealers and makers, there is very little coverage of CF guitars.

I own three Cargos (pre-Peavey), but telling you that they are decent instruments is really meaningless because my tastes in an instrument may be very different from yours. The small scale doesn't bother me ad I can't imagine limiting the fretboard range with a capo, but again we are all different in build and approaches to playing guitar. Make no mistake about it...many, many people complained about the Cargo's short scale back in its heyday when CA Guitars was the original company and these things were selling like hotcakes. Despite the sales, most players complained about the short scale. So that is a very real consideration.

Tony
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:51 PM
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I've had multiple Emeralds and think the X30 and particularly my X20 are tremendous sounding guitars whereas the x7 and x5 were not quite my favorites for sound in comparison to the cargo but I feel more comfortable guitars to play. When you get down to that size of guitar I would really think a used Larrivee parlor is the route to go unless you want to shell out the dollars for a Rainsong parlor.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:31 PM
penny penny is offline
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I love my Cargo even more than my Larrivee Parlor, which rarely gets played anymore!
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:57 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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As I read through this thread, it is apparent that there are views as divergent as there are players. It really comes down to what the individual player would like, and it is by actually playing the instruments that we can know that. I remember as a kid, when the Sears catalog was all we had to see pictures of and text to read, about something we wanted. Rarely, if ever, did the thing, when it showed up at the door, match our expectations. The internet s really like that. We get text descriptions of the guitar and even maybe hear recordings of it, but the real life experience of the instrument is very individual and unique to the player.

For example, as wonderful as Olson guitars are, and as highly regarded as they are, I never could get a good sound from one and they never were comfortable for me to play. Yet, there are many people who absolutely love these instruments, and for good reason. Same experience for me with McPherson guitars. If I bought one based on owner reviews and maybe even a recording somebody posted, I would be sorely disappointed when it finally arrived at my door. These experiences are in no way a reflection of the guitar, but of my needs as a player.

I really took to the Cargo, as obviously does Penny. Many people like these particular instruments to varying degrees, but there are also many who would never own one. I bought a Gibson ES-175 back in the 90s because Joe Pass played one for a long time. It really was not the guitar for me and I ended up selling it. Bottom line is that no matter how many people sing a guitar's praises, it is only by actually trying it that you will know if it is for you.

With the very short scale of the Cargo, you may even have to live with it for a while before you will know if it is a "keeper" for you. I just can't emphasize the "try before you buy" enough.

Tony
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:56 PM
unknownguitaris unknownguitaris is offline
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Alexander, consider this, find a Peavey dealer, confirm a Cargo. PayPal me for my X7-OS and I'll ship it to you, refund once returned... Or, you could contact Michael at MacNichols / or Ted of LA Guitar sales. Buy one with the intention of returning if you choose to select a Cargo. Nothing will beat a side by side. Don't trust you "ear memory"!

I'm partial to the X7 cause I own one and use it as a travel guitar, mostly airplane travel. I do not rely on the guitar for recording (not that I've done much... yet), or plugged in for live although I find the X7 very capable in this regard. Mine has the B Band. I even plugged it into a high gain tube amp... it howls and has note feedback in a most wonderful way. You can shred on a X7, although an unorthodox application of the instrument! Not for the timid.

Best to you on the quest...
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