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  #1  
Old 01-09-2021, 05:41 PM
Recoil Rob Recoil Rob is offline
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Default Spend my money, at least some of it.

I'll admit that I'm better at buying guitars than playing them but now that I finally have the hand arthritis business taken care I want to get back to playing more.

I have 3 lovely acoustics, a 1952 O-18, a 1972 D-35 and a Larivee OM-01.
Problem is during winter, here in NY, the humidity in the house hovers from 25-30% so they are always in cases with some humidity device in with them. Having one out on a stand ready to grab is not practical.

So looking at CF's. Considering Rainsong OM's, saw a 2004 OM-1000 but no truss rod. I know CF's aren't supposed to need one but right now I'm in the middle of replacing the neck on a Tricone that doesn't have an adjustable truss rod, bad taste in my mouth.

Looking at the CH & OC OM1000NS 12 frets too. From what I read not a lot of tonal difference for the $500 cost difference.

Anything else I should consider for a knockabout instrument I will not have to pamper about temp/humidity?

OM size, no wood bracing, tops, necks,(seems to defeat the purpose), no "contemporary style" sound holes (just round in the middle) and want a truss rod. Don't want to go over $2500, would prefer less. Doesn't have to be top notch, just something to get me through the cold, dry months.

What else is available I'm missing?
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2021, 05:55 PM
TRose TRose is offline
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Hey Rob,
There are some super knowledgeable and experienced folks like Kramster and Evan, etc who will chime in and give you lots of information.
I want to speak up and say that with a 2500 budget you could potentially get a used Emerald X10 or X20. These guitars do have ďcontemporaryĒ looks because Improvements have been made to ergonomics improving comfort and player experience( altered sound hole).
Iím a traditionalist but picked up a used X7 inorder to have an instrument that I could travel worry free with from the jungle to the North Pole and back. Itís fantastic and I would very much recommend overlooking the the look of the improvements inorder to enjoy the improvements- if that makes sense.

An AGF member just did a very thorough and thoughtful review of the X-20. Iíll link it if I can easily find it.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 01-09-2021, 06:00 PM
TRose TRose is offline
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Hereís the review:

X20 Video Review -- Finally Done
https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=601929
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  #4  
Old 01-09-2021, 08:02 PM
jdinaz jdinaz is online now
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I gotta agree with TRose, you are really limiting yourself from some great choices with the soundhole thing. I hope it;s not really a deal killer for you, at least give some a try. Journey, McPherson, Emerald, CA and others. I know there are several of us here that felt the same as you until we tried them. GOOD LUCK !!
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2021, 08:38 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Rob, maybe your best option is a CO OM-1000 or a CO WS-1000. Those have center sound holes. The original neck (prior to the N2 version several years ago) is slimmer but does not have a truss rod. My WS-1000 from 2001 doesn't need a truss rod -- it has often worn medium gauge strings and is played in several different alternate tunings without any perceptible change in neck relief. But many are comforted by having a truss rod. You can sometimes find a used WS-1000 for under $1500 (but not mine. I will never willingly part with mine). BTW, Rainsong discontinued the less expensive CH (composite-hybrid) models last year. They still make the CO (concert) in various models. And as of late 2020 you can now order the N1 neck again.

Before you give up on offset sound holes, with the Emerald X20 (and other Emerald models) the angled offset hole acts like a monitor for the player, so you hear more like what the room hears. Most of my Taylor guitars have now been sold off in favor of Emeralds - we have six these days, ranging from X7 to X20 to X30 and a custom X20-12. Big fans here!

There is a local retailer in Boise (Dorsey Music, 208-853-4141) that still has some NOS Composite Acoustics models in stock like the Gx and Ox. CA is actually out of the CF guitar business now but Dorsey still has a few new old stock models on the wall.

Another option to consider is Blackbird. Their El Capitan is a mini-jumbo (about GA sized) made in ekoa (linen composite instead of carbon fiber composite). ekoa is not quite as temperature or impact resistant as carbon fiber, but does really well in a variety of environments, and El Cap sounds very Taylor-like in its voicing too. LA Guitar Sales is a great retailer of Blackbird and Rainsong, and can do some custom orders from RS. Give Ted a call.

My start in carbon fiber guitars began in Alaska, where CF was the only thing that could be outside of the case for more than a couple of hours in the dry winters.
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Old 01-09-2021, 09:33 PM
BlueStarfish BlueStarfish is offline
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Hi there Rob,

Another +1 to urge you to give a fair consideration to an Emerald X20. The dimensions match a deep-body OM, but the curves have some extra bevels thrown in for comfort, so itís an incredibly comfortable guitar. Great neck, with truss rod. Plays great, sounds great. The standard version has a long scale (and it excels for strumming and flatpicking) but you can get a short scale for an up charge. Standard version hits your price point.

I havenít had a chance to try the Rainsong OMís but I know they have loyal fans too. The short-scale models seem to be particularly popular with the finger picking crowd. Good luck to you!
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  #7  
Old 01-09-2021, 09:42 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
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I recommend one of the Rainsong OMs. Your choice of 12 or 14 fret.

I would not buy a guitar without a truss-rod. Carbon fiber is stable enough that you can dial it in once and leave it there forever, but if you can't adjust it you are stuck with whatever relief it was built with.

My Larrivee OM-03R with my "Shorty" which is a variant of the 12-fret short scale OM.



The CH series (discontinued) was an incredible bargain. A few are out there. Found one on Reverb for $1400

https://reverb.com/item/35701020-rainsong-ch-om1000ns

These were plane jane, no inlay instruments. I have one of the parlors which I use for travel.
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Larrivee OM-03RE; O-01
Martin D-35; Guild F-212; Tacoma Roadking
Breedlove American Series C20/SR
Rainsong SFTA-FLE; WS3000; CH-PA
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https://markhorning.bandcamp.com/album/space-freedom

Last edited by AZLiberty; 01-09-2021 at 09:49 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-09-2021, 10:36 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Hi Rob, welcome aboard. Lots of good carbon fiber info to be had on this sub-forum. Some of us have been where you are. When I first started looking at carbon fiber guitars, I zoned in on a RainSong Shorty because it had similar dimensions (except that chunky N2/NS neck) and shape as a Taylor Grand Concert... carbon fiber that looked kinda traditional.

I had seen the guitars with the offset soundholes and my sense of symmetry didn't care for that. Until I bought that first Emerald... I was blown away by the sound and tone, and much of that is due to that offset soundhole. Play one for a short time and you will discover how comfortable the guitar is - no hard edges to cut into your ribs, forearm. Get that shape with the compound curves on an Emerald X20 that the ergonomic shape offers, and it may change your mind about "traditional" guitars... it certainly did for me. The offset, upturned soundhole on the X20 gives the same sound experience that those sitting in front of the guitar get. I am completely sold on that for an acoustic guitar.

You can get a new basic X20 (no veneer) around your budget. Used ones pop up occasionally, but they go fast.

Good luck with the search. Plenty of us here made the move to carbon fiber for the ease of care, but found out the tone and playing experience keeps us here.
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Old 01-10-2021, 06:06 AM
kramster kramster is offline
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Round hole in the middle would be a RainSong or a CA as that seems important to you. Where in NY are you? If you know.
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YUP....
Emerald: X-20, Center hole X-10 (Maple) and X-7 (redwood), Copper Flame Maple X-30, Paduak X7,X10, &, Spalted Chen Chen X 10,
CA: Early OX and Cargo
Blackbird: Savoy
RainSong: CH-OM, CH-WS
Journey: OF660
McPherson: Early Kevin Michael Proto
Some wood things by Epi, Harmony, Takamine, Good Time, PRS, Slick, Gypsy Music, keyboards, wind controllers.. etc

Last edited by kramster; 01-10-2021 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 01-10-2021, 06:24 AM
mountainmaster mountainmaster is offline
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Although several dark forces are trying to turn you over to the Emerald side I believe you'll find exactly what you want in the Rainsong range.

Personally (see the Rainsong Smokey in my signature) I prefer their WS models. They produce a little more bass which nicely balances the often bright sound of carbon fiber. And they are still smaller than a dreadnought.
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Emerald X30
Emerald X20 Nylon
Emerald X7 Nylon
Rainsong Smokey SMH
Taylor 522e 12-fret
Gitane DG-560 nylon
Alhambra 3C CW
Eastman AR910CE
Recording King RK-G25 6-string banjo
Yamaha Guitalele

Last edited by mountainmaster; 01-10-2021 at 06:54 AM.
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  #11  
Old 01-10-2021, 07:07 AM
mot mot is offline
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Rainsong lineup is what you should probably look at if you want a traditional sound hole and truss rod. Several of those should fit the bill. If you are more interested in an O-18 size axe and can forgo the truss rod, you might consider a blackbird Lucky 13 if you can find one used. They don't come up too often.

If you can allow for a less conventional sound hole, then the X20 or X30 is in your budget too. Here's a currently available X30. https://emeraldguitars.com/product/x30-black-6156/ It's bigger than what you might want, but it's a workhorse.

These and more will give you quality and sound beyond what you are expecting. Be warned... I got a carbon fiber for the durability about 7 years ago and have let go of my woods since then because of sound, consistent quality and playability.
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PS If you don't want to invest in yourself, why should anyone else even bother to try?
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  #12  
Old 01-10-2021, 10:58 AM
Recoil Rob Recoil Rob is offline
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I watched the excellent X-20 review referenced above and must say I'm impressed. As he stated in the review that it's foolish to base a decision made on the sound of a Youtube video but I thought it compared favorably to the two traditional guitars. Contrary to the comments posted to my ears the Taylor sounded best (don't sell that guitar!) followed by the X-20, the D-28 sounded tired.

And I think if I was to down the non-traditional soundhole path may as well go all the way. It's much more interesting than just an off center round hole in the upper bout. They also have a truss rod for adjustment.

Having said that, things to consider are leadtime, 4 month minimum, and is there a repair shop in the US? Could get expensive having to ship back to Ireland if the need arose. I know someone will chime in that there will be no need for repair, never heard of one going back, etc. but it's a possibility.

Things to think about, thanks all.
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if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."
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Old 01-10-2021, 11:20 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Most of what's said on this thread deals with steel string guitars. My focus has been nylon string instruments and I have two recommendations: the Rainsong, center hole Parlor and a 7, 10, 20, or 30 Emerald.

The Parlor has a narrow nut width which may meet your normal expectation. The Parlor also maintains the traditional sound hole placement and comes in either 12 or 24" scale (I recommend the 12).

The Emeralds give you a variety of nut widths, scales, and off-set sound holes.

Both guitars can have and sound good with electronics.

The nylon strings make for easy playing guitars.

Good luck.
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  #14  
Old 01-10-2021, 11:21 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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True, there is no repair station or dealer in the US. But carbon fiber guitars rarely need any repairs. When brand new, they might need an initial set up to your preferences, but then you are done. My Rainsong WS-1000 from 2001 will turn 20 this spring and has never seen a shop - or any setup work. I expect similar for my Emeralds, Blackbirds, etc.

A tiny percentage of new Emerald guitars get returned during the ten day (or is it seven day?) window, because a buyer may not bond with that guitar. You are on the hook for about $200 in round trip shipping charges. I returned a March 2017 Chimaera double-neck. That was a stellar instrument in every way, but the six string neck was at a slightly uncomfortable angle for my left arm and playing style. I ended up with both a six string and a twelve string X20 instead, and love them both.

A custom has a 4-5 month build time and is not returnable, but if you buy something from stock it is usually in your hand 7-10 days later. [Looking just now the only X20's in stock have woody veneers - no plain CF weave tops. I have no idea when a plain X20 will be back in stock].
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Old 01-10-2021, 11:37 AM
Recoil Rob Recoil Rob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanB View Post

The Parlor has a narrow nut width which may meet your normal expectation. The Parlor also maintains the traditional sound hole placement and comes in either 12 or 24" scale (I recommend the 12).
I assume you mean 12 or 14 fret neck?
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if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."
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