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Old 05-10-2020, 05:10 AM
Strumalot Strumalot is offline
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Default The Mysterious Disappearance of Composite Acoustics

I wanted to look up some specs on a CA guitar and went to...

http://www.compositeacoustics.com/

That page loads fine, but if you try to click through to any of the guitars, or even the contact page, you get Peavey's "abducted by aliens" 404 page.

It also looks like new CA GX models are not available and used ones are few... one is listed on eBay for $6,721.13.

Anyone have some insights on this?

The ultimate demise of CA would be a loss to the carbon community. I have a thin neck GX and nothing I have tested against it ~ including Emeralds and Rainsongs ~ have come close for my purposes.

Might go back to wood if I had to replace the GX.

Yuck.
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Old 05-10-2020, 06:06 AM
Dbone Dbone is offline
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Wood. Blasphemy.
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Old 05-10-2020, 06:16 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Originally Posted by Strumalot View Post
I wanted to look up some specs on a CA guitar and went to...

http://www.compositeacoustics.com/

That page loads fine, but if you try to click through to any of the guitars, or even the contact page, you get Peavey's "abducted by aliens" 404 page.

It also looks like new CA GX models are not available and used ones are few... one is listed on eBay for $6,721.13.

Anyone have some insights on this?

The ultimate demise of CA would be a loss to the carbon community. I have a thin neck GX and nothing I have tested against it ~ including Emeralds and Rainsongs ~ have come close for my purposes.

Might go back to wood if I had to replace the GX.

Yuck.
Given that your GX is made from carbon fiber, there should never be a reason to replace it, since that is the whole idea of using carbon fiber.

As for Peavey, I never felt that CA Guitars reclaimed their place in the carbon fiber world after the demise of the original company. When the original company was making guitars, there were few others in the carbon fiber market. In their product line, the Cargo seemed to be the most popular, followed by the Ox, which was about midway between the Cargo and their full size guitars. I don't recall their full size guitars as being nearly as popular. There wasn't anything particularly wrong with their full size guitars, but the Cargo filled a niche that nobody else did nearly as well at the time.

Now, there are several impressive players in the carbon fiber market space, and that divides the market. In a way, it is a bit like the Beatles. When they came along, they were a HUGE hit. If they came along now, with all the access to any kind of music and tons of musicians making it, they would probably not have had nearly the impact. Back then, the record companies had near complete control over what music the public had access to, and whoever got the airplay and associated exposure, was what we knew and listened to.

All of this is not a reflection on the quality of CA Guitars, but instead, market forces. When CA Guitars ceased operation, they lost a lot of momentum in the marketplace. It seemed as if, initially, Peavey would put their marketing behind the newly acquired company, but this seemed to fizzle, while Emerald, Rainsong, and Blackbird stepped up their respective games and took the carbon fiber market, which is really not that large to begin with.

Tony
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Old 05-10-2020, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by tbeltrans View Post
...As for Peavey, I never felt that CA Guitars reclaimed their place in the carbon fiber world after the demise of the original company. When the original company was making guitars, there were few others in the carbon fiber market. In their product line, the Cargo seemed to be the most popular, followed by the Ox, which was about midway between the Cargo and their full size guitars. I don't recall their full size guitars as being nearly as popular. There wasn't anything particularly wrong with their full size guitars, but the Cargo filled a niche that nobody else did nearly as well at the time.

Now, there are several impressive players in the carbon fiber market space, and that divides the market. In a way, it is a bit like the Beatles. When they came along, they were a HUGE hit. If they came along now, with all the access to any kind of music and tons of musicians making it, they would probably not have had nearly the impact. Back then, the record companies had near complete control over what music the public had access to, and whoever got the airplay and associated exposure, was what we knew and listened to.

All of this is not a reflection on the quality of CA Guitars, but instead, market forces. When CA Guitars ceased operation, they lost a lot of momentum in the marketplace. It seemed as if, initially, Peavey would put their marketing behind the newly acquired company, but this seemed to fizzle, while Emerald, Rainsong, and Blackbird stepped up their respective games and took the carbon fiber market, which is really not that large to begin with.

Tony
That analysis and analogy makes a lot of sense to me. One can never under or overestimate the importance of timing in the success of a product...
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:22 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Originally Posted by Strumalot View Post
That page loads fine, but if you try to click through to any of the guitars, or even the contact page, you get Peavey's "abducted by aliens" 404 page.
I found the same issues. Before assuming that CA Guitars is just gone, I always go first to some glitch in the web site. If they were truly out of business, all mention of CA would likely be purged from the Peavey pages.

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Originally Posted by tbeltrans View Post
Given that your GX is made from carbon fiber, there should never be a reason to replace it, since that is the whole idea of using carbon fiber.
Agreed. It's not like it will wear out in the next few millennia. Before you panic, if you really want one there is a dealer in Boise (Dorsey Music) that has them on the wall, and some extras in the warehouse. They have Cargo, Ox, Gx and even a Legacy dread or two -- or at least they did the last time that I was in the store about four months ago. No affiliation, just putting the info out there.
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:50 AM
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I was really into CA going back to the McNichol forum days and have owned a GXi and still own a Cargo. I actually felt sad at the demise of CA and have to admit that although I was happy that someone stepped in to save the company, I wasn’t particularly enamoured that it was Peavey. No justifiable reason why, more of an emotional one, but it’s how I did and continue to feel. After all this time, I don’t think that Peavey properly got behind the product or brand. Zero innovation since is a sign of that. Still nice guitars, but others are leaving them behind in their dust. Jmo.
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:58 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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I played a 2018 Composite Acoustics GX last year in my local music store and I couldn't put it down I loved it so much. It also had the slim neck. The neck was nice but the nut width and string spacing was a little too slim for me. If it was 1 3/4 nut width I probably would've taken it home.

If you like the sound of CA acoustics I suggest you give a McPherson Sable a test drive if you ever get the opportunity. I can only go by my memory, but my memory says that they had similar tonal characteristics.
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Old 05-10-2020, 10:09 AM
tommyld tommyld is offline
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Last I read, an AGF user asked a Peavey rep about CA, and they claimed they were looking/hoping for someone to run CA and get things restarted, as they're not in production. I don't know if that's fact, or wishful thinking, or what their plan really is.

I bought a bunch of pre-Peavey CAs...
I think Peavey did some good work fixing issues they inherited. (Personally, I had enough problems with bad neck angles and flexing necks that I'd only consider a Peavey one.) That's a big risk right there--and one I don't think Peavey fully anticipated--buying a bankrupt company, with very little brand recognition, with a lineup that needed a structural redesign on day one.

Besides going against established CF brands, with, frankly, much better branding.

- "What guitar is that?"
- "Composite Acoustics."
- "Oh, it's a composite? Who makes it?"
- "That's the brand. It's a Composite Acoustics...acoustic. Or, a CA Guitars...guitar."
*Blank stare*

Sorry, but the name is at once too specific and not specific enough.
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Old 05-10-2020, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
I played a 2018 Composite Acoustics GX last year in my local music store and I couldn't put it down I loved it so much. It also had the slim neck. The neck was nice but the nut width and string spacing was a little too slim for me. If it was 1 3/4 nut width I probably would've taken it home.

If you like the sound of CA acoustics I suggest you give a McPherson Sable a test drive if you ever get the opportunity. I can only go by my memory, but my memory says that they had similar tonal characteristics.
Your assessment is quite likely since the same man, Ellis Seal who was the guy behind CA until closure, also designed the Sable and Touring when he resurfaced with McP during the time he was there.
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Old 05-10-2020, 04:46 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Your assessment is quite likely since the same man, Ellis Seal who was the guy behind CA until closure, also designed the Sable and Touring when he resurfaced with McP during the time he was there.
Yes it certainly makes sense. I wish I could get my hands on a CA Gx to A/B against the Sable. That is the true tonal test for comparing guitars.
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Old 05-11-2020, 11:49 AM
BillCoplin BillCoplin is offline
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Where are you located? I have a Mint Composite Acoustics GX and a Cargo to compare and would love to try a Sable and an X30! I’m in St. Louis. If the world ever gets back closer to “normal” maybe we should meet and compare.
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:39 PM
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Yes it certainly makes sense. I wish I could get my hands on a CA Gx to A/B against the Sable. That is the true tonal test for comparing guitars.
I've owned both at the same time and preferred the CA Gx to the Sable. Both have a warmer and more wood-like tone than any of the many Rainsongs I've owned and the one Emerald X20 I had for a while (The X20 is the least like my fine wooden guitars in tonality, not to say it's bad, just not at all what I'm looking for). Neither the Sable or the Gx had quite the volume or sustain of the Rainsongs or the Emerald, but the warmth and woodiness was more important to me. I preferred the Gx to the Sable because the Sable (I've owned 2 Sables to make sure it wasn't just a poor example) sounded lifeless, not jangly like some CF guitars which was good, but rather dull - the worst of all the CF guitars in terms of sustain with a real lack of overtones, at least to my ear and my wife's (who is a classical pianist). The Gx is louder, more comfortable to play, retains all of the warmth of the Sable and is a more lively and responsive instrument, imho.
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Old 05-11-2020, 01:56 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Originally Posted by BillCoplin View Post
Where are you located? I have a Mint Composite Acoustics GX and a Cargo to compare and would love to try a Sable and an X30! I’m in St. Louis. If the world ever gets back closer to “normal” maybe we should meet and compare.
I live in Alberta, Canada. The chances of me being able to go to St. Louis anytime soon, or anywhere else for that matter, don't even exist lol. I have 3 young children who take up all my time and prevent me from travelling . Maybe 20 years from now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogdog49 View Post
I've owned both at the same time and preferred the CA Gx to the Sable. Both have a warmer and more wood-like tone than any of the many Rainsongs I've owned and the one Emerald X20 I had for a while (The X20 is the least like my fine wooden guitars in tonality, not to say it's bad, just not at all what I'm looking for). Neither the Sable or the Gx had quite the volume or sustain of the Rainsongs or the Emerald, but the warmth and woodiness was more important to me. I preferred the Gx to the Sable because the Sable (I've owned 2 Sables to make sure it wasn't just a poor example) sounded lifeless, not jangly like some CF guitars which was good, but rather dull - the worst of all the CF guitars in terms of sustain with a real lack of overtones, at least to my ear and my wife's (who is a classical pianist). The Gx is louder, more comfortable to play, retains all of the warmth of the Sable and is a more lively and responsive instrument, imho.
Thanks for sharing your experience, much appreciated. Mine is a little different so I'll share those differences. It seems both the Sable and X20 have been through some changes over the years. My Sable (Gold Honeycomb) is certainly warm and lush sounding, but it has crazy sustain. It also has plenty of overtones with phosphor bronze strings though I think I preferred the snap from the stock 80/20's so I have some on order. My X20, which also has crazy sustain, is roughly the same volume as the Sable. To the player it's hard to tell due to Emerald's style of soundhole. My wife thinks the Sable is a little louder but her ear for music is questionable for sure. Both have plenty of volume for a 000 body size. The CA Gx I can just vaguely remember. I know it had plenty of volume and it is a little bigger than both the X20 and the Sable. It left a lasting impression on me. I literally have been looking for one every day for about a year. Trying to find a CA Gx with 1 3/4" nut width without barn door electronics has proved quite the challenge. I'm hoping one day they might make a return. I'm very happy having a Sable and an X30. The X20 won't be seeing much action.
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Old 05-11-2020, 02:15 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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....Trying to find a CA Gx with 1 3/4" nut width without barn door electronics has proved quite the challenge. I'm hoping one day they might make a return. I'm very happy having a Sable and an X30. The X20 won't be seeing much action.
The 1-11/16" nut width that seemed typical for CA is one reason that they have not really been on my radar. For a brief play narrower is OK. I would often pick up a Gx or Ox for a brief play in my LGS, and always found the playability and tone to be fine. But except for the Cargo I never was wowed enough to actually put down the money. Still I am sorry to seem Composite Acoustics go, if that is the case.
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:28 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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The 1-11/16" nut width that seemed typical for CA is one reason that they have not really been on my radar. For a brief play narrower is OK. I would often pick up a Gx or Ox for a brief play in my LGS, and always found the playability and tone to be fine. But except for the Cargo I never was wowed enough to actually put down the money. Still I am sorry to seem Composite Acoustics go, if that is the case.
Absolutely, 1 11/16" is fine for strumming or flat picking but too slim for me for fingerpicking. I too will be sad to see them disappear.
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