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  #1  
Old 05-06-2019, 08:47 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Default Has Peavey Stopped Making New Composite Acoustics?

I've been called by Musician's Friend and Sweetwater in the last week. Business must be slow! I got to chatting with the guy from Sweetwater and I mentioned they stopped carrying CAs. He replied that Peavey is selling off inventory and no longer producing them. Of course he might be mistaken.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:07 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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That is interesting - the Cargo MAY be no more. I have no way to know how accurate that information is. When I first heard that CA Guitars was going out of business, I couldn't believe it, but that certainly turned out to be true.

Recently, I purchased a second McPherson Touring (honeycomb, gold Schaller tuners, and gold EVO frets) just like my first one. I was considering selling off my Cargos, but I just can't. They are unique and very comfortable instruments to play. To me, the Touring is what the Cargo could have become if CA Guitars had continued and poured R & D into improving their products. But even as it is, the Cargo is a keeper in its own right.

I do remember the larger CA Guitars products, and assume that Peavey continued making some of those, but they did not appeal to me nearly as much as the Cargo because I just prefer small instruments. As I recall, at The Podium back then, the Cargo was the preferred instrument for many customers over the larger instruments. I do remember one guy coming into The Podium with one of the larger models, covered with ice. He proceeded to play it while the ice melted and dripped off the instrument - a real testimony to ruggedness of these instruments.

Oh well, change is the norm, and maybe it is time for this to happen.

Tony
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:12 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Hmm... I haven't heard that. I enjoyed my Cargo... I kinda hope that's not true.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:47 AM
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kramster kramster is offline
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I will always keep my original pre PV Cargo, bringing it to heaven with me... and still play my old Pre PV OX a lot.
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:28 AM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Yup Kramster, Iím with you.

It wasnít anywhere near the chopping block, but now definitely keeping my pre Peavey Cargo. Lots of positives in that little guitar, including the very short scale. I find that feature creatively encouraging.

The CA brand had some nice guitars, sorry to hear of the possible demise.
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:37 AM
tommyld tommyld is offline
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I wouldn't be surprised.

Other than fixing the neck angles and neck strength issues they inherited (admittedly, a big improvement), Peavey hasn't been active with the brand. No new innovations, models, shapes, and mostly doing the same finishes they inhereted on day 1.

Their last NAMM appearance (2018) showed a GX with a spruce veneer top, which looked great IMO and would've been the biggest development since Peavey took over...it doesn't seem like that went anywhere other than their Facebook post about it (which got 3 likes, indicative of a pretty poor social media presence).

Then there's the brand name. I've always thought it was weak and awkward. "This is my CA Guitars guitar...my Composite Acoustics acoustic." Also not as memorable or evocative as Rainsong, Blackbird, Emerald...by the way, look at how each of those builders have evolved in the past 8 years that Peavey has owned CA.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:14 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I would never want to see a CF manufacturer drop out of the game -- if this is true. Each one brings something to the table. Even though the larger models (Gx, Ox, Dread) are quite nice, they have not spoken to me strongly enough to justify a purchase. My LGS has a good stock of CA's and each of their two stores has three or four on the shelves every time I have visited. I always test drive them briefly and have touted the benefits of CF to many other customers.

Sales of the Cargo were hurt by the sudden price increase about three years ago. I get that the product has to be profitable to survive. Our Cargo was $1299 then the very next month the same thing was marked $1799. I have no idea if the store has any wiggle room in those prices, not having tried to make a deal. At the higher price point, the same guitars have been sitting in this store ever since.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:56 AM
bsman bsman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
Sales of the Cargo were hurt by the sudden price increase about three years ago. I get that the product has to be profitable to survive. Our Cargo was $1299 then the very next month the same thing was marked $1799. I have no idea if the store has any wiggle room in those prices, not having tried to make a deal. At the higher price point, the same guitars have been sitting in this store ever since.
Valid point. I've noticed that Emerald prices have increased rather drastically over the past couple of years, and I wonder if that will end up affecting their sales. Interestingly, it seems to me that every maker of CF guitars has upped prices over the past year or so save two: Rainsong introduced their CH series, which provide CF functionality with subdued aesthetics for a very reasonable price, and Journey, which has not increased the price on their RT and OF 660 CF guitars. It will be instructive to see how these do compared to the now comparatively unaffordable guitars from Emerald, CA, McPherson, Blackbird, etc.
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:32 AM
Chriscom Chriscom is offline
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FWIW still lots of CA guitars listed at Guitar Center. And the CA site is still up. I did notice no more listings at Sweetwater last week.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:10 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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I currently have 5 carbon fiber guitars: 3 Cargos and 2 McPherson Touring (both identical with honeycomb top design, with the gold Schaller tuners and gold EVO frets). Some might think that is weird to have so many of the same thing. Suffice it to say that 3 Cargos was not my plan. I wanted 2, just as with the McPhersons, but my wife insisted that I get a third Cargo when we knew for sure that CA Guitars was going out of business. At that time, we did not know that it would be resurrected, though with the price increases I am glad to have gotten mine when I did. I got the third Cargo at the same price as my earlier Cargos (somewhere between $700 and $800), but that was when stores were unloading their CA Guitars products immediately following the demise of the company. All 3 of mine are the "Road Tuff" finish, wine color.

There is just something about the Cargo that makes it a very comfortable, playable instrument. It is interesting that we here all know it simply as "Cargo", no need for adding the "CA Guitars", except to note them as pre or post Peavey.

Mine are all from CA Guitars. Whatever neck angle issues there may have been, I have 3 Cargos and all seem to be just fine, and have been since I got each brand spankin' new. I know there are others here with that same experience. So I have to assume there was some manner of variability from one to another, and some folks must have gotten stuck with the "bad" ones since this issue comes up every time pre Peavey Cargos are mentioned here. I do recall that The Podium examined each one that came in, and sent a number of them back for various problems, so the Cargos that any of us bought from them would have been examined for problems before purchase.

As I have mentioned with the McPherson Touring, it seems to me to be what the Cargo might have eventually evolved into, had it been allowed to continue to improve as other makers seem to be doing with their carbon fiber offerings. But, then, there is a kind of charmed personality that the Cargo has in its own right.

To me, having several guitars, all with that 22 3/4" short scale, wider fretboard for fingerstyle, and small body is a good thing. Folks have commented at how cramped that short scale is for them. For whatever reason, it suits me fine, and I prefer it to a normal sized guitar. We are all different and can only hope to find those instruments that really do work for us without compromise.

These instruments work particularly well for me because years ago, I broke my right wrist such that ever since, I only have 90 degrees of wrist rotation instead of the normal 180 degrees that those who have that, take for granted. Using my Cargos and Tourings with a strap, I can position the guitar so that my wrist is not a hinderance to my ability to play. Since I really do enjoy playing guitar, that is a huge deal to me and I saw that the first time I tried a Cargo. Also, the short scale is easier on my aging fingers.

My Cargos are not going anywhere, but it is likely that my larger wood guitars will eventually be sold. I would be perfectly happy with my 5 carbon fiber guitars. After spending most of my playing time with the short scale, I really don't care for playing the larger instruments anymore.

I did consider selling off some or all of my Cargos to fund my new Touring, since it cost as much as all 3 of my Cargos, even with a decent discount. The Cargos would likely sell much faster than my wood guitars, according to the person I typically consign through. To me, the McPherson Touring is so good that I was willing to sell the Cargos, if necessary. But then I got a short term engineering contract that starts next week and will pay for several Touring guitars if I wanted them, though two is enough. So, no need to sell anything.

Being retired, I have to be a bit more careful about spending money, but am very fortunate that my engineering skills are still in high demand in an active contract market, so going back to work for a few weeks when I want something, is not a big deal to me. I have never been willing to take out a loan except when it came time for a mortgage, which we paid off quite early. Some people are comfortable with debt, but to me it is a form of slavery, so I sometimes have to make decisions about what to keep and what to sell if there is something I want. I wouldn't be surprised if that sounds strange to some here, but then we each decide our own priorities. I cringe when I read posts that say the person has to pay off his or her guitars.

It is interesting that, even with the very short scale, I can put any of these carbon fiber guitars into CGDGAD tuning and they play just fine. By having all these instruments with identical characteristics, I can have them all in different tunings and have no adjustment, going from one to the other. To me, that is an advantage over having to retune all the time.

One thing about these small carbon fiber guitars is that, with many similar sized wood guitars, the sound is compromised in such a small body, while with both the Cargo and the Touring, it is not. I don't know about equivalent sized Emeralds, since I have not encountered one in many years, but considering their popularity, I expect similar in those too.

Tony
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Old 05-07-2019, 04:43 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Quote:
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....I've noticed that Emerald prices have increased rather drastically over the past couple of years, and I wonder if that will end up affecting their sales......
It always comes down to what the market will bear. Emerald has one huge advantage - their ability / willingness to customize. Other builders do not have that freedom. The Opus series went away in favor of the Artisan series because the majority of Emerald orders were for Artisans. Why put your limited resources into the budget line?

There have been times when I was overbooked in my business, and so I raised my hourly rates by 20%. Both times I got even busier, so I'm now afraid to raise them any further. Perceived value sometimes trumps actual dollars. Certainly the less expensive Rainsong C-H series really undercut the value of older used classic and hybrid series models. Why buy used when new is comparable?

I was thinking that we might sell her Cargo (she greatly prefers the X7) but now maybe not.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:26 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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The CA/Peavey merger has been interesting. At first, Peavey spent a great deal of energy and time improving the fit and finish of some very fine CA instruments. But then, Peavey seemed to just fade in its support of the CF line. I think what most amazed me most was that Peavey did not advance beyond the CA models. For example, I was sure that somewhere along the line Peavey would put out an electric CF guitar--maybe an advancement of the Blade or a new all-peavey design. Interesting stuff.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:00 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Composite Acoustics always sold the Cargo at what seemed like loss-leader prices, and that apparently caught up with them in 2010. We were at the Winter NAMM show in 2010 and spent a fair amount of time at their booth. Then three months later CA shut down without any warning. I kinda regret not buying a Cargo in Hawaii when I first encountered it in early 2009, since they were ~$800 (Road Tuff finish with a pickup). I already had a guitar and luggage on that trip, and never got around to calling the dealer in Hilo to box one up and ship it.

Peavey resurrected the brand a couple of years later, but seemingly without much enthusiasm. Our local guitar store (LGS) stocks them and the owner tells me he has 20 of the various models in the warehouse. But I rarely see them change over stock on the floor - the same red wine Gx has been on display for three years? There is much more turnover in his extensive Taylor stock, except at the highest price points.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:53 PM
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kramster kramster is offline
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I had 5 Cargos ..all at once as trying to out do Tony... any way ...when CA went under I went right to local Sam Ash and told them that CA was gone and got a deal on 3 Cargos... Still have my first earliest Cargo, only one I still have... Won the blue one I had from MacNichol back in the day...
CA asked if they could use my "Cargonian" cartoon thingys and gave me a really nice CA GX (I think it was) and said only guitar they ever gave to someone ... a little hard to believe ... told not to say anything so this post will self-destruct after my Cargo has gone blazooie...
So right after I got the "freebie", CA was gone.. so might be my fault...sorry


Sold the blue and one of the Sam ash ones... gave one to my buddy who has a few CAs including the first 12 stringer, and had the last one at a music shop on consignment and he went belly up (bankrupt LLC) and took me for about 30,000 in music stuff...guitars, amps, keyboards , preamps (yes a pendulum) and effects and hand painted X7 center hole......he did really like the Cargo-Unico combo...sigh...Always something I tell ya!


......
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Emerald: X-20, Center hole X-10 (Maple) and X-7 (redwood), Amicus, Paduak X7,X10, & X30, Spalted Chen Chen X 10,
CA: Early OX and Cargo
Blackbird: Savoy
RainSong: CH-OM, CH-WS
Journey: OF660
McPherson: Touring(Honeycomb and gold), Sable
Some wood things by Epi, Harmony, Takamine, Good Time, PRS, Gypsy Music, keyboards, wind controllers.. etc

Last edited by kramster; 05-09-2019 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:36 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Actual data produced by primary research???
Bah, I say, and Humbug!
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