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  #16  
Old 01-09-2019, 07:54 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
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I actually rather like the sound of Martin's HPL guitars with solid tops. I suspect the dense surface of the HPL reflects sound much in the way that the old pressed arch back Guild design did.

The HPL topped guitars... These do not sound good to me.
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  #17  
Old 01-10-2019, 03:17 PM
chistrummer chistrummer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
When I first considered a carbon fiber guitar, we were on an island in the Pacific Northwest. I called the closest Guitar Center and asked about RainSongs... they had never heard of them. I explained the carbon fiber construction, the guy on the phone asked what that looked like. When I mentioned "it's black," he said, "We have an HPL Martin here that is all black..." He went on to tell me it is like "pressed wood with black vinyl on the outside."



Um, not even close! He then said, "Or if you want it to look like wood, these can be had with kind of a picture of wood on the outside."



I'll pass.

I got my first CF guitar (not from them) right after that. For full disclosure, I have nothing against Martin's HPL guitars, just not what I want. I still have a GSmini (laminate back and sides). I am not a CF snob.
This is puzzling because until a few years ago GC was a Rainsong dealer and you could find a couple in stock in the larger outlets I visited around the US. In fact Musicians Friend which is a Guitar Center company still sells them.
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  #18  
Old 01-10-2019, 06:57 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chistrummer View Post
This is puzzling because until a few years ago GC was a Rainsong dealer and you could find a couple in stock in the larger outlets I visited around the US. In fact Musicians Friend which is a Guitar Center company still sells them.
Well, I had seen 1 RainSong in the Brownsville, Texas, Guitar Center - hanging high enough you couldn't get at it. So, I was aware that Guitar Center could potentially get these. For that sales person I spoke with, I had to (and I am not kidding) tell him how to spell "RainSong" so he could look it up. He said, "No one in our region has one of these. I'm a 'guitar specialist' and I've never heard of carbon fiber before."

Since that time, I have come across an occasional GC that has one RainSong in stock - most that I have visited have had... none.

Puzzling? Not my experience. And, I am not a Guitar Center hater... just found that when I was first looking, only one store I was in had one; and they didn't know much about it. Now, years later... not much has changed.
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  #19  
Old 01-11-2019, 12:09 PM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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I'm pretty sure Guitar Center is still a Rainsong dealer, but not every store stocks everything the corporation deals. So it's not unusual to find a store with one, and it's not unusual to find a store without one. The GC website lists Rainsong guitars as inventory.
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  #20  
Old 01-11-2019, 12:56 PM
Res Ipsa Res Ipsa is offline
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Guitar Center sometimes has used RainSongs in their inventory. I picked up two of them that way.
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  #21  
Old 01-14-2019, 01:11 PM
Chriscom Chriscom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
Some plywoods are better than others and some pretty high-line guitars have plywood backs and sides. Some guitars are totally plywood and they manage to sound all right. Even Masonite and plastic guitars can be OK. But all those guitars fail to compete with the durability, shaping, and advancements of CF instruments.
Yeah it really comes down to cases, and I've played plywood guitars like that and been surprised at how good they sound.

In my own limited experience, when I was shopping for a gig guitar, I played several all-HPLs and strongly disliked the acoustic sound. It may have made little difference as far as amplified sound in bars and the like, but I'd still have to listen to that much of the time while practicing.

In my opinion HPLs are a decent value play, depending on how you plan to use them. Even a "merely good" composite sounds better IMO.
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  #22  
Old 01-15-2019, 06:28 AM
Kindness Kindness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tf View Post
I had a Martin 000 full HPL a few years ago. Nothing spectacular but not a bad guitar either.
Have you seen this video? Quite fun to check if our ears agree with our eyes https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UlZveUnb5hY
I LOVE this blind test! I got them all right, and I thought the Rainsong sounded fabuloso!
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  #23  
Old 01-15-2019, 07:52 AM
frances50 frances50 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
Well, I had seen 1 RainSong in the Brownsville, Texas, Guitar Center - hanging high enough you couldn't get at it. So, I was aware that Guitar Center could potentially get these. For that sales person I spoke with, I had to (and I am not kidding) tell him how to spell "RainSong" so he could look it up. He said, "No one in our region has one of these. I'm a 'guitar specialist' and I've never heard of carbon fiber before."

Since that time, I have come across an occasional GC that has one RainSong in stock - most that I have visited have had... none.

Puzzling? Not my experience. And, I am not a Guitar Center hater... just found that when I was first looking, only one store I was in had one; and they didn't know much about it. Now, years later... not much has changed.
I had to order my Rainsong from GC. The manager had only seen one other carbon fiber guitar at a larger GC up north that he had previously managed. I told him he ought to stock a few. He said corporate wouldn't let him.
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  #24  
Old 01-15-2019, 10:09 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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It's a self-fulfilling prophesy for many stores. They don't sell them often, so they don't stock them, so they don't sell them often.

I run into so many players that have never seen a CF guitar before one of mine, and they tend to be impressed when they get to try one. Just this weekend a guitar buddy came over. He has owned a nearly identical WS-1000 with the original neck for years, and left with a very favorable opinion of my X20 and X30. The last text from him was, "Had a great time, now working on the spousal unit for permission to get one".
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  #25  
Old 01-15-2019, 01:43 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Interesting to take the blind test linked by the OP.

I was annoyed that the recordings seemed to have a lot of reverb which seemed to mask the timbre differences. I preferred the wood guitar for the strum and finger-picking, but liked the CF best for the "riff" segment. I placed the all HPL bodied guitar a definitely last for finger-picking and also last for the riff, but especially in the strumming I thought it held up well (things that often are read as "great tone." like sustain and overtones often work against the needs of many strummed parts). I wish the Martin all HPL OOO and OO guitars were cheaper, as I'd really like one to keep out in my "Studio B" office for quick acoustic parts. In a mix, and particularly with strumming parts I'd think one of them would do well.
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  #26  
Old 01-15-2019, 08:10 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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My listening aligned with Frank's - I could tell which was which on each test, and preferred the Stonebridge on the first two, the RainSong on the 3rd. In reality, they all sounded like... guitars. All decent, none was a clunker.
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  #27  
Old 01-16-2019, 10:11 AM
Grizzly Adams Grizzly Adams is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tf View Post
I had a Martin 000 full HPL a few years ago. Nothing spectacular but not a bad guitar either.
Have you seen this video? Quite fun to check if our ears agree with our eyes https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UlZveUnb5hY
I picked the all wood guitar each time. Not that the others sounded bad, in fact they sounded good!
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