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Old 06-24-2020, 07:27 PM
6STRINGSTRUMMER 6STRINGSTRUMMER is offline
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Default Anyone compared a Rainsong Jumbo to an Emerald x30?

I am looking to possibly purchase either a Rainsong BI-JM1000N2, a CO-JM1000N2, or an Emerald x30. Has anyone been able to compare the Rainsong Jumbos to the x30? If so what was the consensus?

I have listened to many youtube demos of these guitars but it's hard to tell what they really sound like from the videos and there are no Rainsong dealers with a Jumbo available local to where I live and I know that Emerald sells direct so no option to try one of those either.

I'm really looking for a CF guitar (Jumbo or Dreadnought) that can produce plenty low end along with airy/sparkly mids and treble (think Taylor).
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Last edited by 6STRINGSTRUMMER; 06-24-2020 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:50 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I have played a JM-1000 on several occasions (but not recently). I own a Rainsong WS-1000 from 2001 and an Emerald X30 from 2019. Both the JM and X30 big, bold, powerful guitars. When I first got my X30, I thought it had almost too much low end. But it was set up very low and when I shimmed the saddle up to fix buzzing, that also took care of the bass issue. It has plenty of bass! I may also have modified my playing technique to back off a bit.

The Rainsong will have a familiar form factor and the Emerald will be much more comfortable to hold and play. Of course comfort all depends on your playing style (fingerpicking or flatpicking/strumming) and especially the position (standing with a strap, sitting with the guitar on the right leg, classical position, etc). The Rainsong JM will have the current chunky N2 neck profile, which some like and others loathe. Emerald necks are very much Taylor-like in feel, at least to me.

As for your specific model choices, the classic woven-top Rainsongs will have a clear tone often described as crystalline or piano-like, with lots of overtones. The CO series will be a bit warmer in tone given the unidirectional top. Some describe that tone as being more "woody". The X30 sounds very much like a Martin rosewood dreadnought. A friend of mine who built his own rosewood dread and is a confirmed Martin D-28 fan agrees with that assessment. Hopefully this helps.
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:02 PM
6STRINGSTRUMMER 6STRINGSTRUMMER is offline
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Earl thanks for your reply. I have heard the Rainsong Jumbo as being described as balanced between bass mids and highs. I do tend to lean more toward a Taylor sound than Martin without sacrificing the low end.

Comfort while playing is very important as well. I mainly play seated flat picking/strumming so I'm sure as you mentioned the contours of the Emeralds benefit in that aspect. I played a Rainsong CH WS1000 and a H DR1100 but they really didn't provide the sound that I was looking for. I guess the Unidirectional carbon top tones down the 'sparkly' upper mids and highs a bit.

Have you ever played an Emerald x20? If so how did it compare?
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:45 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I currently own the following CF instruments:
- Rainsong WS-1000
- Rainsong PMJ-1000 (on long term loan in Arizona)
- CA Cargo
- Blackbird Lucky 13
- Emerald X20 stock model
- Emerald X20 custom (currently being built)
- Emerald X20-12 custom
- Emerald X7 woody (one bubinga, one koa)
- Blackbird Farallon ukulele (in ekoa composite)

I find the X20 to be the perfect guitar for me and my style (75% bare nails fingerpicking, and 25% moderate rhythm strumming). X20 has good tone and volume, great overall balance and warmth, and the ergonomics cannot be matched much less beaten. There is a reason that X20 is Emerald's best selling model. As I have described here before, my stock X20 easily beat a $5K custom shop Martin OM-28 in every way last year - tone, overall volume, playability, cool factor. I now have a custom X20 with a short-scale (24.6") on order, because shorter scale lengths have become my preference over recent years. It will probably replace my current 25.5" scale X20, mostly because I like shorter scales these days. I can still play 25.5" just fine, but shorter is easier for the more intricate fingerstyle repertoire.

The X30 is a superb guitar, but is frankly just a little too big for me. It is 5" thick and I played seated using a strap due to a bad right shoulder. X30 is a true jumbo body but it feels more like a dreadnought to hold and play. The X30 for me is like having a size 12 foot and a size 14 shoe. That works, but is not ideal. A friend who comes over to jam makes a beeline for X30 every time (he has played it more than I have) and desperately wants to buy it. But he has yet to come up with the cash.

Given some obvious duplication in the list, there will be an eventual thinning of the CF herd in the future, and I expect to end up only with the X20 and X20-12, holding the Rainsong as backup for alternate tunings and the occasional plugged-in use that may come up. I might keep one Taylor all-koa GA, but all the other wood guitars are or have been sold off. The X7's (version 2) are my wife's and the bubinga model may eventually get sold too, as she really wanted the koa but did not act in time. It eventually came up used and we pounced (thanks Staci) hence the doubled models. I even dabbled briefly with an Emerald Chimaera 12/6. Although I returned it after a week, the positive experience really led me to Donegal.
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:48 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6STRINGSTRUMMER View Post
....I have heard the Rainsong Jumbo as being described as balanced between bass mids and highs. I do tend to lean more toward a Taylor sound than Martin without sacrificing the low end......
That is a good way to describe the DR and JM Rainsongs. The added bass from the large cubic volume helps to fill in the bass end and makes them sound more balanced overall. All of them -- WS, DR, JM -- are powerful and loud guitars with a slightly different balance of bass, mids, and trebles.
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Old 06-25-2020, 01:01 PM
6STRINGSTRUMMER 6STRINGSTRUMMER is offline
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Earl how would you describe the mids and highs on the x20 and x30?
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:32 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I don't really know how to respond. They both sound like..... very nice guitars. It's not like I can put in pink noise and get an EQ curve as an output. Everyone hears and plays a little differently with their own mental image of what an acoustic guitar should sound like. I sometimes get to hear mine played from out front. The angled Emerald sound hole provides a monitor function when I'm playing that a more conventional center sound hole does not provide. One of my favorite places to play is sitting in a chair that faces into our bay window. Then I am surrounded on three sides with glass in the dining room, so there are plenty of immediate reflections. I like what I hear with all of them.

For me, the X30 is a little too boomy in the bass (like a Martin dreadnought) and the X20 is just right (like a very rich-sounding Taylor GA). I like most Rainsong guitars too. While the parlor sounds pretty good, aesthetically and visually the body size & shape just don't work for me. I am tempted to put heavier strings on my X30 and tune it down to C-c like a pseudo baritone. The low end power would be asset there.

Emerald is good about accepting returns from stock with a one-week trial period. You will have to absorb some of the outbound shipping and all of the return shipping to Ireland, so figure about $200 invested in a test drive - if you return. Something similar could be arranged with Elderly Instruments or LA Guitar Sales if they happen to have a JM-1000. I know that both have a trial period too and are good to work with.

Last edited by Earl49; 06-27-2020 at 07:56 PM. Reason: readability
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
I don't really know how to respond. They both sound like..... very nice guitars. It's not like I can put in pink noise and get an EQ curve as an output. Everyone hears and plays a little differently with their own mental image of what an acoustic guitar should sound like.

Emerald is good about accepting returns from stock with a one-week trial period. You will have to absorb some of the outbound shipping and all of the return shipping to Ireland, so figure about $200 invested in a test drive - if you return. Something similar could be arranged with Elderly Instruments or LA Guitar Sales if they happen to have a JM-1000. I know that both have a trial period too and are good to work with.
Earl has provided some excellent information; but in the end, it's what he said above, "Everyone hears and plays a little differently with their own mental image of what an acoustic guitar should sound like." In fact, that sentence should probably preface every response to any questions asking for guitar recommendations. You, the OP, seems to have some pretty specific idea as to what tones he's looking for, and I'm not sure that any second or third party adjectives are going to be necessarily accurate for your ears. Although I've never done it, Earl's idea about actually ordering and auditioning the respective models (while being prepared to pay some shipping costs) may be the best bet.

My X30 is very boomy, and the difference between it and the X20 I previously owned is huge. I won't say it's too boomy, but I believe it begs the player to strum with a light touch. My ears found the X20 to be rather muted, and FWIW the X30 far outbooms the Martin HD28 I previously owned. I've never owned or played a jumbo Rainsong so I can't compare to that model...
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Last edited by RP; 06-27-2020 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 06-27-2020, 10:47 AM
6STRINGSTRUMMER 6STRINGSTRUMMER is offline
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Hey RP I appreciate your response. Yeah I understand what you are saying about having that specific tone/sound in my mind that I am seeking after. I did go to a local Sam Ash and was able to demo a Rainsong H-WS 100N2 as well as a H-DR1100.

I have to admit they were close to what I am looking for just not quite enough top end shimmer. I think based on what I have read the Black Ice and Concert Series versions they might fit the bill. It's a bit frustrating not having all the different models available to demo side by side.
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 6STRINGSTRUMMER View Post
Hey RP I appreciate your response. Yeah I understand what you are saying about having that specific tone/sound in my mind that I am seeking after. I did go to a local Sam Ash and was able to demo a Rainsong H-WS 100N2 as well as a H-DR1100.

I have to admit they were close to what I am looking for just not quite enough top end shimmer. I think based on what I have read the Black Ice and Concert Series versions they might fit the bill. It's a bit frustrating not having all the different models available to demo side by side.
You might want to call Ted at LA Guitar Sales https://www.laguitarsales.com I'm certain he's had more different carbon fiber guitars in his hands than anyone else. Prices and service are also very good....
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Rainsong CO-3100NT (On the way)
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Last edited by RP; 06-28-2020 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:55 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Ditto on calling Ted, as RP suggested. He probably has more sales experience in the CF world than anyone, and he is a great guy to talk with. But he does not handle Emerald because there are no dealers. (He owns an X20 at last report bought out of personal curiosity). Ted does not participate on this forum any longer.
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Old 06-28-2020, 06:37 AM
Frettingflyer Frettingflyer is offline
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+1 on calling Ted, a visit to his shop got me started well onto this CF road, and it has been a nice trip. He is very knowledgeable on CF and will give his honest opinion rather than try to up sell you.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:36 PM
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I owned an Emerald X30 which I just didn't bond with. It is a well built and well thought out guitar;I mean it is really comfortable! The Hiscox case was also fantastic! Tone wise though there was just something missing to my ears.

Years ago I owned a Rainsong JM1000... It sounded fantastic and I really liked the N1 neck etc. I sold it eventually because I found the overall size uncomfortable especially with the sharp edges. No edges to worry about on the Emerald though!

I currently own an older Rainsong DR1000 dreadnought and I am pretty happy with it. I do plan to get an X20 as well though at some point because although the tone is not quite as rich as the Rainsong dreadnought, it is so comfortable to hold! (And I love the Hiscox case. Yes I could buy the same case for my rainsong dreadnought but I don't want it enough to drop over $300 on one.)
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6STRINGSTRUMMER View Post
Hey RP I appreciate your response. Yeah I understand what you are saying about having that specific tone/sound in my mind that I am seeking after. I did go to a local Sam Ash and was able to demo a Rainsong H-WS 100N2 as well as a H-DR1100.

I have to admit they were close to what I am looking for just not quite enough top end shimmer. I think based on what I have read the Black Ice and Concert Series versions they might fit the bill. It's a bit frustrating not having all the different models available to demo side by side.
I've got an H-OM that I think hits your sweet spot. I lean toward Taylor sounds and that guitar sounds great to me. Plugged in, it's wonderful. I never fail to get at least one comment about how nice the tone is. One of the few guitars I don't ever expect to sell. I also have a BI-WS. To me, very similar, if even less in the bass. Because I find it pretty similar to the H-OM, it will be for sale whenever I get off my lazy backside to list it. I'm also exploring the X30, but am concerned, based on various sound clips, as to how bassy it is. Looking at a Sable, perhaps to spit the difference. None near me to try, unfortunately.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:45 PM
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...And I love the Hiscox case. Yes I could buy the same case for my rainsong dreadnought but I don't want it enough to drop over $300 on one...
I did just that - sold the Access case that accompanied my Rainsong Vintage Dread and purchased a Hiscox case. I too really like Hiscox cases...
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