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  #1  
Old 03-10-2019, 06:56 AM
jljohn jljohn is offline
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Default Thinking about a CF Guitar - Need Help Identifying Model

I do a lot of camping and outdoor festival-going, and I've been thinking about a CF guitar specifically for this purpose. Here's what I would want, and I have no idea where to start on finding it:

Short Scale (24.9" ish - shorter than the usual 25.4" / 25.5", but not 24" or shorter.)

1 11/16" nut

Thick C or light-V shaped neck (definitely not a shallow modern D shape)

Big bold sound appropriate for Old Time, Folk accompaniment, or even Bluegrass rhythm.

Imagine you wanted a CF guitar as a substitute for a late 40's or early 50's J-45 and you're on the right track.

Does something in this ballpark exist? (I know CF guitars and wood guitars sound differently, but let's start with something that has a similar feel under the fingers.)

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:24 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Emerald could custom make an X-20 to your spec. Otherwise the nuts are all 1.75" these days except for some CA models which won't meet your bluegrass punch spec even with their dreadnought model (IMO).

The big guys in CF (the jumbo shrimp of guitar manufacturers :~) line up this way for a cheat sheet of their characteristics

Emerald - custom and can meet your exact spec
CA - softer wood like tone
RainSong - loud bright tone
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:09 AM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Emerald X10 is a stock 1 11/16 nut width. You could custom order and request a shorter scale and custom neck shape. Maybe go with a deep body to give you more volume.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:19 AM
tommyld tommyld is offline
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I'm not sure any standard production model nails your wish-list....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfields45 View Post
Otherwise the nuts are all 1.75" these days except for some CA models which won't meet your bluegrass punch spec even with their dreadnought model (IMO).
Not to open a can of worms, but...
Can we get some people to check their Rainsong nuts with a caliper?

The Rainsongs I've owned have always felt a bit more cramped to me than my other 1.75" nut guitars.
Last year, my suspicions arose again when trying to gel with a CH-WS, so I checked it with a caliper...I'm going by memory so I'm not gonna say the measurement, except that the neck was pretty far short of 1.75" at the nut, and the actual nut was slightly undersized from that!

Rainsong's neck is clubby, but more of a hard-edged D-shape.
Emerald's stock neck, in my experience, tends to be a full C with a slightly flatted back.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:46 AM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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Rainsong can nail a couple of those specs... The 12-fret NS neck clocks in at 24.9" scale, and the neck is a pretty beefy profile. The nut is listed at 1.75", though. But a good dreadnought with the NS neck would probably be very close to your needs.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:51 AM
tommyld tommyld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiG50 View Post
Rainsong can nail a couple of those specs... The 12-fret NS neck clocks in at 24.9" scale, and the neck is a pretty beefy profile. The nut is listed at 1.75", though. But a good dreadnought with the NS neck would probably be very close to your needs.
Can you get the 24.9" 12-fret neck on their dread? (Bet that'd be powerful sounding!)

But a 12-fret WS might still get close to this wish-list.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:51 AM
mountainmaster mountainmaster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyld View Post
Not to open a can of worms, but...
Can we get some people to check their Rainsong nuts with a caliper?

The Rainsongs I've owned have always felt a bit more cramped to me than my other 1.75" nut guitars.
Last year, my suspicions arose again when trying to gel with a CH-WS, so I checked it with a caliper...I'm going by memory so I'm not gonna say the measurement, except that the neck was pretty far short of 1.75" at the nut, and the actual nut was slightly undersized from that!
You are right, the nut width of my Rainsong Smokey Hybrid is 43.5mm which is about 1mm less than specified.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:55 AM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyld View Post
Can you get the 24.9" 12-fret neck on their dread? (Bet that'd be powerful sounding!)

But a 12-fret WS might still get close to this wish-list.
I've heard of several 12-fret dreads out there, although I suspect it would have to be ordered through a dealer, as I don't think it's a standard stock item.

The WS body is very similar to a dread in size/volume/comfort, same depth but narrower waist and a cutaway. But if the OP is looking for a J-45 substitute, I would steer him toward a H-DR1000NS (or -1100NS). Maybe with the tobacco burst...
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:57 AM
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I was in your position about two years ago. At that time only Rainsongs were available “locally” so I took a road trip to demo their guitars. I decided on a Rainsong H-OM and ordered it. When it arrived it required a full setup to make it playable. Following the setup it is incredibly playable and I am very happy with the guitar. About a year later I had the opportunity to play an Emerald X20. WOW!!! As much as I like my Rainsong IMHO the Emerald is a much better guitar. More comfortable, better neck, better tone and a truss rod that actually works. The pricing of both guitars are the same so that shouldn’t be a consideration.
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Old 03-10-2019, 02:12 PM
tommyld tommyld is offline
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There were two years in-between me trying a Rainsong dread and WS, but my memory is the dread had the more powerful tone (makes sense)...but there's a lot to like about a shorter-scale and cutaway...

Yeah, a new Rainsong can benefit from a set-up / saddle lowering...and I think their stock saddle is a bit mismatched to their 20" radius...but they can be made to play very nicely!
The fretboard edges (and body edges) are a bit sharper than other CF guitars, though the jumbo frets are nice. I'm not crazy about the bolt-on neck, when all other manufacturers go one-piece, and I'd prefer stainless frets that don't wear out.
IME, Rainsong's don't play quite as well way-up the neck, compared with Blackbird or Emerald...Rainsongs have more fretboard fall-away past the body joint.

Tone differences are too subjective, in my opinion, to definitively say which brand has better tone.
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Old 03-10-2019, 03:01 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyld View Post
I'm not sure any standard production model nails your wish-list....



Not to open a can of worms, but...
Can we get some people to check their Rainsong nuts with a caliper?
CH-PA = 1.722" (NS Neck)

AFG Shorty = 1.730" (NS Neck)

Clearly much narrower than the advertised 1.750 but also wider than 1.6875.

I don't have any standard scale Rainsongs (except my 12-string), but the OP was interested in a short scale anyway.


OP's best bet is probably to order a Rainsong Dread with the NS neck. Pretty sure the CA Dreads are all standard scale.
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Last edited by AZLiberty; 03-10-2019 at 03:09 PM.
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  #12  
Old 03-10-2019, 03:27 PM
tomcstokes59 tomcstokes59 is offline
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Default CF options

Give Ted a call at LA Guitar Sales. I believe he handles several CF lines and owns some himself. He is also a wealth of general guitar knowledge.
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Old 03-10-2019, 03:56 PM
tommyld tommyld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcstokes59 View Post
Give Ted a call at LA Guitar Sales. I believe he handles several CF lines and owns some himself. He is also a wealth of general guitar knowledge.
Unless you're interested in an Emerald.
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Old 03-10-2019, 05:38 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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And you might take a look at the Journey, it's made for the camper.
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:29 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyld View Post
....my memory is the dread had the more powerful tone (makes sense).... but there's a lot to like about a shorter-scale and cutaway...
I can shed some light on this. A good friend who I jam with regularly has an early 2002 DR-1000 and I have a 2001 WS-1000, so I get to play both with some frequency. The dread is a bit more powerful and thumpy in tone (as expected for dreadnought) whereas the WS is a bit cleaner or more articulate, yet still powerful and loud.

I would think that a short scale 12 fret DR would answer most every desire for the OP, and would certainly hold its own at bluegrass jams. (My WS-1000 does just fine there, but I don't play with the BG "purist" crowd). I have measured my WS-1000 and the nut width is 1.75". The string spacing is 1.5" total, just like my Taylor guitars. I don't have ready access to any newer examples, but maybe the N2 or NS necks are actually a bit narrower?

Adding a further comment, I always used to say that if the house caught fire it would be the WS-1000 that would get rescued as I escape. Now it would probably be the Emerald X20 over all others.
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