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Old 12-11-2018, 08:58 AM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
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Default Anyone struggling to adjust to the short scale of the Cargo?

Among the many (too many...) cf guitars that I' d like to have, there is a Cargo. I am almost 6' tall and I am perfectly comfortable with both a 25.5 and 24.75 scale. I mostly play finger style. How is your experience with the Cargo's 22.75 inches scale? Difficult to adjust? Thanks.
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:10 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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It takes some adjustment period, and it is not my favorite. I would not say it is a struggle -- I just don't play Cargo that often given the other options. The Cargo is just a bit too tight for my big paws. I'm 6'-6" and wear size XXL gloves, BTW. Yet I also play tenor ukulele with a 17" scale. Go figure.

Our Cargo belongs to my petite wife, who is happy with the scale length and body size. I play fairly often on two guitars with 24" (Emerald X7) and 24.25" (Teton parlor) scale lengths with no issue. We used to own a GS Mini with 23.5" scale - also hers - but that went away promptly when the X7 came.

So 24" seems to be my lower limit for best comfort. Given the prices of each these days (Cargo went up a LOT about three years ago) I would spend just a little more and get an X7.
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:17 AM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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I'm 6' tall...if that matters, and I have no problem adjusting between the Cargo and any of my other guitars I play regularly. I guess if you weren't expecting it, it would be a surprise, but I find it not a big deal at all. Once I start playing it, I concentrate more on the great sound that little bugger puts out than the scale length. You gotta try it for yer self !
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:20 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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....Once I start playing it, I concentrate more on the great sound that little bugger puts out than the scale length. You gotta try it for yer self !
Concur. If Cargo were the only guitar available to me on a trip (and has been) I would not give the scale length a second thought. Once in a while I might run into a tight spot during a particular song. And it does have amazing sound for such a small guitar, more bass than the older X7.
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:41 AM
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Concur. If Cargo were the only guitar available to me on a trip (and has been) I would not give the scale length a second thought. Once in a while I might run into a tight spot during a particular song. And it does have amazing sound for such a small guitar, more bass than the older X7.
Good point...I don't play very far up the neck, a barre C#m, might be it on the Cargo for me. So that would make a big difference in how well the OP handles the scale length.
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdinco View Post
I'm 6' tall...if that matters, and I have no problem adjusting between the Cargo and any of my other guitars I play regularly. I guess if you weren't expecting it, it would be a surprise, but I find it not a big deal at all. Once I start playing it, I concentrate more on the great sound that little bugger puts out than the scale length. You gotta try it for yer self !
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Originally Posted by jdinco View Post
Good point...I don't play very far up the neck, a barre C#m, might be it on the Cargo for me. So that would make a big difference in how well the OP handles the scale length.
Pretty much agree. I’m 5’ 10-1/2”, average hands/fingers and have never had a problem adjusting to the Cargo sonce I bought it new almost 11 years ago. I love the little guy. I play all over the neck without problem. There’s a song or two I play that requires barring at the 9th fret and I can do it fine. Above that, I play leads no problem. The perfect couch and travel guitar (though the Journey OF660 might excel for travel, especially outdoor/backcountry outings).
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:19 PM
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If you capo a 25.5" scale guitar at the 2nd fret, the resulting scale length is pretty close to 22.75" - so you can get some flavour of what a Cargo might be like by simulating it in that way.

But, that doesn't factor in the other geometry factors - body size, and the relative positions of things. I've played a Cargo recently, and thought it was delightful - it reminded me of when I first played one at the Podium several years ago, and almost brought it home.

On the other hand, I have a 'little' Martin - an LX1 - 23" scale - which I simply can't get on with. It just doesn't fit me, in any comfortable way.

So, there's a lot more to it than just the scale length.
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Last edited by eatswodo; 12-11-2018 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:52 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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The way I treat the Cargo is as a 12 fret guitar that has some extra reach. for those of us who arrange and/or write the tunes rather than trying to play somebody else's arrangement, we control where on the guitar the tune will lie.

I now have a McPherson Touring honeycomb carbon fiber guitar in addition to my Cargos. It also has a 22.75" scale. For whatever reason, its higher frets seem easier to work with than the Cargo. It doesn't feel as cramped at all.

Tony
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:09 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Now that you've got a second RainSong on the way, maybe this is the wrong time to suggest a RainSong Parlor. It is only 2.5" longer in total length than a Cargo, full scale, and competitive with a full size guitar for tone and volume. I've owned a Cargo and it is a comfortable guitar with great tone, but the short scale and its low volume limits what you can do with it.

If you plan to fly, the new rules say they have to let you try to bring it on the plane:

https://cms.dot.gov/airconsumer/fina...al-instruments

If you buy early boarding, then your only problem is people stuffing wheelies on top of your guitar when you're not looking which is perfectly solved by a hard case. The Gator GWE-Acou-3/4 case is only an inch longer than a GS Mini hard bag and just fits a RainSong Parlor. It is definitely tough enough to handle a gate check.
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Last edited by jonfields45; 12-12-2018 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:50 AM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
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Helo Jon, thank you for your (as usual) detailed and informative reply.
I love Rainsong guitars, always had, but I am not a fan of the thin uni-directional body, for cosmetic reasons. I know it is not rational, because it sounds great, but the bump/ripples that my CH-OM gets on the sound hole while under strings tension bug me a bit. This is one of the reasons (although not the only one) why the Rainsong dread that is coming from Ted is a Hybrid Series, with the carbon/composite sound board (I also read reviews and I gather that this specific model, the H-DR1100, is a spectacular dreadnought). May be I should try a Composite Acoustic OX and see how much I like it (never played one) and if I like it better than the CH-OM, sell the Rainsong and keep the OX (do you have an opinion on the comparison between these two OM shaped guitars?)
Besides, to have a CH Parlor together with a CH OM does not make a great sense, the difference in dimensions is not so big.
There was a time when I was traveling for work almost every week, from US to Europe and vice versa, but today I am retired and my interest in a Cargo is due only to the idea of having a small instrument that I can always leave on the couch or on the bed, or play in front of the computer when I attempt to learn some songs. It would absolutely be "redundant", I know. Still, I played one at Elderly months ago (it was an acoustic electric) and liked the sound of the Cargo. But I didn't play it enough to understand if the short scale would bother me in the long run....
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:53 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerardo1000 View Post
.....But I didn't play it enough to understand if the short scale would bother me in the long run....
Easy enough to test. Put a capo on the second fret of any of your guitars, and play everything in your reprertoire. The scale length will at least be in the ball park, if not exactly 22.75".
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:14 AM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
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Thank you Earl ! I put a capo on the second fret of my CH-OM which has a scale length of 24.75. Thi shortened the fretboard by around two inches. I played the guitar. Didn't see a real problem with finger picking, also I do not go too often so far along the fretboard. I had a bit of a problem when fingering chords after the 4th/5th fret, because my hands are not small. It looks more a matter of adjusting to a scale that I have never used. May be I should find a friend in Michigan who owns a Cargo and steal it for a while...
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:35 PM
kensmith kensmith is offline
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Default not sure yet, but so far so good.

Others have offered great suggestions.

I just received my Cargo a few days ago so jury is still out. I do like short scale guitars (both on my electrics and acoustics) .....and I also have a GS-mini that was my previous RVcamping guitar. I think the adjustment for me will be easy....I love the 1.75 nut width vs the thinner nut on GSMini.

I can say I am LOVING the tone/volume and feel of the Cargo....very comfy and looks shiny and cool
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Old 12-12-2018, 01:55 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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If CA is reading this, why not a 12 fret to the body Cargo? Almost all the same tooling, full scale length, higher string tension for volume, and the cut away maintains the 14 fret to the body like access. Seems like a total winner!

Not my first time beating this horse!
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:06 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerardo1000 View Post
Helo Jon, thank you for your (as usual) detailed and informative reply.
I love Rainsong guitars, always had, but I am not a fan of the thin uni-directional body, for cosmetic reasons. I know it is not rational, because it sounds great, but the bump/ripples that my CH-OM gets on the sound hole while under strings tension bug me a bit. This is one of the reasons (although not the only one) why the Rainsong dread that is coming from Ted is a Hybrid Series, with the carbon/composite sound board (I also read reviews and I gather that this specific model, the H-DR1100, is a spectacular dreadnought). May be I should try a Composite Acoustic OX and see how much I like it (never played one) and if I like it better than the CH-OM, sell the Rainsong and keep the OX (do you have an opinion on the comparison between these two OM shaped guitars?)
Besides, to have a CH Parlor together with a CH OM does not make a great sense, the difference in dimensions is not so big.
There was a time when I was traveling for work almost every week, from US to Europe and vice versa, but today I am retired and my interest in a Cargo is due only to the idea of having a small instrument that I can always leave on the couch or on the bed, or play in front of the computer when I attempt to learn some songs. It would absolutely be "redundant", I know. Still, I played one at Elderly months ago (it was an acoustic electric) and liked the sound of the Cargo. But I didn't play it enough to understand if the short scale would bother me in the long run....
I've owned an OX and an S-OM at different times. Hard to say anything relative about them. My OX had action problems with the saddle all the way down which was an occasional issue with some pre-Peavey CAs (though never Cargos to my knowledge). For tone and volume I remember liking the OX very much. I have heard from others that the CH-PA and CH-OM are fairly close in tone and volume, which is one of the reasons I bought the PA in the first place. I don't travel nearly as much that I'm retired, but I've still found many ways to appreciate a smaller guitar in a compact case. Ted might be able to order you a RainSong Parlor with a hybrid or original twill top as that selection is not an issue of tooling. However, I'm not sure the sound hole ripple is a function of the visible top layer of CF, or the 12 fret neck bridge placement combined with the cut-away and no Ablam decoration. I owned a CO-DR and did not notice it looking any different than its H-DR predecessor for top contour.

Regardless a Cargo is a really nice sounding instrument and there are enough of them out there that you could fine one reasonably priced used on Reverb or eBay given a little time.
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RainSong CH-PA1100NS, Schatten Passive HFN, Elixir PB11, TKL 8975, Access 3/4 Upstart Gig Bag
RainSong CO-PA1100NS, Schatten Passive HFN, Elixir PB11, TKL 8975, Access 3/4 Stage 1 Gig Bag
RainSong H-DR1100N2, Elixir Poly12, Gator Transit Gig Bag

Notepad-12FX, QSC CP8 (21 lbs) high/behind
Lately gigging two SM58>Y>CP8, HFN>CS-3>GE-7>TRS>CP8 3.5mm

www.justsoduo.com
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