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  #1  
Old 06-24-2007, 08:01 PM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
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Default My new Composite Acoustic GX: first impression.

I received a new Composite Acoustic GX a few days ago, and I have played it a few hours every day, and compared it to my other guitars (a Emerald Opus X-10, a Seagull Folk) and to other guitars that I had in the past (a Martin OM-21, a Taylor 314, a Rainsong JM-1000, a couple of CA Legacy, a CA Bluegrass Performer,a Composite Acoustic X,a Rainsong WS-1000...yes, I am a fan of composite guitars, almost a collector).

First, the GX looks gorgeous. It has a very modern design,and the"sunburst" black finish is really a beauty. Its shape reminds me a bit of some Breedlove guitars, like the Focus. It is ,basically, a X with a deeper body.
More over, the back and the sides are shaped in a way to be very comfortabe when you play it. The guitar feels like a thin body while instead it is almost a grand auditorium.
The neck is 1,75 inches wide at the nut, and the string spacing at the bridge is quite wide. Perfect for fingerpicking, and I play mostly fingerstyle.
Another plus of th advanced design of the GX (as well as the X) is the possibility to play up to the highest frets with no effort, like if you are playing an electric guitar. This is very remarkable for an acoustic guitar.

The neck of the guitar that I received, in my opinion, has too much relief, and it also has a bit of a hump where the neck meets the heel. I am very picky with the neck of my guitars, and I had in the past several CA guitars and none of them had a neck that was less than perfect, therefore I am entitled to say that CA spoiled me with the quality of its craftmanship.
But the issue is already solved thanks to the oustanding CA customer service.
They are sending me a new GX next week, and I will return to them the one that I have now. All this, with no expenses on my side.
Their customer service is proving once again to be unbeatable.

Now let's talk about the sound. You know, I really loved the sound of the X (the thin body version) and I found it very balanced, natural and mellow. But because I play mostly unplugged, with my bare fingers (no thumb pick, no nails) I decided that a deeper body could better fit my needs.
So I ordered the GX, but I was intimately a bit concerned that, with a deeper body, I could gain more volume but lose some balance, i.e.: to have the basses overwhelming the trebles.
To my suprise, the sound of the GX is instead incredibly balanced: all the strings ring distinctively, and basses, mids and trebles work together in a very harmonic way, which should make the happiness of every fingerstyle player.

The tone is clear,no muddiness at all, and at the same time warm, natural. The "natural" tone is a signature feature of CA guitars, in my experience. (As the "ringing trebles" are a signature of Rainsong guitars)
The guitar responds very well to the touch: it could sound delicate and sweet, or punchy and aggressive.
I am not a flatpicker, but to my ears the GX sound very well also when strummed, very musical with chords that jump out of the soundhole with impeccable balance.

Yesterday my son's guitar teacher, who is a great and renowned player, was at our house and I asked him to try the GX. He put down his marvellous Martin OM-28 V and started playing the GX.
My son and I were amazed: the guitar, in his hands, sounded like a multithousand dollars Martin !

Now, the plugged in sound. Here, I believe, all the new CA guitars are almost unbeatable. The Baggs i-mix, which mixes an Element undersaddle pick-up and an i-beam soundboard transducer, is probably one of the best electronic package in the market. Played through my (modest, but I love it) Acoustasonic 30, the GX sounds so natural. It is like the pure acoustic sound, just with more volume.

The GX is not as loud as my former Rainsong Jumbo (the loudest guitar I ever had) but its volume is respectable and it is comparable to the volume of any grand auditorium, and almost as high as the volume of the CA dreadnoughts that I had in the past. It is louder than the X (even if the X packs a LOT of volume for its size).

You know, perhaps I am biased by my love and interest for composite guitars, I have posted positive reviews in the past (for my Rainsong Jumbo and my CA X, for example) but I really believe that once you get used to the clarity of a graphite guitar,it is difficult to go back.
And I personally rate the GX among the best composite guitars that I have owned


Thank you for the attention.

Last edited by gerardo1000; 06-25-2007 at 03:59 PM. Reason: typing errors
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2007, 04:58 PM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
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I am a bit suprised that after one day I did not get a comment on my review.
I noticed in other occasions that Rainsong guitars usually get more discussion than CA guitars. Is it because, among composite guitars, most people prefer Rainsong, or just because CA guitars are little known ?
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:12 PM
trion12 trion12 is offline
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So how would you compare the sound of the Rainsong OM you had to the CA OM equivalent models Gerardo?

Aaron
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:43 PM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
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I had the Rainsong OM for just one day and a half, I returned it to Musicians Friend because its fretboard had an excessive dropoff at the highest frets, therefore I have not played it as much as the GX.
I remember that the Rainsong OM had quite a sweet tone for being a Rainsong (which are renowned for loudness, power, and clarity, but not particularly for sweetness of tone) and it was quite balanced, with surprising low end for a small body. In my humble opinion, the sound of the CA GX has more personality, and it is more "natural" i.e. if you close your eyes you think that you are listening to a traditional "made with wood" OM. The Rainsong OM, however, had great trebles,
fat and ringing. This is a typical signature of Rainsong guitars.
I really think that it is impossible to say which guitar is better. It is a matter of personal taste.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:44 PM
trion12 trion12 is offline
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Thanks Gerardo,
I have played a Rainsong WS1000 and was very impressed.
Would love to try some other graphite guitars.

Aaron
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