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  #1  
Old 12-09-2007, 12:55 PM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
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Question Composite Acoustics. Intonation? Neck feel?

What is the intonation like? I know that it can't be perfect. I have noticed that Taylors are intonated differently than many guitars, Mcpherson and others come with Buzz Feiten. What can you compare a CA to?

How does the thinner neck affect playability. Easier on the hand? I broke my thumb on my fretting hand 9 months ago and playing is becoming more and more painful. Thumb obviously didn't heal right (accidently smashed it with the jack pipe while changing a tire).

Can the bridge be filled and recut if need be? Is it also carbon fibre? I am fairly sure that having the nut compensated would be take care of things for me, but I am wondering about the bridge just in case.

Are the frets still stainless steal? How do they hold up? Brighter tone?
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:27 PM
Tsckey Tsckey is offline
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The intonation is amazingly accurate all the way up the neck. I don't know about the bridge, but I don't think you'll find it necessary to compensate for any tonal inadequacies.

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  #3  
Old 12-09-2007, 03:43 PM
SongwriterFan SongwriterFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliott E Worby View Post
Can the bridge be filled and recut if need be? Is it also carbon fibre? I am fairly sure that having the nut compensated would be take care of things for me, but I am wondering about the bridge just in case.
Do you mean the saddle?

It's made of a composite, too, and yes, it can be sanded down.

The guitar tech I took mine to ended up sanding it a bit much for me (started getting fret buzz), so I asked CA if they had replacement saddles. They sent a couple to me for free.
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:17 PM
stoney stoney is offline
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I don't know about the later CA guitars, but mine has a Tusq saddle, not a composite one. I would think that composite would be a challenge to sand! I've worked with carbon composite materials a bit on a home project (trying to make a dobro!), and this stuff eats cutting tools like crazy.

Also, all the CA guitars I've seen have compensated saddles. Mine came with two. The installed one was set at the factory for optimal tone and feel. The second, as spare, was a bit "taller" to allow me to mess with the setup. I made a lower saddle out of the spare, but went a bit too far. Gotta get a couple of new ones someday to try again...

stoney
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:25 PM
Doubleneck Doubleneck is offline
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I have the old width neck which was 11/16, have played the 3/4. They are very easy to play. I found my X to be set up too high for me but I sanded down the bridge very easily and have it about perfect. The bridges and nuts are all workable just like any guitar. There is no truss rod given the graphite neck will never move. Actually I was concerned about this given I like to adjust my neck but in reality it has not been an issue. The neck is right on and stays that way.
The frets are stainless steel. I have lots of guitar and I would say that they are as playable as any, I may have an high end Ovation that plays a little easier. I believe the overall package is hard to beat. They sound every good, I think many of the wood guys that have a hard time with composites really have not played one. I know that when I tried one it really freaked me out how good they sound and how woodlike. I wish they were more available so more people could see how good they are.
Steve
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:22 PM
SongwriterFan SongwriterFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoney View Post
I don't know about the later CA guitars, but mine has a Tusq saddle, not a composite one. I would think that composite would be a challenge to sand! I've worked with carbon composite materials a bit on a home project (trying to make a dobro!), and this stuff eats cutting tools like crazy.
They used to come with Tusq. Now they come with their own "composite". Notice that I did NOT say carbon-fiber composite.
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:03 PM
stoney stoney is offline
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Oops, my bad.

I looked on the CA website and found that some of the guitars still have white Tusq saddles and some actually do have a carbon fiber saddle. I'd like to try one of those! I still think they must be tough to sand.

stoney
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Old 12-10-2007, 08:40 AM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SongwriterFan View Post

Do you mean the saddle?

It's made of a composite, too, and yes, it can be sanded down.
No I mean bridge. When I had the Buzz Feiten system put on my Tak, the Luthier filled in the the slot for the old saddle, then cut a new slot since the intonation adjustment is severe on some strings. Carbon Fibre saddle???

Quote:
Originally Posted by stoney View Post

Oops, my bad.
I looked on the CA website and found that some of the guitars still have white Tusq saddles and some actually do have a carbon fiber saddle. I'd like to try one of those! I still think they must be tough to sand.
I fully checked this one out as I never heard of a Carbon Fibre saddle or nut!?!
Player line
-all come with Carbon Fibre nut & saddle
Performer line
-Legacy and X come with black Tusq nut & saddle
-Vintage and Bluegrass come with White Tusq (no doubt for a somewhat traditional look)
-GX comes with Carbon Fibre nut & saddle
Other line are simply the above with different cosmetic & electric options.

Anyone out there have Carbon Fibre nut & saddle? what does that sound like? How does it hold up? If it's hard to sand, I would expect it to last...
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Old 12-10-2007, 08:50 AM
stoney stoney is offline
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Well, I just got off the phone with the nice folks at CA and my carbon fiber saddles are on the way, so I'll let you know what, if any, difference they make. Of course, the nut on my ol' Legacy is still gonna be white Tusq. Maybe I'll paint it with a marker?



This just in; I literally called CA ten minutes ago to order these saddles. As I am writing this, Laurie from CA called to tell me the order is packed and going out. She needed to check on a transposed credit card number. I asked her what took so long.

Stoney
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:21 AM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoney View Post
This just in; I literally called CA ten minutes ago to order these saddles. As I am writing this, Laurie from CA called to tell me the order is packed and going out. She needed to check on a transposed credit card number. I asked her what took so long.
Hmmmmmmmmm ... Good guitars AND good customer service.

I'm really not toooooo worried about the intonation of CA guitars. My problem is, I get a guitar just right then the temperature or humidity changes (happens a lot in the Canadian prairies!) and so does my guitar! At least with the CA, if I need to change the intonation, it will stay changed!
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:41 AM
stoney stoney is offline
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Hey, Elliot,

You got me wondering about the intonation of my CA. I generally don't even think about it unless I'm playing a guitar that is bad enough for me to hear the problem. I had it with a few instruments in the past, but never even thought about intonation since I got the Legacy.

Anyway, I just took my Korg AW-1 off of my dobro and put it on the Legacy. I did this because I don't think the built-in tuner in the Fishman setup is no better than my poor ears. The Korg's needle is much more sensitive than are the LEDs on the Fishman. So, after making sure all strings were dead on I worked my way up the board on each string, stopping at frets three, five, seven and twelve. Except for the b string, there was no discernable deflection of the needle on any fret. The b went a few cents high at fret twelve. Even that deflection was not steady, so it may be just a worn string or something. Who knows.

Summary? I can't hear any intonation issues at all with my CA. I play a lot up the neck and never get any atonal chords, etc.

I know I sound like a CA bigot, but I really have no attachment to CA or any other manufacturer. I only care about tone, playability and durability, with the latter being an order of magnitude below playability on the scale of importance. I only love CA guitars because I have the tone I've always wanted in a guitar that plays like my favorite wooden one and, just by the way, will take a licking, including the rather severe Vermont weather swings.

Gotta love it!

Stoney
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:20 AM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoney View Post
...I just took my Korg AW-1 off of my dobro and put it on the Legacy. ... So, after making sure all strings were dead on I worked my way up the board on each string, stopping at frets three, five, seven and twelve. Except for the b string, there was no discernable deflection of the needle on any fret. The b went a few cents high at fret twelve. Even that deflection was not steady, so it may be just a worn string or something. Who knows.
Hey Stoney!

That's encouraging! Although the big test is really frets 1, 2 and 3 with 1 often being the worst (sharp). So 3 passed but did you check 1 & 2? If you didn't ... could you? Please?? As well, what kind of strings are you using?

I really appreciate this Stoney, as I am no where near any CA dealer.
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:07 AM
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Probably one of the best sources for info and CA guitars themselves is our own AGF owner, J.R. Rogers. Check out the AGF Marketplace. There's a thread there on them.

cotten


(No, he didn't ask me to mention this.)
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:17 AM
stoney stoney is offline
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Sure!

I checked at 1, 2, and three. Three showed no change. The low e and the b may be a few cents sharp at one and two, but the needle was wavering. It was never near ten cents sharp, however. On the internal Fishman tuner the solid green never wavers regardless of fret position, but hey, they believe close enough is close enough, right?

I am partial to D'addario's and use the same strings on my dobro and flattop. The EJ-17 set (phos-bronze 13-56) is just right for my guitar and my sometimes aggressive style when flat picking. (This guitar is a great cutter against the banjos and mandolins. (Why are those little tiny mandos so dang loud, anyway???) This set also works well for me for fingerpicking, which takes up about half my playing time. I replace the unwounds with 17/18 or 18/19 on the dobro. D'addario sells a special dobro set, but they're the same except for the unwounds, so I save bucks by buying in quantities.

Good luck with your search. I hope you find what you want, CA or not!

Stoney
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:46 AM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
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Thanx a bunch Stoney!!!
It's nice to hear it from a player. I've heard various salesmen and company reps say all kinds of things about their products. It's nicer to hear it from a guy who isn't positioned to profit at all by his words. Some guys claim every guitar is in tune...

You get good intonation with heavier strings than the guitar was sold with yet...wow!!

Thanx again.
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