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Old 01-07-2017, 10:38 AM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Default My First CF was a Rainsong OM, what was yours, and the story behind it

Got this idea from a couple of threads in the General section and thought it might be interesting to hear about your first CF guitar, and the story behind it.

For me, looking to CF came out of necessity. In 2000, Helene and I bought a cabin in Big Bear, a mountain resort about 100 miles east of LA, not wanting to drag one of my guitars up with me every few weeks, I decide to leave one of my less expensive Martins up there. For a while everything was going great, but one weekend I forgot to put the guitar back in it's case with a freshly humidified Dampit, and left the guitar on it's stand. Two weeks later, my Martin had a nice crack in the top. Given that in LA I can leave my guitars out for years at a time, I was quite surprised by the damage, so I bought a digital humidity gauge, and discovered that the humidity was at 12 percent. Bad news, I had a crack in my Martin, good news, I need a new guitar.

Once back in the city, I went down to the Hollywood GC, took the Rainsong OM1000 off the wall that I have been eyeing for a while, and bought it. Funny thing, the kid checking me out actually reminded me that for that kind of money I could buy a Martin, or a Taylor. I gave him a short lesson on why this guitar costs what it does, and why I need it, and he seemed to understand.

Once I got my new OM1000 home, I discovered what an amazing guitar it really was. I mean this guitar could do it all! From the studio to the beach, the guitar performed flawlessly. One spring, I got tired of the 20 degree temps up in Big Bear, so Helene and I dropped off the mountain, and spent the rest of the weekend in Palms Springs, where the temps were in the 90's. My Rainsong went from being played in the snow, to being played pool side in the same 24 hours without missing a beat.

A few years later, Joe came out with the Blackbird Rider, arguably the finest travel guitar on the planet, and I had my second CF guitar.

So, let's hear the story of your first CF guitar.
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:53 AM
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Acousticado Acousticado is offline
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Back in '06 while my wife and I were vacationing in Florida after a business conference, I bought a Baby Taylor for travel. I was happy enough with it for what a BT is. Early in '08, the newly released CA Cargo was getting a lot of attention here on the AGF. I was intrigued, but had no intention of buying one.

In March of that year, again we were tripping around Florida. We had rented a Sebring convertible and one morning in Sarasota while preparing to leave our rented house, my wife was messing around in the trunk, when she moved the BT to the area where items should not be left, and she forgot to move it back (I had reminded her a number of times before). She closed the trunk lid and I proceeded to put the top down. CrUnCh!!! I knew right away what happened.

My wife was totally apologetic, but with every problem there's an opportunity . Immediately, I recalled the buzz about the Cargo and told her about it. She was all for me getting one . So, with my iPhone, I logged onto the AGF, posted a thread about what happened and asked if anyone knew where I could get a Cargo. Within minutes, AGFer "fitness1" (Todd) replied suggesting I call Danny Brevard in Lufkin, TX, which I did right away. Danny had two in stock...a charcoal RT and wine RT. I chose the charcoal. I didn't know at the time, but AGFer "SongwriterFan" was on-route by car for a couple of hours to buy a Cargo from Danny. He got the wine one.

Within a couple of days, I had the Cargo in my hands in Sarasota. Immediately, I was flabbergasted at how good it felt, played and sounded for such a small guitar. The BT was a mere toy by comparison. I still love a good wood guitar, but I still love my Cargo and play it a lot. I've been a CF fanboy from that point on.

I still have a pic of the damaged BT and Cargo when I received the Cargo in Sarasota...

Edit: The BT gigbag is pretty good quality and the Cargo fits snugly in it.
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Wood: '02 Taylor 814c | '18 Taylor 214ceDLX (Rosewood) | '18 Taylor 150e-12 String (Walnut) | '79 Ibanez Dread (First acoustic) | '02 Fender Strat - American '57 RI
Carbon Fiber: '18 Emerald X20 Custom | '08 Composite Acoustics Cargo RT

Last edited by Acousticado; 01-07-2017 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:10 PM
Finger Stylish Finger Stylish is offline
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My First Experience with a not exclusively wooden guitar was My First Ovation Legend Sunburst in 1986. Loved that workhorse of a guitar.(I know, not a CF) I had four other Ovations after that legend and in 2012 I purchased a New Carbon Top Adamas. Wonderful sound but I couldn't play it without my thumb pick clacking on the top. Later that year I stumbled onto a Rainsong H DR1000 hanging in the same store I purchased the Adamas. Out of curiosity, I got it down and played "I'll see you in my Dreams" and was blown away at what I was experiencing. Later that month after seeing it in my dreams every night. I purchased it, and it is now my Main Playing and performing Guitar. Played it so much had to have the frets dressed last year.
Love My Rainsong Hybrid DR1000
Martin Retro 11-52's Custom Lights are my string choice.
1976 Martin D-28(original owner)
1992 Taylor 420(original owner)
2012 RainSong H DR 1000(original owner)
2011 Gretsch Anniversary Model(original owner)
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:41 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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My approach has been slow and rocky in some ways as I was slow to adapt to the CF guitars. My first was a Blackbird L13 which I really liked and after playing it for a few months sold it, got gass for a different shape and sound. But in retrospect I probably should have kept it and just gotten another.
Ted at LA Sales is a great person to work with and I was able to try the APSE and really loved the tone of that guitar and the tuners where really great. My only reservation was the finish I prefer the gloss for handling all the time, seems easier to keep clean, but that's just my personal preferance. The guitar was super to play.
Then I got a used Shorty SG and still have it, I used it for the first time on a gig and was simply amazed at the sound out of this box with the electronics!! I have in the past been opposed to barn doors and avoided guitars with them, but now I am sold on it for sure. I was going for the straight acoustic but now I absolutely love this Fishman setup. It mixes in perfectly and the people I play with noticed immediately, they said in the past my acoustic wood guitars into a mic were hard to hear, this one was clear and mellow. I'm sold!
Also had a experience this past summer with low humidity at Festivals, one was under 5% in the high desert here in Or. and a few others in the 80% range. I was always casing and uncasing my Martin and using Humipacks worrying about it, the temp in the RV can fluctuate quite a bit. I start every day with about a 2 hour practice session when we are traveling, and some mornings it's cold, some hot, some wet some dry just all over the place as locations change. So when the weather and humidity in the RV was bad I would miss my practice time, just keep it cased. Pain in the a*%!
Now, I couldn't get that APSE out of my mind that Ted sent me, and I went on a quest to find a APLE that has the gloss finish and the mic mix setup. I wrote to Dave at Rainsong and he sent me the name of three dealers that he thought might have one still in stock. Ted's had sold long ago or he would have been my first call,,but I found one and it's being shipped this coming week. So I am happy I managed to get one, they only made 75 as I understand and only two left out there now on the new market.
I am down to one wood guitar now and I never thought I would say this but I don't see many more in my future purchases. There is only one guitar that is wood I would like to get, but when I do it will only be used indoors and for jobs that are climate controlled. My CF will be with me this coming summer traveling to Festivals and looking forward to not missing any more play time or outdoor jams! and as a bonus no more worries about cracking or seperating wood!
I am a convert for sure, and now I find the tone to be wonderful, rarely take my wood out to practice, it's been 19% here in the house this week as we had a rare snowstorm and heat running. My Rainsong sits on it's stand in my music room and never changes or complains a bit.......Love It! Jerry
Love living on the Oregon Coast! & Picking Fiddle Tunes!
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:39 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Default WS-1000 from 2001

You could say it was a necessity. Living in Alaska, we had real trouble keeping wooden instruments humidified. It was a constant struggle and occupied the first hour of every Monday morning just re-wetting sponges in all the cases. This was in addition to putting 8-10 gallons per day through the cabinet humidifier in the living room. Rainsong also proved to be stable around campfires and sounded wonderful on stage at festivals and performing.

I had seen the original Rainsongs locally in Anchorage before, and the Ovation Adamas with CF tops, but at $3000++ they simply were not in the budget at that time.

During a visit to family in Michigan in 2001, we made the obligatory side trip to Elderly in Lansing. Playing several models of Rainsong and the original CA's there left us amazed, and we drop-shipped a WS-1000 from there to Anchorage rather than carrying it home on the plane. It was the ONLY guitar that could live out handy for quick and easy play. The shark inlays were icing on the cake, since we are both scuba divers. Now it has become a favorite guitar, and the one that would be rescued from a burning house.
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:42 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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My first CF guitar was a low end gloss Legacy with no rosette-like marking and a Baggs Element. I'm no longer sure of the model but it had a composite fingerboard and stainless frets and I think I bought it in 2006 from Elderly Instruments. I felt it was not quite as loud as my Martin dreadnoughts but it had a fine tone and the ruggedness was a big factor for me. After that I tried every CA model, a few Emeralds, and several RainSong dreadnoughts (CO and Hybrid) and OMs (mostly Hybrids and a Shortie). During this period I sold my two Martins, a D-41 and a D-45V. Today I am playing a RainSong H-DR1100N2 with a MiSi Trio as my main guitar. I have a Traveler Escape Mark III Mahogany for airplane rides (though the RainSong in my Mono Sleeve is fly worthy with early boarding and only about 7 inches longer than a GS mini bag, and only 4 inches longer in a Access Stage 1 gig bag). For me the Hybrid Dreadnought sounds the best and is volume competitive with any wooden guitar.
Jon Fields

Last edited by jonfields45; 01-07-2017 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:44 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Mine's simple:

Needed to upgrade my performing rig...

Tried a JM1000 - liked the sound, liked the feel, liked the light weight, liked the value-per-dollar...

Elderly had a matched set - JM1000/JM3000 6- and 12-string...

Bought both...

Had them ever since...

End of story...
"They wouldn't bend, they wouldn't bow, they wouldn't burn"
- Johnny Cash
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:29 PM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
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I bought my first CF in 2002, it was a Rainsong WS. Beautiful, very bright. Then I had a couple of Composite acoustics, the ones that still had a wooden fret board ? I even owned an Emerald guitar made only with fiber glass (no carbom) which sounded horrible :-). Then I had an Emerald X30, a CA pre-Peavey GX, and again a CA dread with carbon fretboard. After that, I stopped playing for a few years and, since I started again, I only had traditional guitars, with the exception of an Emerald X7 that I love.
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:34 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Traveling by boat and RV, I had an Ovation for 14 years (after having issues with a couple wood guitars). Foolishly, I sold off the Ovation after getting hooked on Taylors. I bought a GSmini after they first came out, as my travel guitar. Even did gigs with it. It convinced me that a smaller guitar is just as satisfying. The laminate sides and back held up fine with all the climate changes and travel, but I wanted something "nicer," for traveling and playing out. I became "carbon fiber curious."

A call to Ted at LA Guitar sales and the last of the SG-FLE limited edition Shortys was on its way to the company office (where I worked as a boat captain). I opened the box; opened the case, and... ohhhh - pretty. I picked it up - ohhhhh, lightweight. I strummed a chord... hooked!

A few years later, and another wood guitar in between, I wanted something even smaller. That led me to an Emerald X7. Sean at Emerald made it easy. Four days from Ireland to the Tropical Tip of Texas (shipped late Thursday in Ireland, arrived Monday noonish in deep south Texas). Beautiful workmanship. SO comfortable - I know it is small by looking at it, but it doesn't "play" small and certainly doesn't sound small. Even back at home, where I have other guitars (wood and CF) to pick from, this is the guitar I pick up most often.

I will probably always have a nice wood guitar, but I don't see me buying any more wood. Yes, for me, the carbon fiber offerings are that good.

10 years ago, I was "that guy"... the one who when a friend said, "You should try one of these..." (referring to a CA), I smiled and said, "Thanks, but I am a wood guitar kinda guy."

Turns out, I am a guitar guy.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:21 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
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My first Rainsong was one of Ted's Special "AGF" Shorties.

Bought Blind/On Faith based on reputation (Ted's and Rainsong's)

In spite of the fact that Phoenix Arid-zona ought to be a carbon fiber Mecca, nobody actually seems to carry them. That being said, a CF instrument obviously has significant appeal, given that I normally have to refill in case humidifiers every 2 weeks.

Here she is with my favorite guitar (1998 Engelmann/EIR Larrivee OM-03R)

For me, the Rainsong was a rather expensive purchase, even with Ted's most excellent pricing. I chose to get it without electronics, and with the RTF finish to be able to afford it.

The RTF finish is quite a bit noisier than I expected, so in retrospect I wish I had gone ahead and put out the extra for the gloss. Rainsong's new satin finish is NOT noisy, and feels similar to the satin finish on Larrivee's or Taylors.

Love those Shark inlays though.
Larrivee OM-03RE; D-03R-12; LS-03 (IS/MH); O-01
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:46 PM
studioman001 studioman001 is offline
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My first cf guitar was a Rainsong AWS1000...

The short version is that after having a Taylor damaged by an airline employee and having to pay for setups every so often due to seasonal changes or moving etc, I was interested in other options but wasn't ready to pull the trigger just yet...

The year I moved from the NYC area to Austin, TX, I had purchased a new Martin JC16re a/e guitar and was in love. Amazing tone, full gloss finish, Fishman Aura system, it was great!

After moving to TX, I started traveling around in weather that could be super humid, in baking sun, and could hit 110 degrees at times. The Martin just wasn't happy about this even after I had a setup done. It was a great instrument but she was so sensitive that I decided to find a more stable option. Enter Rainsong...

The hybrid Rainsongs weren't out yet and the all carbon models were above my budget. Then I happened to be on the MF site and saw the Rainsong AWS1000 with deluxe gig bag for $1499 with free shipping. Reviews were mixed but I ended up pulling the trigger anyways...

The guitar was lite, comfortable, and the gloss finish was excellent! The tone and action were stable which was such a nice change! Not having to worry about the guitar was liberating. I did miss the warmth of the Martin as well as the Larrivee and Taylor I had owned previously, but, the trade offs were certainly worth it!

It sounded great plugged in, however, unplugged it did have a small sort of compressed voice, at least when compared later to an all graphite Rainsong, hybrid Rainsong, and CA etc. Still though, a very nice instrument!
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:04 PM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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Great thread idea Ted!

Just did an informal gig with my CF today- perfect timing to praise up my guitar. My Rainsong is the first CF I’ve owned and I’ve not played a bunch either- only two. The first one I ever played was a Shorty (not the one I bought) and the other was a used classic Rainsong Jumbo- a JM1000N1 (I think?) I immediately loved the Shorty from first strum- loved the body size, the ergonomics, the tone and the looks. The jumbo was a used model at a local GC, also a cool guitar and I was amazed at how comfortable it felt sitting on my lap for a guitar that size. I played it mostly out of curiosity Monstrous tone! Would I love to get my hand on other CF instruments? Of course I would, but we all know the limitations of actually finding gemstones and rare birds.

Now, back to that gig. We had a fun crowd; a group of fun acapella songs and then oldie songs- everything from Billy Joel and John Denver, to The Beach Boys and The Byrds. All of this played on a Fender dread, a Yamaha OM, a Yamaha synth, a clarinet, a ukulele and a harmonica (or as the harmonica player called it- a Mississippi saxophone), and my Rainsong (yes, I got some looks and questions).

But you know? The Shorty is strung up with John Pearse light nickels and projected into the mix like a champ. No problem hearing it among the others. The tone was gorgeous, warm and full- tonally an instrument I can be proud of. I love everything about this guitar.

-I would rather one book that leads to truth and life than tens of thousands that bring mere confusion-


Last edited by steelvibe; 01-09-2017 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:02 AM
slewis slewis is offline
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Looked at CF guitars about five years ago because outdoor summertime gigs often had my guitars sitting in the sun and of course that wreaks havoc on tuning. I now play a CA GX which I am completely happy with... although I first tried a few Rainsongs. Ted, I'm guessing you might recall with how that went!
- Sean

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Old 01-08-2017, 11:18 AM
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Carmel Cedar Carmel Cedar is offline
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Great idea for a thread! My carbon fiber journey arose from a long and only partly successful multi-year attempt at finding the perfect travel guitar. Opportunistically had a sale of a Taylor 512ce line up with a Rainsong P12 - and traded. Was pleasantly surprised at the awesome tone. Then I was struck by the paradigm-changer of no watering, leaving guitar out, etc. - the joys of playing more because...the guitar is out. Side joy (noted in another post) is being able to take photos of the guitars in outdoor conditions that I'd freak over bringing the wood out for.

Now, I'm capped at 3 wood guitars and am filling out a cf stable. Ordered an Emerald x7, then opportunistically found a Lucky 13 . Still settling on a final cf lineup, but am loving the tone, and totally wow'ed by the convenience.

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Old 01-08-2017, 12:24 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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CC, nice stable of three small(ish) CF guitars that don't sound small!
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