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  #1  
Old 05-17-2016, 10:41 AM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Default KM I mean I just gotta say!!!

In my search for a carbon guitar over the past two weeks I have listened to every demo, read every piece of info I could find, read all the specs, watched hours of you tube, and still have not pulled the trigger because of indecision. Tone wise to me, an inexperienced carbon guy,,,,the Kevin Michael by McPherson sounds to my ear the best in terms of comparing to a wood guitar. In the one demo between a std. McPherson and the carbon they are darn close.
Then I saw Muriel Anderson playing a KM and once again it sounded sweet. Also the McPherson site has so many artists playing the guitar it tends to sway me.
I also like the RS Parlor and the std. scale it has but to my ear it sounds like it's made of carbon. But not bad just different. I think the build in comparison tp the KM with compensated saddle and nut and cantilevered neck may be a bit more primitive. JMO before I get jumped here, and once again not hands on as that in my location is impossible.
The Emerald's seem to be the most creative and artistic looks wise, and I have read nothing but good reviews on their service, the only one available is the X7 and it looks nice but harder to find info on it than some of the others.
Then I stumbled on the L13 which seems to be a good choice but couldn't come up with to much on it in terms of demos.
I don't see much of anything on the new CA by Peavy maybe they are still in transition. Lot's of comments about the old CA vs new CA but not a lot of valuable feedback.
The main reason I even began this journey was traveling in my RV March thru Nov. every year we run into rain, sleet, salt, wind, humid, dry, snow, you name it. I am always checking my guitar and have humi packs it the case and hygrometers in the RV. Goes from the 40's and 87% early year to 90's and 20% in the summer at festivals in the high desert. So I am constantly casing uncasing and generally concerned about my guitar. Need to play outside quite a bit. Last summer on stage it was over 90 degrees and about 25% humidity. Have noticed no damage so far to guitars but tired of the worry.
I just sold my Martin in anticipation of this new purchase. My Santa Cruz Never goes outside period!
So that's where I'm at, read all your reports and gained a bunch of knowledge here for sure, but still have not made the final decision.
Got a little frustrated with myself yesterday and almost purchased a OO Martin to take with this year but decided that was stupid, be the same problem.
So maybe today!? Jerry
PS: Any of you others suffer this kind of pre purchase GASS???

Last edited by JerryM; 05-17-2016 at 03:59 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2016, 11:15 AM
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No idea what a "KM" is but paragraphs are your friend.....
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fazool View Post
No idea what a "KM" is but paragraphs are your friend.....
It took me awhile but I think he means
http://kevinmichaelguitars.com




Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
Any of you others suffer?
Gas is really the emotion Anticipation.
Enjoy the search and
when you find her
enjoy the ride ...
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:33 AM
Jim K Jim K is offline
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JerryM,

I have no doubt that the Kevin Michael guitars are very good, . . . but note that if you are looking at the travel ("Touring") size, . . . the scale length will be very short (22 3/4"), which may or may not be an issue for you.

Check out the guitar at the following link: https://www.laguitarsales.com/index....ng-la3-le.html

LA Guitar Sales is an excellent dealer that I have purchased from. They are great to deal with. The guitar at the link is a limited edition RainSong OM body size, with the "Concert" i.e. unidirectional carbon fiber top (adds warmth to the tone) . . . all carbon body, . . . and is painted white.

If you are playing outside alot, . . . an all black carbon guitar may heat up alot in the sun, which should not damage the guitar, . . . but might be a bit warm for the player. A White carbon guitar may be made to order for you.

Regards,
Jim K
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Old 05-17-2016, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim K View Post
JerryM,

I have no doubt that the Kevin Michael guitars are very good, . . . but note that if you are looking at the travel ("Touring") size, . . . the scale length will be very short (22 3/4"), which may or may not be an issue for you.

Check out the guitar at the following link: https://www.laguitarsales.com/index....ng-la3-le.html

LA Guitar Sales is an excellent dealer that I have purchased from. They are great to deal with. The guitar at the link is a limited edition RainSong OM body size, with the "Concert" i.e. unidirectional carbon fiber top (adds warmth to the tone) . . . all carbon body, . . . and is painted white.

If you are playing outside alot, . . . an all black carbon guitar may heat up alot in the sun, which should not damage the guitar, . . . but might be a bit warm for the player. A White carbon guitar may be made to order for you.

Regards,
Jim K
If I was serious about a RainSong, I would take a hard look at this one. I saw it when Ted first posted it and thought the white is killer.
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:46 PM
Doubleneck Doubleneck is offline
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I am fasinated by the Kevin Michael full size model. Ellis who also created Composite Acoustics, really was going for a wood sound. I think you did pick up that Rainsing really wasn't focused on this and I think their guitars sound great but there is more bell like clarity. There is no right or wrong, and all the makers build great guitars.
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Old 05-17-2016, 02:59 PM
GrandDadgad GrandDadgad is offline
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Default Blackbird Lucky 13

Went through some angst over my purchase as well. Decided on Blackbird Lucky 13 and have not regretted it once. Size, neck, playability, comfort, durability and...sound are uncompromised. Mine has a K&K mini in it if I need to amp it for loudness.
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:19 PM
Kray Van Kirk Kray Van Kirk is offline
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I've been playing Rainsong for years (AWS1000 and WS3000). Both of them have been fantastic, and I actually like the richer tone of the AWS, which was a short-lived glass-carbon hybrid model.

That being said, I ordered and just got (in the very slow Alaskan barge mail) a Leviora CF six-string. It's quite a remarkable instrument, and I'll post a review video soon.

Doubleneck has the correct perspective, I think - in the CF world, different builders deliberately create different sounds, and your choice of instruments depends on what you prefer to hear.
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:55 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Sorry I guess I should have spelled out Kevin Michael by McPherson guitar. The white RS is sharp but way to much money in a cf imo. that's up there with some really good wood at used prices. Really torn right now have a great offer on a used Kevin Michael and also a beautiful Martin at the same price, but another wood would defeat my original purpose here. Stepping back a while........Jerry
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:18 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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My first carbon fiber guitar (RainSong Shorty) was a bit of a leap of faith. I had played one OM, for less than a minute. I went for the Shorty, since it is very close in size to a GC Taylor 12-fret, the shape looks more traditional, and it has the hybrid top, billed as having a more "wood-like" tone. Not really sure what that means, since all my wood guitars sound different from each other.

Here's some advice. It's free, so you will get your money's worth. You need to point that RV south and go visit Ted at LA Guitar Sales. He has a handle on what is being produced in CF, and stocks a lot of options.

You are not alone in your angst, but the fact that you are curious about CF AND have good reason for it (the environmental changes), means you are at least open to it. I thought finding a CF guitar that "sounded like wood" would be a good way to go. After getting the Shorty, (often described as "piano like" in its tone, and that is a very good thing), I have had the opportunity to play other carbon fiber guitars. Here's my take on it: they all have their own unique sound/tone. And there are a bunch of them that I like very much. Just like wood guitars.

So much gets discussed about this tonewood and that bracing... they are all guitars. They all sound like... guitars. Each model sounds different from the others. But, that doesn't make one bad or another good, it just means there will be something that tickles your fancy. I have found that my fancy is a LOT more open now than it was pre-CF.

Strings make a difference. Where you strum makes a difference. Plug it in and the pickup, amp, and PA all make a difference. That stuff happens after you have the guitar home. In the words of the philosopher Stephen Stills: love the one you're with. You have plenty of control over the tone, beyond what you hear in the store. I no longer feel the compulsion to search for "the perfect tone," but want a guitar that sounds good, plays good, and feels comfortable. Took me a lot of years to get to that point.

If you need a big acoustic sound, don't buy a small guitar. If you are plugging in, you can make almost any of them sound big. Parlor guitars are getting a lot of attention these days, and most don't have that "big sound." Until you plug 'em in. Acoustically, my Grand Concert plays nice with Grand Auditoriums or dreadnoughts. Yep, all guitars. For smaller guitars, I have a GSmini and my new X7. Those, too, sound like guitars. Don't sound like each other, though. And, I really like the smaller size.

If push came to shove, any of my guitars would be a good one-and-only for me.

I also get the RV lifestyle. We have been doing it for over 3 decades now. Boat cruising, too. From the humid Gulf Coast to the dry ol' desert. I like my wood guitars, but I don't take them along anymore. The carbon fiber choices I have made keep me very happy. Motorhomes, 5th wheel, toy hauler, Class B, sailboats and a powercruiser... before I learned what CF offers, I took along an Ovation or a laminated wood guitar. And, I really liked those, too!

In the 60s and 70s, I was a Gibson guy (electric and acoustic). Then, that 14 year stretch on an Ovation. A Taylor guy, which educated me on being a wood guitar guy. Now I find I am... a guitar guy. And carbon fiber just makes a lot of sense and satisfies my guitar/travel needs. Yeah, I still have wood guitars, but I realize they aren't the end-all for me.

You may find that to be the case for you, too. Good luck with the search. Sorry for the ramble - I completely get where you are coming from.

Jim
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:35 PM
Tom2 Tom2 is offline
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If "sounding as close to wood as possible" is the goal, the KM is the current king of the hill.
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:10 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Thanks Capt. Jim and I hear your words of wisdom loud and clear....went thru about 30 woodys over 40 yrs. before i finally came to my current guitar a Santa Cruz Skye model and IMHO the best friggin guitar I have ever held in my hands, so good that I lost my desire to look at or play others, that's saying to me this is the ONE!
But not to repeat myself this pretty stays home, and our last trip we just returned from was the first time in years I had no guitar with me, my Martin is sold. So it was a long 10 days, fun and all but I missed my guitar. I generally practice a couple of hours in the morning before the days activities start.
So I need to make a move for sure. The last guitar I have been looking at today is the Lucky 13 by Blackbird and I have not heard or seen much on here about them. Looks to be the right size and scale and I like the pick up system without the door. Parlor size to which is perfect. But I can't find one for sale.
As far as heading south,,,,I don't got no papers to go down there anymore!!
I will contact LA guitar sales but by phone and shipping.
All that aside I am serious about getting one in the next few days but need to decide on the one. Pretty much down to Rainsong Parlor, Kevin Michael Tour, or maybe the Lucky 13, for one reason or antother eliminated the others for now.
Thanks for the words, they are appreciated Jerry
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:27 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Jerry, let me chime in here. Last month I had the opportunity to demo a Lucky 13 overnight, and also compare it to a 20 year old Taylor 612 Grand Concert and a 15 year old K14 koa / spruce Grand Auditorium.

The Lucky 13 is a joy to hold and play. It feels like it was built for my lap and my fretting hand, and was pure pleasure. The neck feels good too, and I'm kinda sensitive to neck width and profile these days. (My last Martin is up for sale right now solely because of neck width). But two hours of play on the Lucky 13 gave me no hand issues - I only quit because I finally got sleepy. Lucky is not quite as bright sounding as these two Taylor's, but they are tonally bright even among Taylor guitars. String selection would allow for some fine tuning. The sound port lets plenty of sound up at the player, and the bass is pretty strong for a small guitar. L13 has a real Gibson L00 vibe to it, without the pitfalls of wood.

Short version - I will get one fairly soon. It would already have been ordered from Ted at LA Guitar Sales (the web site shows one in stock at the moment, so no eight week wait). But I have vowed that some have to sell first before any new ones come in. If I were travelling to SoCal any time in the foreseeable future, I would pack up all the "for sale" guitars and keep putting them down on the counter until Ted says "ok".

FWIW, the Rainsong Parlor is fine too. I have played those on a few occasions, most recently at Sam Ash in Phoenix. Classic RS tone and playability and build quality. I'm just not a fan of the proportions of the Parlor body. I prefer the look of something more 000 or 00 sized, so parlors don't quite work for my eye. That is purely visual - the RS Parlor gives up nothing in terms of play, feel, comfort, tone, etc.

I hope this was more helpful than confusing.
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
my current guitar a Santa Cruz Skye model and IMHO the best friggin guitar I have ever held in my hands, so good that I lost my desire to look at or play others, that's saying to me this is the ONE!
But not to repeat myself this pretty stays home, and our last trip we just returned from was the first time in years I had no guitar with me, my Martin is sold. So it was a long 10 days, fun and all but I missed my guitar.

I am very fortunate to own several very nice guitars so I always have plenty to take with me when I go out on the road in my RV to work.
I just can't understand why you wouldn't want to take your ONE with you. As long as it is in its case it should be fine.
If you drive your RV off of the Grand Canyon cliff then your guitar may get damaged but since you will be with it then it won't matter anyway.

But be careful with carbon fiber guitars.
The ONE may end up in the classified section when you find out how awesome CF is.
Good luck!
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:47 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Yep. Looks like Ted has all three you are considering. He will steer you right.

Enjoy!
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