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Old 05-28-2017, 10:13 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Default Really enjoying the New Guitar Day posts here...

... and I didn't want to hijack any of those threads.

It is especially fun to read about the impressions of those who are getting their first carbon fiber guitar. The comparisons with wood. How they play. How they sound.

This thread isn't about any specific manufacturer... more about remembering the "discovery." I've seen where some have said things like, "almost as good as wood," or "Which model sounds the most like wood?"

When I got my first CF guitar, I was immediately taken with the tone. And, totally enamored with being able to travel without the climatic concerns of a wood guitar (the reason I began this CF journey).

For full disclosure, I did buy another wood guitar after that first carbon fiber. And, I like it. Still. A Taylor 522ce 12-fret. It is one of my two favorite wood guitars, the other being a Taylor 814ce. I mention those guitars because it gives a baseline on what I like for tone.

Yesterday, I started my session playing the 814, because... well, it has been a while. I played it for a half hour or so, feeling that great Taylor neck and reacquainting myself with what I like about the feel of the neck and the crisp, but rich, tone. I put it down and picked up my most recent CF acquisition... no contest, the X20 simply does it for me. To my ear, it sounds better - just more of everything I like. The neck is a bit thicker, but the set-up is very similar; same scale. It is reasonably close in size to the 814, but more comfortable.

For those who have brought home a carbon fiber guitar, how has your experience, especially compared to what you like about wood, been? Almost as good? As good? Better? Not even close?

Yes, I realize there are quite a few carbon fiber options and an exponential number of wood. Just like some hunt down their "ultimate" wood guitar experience, some of us feel that same way about the CF guitars. Is this a niche, or are we onto the evolution of what guitar playing in the future will be?

OK, Evan has owned a bunch of CF guitars, as has Ted. For me, I could happily play into the future with just my CF guitars. How 'bout the rest of you?

Discuss.
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Old 05-28-2017, 10:43 AM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Hey there Jim, for me pretty much the same observationsI really enjoy the benefits or CF and like you we spend about5 months a year on the road in our RV. Leaving Thursday again for the Grass Valley Father's Day festival in Ca. Bluegrass that is!
Where Iwould differ though is when I get home and change over to my Santa Cruz OOO well" no comparison! I love my CF for what it does but not in the same world as handmade wood! My SC only weighs in at 3.5 lbs. and is the most special guitar I have ever owned, and I have had a bunch!
If something happened to my APLE I could get another and no big deal they all pretty much sound the same. But Brazilian RW would be a hard thing to find again.
Having said that though I do not take wood to outdoor festivals or music camp as I would spend the whole time guarding it and not have fun! Also last year in the high desert ran into 2% humidity for four days, my Martin was in serious jeapordy and that's what made me try Carbon.
So I love CF and it has certainly made my life less stressful for travel but wood is still in my opinion superior for tone, an organic vs man made material that has a warmth and expressive quality to it that IMO can't be equaled by manufactured materials.
But!! I could be eating those words sometime in the future if technology such as modeling or new materials such as Blackbird is developing keep coming along. Time will tell.
But for now I still love a great wood guitar!. Jerry
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Old 05-28-2017, 10:47 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Right now, I'm probably enjoying those NGD threads more than most, since I think the last one was mine!

I've owned a Cargo Raw for 4 or 5 years, so I'm not new to CF. I thought early CF guitars were a little too round, hollow-sounding, mellow, thin, etc. I don't how to explain it, but they didn't excite me. I remember the first time I played the post-Peavey Raw and I liked it because it sounded a lot less boxy to me than the painted Cargos. I was pretty happy with the Cargo, but I have finally decided I have to have a 1 11/16" nut width. I'm just not going to buy anything else. So, when I saw Emerald could do that, I was in.

To play it for the first time yesterday and find it pleasantly full and well-balanced with a solid mid-range, I was ecstatic. I think I can play this guitar for a long time.

I think I said in the NGD thread that I am an unabashed Mahogany fan... can't help it! I like its clarity, balance, and precision. I would certainly never say my Emerald sounds like Mahogany, but it does have some of those same traits when compared to all other CF guitars I've played. There is no sense comparing apples to oranges, but I know my preference for balance and focus has something to do with why I like both Mahogany and the X-7.

I still have and love an H&D hog and a couple Mahogany Collings. For me, the X-7 fits a needed niche, but it doesn't replace my wood guitars. I have enough love to spread over all of them.
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Old 05-28-2017, 11:12 AM
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Acousticado Acousticado is offline
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Hey Jim. I share your enjoyment of NGDs especially in the CF world and like you, also enjoy my '02 814c (with added Baggs Anthem SL).

My foray into CF guitars began in early '08 immediately after my Baby Taylor got crushed in the trunk of a closing convertible top while my wife and I were vacationing in Florida (a blessing in disguise). At that time I had heard and knew nothing about CF guitars except for the buzz about the new CA Cargo, so via my iPhone, I posted a thread at the AGF asking if anyone knew where I could get one and I was referred to a dealer in Texas. Within a couple of days, I had the Cargo RT in my hands in Florida and I was immediately super impressed.

As a result, IMO, for the most part CF small-body/travel size guitars in particular are clearly better than their smaller wood counterparts on many levels, including tone. Builders of these guitars have been able to create better tone and volume in a small package that is hard for wood to beat at any price point. This realization prompted me to take a chance on a full-size CF, the Cargo's big brother CA GXi which I bought in late '08. Although I quite liked the GXi and had it for 5 years, in '12 my interest in the Emerald Chimaera prompted me to sell it (I'm a one in, one out kinda guy).

Other than my Chimaera (another beast altogether), my experience with full-size CFs is limited to the GXi, and it has been a while since I owned it. That said, based on numerous videos, I speculate that full-size quality CF competes equally with quality wood (not necessarily superior like the smaller versions) as long as one appreciates CF tones in their own right without comparing to wood. Gotta say though that I think the best of wood guitars in terms of tone beats out any CF guitar, but that really isn't fair given how much more one has to pay for that quality of wood guitar.

As to the evolution, I think CF will remain a niche unless humans destroy wood reserves to the point that wood guitars are unaffordable. But this is unlikely. I could easily happily live with just one CF guitar. I would choose the Chimaera with its edge on the fun factor.
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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; 05-28-2017 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 05-28-2017, 11:42 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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My first new carbon guitar day (NCGD) was a long time ago in 2001. I still remember when it arrived in Alaska from Elderly - did not want to trust the airlines bringing it home - and still love that Rainsong WS-1000. My latest NCGD was last October when my Lucky 13 arrived. Again, love that one too. There might even be an Emerald X20-12 in my future to some day replace my Taylor 354ce-LTD twelve string. My wife quickly sold her GS Mini Mahogany once she tried a CA Cargo two years ago. It is "mama bear" sized, scaled perfectly for her. With four guitar hangers on the living room wall, we can fill them all with carbon fiber guitars, always handy to play. So many carbon guitars, so few hours in the day.......

I was struck by Captain Jim's comment about liking his X20 better than his 814ce. That is really saying something! I can also foresee the day when only CF guitars live at my house - with one exception. There is my 2007 Taylor 424-LTD in all koa with ivoroid binding that both sounds and looks pretty special. Where koa is concerned, I can settled for "nature's composite". It is fairly certain that I am done buying wood guitars - and maybe wood ukulele too. The Blackbird Farallon tenor uke in eKoa is pretty awesome. While I appreciate the beauty and tone of fine wood guitars, I also value the low maintenance aspects - and tone - of CF and other composites.
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Old 05-28-2017, 02:52 PM
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iim7V7IM7 iim7V7IM7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post

For those who have brought home a carbon fiber guitar, how has your experience, especially compared to what you like about wood, been? Almost as good? As good? Better? Not even close?
Discuss.
Well I am one of those new CF guitar day people that you are referring to...

I frankly had no idea what to expect. I knew that the CF guitars had been around for two decades or so, and that like any technology, I surmised that it had likely evolved and improved since their introduction. While I consider myself quite knowledgable about acoustic guitars, I knew next to nothing about CF guitars. I really put myself in the able hands of Ted to help guide me to buy a CF guitar sight unseen. After asking about my playing application, likes and dislikes he recommended the RainSong CH-OM that I purchased.

It was been a very interesting experience for me to audition this guitar. They definitely have their own character of timbre and overall, I am quite pleased with the guitar. I don't think that it is fair to compare my CF to my luthier built wooden flat tops. It would be similarly unfair to compare a factory wood guitar given the disparity in price point. On my subjective tone scale, I consider the RainSong to be on the upper side of "good" which is impressive for a factory guitar at this price point (whether CF or Wood).

----------------------------Awful-----Average-----Good-----Very Good------Sublime-----
RainSong CH-OM------------------------------------X
My Luthier Wood Guitars-----------------------------------------X---------------X

In comparison, I would assess my luthier made wooden guitars to me subjectively euphonically more pleasing to my ear. All of these guitars in my subjective "very good" to "sublime" category. Like most things, achieving the last 5% of goodness can be quite difficult. That said, I am very impressed with just how good my CF guitar does sound, plus I can play it in places where my wood guitars could NEVER go...
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:40 PM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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My first CF was a RS OM about 10 years ago, I loved everything about it except the tone. I realize now it could have been a simple string change would have helped it, but I traveled with it for a couple years then sold it. It sold fast.
It was replaced some years later with a RS Shorty, great guitar that I liked a lot but I wanted a bigger sound since I am mainly a strummer. Along came a H-WS1000 12 fret. Which is a very good guitar with a great tone, but it doesn't reach the SCGC level that my D12 has. As far as wood guitars, it has been a merry go round for years until I got the D12. Then that stopped, I've had a lot of Taylors but come more from the Martin tone camp. After reading too much on this forum, I ordered an X7 from Emerald to take in the camper....it is awesome! As most of you know. It's so impressive that I had to try an X20, after living with the X20 for 3 weeks, I can honestly say that it competes head to head with the D12, yes, of course they are different, BUT....the tone, sustain and everything else, is there. I've already sold a Martin after getting the X20, so I think I can get to 3 guitars now and stay there for a while. Or maybe 4. My big problem will be if I keep the RS WS. If it don't get played...I won't keep it.
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Old 05-28-2017, 05:07 PM
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I have now owned three CF guitars. Each one has been a joy to own and play and was a pleasant surprise the first time they were played. The X20 Artisan was the first one that I bought just to see what all the rage was and I was pleasantly surprised with the tone. I ended up selling because I didn't like the scale, the neck carve or the electronics. Or the color (blue). Then some time later I tried the Rainsong Shorty APLE. I loved the ergonomics of this guitar and the tone. The electronics were just okay and the neck was not bad but not perfect and I ended up selling that one as well. Then I picked up the little Journey OF660 just to have something I could travel with and something impervious to the elements. It was a pleasant surprise because I didn't expect it to have as good a tone as it did. I still have that one but it's being sold to a friend soon.

Of the three I probably liked the stock APLE the best but if I could have a short scale neck in the neck carve I wanted, with the pickup I wanted in the color I wanted then I think the X20 would be perfect. So I custom ordered just that. I'm not a collector of guitars. I prefer to have just a couple so having one high end wood guitar that I love and one perfectly-built-just-for-me carbon fiber guitar will give me everything I need and want. I've got the Santa Cruz 1929 00 which I'm still in love with and if the X20 is everything I hope it will be, then I will likely be out of the guitar market for quite some time.
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Old 05-28-2017, 05:49 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post
.....if I could have a short scale neck in the neck carve I wanted, with the pickup I wanted in the color I wanted then I think the X20 would be perfect. So I custom ordered just that......
Sounds like a good order, now that you've dialed in exactly what you want. please keep us posted.
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:50 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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This morning was a first in a while: after checking this sub-forum before heading to bed last night, there were no new posts here this morning! What's up with that?? People too busy playing their new acquisitions to post??

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Old 06-01-2017, 10:15 AM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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You know the X20 is hard to put down But I was missing some new posts on the forum this morning also. I bet we'll get some more NGD's after the next Emerald ship day.
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:37 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
This morning was a first in a while: after checking this sub-forum before heading to bed last night, there were no new posts here this morning! What's up with that?? People too busy playing their new acquisitions to post??

Sadly, I am months away from my NECXWCFGD (new emerald custom X20 woody carbon fiber guitar day)...
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:27 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Sadly, I am months away from my NECXWCFGD (new emerald custom X20 woody carbon fiber guitar day)...
Ah, but look at the satisfaction you will have in receiving a unique guitar, made just the way you specified.

NECXWCFGD... I like that. Don't think I've seen that in the AGF glossary previously.
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Old 06-01-2017, 05:16 PM
Jimmy Koh Jimmy Koh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
This morning was a first in a while: after checking this sub-forum before heading to bed last night, there were no new posts here this morning! What's up with that?? People too busy playing their new acquisitions to post??

Hey Capt, I have some new updates on my T8 and I'm really tempted to update my thread after seeing your thread here. But I am thinking of holding the pics back till the days are nearer....
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Old 06-01-2017, 10:27 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Hey Capt, I have some new updates on my T8 and I'm really tempted to update my thread after seeing your thread here. But I am thinking of holding the pics back till the days are nearer....
"Previews" are always appreciated!
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