The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Carbon Fiber

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 06-04-2017, 10:35 AM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,235
Default Played two new Rainsong Custom Hybrid guitars yesterday

At Huber and Breese, in Fraser, Michigan. I drove there on purpose. I was an early adopter of carbon fiber guitar, several years ago (when CA guitars still had the fretboard made of wood !). Had Rainsong, CA, Emerald. In the past years, however, due to the fact that I do not travel anymore as often as in the past, and that I play always at home, I switched back to traditional acoustic guitars in the price range of $ 300 to $600, which is still a price range that CF guitars cannot reach. But the carbon fiber idea still intrigues me, and I was very interested in the new Custom Hybrid series from Rainsong (a brand that I know very well, had several of their guitars) that I find beautiful and well priced (for a CF guitar). At Huber an Breese they had the parlor and the OM. They also had several other more expensive Rainsong, the Studio and the classic series. I tried the two CH guitars unplugged. Both sound very well and are extremely playable, with a perfect factory set up, low action with no strings buzz. The parlor is a bit quiet, and the bass is well defined but of course not very powerful. The OM is a better all around guitar in my opinion. Good bass, medium, trebles, all well balanced, good volume although - even if it is louder than the parlor - I can't say it is as loud as some Martin OM guitars that I have played.
The sound of both guitars is very defined and pleasant, but -compared to a traditional wood guitar- a tiny bit different, with more sustain and a more "metallic" tone (but not too much to hear the difference with a traditional guitar unless you compare one against the other at the same moment, which I did comparing the Rainsong OM with a Martin OM GT16 that had a comparable price).
I found that both the Rainsong CH parlor and OM excel as fingerstyle guitars, however I was surprised (negatively) that the strings spacing at the saddle is quite tight (54.5 mm) even tighter than other brands. This is weird because the strings spacing at the neck is almost 38 mm which is great for finger picking. Why a 1 3/4 neck width at the nut and then an almost "Yamahaish" tight strings spacing at the saddle ? A mistery to me.
The two guitars compared very well with other Rainsong non CH that I played in the store, I frankly cannot see a good reason to spend several hundred dollars more for the non CH models. In conclusion, two great guitars at a very competitive price for the CF market, however unless you have a passion for CF guitars or really need the superior durability - I still think that most traditional guitars still sound slightly warmer in the same price range. But of course, nobody established that a CF guitar MUST sound like a wood one. This is really a matter of personal opinion.

Last edited by gerardo1000; 06-04-2017 at 05:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-04-2017, 11:19 AM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 12,247
Default

Sounds like you had a good time at H&B, Gerardo. As to string spacing at the saddle, Rainsong uses the same 1-3/4" nut 2-3/16" saddle spacing combo used by Taylor on all their guitars, and used by Martin on their hugely popular models like the OM-28, 00-28, OM-21, 000-18, 00-18, 0-18 and so on. I actually prefer the 1-3/4" nut 2-1/4" saddle spacing combo, which is why so many of our Custom Martins are built that way, but apparently the folks at Taylor, Martin, and Rainsong did their homework and found the slightly tighter string spacing at the saddle is preferred by the masses who use a flat pick more often than not. Fact is, although I play mostly fingerstyle, the difference is barely noticeable, so definitely not a deal breaker for me.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-04-2017, 01:27 PM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,235
Default

Thank you Ted. I measured the strings spacing at the saddle of the two CH Rainsong and it was just a tiny bit over 54.5 mm. I had Taylors (324, 322, 714) and Martins (OM 21, MMV dreadnought, 000-18) and their standard strings spacing at the saddle is between 55.5 and 56 mm. I may be wrong because I do not have access to so many guitars as you do, but this is based on my personal experience. In any case, I agree that it is not a big difference although for me it still makes a difference !

Last edited by gerardo1000; 06-04-2017 at 05:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-04-2017, 01:57 PM
sirwhale sirwhale is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Spain
Posts: 954
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerardo1000 View Post
Thank you Ted. I measured the strings spacing at the saddle of the two CH Rainsong and it was just a tiny bit over 34.5 mm. I had Taylors (324, 322, 714) and Martins (OM 21, MMV dreadnought, 000-18) and their standard strings spacing at the saddle is between 35.5 and 36 mm. I may be wrong because I do not have access to so many guitars as you do, but this is based on my personal experience. In any case, I agree that it is not a big difference although for me it makes a little difference !
Are you sure your measurements are correct? My Blackbird has a 55mm string spacing and my Camps has a 58mm string spacing at the saddle. That's a big difference to your numbers.
__________________
Camps Primera Negra A (a flamenco guitar), Cordoba Mini M

Music I tend to play/am learning currently: Acoustic blues and folk, Bert Jansch, John Fahey, Joseph Spence, Skip James, Gary Davis

https://www.youtube.com/user/sirwhale28/videos
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-04-2017, 02:23 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 6,673
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerardo1000 View Post
but -compared to a traditional wood guitar- a tiny bit different, with more sustain and a more "metallic" tone
I fixed the "metalic" tone on my Shorty by switching the factory 80/20 Elixirs to PB Elixirs.

As always YMMV.
__________________
Larrivee OM-03RE; O-01
Martin D-35; Guild F-212; Tacoma Roadking
Breedlove American Series C20/SR
Rainsong SFTA-FLE; WS3000; CH-PA
Taylor GA3-12, Guild F-212

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/markhorning
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-04-2017, 05:48 PM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,235
Default

Sirwhale, you are correct and I apologize. I meant 55 not 35 ! I have corrected my post !
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-04-2017, 09:43 PM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: A mile over sea level, CO
Posts: 2,711
Default

I have been saying on here for a long time- I play fingerstyle and want warmer tone on my RainSong I don't put bronze on it at all. Martin retro or other good quality nickel strings take the metallic sizzle right out. I still need to try the D'addario NB's on the Shorty but if those strings don't perform better than what I stated above than I'm right back to monel or nickel. YMMV

RainSong makes bright guitars but they are very good at capturing string character, 80/20 did not work for me either.
__________________
Not to brag or anything but I own like 2 guitars, a 13 year old 30W amp, and a bunch of capos
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-05-2017, 01:34 AM
sirwhale sirwhale is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Spain
Posts: 954
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted @ LA Guitar Sales View Post
Sounds like you had a good time at H&B, Gerardo. As to string spacing at the saddle, Rainsong uses the same 1-3/4" nut 2-3/16" saddle spacing combo used by Taylor on all their guitars, and used by Martin on their hugely popular models like the OM-28, 00-28, OM-21, 000-18, 00-18, 0-18 and so on. I actually prefer the 1-3/4" nut 2-1/4" saddle spacing combo, which is why so many of our Custom Martins are built that way, but apparently the folks at Taylor, Martin, and Rainsong did their homework and found the slightly tighter string spacing at the saddle is preferred by the masses who use a flat pick more often than not. Fact is, although I play mostly fingerstyle, the difference is barely noticeable, so definitely not a deal breaker for me.
Ted, I am like you. I prefer the extra space for my fingers. I can see why flat pickers want something different though. 58mm - 60mm for fingers I think.
__________________
Camps Primera Negra A (a flamenco guitar), Cordoba Mini M

Music I tend to play/am learning currently: Acoustic blues and folk, Bert Jansch, John Fahey, Joseph Spence, Skip James, Gary Davis

https://www.youtube.com/user/sirwhale28/videos
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-06-2017, 01:27 PM
gfa gfa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,528
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelvibe View Post
I have been saying on here for a long time- I play fingerstyle and want warmer tone on my RainSong I don't put bronze on it at all. Martin retro or other good quality nickel strings take the metallic sizzle right out. I still need to try the D'addario NB's on the Shorty but if those strings don't perform better than what I stated above than I'm right back to monel or nickel. YMMV

RainSong makes bright guitars but they are very good at capturing string character, 80/20 did not work for me either.
Yes, the Monels warmed up my H-WS quite nicely.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-15-2017, 12:12 AM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 12,247
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirwhale View Post
Ted, I am like you. I prefer the extra space for my fingers. I can see why flat pickers want something different though. 58mm - 60mm for fingers I think.
To tell you the truth, for years I assumed that my Rainsongs, and Taylors, had my preferred 2-1/4" saddle spacing, imagine my surprise when I found out both feature 1-3/4" nut width 2-3/16" saddle spacing. Who knew I could be so happy playing finger style with this combo?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-15-2017, 09:07 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,777
Default

Interesting observation. My left hand is VERY sensitive to neck shape and nut width, but the right hand not so much for string spacing at the bridge. So I have never measured, and didn't even know the Taylor or Rainsong spec for that until just now, and I own several of them. I play about 70% finger style.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-15-2017, 10:17 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Allentown, PA
Posts: 2,205
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gfa View Post
Yes, the Monels warmed up my H-WS quite nicely.
As soon as I run out of Elixir Polyweb 12s I'll try a set of Martin Retros. With Polywebs on my H-DR and week old 80/20 Martins on my duo partner's HD-28V, both guitars on stands, the tone and volume strumming them while listening to the projected sound is to my ear (and the others in the room), nearly identical (probably not true for tone to player while being held). I have a lower threshold for squeaks than most and the Polywebs excel in that area. But i really like fresh strings before an important gig, for fear of breakage, and the Polyweb habit seems wasteful.
__________________
Jon Fields

RainSong CH-PA1100NS, Mi-Si Trio (Baggs Element), Elixir PB 10s, TKL 8975 Case, set up to cover electric guitar riffs
RainSong CO-PA1100NS, Fishman Rare Earth Humbucker stored in the case, Elixir 80/20 Polyweb 12s, TKL 8975 Case
One QSC CP8 (21 lbs) high/behind & Yamaha MG10XU mixer

www.justsoduo.com
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-15-2017, 11:57 AM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 12,247
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
Interesting observation. My left hand is VERY sensitive to neck shape and nut width, but the right hand not so much for string spacing at the bridge. So I have never measured, and didn't even know the Taylor or Rainsong spec for that until just now, and I own several of them. I play about 70% finger style.
When Helene bought me my Taylor 714ce almost twenty years ago, I was mostly playing fingerstyle, and that was the guitar that felt the best to me. Took me over a decade to find out that I was using the "wrong" saddle spacing.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Carbon Fiber

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=