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  #1  
Old 06-07-2017, 05:47 AM
lizzard lizzard is offline
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Default CF input for a CF newbie

Always have been a wood guy. But life changes. I'm keeping my last wood guitar and I want to protect it from the elements. I'm considering a CF FOR THE BEACH, campfires, the cold, the humid, etc...

What sounds most "natural" and whose fit,finish,playability would you recommend ? It's not like they are all in a shop nearby to A/B

Thanks!
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Old 06-07-2017, 06:30 AM
sirwhale sirwhale is offline
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I'm going to go straight in and say that if you want the most "neutral sound" I'm guessing you mean a "woody" sound. If this is the case, then I would suggest you look at the guitars made by Blackbird that use linin fibre instead of carbon fibre.
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Old 06-07-2017, 06:55 AM
Strumalot Strumalot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzard View Post
BEACH, campfires, the cold, the humid, etc..."natural" ...fit,finish,playability
Yep, sounds like a Blackbird Savoy to me.
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:35 AM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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I have no experience with the Blackbird line, especially the new one, but I hear good things. Another guitar I have no direct experience with but I hear good things about is the Kevin Michaelson (McPherson) line but there was an A/B/C/D shootout video on You Tube where it sounded good.

I do have direct ownership experience with Emerald (X20), Rainsong (APLE Shorty) and the little Journey OF660 travel guitar. All three are excellent. All three have their place at the table of CF usefulness.

Of those three I would say that the Rainsong Shorty at the most 'natural' sound. It also has excellent ergonomics with an OM-size body but shortscale 12 fret neck.

The Journey is a terrific guitar if you also play to travel as it folds down into its own little backpack case for easy transport even on an airplane - it fits into the overhead.

The Emerald X20 series is the best for looks and customization. They also make smaller versions like the X7 which would be better for casual travel. The X20 has an interesting and unique look with its off-center sound hole that directs volume up at the player as well as out. Emerald is great to work with and offers many different colors and for those willing to wait, some great customization.

I'm right where you are in that I'm down to one wood guitar and wanted a nice CF for harsh environments. I decided to custom order an X20 from Emerald with all the features I wanted. My one reason for selling off most of the CF guitars I've owned is I never liked their neck carves. Emerald is custom making me an X20 with a beautiful custom finish and with a neck that is identical in shape, carve, scale and dimensions to my beloved Santa Cruz 1929 00.

Once I have that, I'll have my wood guitar and my CF guitar.
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Old 06-07-2017, 01:03 PM
Chipotle Chipotle is offline
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Composite Acoustics doesn't seem to get as much love around here (although constantly being out-of-stock at the few retailers/online doesn't help!). I think my CA GX is very "natural" sounding. When I was shopping, its other main competitor was Taylor GA style, 714ce or 814ce. I played them right next to each other and decided on the Composite Acoustics.

I recently did an open-mike set this weekend and nobody, even the other artists, noticed or commented on it being significantly different than any other guitar.
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Old 06-07-2017, 01:19 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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The new Rainsong CH series with the uni-directional top instead of woven fabric seems to sound pretty "woody" to most, and at a great price point. The Blackbird models in eKoa (linen composite) like the El Capitan and the new Savoy are very similar to wood tone and appearance.

Nothing against CA -- we own a recent Peavey era Cargo -- but our household is already set for full-size six strings in carbon fiber [Rainsong WS-1000, Blackbird Lucky 13]. So I don't really stay current on the CA models. My FLGS (favorite local guitar store) keeps several in stock and I test drive them briefly at times with positive impressions, but I'm not seriously in the market right now.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:07 PM
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I have a Rainsong hybrid OM, and I think it sounds great, both unplugged and plugged in. I get great reactions from anyone that hears and plays it. Given the wide range of tonal differences between wooden guitars, when you take size, woods used, brand/builder, and so on, it's hard to say how "woody" it sounds. To me, it sounds like a guitar. It's different than my Takamine, my Ensor, my Stehr...but there's no mistaking that it's a guitar. I love it, and wouldn't think of selling it. Hope that helps!
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:02 AM
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I was a "wood guy" but I considered buying a carbon fiber guitar for the outdoors, travel, etc. I ended up buying a Journey OF-660. I like it so much that it's all I play now. I've played my wood guitar once in 3 months, so I will be putting that up for sale.
The carbon fiber is just too easy. No humidifier, never put it away - it just sits out waiting for me to pick it up. It's also very comfortable with the scalloped back, small size and bevelled top edge. This is something I didn't factor in to my buying decision, but has become a huge positive for me.
And I don't know if it's because of the carbon fiber, or just this guitar (I haven't played any other CF guitars), but there is something so nice about the feel of the neck and the really smooth vibrations of the back of the guitar against my ribs.
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:53 AM
frances50 frances50 is offline
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I've only played one CF guitar and that's my Rainsong that I purchased on line from GC. With all that said, I love this guitar. I can take it out of the house and not worry about humidity or heat and I know the guitar will still sound sweet. In my area, there simply wasn't an option to test drive a CF guitar. Good luck with your search.
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:11 AM
lizzard lizzard is offline
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Doesn't a hybrid defeat the purpose? If the top is wood it will split?
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:22 AM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzard View Post
Doesn't a hybrid defeat the purpose? If the top is wood it will split?
A hybrid Rainsong is not wood and CF, it is a combination of fiberglass and carbon. (I think that is correct) it tends to mellow out the highs a bit. I have a H-WS1000 and it is my favorite among the different choices of tops and sides. The H means hybrid. You may want to read thru the Rainsong website to get more accurate info than I am offering. Good Luck....
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:42 AM
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Acousticado Acousticado is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzard View Post
Always have been a wood guy. But life changes. I'm keeping my last wood guitar and I want to protect it from the elements. I'm considering a CF FOR THE BEACH, campfires, the cold, the humid, etc...

What sounds most "natural" and whose fit,finish,playability would you recommend ? It's not like they are all in a shop nearby to A/B

Thanks!
To best help you, a couple of questions...

What is your preferred guitar size?
What is your budget?

Given your stated reasons for wanting a CF guitar, I suspect you want something easy to lug about, not have to worry about dinging up a bit, and still sound great under any outdoor conditions.

Many of the guitars already recommended are going to be well north of $2k new and it may be difficult to find them used at a reasonable cost. Unless you absolutely want a full size guitar, I know that for the beach, campfires, etc. and really even for any situation to have a quality, find sounding and playing instrument, I'd be going for a used Composite Acoustics Cargo, preferably pre '09 in the Road Tough (RT) finish, or maybe the RAW finish. You can likely find one for under $1k. Know that the Cargo is a smaller guitar, but with a volume/sound that rivals full-size guitars. Some find the shorter neck tight. Personally, I don't. I own an '08 RT model since new and it is wonderful for all circumstances and I personally wouldn't hesitate to take it in the outdoors for rugged applications. I don't believe that the RT finish is available in the Peavey era Cargos, but the RAW is.

I'd also be considering an Emerald X7 Opus (includes crystal ice finish) which in a way is similar, but different to the RT finish on the RT Cargo, albeit the Cargo has this finish on the entire biopsy whereas the X7 has a gloss top. Although it has a smaller body, it plays like a full scale. The crystal ice b&s finish on the b&s should make it quite durable for the outdoors. This one will cost you $1k new. If I'd want a full size guitar that still has a smaller feel because of its great ergonomics, for potential rugged use I'd definitely consider an Emerald X20 Opus which lists at $1,500.

Finally, someone mentioned the Journey OF660M (matte finish), a guitar with easily removable neck and stores into a well-designed backpack. There is a new finish version that might well suit the rugged outdoors. I think you can get one new for under $1k.

There are certainly a number of fine CF makes/models including Rainsong parlors, etc., but they are going to be costly. Perhaps some can be had for $1,200 and up. Again, I'm suspecting that for your intended use, the guitars I reference might fit the bill if your budget isn't high and you like a smaller profile for ease of lugging around.

Don't be hasty. Spend some time around here searching relevant threads. It'll be worth it.

Good luck in your search!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzard View Post
Doesn't a hybrid defeat the purpose? If the top is wood it will split?
I could be wrong, some others will know better than me, but I don't believe that the hybrid Rainsong involve any use of wood. Rather, I think the composition of those guitars are a mix of CF and some sort of glass.
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Carbon Fiber: '18 Emerald X20 Custom | '08 Composite Acoustics Cargo RT

Last edited by Acousticado; 06-08-2017 at 12:02 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-08-2017, 11:40 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzard View Post
Doesn't a hybrid defeat the purpose? If the top is wood it will split?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acousticado View Post
....I don't believe that the hybrid Rainsong involve any use of wood. Rather, I think the composition of those guitars are a mix of CF and some sort of glass.
This is correct. The classic Rainsong's are all CF weave. The hybrid series is fiberglass sides and back with a CF weave top. The new CH series is fiberglass back & sides with a uni-directional CF top. No trees were harmed in the making of these guitars.

The new CH series comes in at a pretty attractive price, staring around $1300 w/o electronics. Check of the LA Guitars web site for more detail.
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Old 06-08-2017, 03:00 PM
guitararmy guitararmy is offline
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I've seen some nice CF guitars pop up in the AGF Classifieds. A used CF guitar is basically new...
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Old 06-08-2017, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitararmy View Post
. A used CF guitar is basically new...

Indeed!....Unless all scratched up or painted or something.
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