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Old 10-10-2017, 08:57 AM
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RandyOK RandyOK is offline
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Default Emerald X20 vs Rainsong CO WS1000N2 vs CA GX

Ok...
I know there are other posts out there about brands etc... but I am asking about these 3 guitars specifically for anyone that has experience with all 3.
Emerald X20 opus vs Rainsong (Concert series) CO WS1000N2 vs CA GX
I know that it might be hard to find someone that has played all 3 but I thought I would give it a shot.
If someone could please compare and contrast the tone, volume, resonance/sustain, feel etc... between these 3 specifically that might help me make a decision. None of these are available to go play in Oklahoma as far as I know. Thanks guys!
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Last edited by RandyOK; 11-14-2017 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:19 AM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Hi Randy,

I've played multiple versions of all three models side by side, which is important given how short our tonal memory is, so I am quite familiar with them. If you give me a call I will be happy to share my experience.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:18 AM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
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I think you mean CA GXi. There's a GXi and an Xi. The GXi is simialr size to the other ones you mentioned, but it's no longer made. The Xi is only about 3" thick and so the tone will be far from the WS and X20. I think they make the Xi more for playing plugged in live, thin body.

I haven't played the Emerald X20 or Rainsong WS, but I have played a GXi. It was very bassy and warm, but also very muted in the mid-highs and trebles. It was like someone put a blanket over the whole high end of the guitar. I tried strumming some basic chords well moving melodies lines on the high E string and you could barely hear hear the changes if at all. The strings sounded crisp, they were fresh. Nice attck in the lower strings, just out of balance. You could hear the highs a bit better when doing fingerstyle, but it was still muted in the mid-highs and treble. Quite a dark guitar, not my thing. Darker than a hog topped guitar. MAYBE 80\20's would bring more out of it... but it was pretty dark.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonius View Post
I think you mean CA GXi. There's a GXi and an Xi. The GXi is simialr size to the other ones you mentioned, but it's no longer made. The Xi is only about 3" thick and so the tone will be far from the WS and X20. I think they make the Xi more for playing plugged in live, thin body.

I haven't played the Emerald X20 or Rainsong WS, but I have played a GXi. It was very bassy and warm, but also very muted in the mid-highs and trebles. It was like someone put a blanket over the whole high end of the guitar. I tried strumming some basic chords well moving melodies lines on the high E string and you could barely hear hear the changes if at all. The strings sounded crisp, they were fresh. Nice attck in the lower strings, just out of balance. You could hear the highs a bit better when doing fingerstyle, but it was still muted in the mid-highs and treble. Quite a dark guitar, not my thing. Darker than a hog topped guitar. MAYBE 80\20's would bring more out of it... but it was pretty dark.
I owned an ‘08 GXi (gloss tobacco burst) ordered new back then after having bought a Cargo RT earlier that year and being super impressed with it (still am). I had the GXi for four years before selling it to help fund my Emerald Chimaera 6/12 doubleneck. I quite liked the GXi (not as much as the Cargo for various reasons, as odd as that might seem), but I kinda agree with Carbonius.

Thinking about it now, given the range of guitars that have emerged since, I would not consider a GXi (nor the GX which Peavey still offers). It sure was a looker of a guitar though, and like the Cargo, has my favorite neck profile. That said, CAs don’t have truss rods in a composite guitar world where most other builders have recognized that players prefer having a truss rod to fine tune their setup preferences, so they are installing them. I speculate that if CA were to begin installing truss rods, the neck profile would change significantly, adding weight and balance issues to a lineup of guitars that are already on the heavier side compared to the competition.

Although I do own the Emerald doubleneck, I don’t think my impressions will necessarily translate to the X20, so I really can’t comment on it or the Rainsong. Although I won’t be ready to buy a guitar for a while, at this point my personal contenders will be the X20, Rainsong CH-OM, and the Blackbird Savoy (realizing that the Savoy is smaller and a lot more expensive).
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Last edited by Acousticado; 10-10-2017 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:57 AM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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Just to chime in, there is an offset soundhole version of the Rainsong, if that's something that appeals to you. It looks pretty sweet: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guita...2041x151905500

I recently got a Concert Hybrid WS, and I've been playing the snot out of it the last few days, but I can't really give you any side-by-side comparisons. Good luck!
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:42 PM
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If I got a rainsong I would be interested in the concert series with the unidirectional CF top.
They're supposed to sound a little warmer ...a little closer wood-like, right?
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:25 PM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyOK View Post
If I got a rainsong I would be interested in the concert series with the unidirectional CF top.
They're supposed to sound a little warmer ...a little closer wood-like, right?
I have two Rainsongs, both with the uni top, and to my ears, they are the brightest and most responsive. And I mean *very* responsive. If you want warmth, which typically means a little deader and less treble, then the Hybrid series is probably the "warmest." But it's all subjective and depends on the player. I've transitioned to more fingerpicking lately, and the uni carbon top on my Rainsongs has the most clarity of any acoustic I've ever played, without sacrificing any lows or mids.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by MiG50 View Post
I have two Rainsongs, both with the uni top, and to my ears, they are the brightest and most responsive. And I mean *very* responsive. If you want warmth, which typically means a little deader and less treble, then the Hybrid series is probably the "warmest." But it's all subjective and depends on the player. I've transitioned to more fingerpicking lately, and the uni carbon top on my Rainsongs has the most clarity of any acoustic I've ever played, without sacrificing any lows or mids.
I am primarily a finger picker too. Which 2 models do you have?
Do you have the CO WS1000N2? Which is the best for fingerpicking?
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:51 PM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyOK View Post
I am primarily a finger picker too. Which 2 models do you have?
Do you have the CO WS1000N2? Which is the best for fingerpicking?
I've got a Shorty, which I believe is a discontinued model (OM body) and a Concert Hybrid WS body, CH-WS1000NS. I generally prefer the OM body for fingerpicking, but the WS body is a little bigger-sounding. The matte finish on the neck of the Concert Hybrid series is also a little more comfortable to my hands. The biggest difference between body shapes, to my ears, is just more bass response from the WS body. If you like rich low end, get a WS. If you want to cut a little mud, get an OM.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:49 PM
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I think the X20 looks awesome but, It sounds like most X20 owners use them for flat picking or strumming. I haven't seen that many finger pickers using them. Is there a reason for that?
Or am I just jumping to a false conclusion?
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:12 AM
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I guess another question would be.... Is the Rainsong worth the extra $1,000 ?
Emerald X20 Opus $1,495 vs Rainsong CO WS1000N2 $2,495
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:01 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyOK View Post
I think the X20 looks awesome but, It sounds like most X20 owners use them for flat picking or strumming. I haven't seen that many finger pickers using them. Is there a reason for that?
Or am I just jumping to a false conclusion?
A quick search pulled up this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpcULDQ8P-0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxeozaS_uRI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laHr5wMMU3I

And, my guitar (probably wondering how it would up with an old rock 'n roller)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHFahKtLtVU

So, I'd say: yeah, there's plenty of fingerstyle playing on these guitars.
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:14 AM
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Thank you Captain Jim! I just found the Al Petteway clip myself. Nice. The X20 doesn't sound as loud and bright as the Rainsong but still sounds pretty good. I would say that the X20 sounds a little warmer , a tad quieter maybe a bit boxy versus an open ringing sound or the Rainsong by comparison. Would that be fair? I guess that's all subjective depending on the player and listener.
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Last edited by RandyOK; 10-13-2017 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:51 AM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyOK View Post
Thank you Captain Jim! I just found the Al Petteway clip myself. Nice. The X20 doesn't sound as loud and bright as the Rainsong but still sounds pretty good. I would say that the X20 sounds a little warmer , a tad quieter maybe a bit boxy versus an open ringing sound or the Rainsong by comparison. Would that be fair? I guess that's all subjective depending on the player and listener.
Clips really vary by video I find. I suppose a players touch really comes into it when we are talking fingerstyle. I listened to several Al Petteway clips on an X20 and they all sounded different. Shouldn't they all sound the same since this is CF?? So then I expect mic placement, room dynamics and whatever mastering they do effects it.

I also make sure I listen with some quality headphones. Most computer speakers and earbuds don't produce good bass. I use my Bose Q25 with the noise cancelling turned off as it drastically re-eq's things. I find I get a full natural tone that way. I tested them with music I know and it sounds very true. Some people have very nice computer sound systems, so thus may by moot for you.

From my listening experience, Martin Blaines gets the most out of CF guitars for fingerstyle (not that I've heard everything). There was already one video linked, here's another. He gets many tones and dynamic range. That's a combination of his fabulous technique and the instrument to exhibit it on.

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Old 10-13-2017, 10:16 AM
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Good ole Martin... nice
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