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  #16  
Old 10-13-2017, 11:09 AM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Originally Posted by RandyOK View Post
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
To clarify for folks who may not know, you are comparing a bare bones x20 Opus without electronics, matte stipple finish back and sides, and gig bag to the top of the line, all gloss Rainsong with abalone appointments, unidirectional top, hardhsell case, and Fishman Prefix Plus T electronics. The electronics alone sell for $360 online.

A better comparison would be the all gloss Artisan x20, and the Rainsong WS1100N2 without electronics and standard weave soundboard which can be purchased for the same price from a hundred different dealers in the US.


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Originally Posted by kramster View Post
Good ole Martin... nice,m
Haven't seen Martin around here in ages. Does he still do promo videos for Emerald?
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  #17  
Old 10-13-2017, 07:31 PM
carbonfiberfan carbonfiberfan is offline
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I’ve owned the Emerald X20 Opus, CA GXI and GX, and a Rainsong H-OM1000N2 (different model than you’re asking), so have had extended experience with each as owner and not simply demoing them, although I no longer own all three and am basing the following off memory.

For guitarists just entering the carbon fiber world and wanting a tone similar to wood as they make the transition, I highly recommend trying the CA GX and GXI. For those who have already begun to acclimate to the carbon fiber world, they may find the Emerald X20 appealing due to more refined ergonomics, light weight, and different voice. I think the taste of players can change over time—especially in the cf world—as I’ve seen players migrate from one brand to another as they get more accustomed to leaving tonal traditions behind and get comfortable with the variation offered in cf.

Tone:
X20: “clear, simple, almost sterile purity” in tone; embraces its identity as a carbon fiber guitar and doesn’t try to sound like wood; well-balanced
CA GXi: great “complexity/depth” in tone; profound bass response and lower end; “woody” tone compared to emerald or rainsong; 80/20 vs phosphor bronze strings is very noticeable; safe to say it would never be described as a “bright” guitar by any player, regardless of differences in hearing
Rainsong H-OM1000N2: “crystalline” and leans towards highs and trebles, with weaker bass presence; relatively "bright" guitar

Sustain:
I could drive the top of the GXI harder to give a longer sustain than the X20, although the X20 might be slightly more responsive to light touch. Rainsong was middle-of-the-road

Feel:
Emerald woos aesthetically with its refinement and beautiful craftsmanship that is top bar none. Many are probably tempted to purchase/keep it for that alone, which you can’t deny the strong pull. Emerald’s standard neck shape is a little “clunky” and not my preference as it caused fatigue over time, with CA GXI a little “flat” feeling although much more comfortable for my taste, and Rainsong felt close to Taylor.

I’ll mention that I sold both the Rainsong and Emerald, and my GXI is an absolute keeper—there’s something mesmerizing about its unique rich voice, which has the quality of being almost haunting/pondering, while the X20 and rainsong are more innocent/cheerful. The GXi is a very polarizing guitar model, as guitarists frequently either love it or dislike it, with no neutral ground. My love for the GXi is so endearing that I bought 2 others when the model was discontinued, and I’ve sold all my other full-sized guitars, so there are some very passionate CA-lovers out there even though it doesn’t always make it to the forum
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  #18  
Old 10-13-2017, 07:46 PM
bry bry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbonfiberfan View Post
I’ve owned the Emerald X20 Opus, CA GXI and GX, and a Rainsong H-OM1000N2 (different model than you’re asking), so have had extended experience with each as owner and not simply demoing them, although I no longer own all three and am basing the following off memory.



For guitarists just entering the carbon fiber world and wanting a tone similar to wood as they make the transition, I highly recommend trying the CA GX and GXI. For those who have already begun to acclimate to the carbon fiber world, they may find the Emerald X20 appealing due to more refined ergonomics, light weight, and different voice. I think the taste of players can change over time—especially in the cf world—as I’ve seen players migrate from one brand to another as they get more accustomed to leaving tonal traditions behind and get comfortable with the variation offered in cf.



Tone:

X20: “clear, simple, almost sterile purity” in tone; embraces its identity as a carbon fiber guitar and doesn’t try to sound like wood; well-balanced

CA GXi: great “complexity/depth” in tone; profound bass response and lower end; “woody” tone compared to emerald or rainsong; 80/20 vs phosphor bronze strings is very noticeable; safe to say it would never be described as a “bright” guitar by any player, regardless of differences in hearing

Rainsong H-OM1000N2: “crystalline” and leans towards highs and trebles, with weaker bass presence; relatively "bright" guitar



Sustain:

I could drive the top of the GXI harder to give a longer sustain than the X20, although the X20 might be slightly more responsive to light touch. Rainsong was middle-of-the-road



Feel:

Emerald woos aesthetically with its refinement and beautiful craftsmanship that is top bar none. Many are probably tempted to purchase/keep it for that alone, which you can’t deny the strong pull. Emerald’s standard neck shape is a little “clunky” and not my preference as it caused fatigue over time, with CA GXI a little “flat” feeling although much more comfortable for my taste, and Rainsong felt close to Taylor.



I’ll mention that I sold both the Rainsong and Emerald, and my GXI is an absolute keeper—there’s something mesmerizing about its unique rich voice, which has the quality of being almost haunting/pondering, while the X20 and rainsong are more innocent/cheerful. The GXi is a very polarizing guitar model, as guitarists frequently either love it or dislike it, with no neutral ground. My love for the GXi is so endearing that I bought 2 others when the model was discontinued, and I’ve sold all my other full-sized guitars, so there are some very passionate CA-lovers out there even though it doesn’t always make it to the forum


What a great review. Well done. I'm going to look up some of your other posts.
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  #19  
Old 10-13-2017, 07:50 PM
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Acousticado Acousticado is offline
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Originally Posted by bry View Post
What a great review. Well done. I'm going to look up some of your other posts.
With only 3 posts since 2013 by carbonfiberfan, that shouldn’t take too long!

CFF, I agree, very nice review. You obviously have valuable CF insight. Keep posting!
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  #20  
Old 10-13-2017, 09:39 PM
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NICE! Sounds beautiful here!
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  #21  
Old 10-13-2017, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted @ LA Guitar Sales View Post
To clarify for folks who may not know, you are comparing a bare bones x20 Opus without electronics, matte stipple finish back and sides, and gig bag to the top of the line, all gloss Rainsong with abalone appointments, unidirectional top, hardhsell case, and Fishman Prefix Plus T electronics. The electronics alone sell for $360 online.

A better comparison would be the all gloss Artisan x20, and the Rainsong WS1100N2 without electronics and standard weave soundboard which can be purchased for the same price from a hundred different dealers


Ted, thank you sir. You are correct. Difference in grade... But to be honest if I got a Rainsong I would order one without the electronics but with a unidirectional top . I can't stand the way the Fishman UST sounds that is ... Judging by the video clips on YouTube. And I am not really a fan of Glossy finish. I love my Larrivee OM 40-R with a satin/matte finish. So those things are not really a plus for me. Better tuners maybe. The whole appeal of a CF guitar for me is the durability, go anywhere in any condition aspect and not so much the aesthetics. Even though aesthetically Emerald kills it. I am just trying to find the best value in tone, volume and sustain in the CF realm. You know ... I want that guitar that inspires me to play more, to write, the one that I can't put down. So you are right... to be fair I suppose I shouldn't say there is a$1,000 difference ... apples to apples.
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Last edited by RandyOK; 10-13-2017 at 10:25 PM.
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  #22  
Old 10-13-2017, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by carbonfiberfan View Post
I’ve owned the Emerald X20 Opus, CA GXI and GX, and a Rainsong H-OM1000N2 (different model than you’re asking), so have had extended experience with each as owner and not simply demoing them, although I no longer own all three and am basing the following off memory.

For guitarists just entering the carbon fiber world and wanting a tone similar to wood as they make the transition, I highly recommend trying the CA GX and GXI. For those who have already begun to acclimate to the carbon fiber world, they may find the Emerald X20 appealing due to more refined ergonomics, light weight, and different voice. I think the taste of players can change over time—especially in the cf world—as I’ve seen players migrate from one brand to another as they get more accustomed to leaving tonal traditions behind and get comfortable with the variation offered in cf.

Tone:
X20: “clear, simple, almost sterile purity” in tone; embraces its identity as a carbon fiber guitar and doesn’t try to sound like wood; well-balanced
CA GXi: great “complexity/depth” in tone; profound bass response and lower end; “woody” tone compared to emerald or rainsong; 80/20 vs phosphor bronze strings is very noticeable; safe to say it would never be described as a “bright” guitar by any player, regardless of differences in hearing
Rainsong H-OM1000N2: “crystalline” and leans towards highs and trebles, with weaker bass presence; relatively "bright" guitar

Sustain:
I could drive the top of the GXI harder to give a longer sustain than the X20, although the X20 might be slightly more responsive to light touch. Rainsong was middle-of-the-road

Feel:
Emerald woos aesthetically with its refinement and beautiful craftsmanship that is top bar none. Many are probably tempted to purchase/keep it for that alone, which you can’t deny the strong pull. Emerald’s standard neck shape is a little “clunky” and not my preference as it caused fatigue over time, with CA GXI a little “flat” feeling although much more comfortable for my taste, and Rainsong felt close to Taylor.

I’ll mention that I sold both the Rainsong and Emerald, and my GXI is an absolute keeper—there’s something mesmerizing about its unique rich voice, which has the quality of being almost haunting/pondering, while the X20 and rainsong are more innocent/cheerful. The GXi is a very polarizing guitar model, as guitarists frequently either love it or dislike it, with no neutral ground. My love for the GXi is so endearing that I bought 2 others when the model was discontinued, and I’ve sold all my other full-sized guitars, so there are some very passionate CA-lovers out there even though it doesn’t always make it to the forum

Carbofiberfan: Nice review sir! Now I want the Rainsong neck with the Emerald aesthetic and the CA tone ! Ha! Thanks!
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  #23  
Old 10-13-2017, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiG50 View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramster View Post
Good ole Martin... nice,m
Does the CH have the unidirectional top?
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  #24  
Old 10-14-2017, 11:17 AM
bry bry is offline
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The CH models and the CO models have unidirectional tops.
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  #25  
Old 10-14-2017, 05:25 PM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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Originally Posted by carbonfiberfan View Post
I’ve owned the Emerald X20 Opus, CA GXI and GX, and a Rainsong H-OM1000N2

Tone:
X20: “clear, simple, almost sterile purity” in tone;
Good review, the only comment I disagree with is the tone of the X20...I don't find mine any where near "sterile purity", could yours have been an older model? Or perhaps different strings than I have tried. I would say that description applies more to the Rainsong. Thanks for posting your thoughts on those models. I'm enjoying the Cargo so much I may have to find a larger CA model to try.
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  #26  
Old 10-14-2017, 08:55 PM
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Acousticado Acousticado is offline
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Originally Posted by jdinco View Post
Good review, the only comment I disagree with is the tone of the X20...I don't find mine any where near "sterile purity", could yours have been an older model? Or perhaps different strings than I have tried. I would say that description applies more to the Rainsong. Thanks for posting your thoughts on those models. I'm enjoying the Cargo so much I may have to find a larger CA model to try.
That’s exactly how I felt when I first got my Cargo RT back in March ‘08. So much so, that I ordered it’s big brother, the GXi in November of that year. I thought it would be a bigger, louder version of the Cargo and although I really liked it, it was a whole other beast than the Cargo. I only sold it in 2012 to help fund my Emerald Chimaera.
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  #27  
Old 10-15-2017, 05:09 AM
Fixedgear60 Fixedgear60 is offline
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That’s exactly how I felt when I first got my Cargo RT back in March ‘08. So much so, that I ordered it’s big brother, the GXi in November of that year. I thought it would be a bigger, louder version of the Cargo and although I really liked it, it was a whole other beast than the Cargo. I only sold it in 2012 to help fund my Emerald Chimaera.
Hi Acousticado.... this is exactly what I am afraid of ... I am really enjoying my Mcpherson Touring and thinking about the Sable now but wondering if part of its specialness is it's size and scale. I went through this when I had a cargo which I loved and then bought the OX which was a very good guitar but lost some of the "magic" of the size and scale... :-). Everytime I pick up Touring it is like a magic trick the sound that comes out of it. I am resisting the Sable pull right now... also wish the Sable had the more traditional shape (cutaway). I played a wood McPherson a couple of weeks ago and it was so compelling it has me considering a wood guitar (hopefully used) first in almost 10 years.... Looking forward to what goodies Winter NAMM 2018 will bring for us...

Last edited by Fixedgear60; 10-15-2017 at 06:08 AM.
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  #28  
Old 10-15-2017, 04:04 PM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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Originally Posted by RandyOK View Post
Ted, thank you sir. You are correct. Difference in grade... But to be honest if I got a Rainsong I would order one without the electronics but with a unidirectional top . I can't stand the way the Fishman UST sounds that is ... Judging by the video clips on YouTube. And I am not really a fan of Glossy finish. I love my Larrivee OM 40-R with a satin/matte finish. So those things are not really a plus for me. Better tuners maybe. The whole appeal of a CF guitar for me is the durability, go anywhere in any condition aspect and not so much the aesthetics. Even though aesthetically Emerald kills it. I am just trying to find the best value in tone, volume and sustain in the CF realm. You know ... I want that guitar that inspires me to play more, to write, the one that I can't put down. So you are right... to be fair I suppose I shouldn't say there is a$1,000 difference ... apples to apples.

I think you can get a Rainsong Concert Hybrid without electronics, which would be almost exactly the guitar you describe. It would have the unidirectional top, but with a matte back, sides, and neck. If anyone has one, it would be Ted...? Also, the Concert Hybrid comes with the LR Baggs UST, not the Fishman. I prefer having the electronics on mine, for plug-and-play ability for an open mic or something, but I remember seeing CH series without pickup for like $1300 when I was shopping around.

EDIT: Looks like Ted does have a few:
https://www.laguitarsales.com/index....oustic-om.html
https://www.laguitarsales.com/index....ectronics.html
https://www.laguitarsales.com/index....id-parlor.html

He also lists a couple Concert Hybrids with the K&K Mini. Wish I had seen those earlier!
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  #29  
Old 10-15-2017, 06:25 PM
Frettingflyer Frettingflyer is offline
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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?
Hi Randy, I have a Rainsong Shorty and the X20. I have found that I much prefer the Shorty for finger style playing, as the X20, while having a great voice seems to require more effort for a good volume compared to the shorty. I also find that after a few hours of play my hand is more fatigued. That said, the X20 hasn't been listed for sale as it has a wonderful sound, and really comes to life while strummed or flat picked, IMO. Plus, it is my wife's favorite of my CF guitars...happy wife etc..
I am no pro though, and obviously lots of people like the X20 for finger style, just not my favorite. I should mention mine gets fantastic harmonics that ring forever too, fwiw.
So many nice instruments to choose from, good luck in your search.
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  #30  
Old 10-16-2017, 09:43 AM
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Had an Emerald for a short time, bought a Rainsong H-OM and that is my gigging guitar. Sounds great whether finger-picked or strummed. I have long stopped thinking about it as a "CF" guitar, it's just a guitar. For me, it seems louder than the Emerald, it is more comfortable to hold (at least for me, my body type, size, etc.), the neck is awesome...all around it a terrific guitar. I know that's not the direct comparison you were looking for, but at least it is some more info for you to process.
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