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  #1  
Old 11-29-2017, 02:09 PM
Jim in TC Jim in TC is offline
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Default What do we care about that vintage sound?

So I was talking up carbon at a local guitar shop, hoping to talk them into handling one brand or another. The guy there admitted that the couple he had seen pass through their used section sounded really great, "but don't forget, they are never going to get any better." Got me thinking - We who have been bit hard by the carbon bug must fall into one or more of these camps:

1. Don't really believe that wood guitars get better with age (I believe that most or at least many do). OR
2. Don't have the ear to tell when they have gotten better with age (I may be at least a bit in this camp ...) OR
3. Don't care because the carbon guitar -
a. environmental stability trumps everything else (here I am)
b. sounds great already so who cares?
c. just like the looks (or the cool space agey material)

Did I miss anybody here? Where do you come to carbon from?
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2017, 02:21 PM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Folks buy CF guitars first and foremost for the durability, but obviously the tone and playability have to work as well. As to guitars opening up, sure, wood guitars can sound better with age, but none of us buys a new Taylor or Martin because of the way the guitar will sound in ten years. If I was told my D-45V was never going to sound any different than the day I bought it, I still would have bought it.
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2017, 02:32 PM
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Acousticado Acousticado is offline
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I guess all points of #3 apply to me.

My initiation into the CF world happened in ‘08 when my ‘06 Baby Taylor suddenly got crushed by a descending convertible top while my wife and I were travelling. At that time, there was a lot of buzz for the newly released CA Cargo. My wife felt really bad about what happened and I had no problem convincing her that I wanted to try a Cargo. Within a few days while still travelling, a new one was shipped to me in Florida from Texas. I’ve loved the little bugger ever since. The Cargo continues to be well-regarded for what it is, so I lucked-in on a great experience from the get-go which opened my willingness to pursue others. I’ve since owned it’s big brother, the GXi which I sold to fund an Emerald Chimaera.

I agree with Ted...although I hope to one day find a composite guitar that rivals the tone of my Taylor 814c, I’m willing to compromise on that somewhat for all the other factors that no-worry composites offer. That said, although I’ve taken a leap-of-faith on all my past CFs, I’m now knowing more of what I want out of them, so I’m now much more likely to be more discernible, likely to really try to try before I buy.
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Last edited by Acousticado; 11-29-2017 at 02:38 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2017, 03:05 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Wooden guitars may sound better with age, they also become more vulnerable with age: glues give out, necks warp, saddles lift up & faces crack.
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Old 11-29-2017, 04:24 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I buy all my guitars for how they sound NOW, not how they might sound decades from now. If they improve (and I have experienced it) that is icing on the cake. If not, I started out with cake -- a great sounding guitar -- to begin with.

I fully expect that my Rainsong, Blackbird, Cargo and Emerald will open up -- in about 50,000 years or so, and long after my wood guitars have turned to dust. The tricky part is being around to hear them.....
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:05 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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#3-ish. Got the first one because of the environmental stability... found out I like the tone. Really, I was hoping it would be... OK. Yeah, so much more than that.

I have never bought a wood guitar with the hope that it would sound better with time. Will my carbon fiber guitars sound better with age? Well, even though I like the tone of each, I have experimented with strings... and some certainly make my fingers and ears happier than others. So, yes, an improvement. For full disclosure, I've done the same with my wood guitars.

I also think the more playing time we give a guitar, the more we become comfortable... to the point that becomes the "standard bearer." I try to give all my guitars some playing time, but... favorites.

When I first started looking for a carbon fiber guitar, there were a couple guitar stores I visited that had never heard of such a thing. When i described carbon fiber, one tried to sell me a black Martin: "It's a laminate, so pretty much the same thing." Yes, really.
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:51 PM
tdq tdq is offline
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What Ted said - #4? (Edit: 3a!) - I got mine after a unfixable neck problem on my Washburn got me down. But of course if the CF replacement was no good, playing or sounding, it wouldn't have even been a contender.

As for the better with age argument, like Earl49 said, it's got to sound good now, not later. Wood guitars can get better with age but there are no guarantees - some get worse!
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Old 11-29-2017, 07:18 PM
PeteCady PeteCady is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim in TC View Post
So I was talking up carbon at a local guitar shop, hoping to talk them into handling one brand or another. The guy there admitted that the couple he had seen pass through their used section sounded really great, "but don't forget, they are never going to get any better." Got me thinking - We who have been bit hard by the carbon bug must fall into one or more of these camps:

1. Don't really believe that wood guitars get better with age (I believe that most or at least many do). OR
2. Don't have the ear to tell when they have gotten better with age (I may be at least a bit in this camp ...) OR
3. Don't care because the carbon guitar -
a. environmental stability trumps everything else (here I am)
b. sounds great already so who cares?
c. just like the looks (or the cool space agey material)

Did I miss anybody here? Where do you come to carbon from?
I would call 3a and 3b, PLUS: I got my first CF guitar that was a keeper when I was 65, if I count back correctly, and have gotten others after age 70. So wooden ones get better with age? I don't. And my kids (now middle-aged) both play but have guitars of their own. And will get my remaining couple of good wooden ones. So the whole "better with age" thing is beside the point for me.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:55 PM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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I like owning guitars that don't sound the same, so with the durability being a plus I tried a CF....and never went back. Like others, I buy for the way they sound now.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:14 PM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
I buy all my guitars for how they sound NOW, not how they might sound decades from now. If they improve (and I have experienced it) that is icing on the cake. If not, I started out with cake -- a great sounding guitar -- to begin with.

I fully expect that my Rainsong, Blackbird, Cargo and Emerald will open up -- in about 50,000 years or so, and long after my wood guitars have turned to dust. The tricky part is being around to hear them.....
Me too! I'm not waiting, now when I buy a vintage instrument and I have 4, I'm buying based on sound then too.
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Old 11-30-2017, 09:40 AM
Jim in TC Jim in TC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Looburst View Post
Me too! I'm not waiting, now when I buy a vintage instrument and I have 4, I'm buying based on sound then too.
When I started this thread I inadvertently underplayed (no pun intended, honest!) basing a decision on how the instrument sounds right now, as you shop. I think what the guy at the shop was suggesting, and that has at least some validity, is that when you buy a carbon guitar there is an opportunity cost. A solid wood instrument of quality, kept long enough, has a certain...investment value. On the other hand, a carbon guitar, even abused (and how do you do that?) will not easily crack, bend, dent, crush, warp...

I think many of us, myself included, found it difficult to find a CF guitar to try out before jumping in (often for the stability, right?) and were really amazed at the quality when we first played one. I was. And while I would not go so far as to say I prefer CF sound to wood (way too much variation between brands, materials, construction etc) I would have no qualms suggesting that they are or can be just as good.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:11 AM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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I have a friend that had a CF guitar, one of the earlier ones and the top separated from the body within the first two years of him owning it. That's when I thought its all hype, they're not more durable at all.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:15 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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I played my Taylor 522ce this morning. It is a great guitar - rich sound with the all mahogany body and 12-fret neck (I've heard others call it a "vintage sound" - not my words). Before wrapping up my session, I picked up my X20 for a few minutes... I wouldn't describe it as a "vintage sound," but whatever label you want to put on it, it is still my preference.

I like the sound of each of my guitars, carbon fiber and wood... each is different, and each "now."
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:26 AM
Finger Stylish Finger Stylish is offline
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I bought My Rainsong because of;
#1 Great Acoustic sound/tone. It already sounded aged / vintage to me especially with Retros.
#2 Amazing sustain
#3 Playability
#4 Feel
#5 Lightweight

Interestingly enough, the same criteria used to purchase most of my other guitars.

One way it wins out over the wood guitars is it stays in tune and therefore gets gigged out much more than my others.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:49 AM
Fixedgear60 Fixedgear60 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted @ LA Guitar Sales View Post
Folks buy CF guitars first and foremost for the durability, but obviously the tone and playability have to work as well. As to guitars opening up, sure, wood guitars can sound better with age, but none of us buys a new Taylor or Martin because of the way the guitar will sound in ten years. If I was told my D-45V was never going to sound any different than the day I bought it, I still would have bought it.
I agree with Ted.... this is why I find the Blackbird eKOA offerings so compelling...stable vintage tone with no wait.. :-)
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