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Author Topic: Anyone here play a carbon fiber guitar?  (Read 834 times)
RandyB
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« on: October 29, 2017, 09:36:47 PM »

I have 2 nice wood guitars .. a Larrivee OM-40R and a. stonebrdge/Furch G23CR-C I love them both but
I am curious about the Emerald  X20 or the Carbon Acoustics GX or a Rainsong CH-WS1000NS
The problem is I can't find any of these in Oklahoma City.
Has anyone had the chance to play any of these? Thoughts?

 
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2017, 10:43:07 PM »

I currently own a Composite Acoustics GX with a narrow nut width and wine red top. The fretboard is perfectly flat and saddle height adjustments have little impact on first fret string heights.  These guitars are absolutely impervious to temperature and humidity changes.  The tonal quality is also superb, considering it is not a wooden guitar...  I don't think much of the Fishman electronics in mine, but I have heard these guitars sound great with other units.  Upper fret access is very good because of the body shape.  Great tuning machines, neck is quite playable, frets are excellent.  The finish is so slick the guitar will slide off your lap if you don't hang on to it.  The only negative thing I have found, for me at least, is the strap button on the upper bout does not lend well to holding the guitar close to the body...
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George
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 11:28:15 PM »

I had a CA (I forget the model, and it was before their association with Peavey), and I had an Emerald X7 (maybe an X5?). Before long, I found they weren’t for me.  I played several Rainsongs that I thought were excellent, but I usually need some time to figure out if a guitar is for me.

Ed
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 12:29:20 AM »

My Composite Acoustics Cargo  serves me well. It ticks all the boxes.

✔ Playability - extremely comfortable (I like the 22.75" short scale)

✔ Comfort - fine to play standing or sitting or any other position I've tried

✔ Travel - I've had no trouble taking it as carry-on baggage on planes

✔ Nearly indestructible - I can leave it in the trunk of the car

✔ Sound - it sounds good to me and it sounds good to the people in front of me

I've never thought, "I wish this was made of wood".

I've received only compliments and positive comments about it.

If I lost it, I would replace it.

For anyone with my priorities, I recommend it.

ST
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 01:59:02 AM »

The OX has been on my radar for some time. Some day...
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2017, 03:57:46 AM »

Koamon just got himself a Peavey made CA short scale small body I don't know the modal but nice little guitar a great player now that I redid the nut slots.
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2017, 06:22:02 AM »

Um, maybe.  ;-)





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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2017, 06:42:12 AM »

I've never actually played a Composite Acoustics (pre or post Peavy buyout)

Rainsongs are pretty traditional.  Traditional body sizes 0, OM/000, D, J.  Their signature WS body isn't really that different than a Guild mini-jumbo or Taylor GA.  Necks are flat at 20", compared to Larrivee's compound 17-20" board.

The unidirectional carbon top on the CH series is supposed to sound more "woody" than normal CF, but if so it's subtle.  At the price point, either the new CH-OM or CH-WS are pretty hard to beat as a "do everything" guitar.  Note that all of the CH models are a 24.9" short scale, so the OM is really a 000 by any sane definition.

Since Rainsong builds on traditional body sizes it is easy to find a hard case that fits properly.  Rainsong uses very expensive machined aluminum molds, so what they offer is what you get.


Emerald uses a completely different building technique, and their bodies are much more modern/creative.  They have a molded in arm-bevel which makes them quite comfortable to hold.  The X-20 is a pretty big guitar (Taylor GA size) but it "feels" smaller because of the bevel.   Emerald uses a Martin standard 16" fretboard radius.  If you want a hard-case, then you need to order one with your guitar since the sizes are unique.

Emerald uses a less expensive (possibly disposable) molding technique, so just about any custom option you want is on the table. They even have an option for embedding custom wood veneers under the topcoat, which look frankly stunning. (also quite expensive)

The other big player is Blackbird which is currently transitioning from carbon fiber to a new synthetic material called eKoa.

Edit to add: in my experience CF guitars really reflect the strings used more than wooden instruments, so if you play one and find it sounds harsh or too bright it could well be the strings and not the guitar.

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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2017, 05:30:35 PM »

My Composite Acoustics Cargo  serves me well. It ticks all the boxes.

✔ Playability - extremely comfortable (I like the 22.75" short scale)

✔ Comfort - fine to play standing or sitting or any other position I've tried

✔ Travel - I've had no trouble taking it as carry-on baggage on planes

✔ Nearly indestructible - I can leave it in the trunk of the car

✔ Sound - it sounds good to me and it sounds good to the people in front of me

I've never thought, "I wish this was made of wood".

I've received only compliments and positive comments about it.

If I lost it, I would replace it.

For anyone with my priorities, I recommend it.

ST

I have a CA and agree with the above on all counts.
I bought it for the durability in Michigan's harsh winters and got so much more.
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2017, 05:54:01 PM »

I've never actually played a Composite Acoustics (pre or post Peavy buyout)

Rainsongs are pretty traditional.  Traditional body sizes 0, OM/000, D, J.  Their signature WS body isn't really that different than a Guild mini-jumbo or Taylor GA.  Necks are flat at 20", compared to Larrivee's compound 17-20" board.

The unidirectional carbon top on the CH series is supposed to sound more "woody" than normal CF, but if so it's subtle.  At the price point, either the new CH-OM or CH-WS are pretty hard to beat as a "do everything" guitar.  Note that all of the CH models are a 24.9" short scale, so the OM is really a 000 by any sane definition.

Since Rainsong builds on traditional body sizes it is easy to find a hard case that fits properly.  Rainsong uses very expensive machined aluminum molds, so what they offer is what you get.


Emerald uses a completely different building technique, and their bodies are much more modern/creative.  They have a molded in arm-bevel which makes them quite comfortable to hold.  The X-20 is a pretty big guitar (Taylor GA size) but it "feels" smaller because of the bevel.   Emerald uses a Martin standard 16" fretboard radius.  If you want a hard-case, then you need to order one with your guitar since the sizes are unique.

Emerald uses a less expensive (possibly disposable) molding technique, so just about any custom option you want is on the table. They even have an option for embedding custom wood veneers under the topcoat, which look frankly stunning. (also quite expensive)

The other big player is Blackbird which is currently transitioning from carbon fiber to a new synthetic material called eKoa.

Edit to add: in my experience CF guitars really reflect the strings used more than wooden instruments, so if you play one and find it sounds harsh or too bright it could well be the strings and not the guitar.



Nice writeup... 

I have a boat (a pontoon boat) that I take out on a "lake" (actually, the Susquehanna River between two dams).  I would love to have a plastic (CF) guitar to take out on it.  I have taken the parlor, but since it is used (basically) as a party barge with lots of swimming, I hesitate.

Ed
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2017, 02:07:35 AM »

Nice writeup... 

I have a boat (a pontoon boat) that I take out on a "lake" (actually, the Susquehanna River between two dams).  I would love to have a plastic (CF) guitar to take out on it.  I have taken the parlor, but since it is used (basically) as a party barge with lots of swimming, I hesitate.

Ed

The Emerald X-7 in my pic above (next to my Parlor) would be perfect for that.  A hair smaller than the parlor.  Also one of the most affordable options at just under one grand.

http://emeraldguitars.com/product/x7-opus/?v=7516fd43adaa

Emerald's prices include shipping, and there are no import duties (in the US) on guitars from Ireland.
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2017, 04:43:31 PM »

The Emerald X-7 in my pic above (next to my Parlor) would be perfect for that.  A hair smaller than the parlor.  Also one of the most affordable options at just under one grand.

http://emeraldguitars.com/product/x7-opus/?v=7516fd43adaa

Emerald's prices include shipping, and there are no import duties (in the US) on guitars from Ireland.

I just ran across the Emerald brand, and am very interested in the X-20 (they make lefties!!!). I think the Amber color is stunning! Thanks for posting about these - you have increased my GAS significantly...

 rolleye   
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2017, 12:35:33 AM »

McPherson is also making carbon fiber guitars. A friend of mine is one of their demonstration staff
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2017, 06:25:55 AM »

I just ran across the Emerald brand, and am very interested in the X-20 (they make lefties!!!). I think the Amber color is stunning! Thanks for posting about these - you have increased my GAS significantly...

 rolleye  

Yeah, I keep thinking about an X-20-12 in Amber.  But, for only a couple hundred more I could get a double neck 6/12.

Emeralds colors are interesting, depending on the lighting they can be very subtle, or really pop.  Here is a pic of me holding my brother in law's X20.  It's bright red in the sun, but in the shade you can barely tell it's red.





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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2017, 06:59:40 PM »


Yeah, I keep thinking about an X-20-12 in Amber.  But, for only a couple hundred more I could get a double neck 6/12.

Emeralds colors are interesting, depending on the lighting they can be very subtle, or really pop.  Here is a pic of me holding my brother in law's X20.  It's bright red in the sun, but in the shade you can barely tell it's red.


Since you have experience with these, what is the scale length of the X-7? Of the X-20? It doesn't say anywhere on their website (just says the guitars have a 1 3/4" nut, which is perfect). Would you say the X-20 is about the size of an OM? (I'm not familiar with Taylor's body sizes...)

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« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2017, 02:58:43 AM »

The X-20 normally comes with a standard 25.4" scale length. (Same as a standard scale Larrivee)

My X-7 is 20" maybe 20-1/8".  Same as a Larrivee Parlor to within an 1/8 of an inch.  I got out a tape measure and measured both.

I've only played the X-20 once.  My BIL lives in Indiana and I'm in Phoenix.  My impression was that the X-20 is a pretty big guitar. Closer to a Taylor GA (x14) than an OM.   Taylor's GA is a copy of a Guild mini-jumbo, so if you are familiar with a Guild F-212.  So, bigger than an OM, slightly smaller than an L body.  The arm rest makes it "feel" smaller than that, but still bigger than an OM.

The folks at Emerald no longer list the X-10 as regular production, but rumor has it they will build one if asked.
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« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2017, 01:46:14 PM »

Thanks for the info...

...I contacted Emerald and they got back to me - confirmed that the X-20 is indeed 25.5" scale length, which is perfect.

You're right, the body looks about OM size to me, but maybe they're a little larger - which is fine by me.

They also confirmed for me that they make a number of X-20 Opus and Artisans in lefty; here's their reply:

The X20 is available in Lefty in all its variations, meaning you can get it as a 7-string, 12-string, Nylon String, Baritone or even 8, 9 or 10-string. Of course you have all the custom shop options available to you too. None of our other instruments are currently available as Lefty in our standard range. In theory, it is of course possible to get one of the other instruments made in Lefty, but as this would involve making a brand new mould for it, the cost would be very high, and therefore no one has done this, yet.

I've got one of these "built" and sitting in the shopping cart online...just have to arrange my finances to pull the trigger...

BTW, the Parlor has a 24" scale length, no? What about the X-7?
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« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2017, 01:54:58 PM »


BTW, the Parlor has a 24" scale length, no? What about the X-7?

Fwiw, on the page for each model, there are tabs for description, more info, review, and videos. Under the more info tab, there are all the specs...  scale length, bout widths, body depth, etc.

And, the X-7 is 24”.

Ed
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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2017, 08:14:12 PM »


BTW, the Parlor has a 24" scale length, no? What about the X-7?

I got out my tape measure and measured both the Parlor and the X-7.  Both are 24".

I figure physical measurements beat the manufacturer's quoted measurements any day.  We know they can often be a bit off.
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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2017, 05:27:39 AM »

Just for kicks, this is what I have built and sitting in the shopping cart (hey, it only takes money, right?):

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