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Post new topic Rainsong carbon fiber guitars and MSA
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Author Topic:  Rainsong carbon fiber guitars and MSA
Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post  Posted 30 Mar 2002 4:53 pm    
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As everybody knows, the new MSA guitars will be made out of carbon fiber. This is of course the first steel guitar to be made out of this material, but there is a company called Rainsong that makes spanish guitars out of it.

Here is a link to the Harmony Central user reviews of these guitars: http://www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/Data4/Rainsong/

I thought some of you would like to read what the owners of these guitar say about them. I've tried them out myself and was very impressed with the way they sounded.

We won't know what the new MSA guitars will sound like until they start production, but I for one can hardly wait. If they sound as good as the Rainsongs, they are going to be very special.
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Rex Blattenberger


From:
hendersonville, tn (nashville)
Post  Posted 30 Mar 2002 10:13 pm    
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Hi Mike, good to meet you in Dallas. Sorry I was just getting over the flu, so I didn't talk much.

Didn't Ovation also make a model in the 80's with a carbon fiber top ?

Rex
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post  Posted 31 Mar 2002 3:30 am    
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Quote:
Didn't Ovation also make a model in the 80's with a carbon fiber top ?


I believe they not only did, but still do. It's their top of the line ADAMAS guitar. But if I'm not mistaken, it's a slightly different material. As far as I can tell, the Rainsong is made from the same material the new MSA guitars will be made of.

It was nice meeting you Rex, but there were so many people in Dallas it was hard to spend any time with any one of them. I hope you're better now.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 31 Mar 2002 7:26 am    
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The Rainsong's are beautiful guitars with a nice sound, and they've kept the conventional (flat-back) body shape. The Ovations, which have those rounded backs (that tend to slide off your lap all the time) seem far less practical. Though a fellow musician once told me he likes them, and that they got the "round back" idea from old-world instruments (such as the lute), I belong to the small group that categorizes them as the "plastic bed-pan" guitars.
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Matt Steindl


From:
New Orleans, LA, USA
Post  Posted 31 Mar 2002 8:25 am    
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Those RainSong guitboxs sound amazing. The amount of unamplified projection was almost unsettling.

------------------
Mattman in "The Big Sleazy"-:
S-10 Dekley, Suitcase Fender Rhodes, B-bender Les Paul

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Andy Greatrix


From:
Edmonton Alberta
Post  Posted 31 Mar 2002 8:47 am    
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As John lacey can tell you, I suggested making steel bodies from the same stuff as the Steinburger guitars about five or six years ago on line. Everyone thought I was crazy. (They're right!)
I can't wait to hear the new MSA's. I wonder if they will ever make a lap steel in the future.It would be interesting with a hollow body, as well as a solid body.
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Aaron Schiff


From:
Cedaredge, CO, USA
Post  Posted 31 Mar 2002 9:40 pm    
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Sage Harmos is building carbon fiber lap steels already. Hopefully he will spot this topic and tell us more.
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Sage


From:
Boulder, Colorado
Post  Posted 1 Apr 2002 6:18 am    
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Thanks Aaron- I just saw it. Mike, I think I'm the first to make a carbon fiber steel guitar- my first lap steel was done in 1998.
I'm glad to see interest in this coming up. There are a lot of different ways of building with C.F., with different approaches and outcomes. I also love the Rainsong- what a strong sounding and full range guitar that jumbo is. The Rainsong is put together differently than mine or the MSA.
Reece and I have different design approaches, and I think that our offerings will serve interested people in a complimentary way. If you have more questions on carbon fiber, fire away.
T. Sage Harmos
Harmos Steel Guitars http://www.harmosmusic.com/
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Rick Garrett


From:
Tyler, Texas
Post  Posted 1 Apr 2002 11:37 am    
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Well Sage how does it sound compared to wood? Is it brighter, does it sustain longer. I already know its lighter and Im all for that. Reason Im asking is that I've already had one pro tell me that Caron Fiber wouldnt sound good. I've got no experiece with the stuff so Im asking a guy who knows. Thanks!!

Rick
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Sage


From:
Boulder, Colorado
Post  Posted 1 Apr 2002 9:57 pm    
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Thanks for asking, Rick. I am not an expert but I'll answer the best I can. Carbon fiber is a combination of strands of pure carbon and an epoxy matrix(plastic binder). Beyond that, there is a lot of variation. The fibers can be woven into mats (with various kinds of weaves) and impregnated with resin. This can then be molded and cured. Strands can be stretched in a mold and the epoxy laid in over it. Or it can be "pultruded"- simultaneously pulled and extruded thru a die under pressure with the epoxy being applied inside of the die.
Each kind of process results in a different kind of thing. IMHO having the highest carbon to epoxy ratio possible is important, because plastic doesn't sound very good.
The other thing is how the guitar is built, obviously. Carbon fiber is not a magic bullet, it is simply a potentially useful thing to work with.
I think that it tends to sound brighter- This can be controlled. It transmits string energy very efficiently, so sustain times tend to be longer. It actually has a very warm, natural tone when you get it right. I have also heard other people's c. f. instruments that I didn't care for.
I'd love to hear one of the MSA designers weigh in here- after all, your name is on the top of the thread.
T. Sage Harmos
Harmos Steel Guitars http://www.harmosmusic.com
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Ed Miller Jr


From:
Coldwater,Mi USA
Post  Posted 2 Apr 2002 4:00 am    
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Donny Hinson, You would not be alone in your Bedpan theology of Ovations. Even just one corner would make it easier to hold.As a wise friend and fellow luthier once said to me...."Never trust a guitar that you mix up in a bucket".
Ed

[This message was edited by Ed Miller Jr on 02 April 2002 at 04:01 AM.]

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Rick Garrett


From:
Tyler, Texas
Post  Posted 2 Apr 2002 4:22 am    
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Thanks Mr. Harmos for the explanation on what to expect from Carbon Fiber design. Thats what I love about this forum. You can ask a serious question and get a serious answer. I appreciate that.

Rick
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George McLellan


From:
Duluth, MN/Mesa, AZ USA
Post  Posted 2 Apr 2002 5:05 am    
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Rick, I had the pleasure of listening to Sage play his at the Minnesota Steel Guitar Showcase a while back. I won't comment on tone because I'm a firm believer that individual preferance tone is in your own ear and controls on your amp can change that for the room situation.

I will say, that it sounded every bit as good as any lap steel I've ever heard. I think if Sage would make a CD or something (if he hasn't already) that anyone interested could purchase from him and they could judge for themselves the sound of this fasinating instrument he's created. Pictures of it on the Minnesota Steel Guitar Assc link.

------------------
SUAS U' PHIOB
Geo


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Randy Pettit


From:
North Texas USA
Post  Posted 2 Apr 2002 7:40 am    
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Matt, if you ever get over to Lafayette area, go check out CA Guitars - another carbon fiber creation. Other than the fretboard and tuning machines, it's all carbon fiber or some type of graphite composite. An incredible bright but rich tone unplugged, sounds even better plugged in. www.caguitars.com/

[This message was edited by Randy Pettit on 03 April 2002 at 07:16 AM.]

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Danny Bates


From:
Fresno, CA. USA
Post  Posted 2 Apr 2002 10:44 am    
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Sorry to dispel your theories about the Ovation Adamas guitars being graphite. The top is spruce that has a .002 (size of a small pencil lead) covering of composite graphite pressure sealed on each side of it for strength, durability and tone. These guitars are great studio guitars. The sensitivity and string balance are great.

Granted the big bodies are hard to play standing up however in a studio setting a guitar is usually played sitting down. As you probably already know, a nylon string guitar gets much of its tone from the vibrating back.

Steinburger guitars were solid composite construction much like Reece's new guitar design. They are no longer made in the form of composite construction.
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Reece Anderson


From:
Keller Texas USA, R.I.P.
Post  Posted 2 Apr 2002 12:19 pm    
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Some of the best sounding steel guitars in history were made of materials other than wood. For instance consider the old bakelite and the aluminum non pedal guitars which still today are sought after for their exceptional tone. Wood also produces a great tone, but as history has proved, there are alternative materials that also have the ability to create an exceptional sound.

The design team at MSA has created a sound with composite material one would have to hear to believe. We also succeeded in the creation of a combination of composite and core material which cannot be determined or duplicated, and will always be unique to an MSA steel guitar.

In addition we have discovered a way to alter the sound/tone that will allow MSA to always offer a large variety of sounds by means of composite and core manipulation. These innovations provide not only sound/tone variances, but also a unique combination of composite and core construction that allows MSA sound/tone flexibility and a total production consistency which before now could not be imagined or achieved.
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Ed Miller Jr


From:
Coldwater,Mi USA
Post  Posted 2 Apr 2002 5:57 pm    
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Reese, I am apparently unable to send E Mail at this time So I will post here. I am sorry if you took my "joke" the wrong way. I have great faith that you will deliver on your promise. I too am familiar with carbon fibre from building instrument necks and using them for reinforcement. I simply don't care for ovation guitars they sound decent, they sell many of them every year and they are popular but they just aren't my thing. However, I do not doubt your ability and I'm still waiting for dealer info I'm serious if you go to a dealer network I am interested in representing your product in my music store.
Ed
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Jeff Peterson


From:
Nashville, TN USA
Post  Posted 2 Apr 2002 6:20 pm    
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...

[This message was edited by Jeff Peterson on 02 April 2002 at 10:18 PM.]

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